Cisco Systems Uses Its Culture for Competitive Advantage
Cisco Systems, Inc. is the worldwide leader in providing hardware, software and related services to enable networking for the Internet. Today, networks are an essential part of business, education, government, and home communications. Cisco hardware, software, and service offerings are used to create the Internet solutions that make these networks possible, giving individuals, companies, and countries easy access to information anywhere, at any time (Cisco website, 2012). Cisco was widely regarded as an industry expert and uses its cutting edge technology to run every aspects of its business on the web. We will try to analyze how Cisco uses its culture for competitive advantage by answering the follow questions: 1. What are the observable artifacts, espoused values, and basic assumptions associated with Cisco’s culture? Explain. 2. Use the competing values framework to diagnose Cisco’s culture. To what extent does it possess characteristics associated with clan, adhocracy, market, and hierarchy cultures? 3. Begin by looking up Cisco's mission or vision statement on the company's Web site. Now answer the following question: To what extent is the culture type you identified in question 2 consistent with the accomplishment of this mission or vision? Explain. 4. What techniques for changing organizational culture has Cisco used to form its culture? 5. Refer to the hypothetical organization structure below and reference Organization Structures found in Unit 1: Getting Started under Content. The Situation: Employees responsible for Cisco’s web presence are feeling isolated and ineffective. Many would like to do more, but feel they work within a silo. Unfortunately there is little or no collaboration among the employees. You are responsible for recommending a new organization structure that promotes communication, collaboration and a sense of direction. List the advantages as well as disadvantages to the new structure. Figure [ 1 ]
6. In general, would you like to work at Cisco? Explain your rationale. What are the observable artifacts, espoused values, and basic assumptions associated with Cisco’s culture? The observable artifacts, espoused values, and basic assumptions are also known as the three fundamental layers of organizational culture, each varying in outward visibility and resistance to change and each level influences another level (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2008). Observable artifacts are the most visible and also consist of the physical manifestation of an organization’s culture (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2008). An example of this is with Manny Rivelo, a senior vice president at Cisco Systems. Seventy percent of Rivelo’s compensation is based on the council’s ability to meet revenue targets and collaborate. As to espoused values, they represent the explicitly stated values and norms that are preferred by an organization. In Cisco’s case, it was Chambers’ idea that originated in 2001 by the loss of $2.2 billion, which involves grouping executives into cross-functional teams. This concept would lead to faster decision making. Basic assumptions are unobservable and represent the core of organizational culture. We feel that Rivelo’s quote, “I’m on a litany of them-three councils, maybe six boards, and five working groups”, suggests that being involved in numerous groups makes the company as a whole grow faster and be better ready for the economy. Use the competing values framework to diagnose Cisco’s culture. To what extent does it possess characteristics associated with clan, adhocracy, market, and hierarchy cultures? We feel that Cisco Systems use a clan and adhocracy culture rather than a market and hierarchy. Clan Culture has an internal focus and values flexibility rather than stability and control (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2008). A company like...