1 Corporate culture
1.1 About business Work culture and placements
1 It depends on company culture. New employees need to try to work out quickly what is expected in each of the three situations and to adjust to the company culture as soon as they can. To start off though, it’s probably safest to dress smartly, not be the first or the last to leave the office, maybe make one or two contributions to a meeting, but more importantly to listen and learn at first. 2 1 The experiment demonstrated how an unwritten rule is created. 2 Seven examples of unwritten rules: - nobody should ever climb the ladder - working long hours is more important than achieving results - the boss is always right, even when he’s wrong - if you’re not at your desk, you’re not working - nobody complains, because nothing changes - women, ethnic minorities and the over 50s are not promoted - the customer is king, but don’t tell anyone, because management are more interested in proﬁtability. 3 New staff quickly learn when their ideas and opinions are listened to and valued, and when it’s better to keep them to themselves; which assignments and aspects of their performance will be checked and evaluated, and whose objectives and instructions they can safely ignore. They learn from the way staff speak to management, to customers and to each other, and from the differences between what is said, decided or promised, and what actually gets done. 3 Suggested answers: 1 Organizations and companies can try to avoid negative unwritten rules by respecting commitments, giving and listening to feedback, deﬁning and applying clear procedures, providing training to develop a positive work culture. 2 A government department: Ofﬁce etiquette: formal dress code, strict ofﬁce hours, inﬂexible, subject to security constraints Relationships with colleagues, management and clients / business partners: hierarchical and formalized Autonomy and initiative: limited, strict procedures for everything A small public relations ﬁrm: Ofﬁce etiquette: probably very informal, relaxed, ﬂexible, resultsorientated rather than time-conscious Relationships with colleagues, management and clients / business partners: friendly and participative, little or no visible hierarchy Autonomy and initiative: wide, but must be justiﬁed A manufacturing company: Answers will depend on national and corporate culture. 3 Answers will vary. 4 1 Alessandra was not accepted by her colleagues. David upset an intern. 2 Alessandra misunderstood the (unwritten) ofﬁce rules on working hours. David assumed Monica would know to inform him she had a dentist’s appointment, but she didn’t; Monica misinterpreted David’s friendliness as changing the supervisor–intern relationship. 5 Students’ mistakes: Alessandra’s story: didn’t ask about / was not sensitive to unwritten rules; didn’t talk to colleagues David’s story: took friendly culture at face value; didn’t accept criticism; didn’t learn from the problem Supervisors’ mistakes: Alessandra’s story: didn’t tell student about unwritten rules; gave student too much autonomy; didn’t make sure student met colleagues David’s story: didn’t explain local work culture; didn’t keep enough distance from intern; didn’t understand the intern’s confusion 6 Answers will vary. IT and Technical Support: Roxane Pawle = IT Manager + one web developer and two support engineers 3 1 Because Warndar is a small company. 2 Because Warndar is growing fast, so it’s going to change as they hire new staff. 3 Because right now they don’t have an HR department as such. 4 The COO runs the business on a day-to-day basis. The CEO deals with strategy and she’s on the board of the parent company. 5 Irysis is Warndar’s parent company. They took Warndar over a couple of years ago. 6 He resigned when he was appointed Head of IT at a big consultancy ﬁrm but was ﬁred after three months. 7 Research and Development, Engineering, and Marketing and Sales. 8 Doug Pearson coordinates development...
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