Kudler Fine Foods

Topics: Decision making, Organization, Organizational culture Pages: 5 (1603 words) Published: October 12, 2008

Organizational Behavior

University of Phoenix

Kudler Fine Foods is a local upscale specialty food store in the San Diego metropolitan area. The company has locations at La Jolla, Del Mar, and Encinitas. Kathy Kudler is the founder and President of the company. The organizational behavior aspects of Kudler Fine Foods will be examined and explored specifically in regard to its apparent organizational culture, organizational structure, impact of leadership, and causal agents that could effect organizational change.

Apparent Culture at Kudler Fine Foods
“Organizational culture is a system of shared values, assumptions, beliefs, and norms that unite the members of an organization” (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2002, chap. 5, p. 108). An organization’s culture can be described in three levels – visible culture, espoused values, and core beliefs (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2002). Kudler's organizational culture will be examined in terms of these three levels. The first level consists of visible culture. That is, what an observer can hear, feel, or see (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2002). At Kudler Fine Foods the organization requires that its employees should be clean, well groomed, and wear appropriate clothes, including uniforms (Kudler Fine Foods, N.D.). A neat and clean appearance is the primary manner in which the visible culture of Kudler Fine Foods is expressed. No less important is the appearance of Kudler's stores, which are designed in such a way that conveys the sophistication of its specialized products aimed at a discerning consumer populace. The second level consists of espoused values which “are not readily observed but instead are the way managers and employees explain and justify their actions and decisions” (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2002, chap. 5, p. 109). At Kudler Fine Foods this second level of organizational culture is expressed by management's belief that the conditions, wages, and benefits offered to employees are competitive with those offered by other employers in the area. The organization also encourages its employees if they have concerns about conditions or compensation to express these openly and directly to their supervisors or store manager. The last level is core beliefs which are organizational attitudes that “are widely shared, that operate unconsciously, and that are considered nonnegotiable” (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2002, chap. 5, p. 109). Kudler Fine Foods' core beliefs are that customers are very important and employees should be courteous, friendly, prompt, and helpful. Employees are expected to dress appropriately and are encouraged to express opinions and concerns openly. The organization's basic assumption is that creativity and innovation are critical for success. Employees are given freedom and responsibility and managers are expected to delegate important tasks to subordinates. Employees are encouraged to work together and communication is the key to success.

Organizational Structure of Kudler Fine Foods
“Organization structure is a formal system of relationships that determines lines of authority (who reports to whom) and the tasks assigned to individuals and units (who does what task and with which department). The vertical dimension of organization structure indicates who has the authority to make decisions and who is expected to supervise which subordinates. The horizontal dimension is the basis for dividing work into specific jobs and tasks and assigning jobs into units such as departments or teams” (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2002, chap. 10, p.232). There are several elements of the vertical dimension which include the unity of command, authority, responsibility, and accountability, span of control, centralization and decentralization, and formalization (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2002). The three approaches of the horizontal dimension are functional, divisional, and matrix (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2002) . Every...
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