Summary Report

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  • Topic: Culture, Zero tolerance, Sexual harassment
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  • Published : March 13, 2011
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Case Study 1.

A perfect response to an Imperfect storm

Ques 1.Describe how you think new employees Mississippi power “learn” the culture.

Answer. Organizational culture has been described as the shared values, principles, traditions, and ways of doing things that influence the way organizational members act. In most organizations, these shared values and practices have evolved over time and determine, to a large extent, how things done in the organization.

Our definition of culture implies three things, First culture is a perception. It’s not something that can be physically touched or seen, but employees perceive it on the basis of what they experience within the organization. Second, organizational culture is descriptive. It’s concerned with how members perceive the culture, not with whether they like it. Finally even though individuals may have different backgrounds or work at different organizational levels, they tend to describe the organization’s culture in similar terms. That’s the shared aspect of culture.

Employees “learn” an organization’s culture in a number of ways. The most common are stories, rituals, material symbols and language.


Organizational ‘stories’ typically contain a narrative of significant events or people, including such things as the organization’s founders, rule breaking and reactions to past mistakes.


The “Passing of the Pillars” is an important ritual at Boston Scientific facility near Minneapolis. When someone has a challenging assignment, they’re “awarded” a 2-foot-high plaster –of-pillar to show that they’ve got support from all their colleagues. Corporate rituals are repetitive sequences of activities that express and reinforce the important values and goals of the organization. At Aditya Birla, an Indian multinational company, there are three high profile awards that are given by the company to recognize individual contributors every year, awards for superior teamwork, awards for internationally benchmarked outstanding achievement and a monetary award for performance recognition in delivering excellence. The awards are presented by the Chairman in a very extravagant

award ceremony. It conveys to the company’s employees that delivering excellent performance is important.

Material Symbols

When you walk into different businesses, do you get a feel for what type of work environment it isformal, casual, fun, serious and so forth? These reactions demonstrate the power of material symbols or artefacts in creating an organisation’s personality. Material symbols convey to employees who is important and the kinds of behaviour (for example, risk taking, conservative, and authoritarian, participative, individualistic) that are expected and appropriate.


Many organisations and units within organizations use language as a way to identify and unite members of a culture. By learning this language, members attest to their acceptance of the culture and their willingness to help preserve it.

The Mississippi power employees “learn” the Organizational culture by two ways which we are mentioning below:


In Mississippi power one key elements is the company’s can do organizational culture, which is evidenced by important values inscribed on employees’ IDENTIFICATION TAGS “unquestionable trust” Superior performance, total commitment.” Because the values were visible daily, employees knew their importance.


The employees at Mississippi power worked in difficult and demanding situation in the wake of hurricane Katrina. For their dedicated and devoted work during the situation the Mississippi power was honoured with an “emergency response award” by the Edison electric institute in January 2006 it’s an award that all the company’s -employees are proud of. During such situations do stories of various employees and the culture of the company come forward and new employees can learn from these stories the real culture...
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