MGMT 312 H1FF-F12
Professor Jason Norton
November 27, 2012
American Electric Power (AEP), founded in 1906 as the American Gas & Electric Company (Business Insights: Essentials, 2012). The organization was created when the structure of the electric utility industry in the United States was changing from small, individually owned generator plants to consolidated single systems that served a large area (Business Insights: Essentials, 2012). Today AEP is a for-profit, publicly traded organization, employing almost 18,000 people throughout eleven states (Business Insights: Essentials, 2012). There are many different business units throughout the organization, including, but not limited to, Customer Services, Distribution, and Generation. According to Edgar Schein, “As organizations grow and develop different markets, they often “divisionalize” in the sense of decentralizing most of the functions into product, market, or geographical units” (Schein, 1990). As a result of the numerous business units, there are many different sub-cultures within the organization; however, all of these various sub-cultures are founded upon norms and values that make up the entire organization culture of AEP.
“Culture is what a group learns over a period of time as that group solves its problems of survival in an external environment and its problems of internal integration” (Schein, 1990). With over one hundred years of existence, AEP has had sufficient time to establish the values that make up the entire culture. The first and foremost espoused value ingrained within AEP’s culture, is the organization’s commitment to a culture fully founded upon safety. No matter what business unit or department head one is assigned to, safety is AEP’s primary focus. Each meeting, regardless of insignificance or subject, begins with a safety topic or issue. Employees are also encouraged to report violations of safety and walking and talking on a...