Are You Fit for Managerial Uncertainty?
The External Environment
Adapting to the Environment
The Internal Environment: Corporate
Environment and Culture
Types of Cultures
New Manager Self-Test: Cultural Preference
Shaping Corporate Culture for Innovative
Managing the High-Performance Culture
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After studying this chapter, you should be able to:
1. Describe the general and task environments and the dimensions of each. 2. Explain the strategies managers use to help organizations adapt to an uncertain or turbulent environment.
3. Deﬁne corporate culture and give organizational examples. 4. Explain organizational symbols, stories, heroes, slogans, and ceremonies and their relationships to corporate culture.
5. Describe how corporate culture relates to the environment. 6. Deﬁne a cultural leader and explain the tools a cultural leader uses to create a high-performance culture.
The Environment and
ARE YOU FIT FOR MANAGERIAL UNCERTAINTY?1
1. Enjoyed hearing about new ideas
even when working toward a
2. Welcomed unusual viewpoints of
others even if we were working
4. Speciﬁcally encouraged others
to express opposing ideas and
3. Made it a point to attend industry
trade shows and company events.
SCORING AND INTERPRETATION: Give yourself one
point for each item you marked as Mostly True. If you
scored less than 5 you might want to start your career as
a manager in a stable rather than unstable environment.
A score of 5 or above suggests a higher level of mindfulness and a better ﬁt for a new manager in an organization with an uncertain environment.
In an organization in a highly uncertain environment
everything seems to be changing. In that case, an important quality for a new manager is “mindfulness,” which includes the qualities of being open-minded and an independent thinker. In a stable environment, a manager with a closed mind may perform okay because much work can
be done in the same old way. In an uncertain environment, even a new manager needs to facilitate new thinking, new ideas, and new ways of working. A high score on the preceding items suggests higher mindfulness and a
better ﬁt with an uncertain environment.
Do you approach uncertainty with an open mind? Think
back to how you thought or behaved during a time
of uncertainty when you were in a formal or informal
leadership position. Please answer whether each of the
following items was Mostly True or Mostly False in that
5. Asked “dumb” questions.
6. Always offered comments on the
meaning of data or issues.
7. Expressed a controversial opinion
to bosses and peers.
8. Suggested ways of improving my
and others’ ways of doing things.
The environments in which businesses operate are increasingly dynamic, requiring managers to be ready to react and respond to even subtle environmental shifts. Mattel was shaken when it learned that a Chinese subcontractor used lead paint while manufacturing its toys. Because of the potential health hazard, Mattel recalled nearly 850,000 of its most popular toys—months before its holiday selling season. Not only did the recall frighten consumers, but it sparked a global debate about the safety of Chinese-made products. Mattel managers moved swiftly to reassure nervous parents of its high safety standards in its Chinese factories. In addition, CEO Robert Eckert explained the recall to consumers on the company’s Web site and announced steps Mattel was taking to prevent further recalls.2 Mattel’s prompt...
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