EMBA Organisational Behaviour Coursework – Analysis of BBC
1. Analyse the culture of the BBC at the time that Dyke took over. To what degree is it facilitating the success of the BBC?
The BBC was set up in 1922 as a public service broadcaster. The BBC quickly became a household name and played a part in shaping British culture. Company culture is the values and beliefs shared by the members of a ‘group’ and the BBC is a ‘group’ which has both internal (BBC employees) and external (general public) members. The BBC is financed by a TV license fee paid by each household and represents the cultural artefacts: the concrete aspect of the BBC which is its ability to maintain its ‘independence and impartiality’ (Keys, 2006) due to public funding and a not for public service ethos. The BBC’s biggest critic: the UK press, are always at the helm of every attack and question over the quality – guarding the BBC on behalf of every person. The public values and principles that the BBC is based on were publically declared by the first director general. The BBC’s role was in ‘inform, educate and entertain’ and to ‘bring the best of everything to the greatest number of homes’ (Keys, 2006) and this became the espoused values for BBC culture.
The culture of the BBC is so deeply ingrained in its employees that Dyke commented that what the BBC ‘does has enormous value and helps to define culture. People work at the BBC because of this value. Their commitment to the BBC, not necessarily to management, is very strong-at a level other companies would only dream of’ (Keys, 2006). These basic underlying assumptions of unconscious commitment to the organisation result in an unwillingness to tolerate change, whether good or bad, as it is an unconscious belief that it is interfering with the national heritage that belongs to each and every British person.
The BBC culture is so strong that it has the ability to transport the general public on the same journey as its employees. They to, feel that the BBC is national heritage that they own a little piece of. It has a strong external identity of independence and impartiality which creates a sense of unshakable commitment by many employees that what they do is more than a job. When Dyke took over the BBC it had been through a period of cost cuts, staff cuts, implementation of new management controls and the formation of an internal market for services. While the new structure and aggressive cuts left the organisations morale low, the managerial reforms had not affected the core culture which under pinned the ethos of those who worked for the BBC. There was a strong belief by BBC employees ‘that what they achieved, they achieved despite management’ (Keys, 2006). This strong culture had facilitated continued success through a period of uncertainty for both employees, during cuts and managerial reforms, and the general public, during a period of technological advancement in the digital space. However, with strong cultures can come dysfunctions and the BBC shows warring factions of low levels of agreement (with management) but high levels of intensity (believing they achieve without management) which if not addressed could become a barrier to future success.
2. What source of power does Dyke have? How do you predict he will manage in the upcoming political battles that he faces?
Dyke has three forms of power: decision making, symbolic power and process power.
One of the main sources of decision making power is the formal power of authority. Charisma is one of the forms of authority and Dyke is described by his own friends as ‘commercial, colourful and charismatic’. People with decision making power have the ability to inspire and to attract followers and this can be supported by Carolyn Fairbairn, director of strategy and distributions description that those who knew him ‘were excited [by] his reputation as an...
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