Leadership in Action
January 14, 2011
Leadership in Action
As a new employee for Smith and Facmouth, a teleshopping and mail order company, my job is to help eliminate the cliques and implement a restructuring strategy that can improve the employee’s culture and empower them. The company’s main figureheads are the Logistics Manager, Project Manager, and Marketing Manager. These three individuals have different initial emotions towards me and both influence and are influenced by the web development team and the logistics team. My challenge is to choose the appropriate figure head as an ally to help gain the respect of the team and help push down my new strategy to promote synergy and growth within the company. Analysis
Methods of Control
The current departmental and organizational cultures involve specific closed cliques inside respective teams. The project manager has a bidirectional relationship with the web development team and is strongly influenced by the logistics manager and team who also respect him. The marketing manager mainly interacts with me. Upon my initial arrival, all members were resistant to change and were threatened by my new position and task. It disrupted their organizational culture. According to Robbins and Judge (2007) organizational culture “refers to a system of shared meaning held by members that distinguishes the organization from other organizations” (p. 573). This culture is comprised of characteristics that the organization values. Robbins and Judge offer seven distinct characteristics that are valued. For this simulation the two most important characteristics that contribute to the culture is outcome orientation and stability. Outcome orientation involves the degree that management puts the focus on the outcome results instead of the technique to achieve outcomes and stability is the desire of an organization to maintain the status quo in contrast to growth (Robbins and Judge, 2007, p.574). The outcome orientation is the reason why I was brought into the organization. I was asked to fix the problems and increase the company sales by 100% over the next quarter. The stability issue is the cause for the cold welcoming I received in the company. They are content in their respective cliques and enjoy the way things are going. They do not want to face uncertain change even if it involves future growth and expansion.
More interesting to me is the statement made by Robbins and Judge (2007) explaining “Organizational culture is concerned with how employees perceive the characteristics of an organization’s culture, not with whether or not they like them” (p. 575). That is what gives me the most difficult job. The new restructuring strategy must be implemented regardless of how the employees feel about the situation. The interesting part is that they need not like or desire the new characteristics of change they must only perceive them in a positive manner. That is why I must align with a respected and neutral employee who can help win everyone’s positive perception of the new characteristics.
Culture and aligning the employees with these characteristics has become increasingly popular in today’s workplace. “As organizations have widened spans of control, flattened structures, introduced teams, reduced formalization, and empowered employees, the shared meaning provided by a strong culture ensures that everyone is pointed in the same direction” (Robbins and Judge, 2007, p.578). Getting the employees to point in this same direction will create the necessary synergy needed to eliminate the cliques and strive for the common goal. Furthermore, this strongly created new culture will have a positive impact on employee behavior and reduce turnover. “In a strong culture, the organization’s core values are both intensely held and widely shared” (Robbins and Judge, 2007, p. 576). As the cliques are diminished, more members can commit...
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