Cultural Web

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Organizational culture sometimes influences the organizations strategy if taken for granted. Culture has played a role in Sony’s current financial difficulties. They had power blocks which hindered the flow of communication and corporation between the management, designers, production and marketing.

The Cultural Web, developed by Gerry Johnson and Kevan Scholes in 1992, provides one such approach for looking at and changing your organization's culture. Using it, you can expose cultural assumptions and practices, and set to work aligning organizational elements with one another, and with your strategy.

The Cultural Web identifies six interrelated elements that help to make up what Johnson and Scholes call the "paradigm" - the pattern or model - of the work environment. By analyzing the factors in each, you can begin to see the bigger picture of your culture: what is working, what isn't working, and what needs to be changed. The six elements are:

Power Structures: Sony had a culture, were long serving executives have very strong influence on the organization. At their annual general meetings all these executives take up the front seats whiles the lower ranks are relegated to the back. Many of the working seniors did not even discuss their share values and did not have the involvement in the business.

Control Systems: Sony emphasized on budget plans and emergency fixes as their main control systems. Quality was not really emphasized, they believed in getting the work done with the least amount of cost. Lower level staffs were not awarded for their achievements or bonuses given at the end of the year. All these were aimed at controlling cost.

Organizational Structure: They had the functional/Transnational type of organization where the CEO sits at the top and all functional heads report to him. They believe in top management taking all the decisions without the involvement of the junior level engineers....
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