Why is culture so important to an organization? What influence does culture has on an organization? These are question raised by many leaders in their endeavor to implement new strategies or strategic plan leading to a new vision of their organization. Before we attempt to provide solution the questions raised, it is best if we understand the very meaning of organizational culture or many often refer to as “corporate culture”. There is no single definition for organizational culture. However, this study adopts the definition by Hofstede (1980), where according to him; “organizational culture refers to the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one organization from another, which includes shared beliefs, values and practices that is unique in every organization”. Organizational culture is developed through a web of intricate, open and strong systems, processes and beliefs. It is a system of shared, known and well-communicated values, which produces an identity and characteristics. This “way of life” makes it unique when compared to other organizations. They may have similar qualities but each organization will have its own particular shape and preference in the way it behaves. Schein (1986) identified three levels of organization culture, which can operate at the same time, namely:- * Material, Symbolic and Behavioural – this first level is easy to see but hard to understand by an outsider. This culture can be observed in the physical layout of work environments, dress codes, levels of technology, the attitudes and behaviours of the people. * Values – this second level defines how things ‘should’ be as compared to how they are at present. A strong organizational culture will promote what is considered the appropriate behaviour in response to particular circumstances. * Basic Assumptions and Beliefs – this final level defines the cultural foundation, it guides and constructs the organizational reality at ground level. Strong business cultures will have all three levels present. The more members of the workforce who accept, use and talk the language of the culture, the stronger it will be. In doing so, this forcefully influences the attitudes and actions of the organization as a whole. This principle can be further examined in this Case Study which generally illustrates two family-run organizations i.e. which exemplifies belief and values as platform of a strong organizational culture. These two firms are no different from each other in terms of its value and beliefs, as briefly summarized below:
McCoy Building Supply Centers
A family owned and managed building supply company which emphasizes on minimum layers of management. Its philosophy for overall success is loyalty, adaptability, skilled workers, strong commitment to the community and strong religious belief; thus leading to “Never on a Sunday”. Chick-fil-A Restaurant
A family owned restaurant known by all as a great employer with having the lowest turnover rate compared to other players. Famous as someone who believes in placing “people before profits” by providing courteous services to its customers and believing that all employees deserves a day of rest; thus leading to “Never on a Sunday”. In this case study, the questions raised will be answered based on the support of possible applicable corporate culture theories to strengthen the findings of this case.
The findings of the case study are based on the questions proposed by the case study. Findings are divided based on the questions answered.
Question 1: How have the personal beliefs of the McCoy and Cathy families influenced the organizational culture of their firms?
The personal belief of family-run firms such as McCoy and Cathy (Chick-fil-A) has influenced its corporate culture as follows:- * The belief of both firms on taking Sundays off (as mentioned in the case title) has been embedded in the culture of its...
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