Using Cultural Theories Analyzing the Main Issue of the New Zealand Office of at&T

Topics: Culture, Organizational culture, Western culture Pages: 5 (1680 words) Published: November 11, 2011
According to Neghab A.E.P, et al(2009, pp87-88) organizational culture is a common assumption, value or norm system among members of an organization which is based on their behaviors to help organization to achieve the abilities they need to adapt itself to the environment, create uniformity and internal integrity. This essay will analyze the main issue of AT&T’s New Zealand office by using the cultural theories and the reflections after the analyzing. In the case of AT&T GIS, AT&T’s office in New Zealand by Thomas, David C (2003, pp92-100), it was called NCR before it integrated into AT&T stable of business and during this time, AT&T are trying to restructure the organizational culture of NCR to make it more like their own culture. Bob Allen the chairman and CEO of AT&T developed “Our Common Bond” with sixteen groups associated at all job levels, from eight states and four countries, they are the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Singapore. The objective to give out this five common bond is to increase the cohesion of all AT&T people as a glue to hold the company together. However, the New Zealand office did not achieve the expected effect practically. In an article by Cameron .K and Quinn R (1999), clan culture has a high inward focus with the concern for integration but clan emphasize flexibility and discretion rather than the stability and control. As Thomas, David C (2003, p192) points out that most western expatriates forms a kind of clan culture although the lasting relationship among them and the company are rare. This may allow us to trace back to the old NCR’s organizational culture. As Thomas, David C (2003, p93) points out that NCR was a company which appeared to cultivate traditional values of being caring and family-like. This have been demonstrated by the fact that there were people who have been working in there as engineers since they graduate from school and had never left the company and as it was mentioned before some individuals are still working when AT&T come into the picture. On the other hand, NCR focus mainly on internal issues. It can be obvious that NCR is a clan culture company. Nevertheless, before AT&T makes any changes to NCR, there was a group of people who thinks that the latter is too conservative and traditional; moreover they were concerned about the overly inward focus on internal issues and the shortage of focusing on the customer and other external matters as well as the slowness of making a critical decision. However, NCR needs a restructuring to survive and face the changing market in the information technology industry. On the other hand, Cameron and Quinn also show that market culture companies are similar to hierarchy because they both value stability and control but instead of the inward focus, this kind of culture has an external orientation and they evaluate differentiation over integration. Organizations in this scope are mainly focused on relationships especially with the ones who are related to the external area, for example, suppliers, customers, contractors and unions. In their opinion, market culture organizations consider that they can best achieve success through effective externals. The organizational structure of AT&T is similar to a hierarchical model, once the chairman gave out an order or an idea, it will be fed down from the American Corporate Office and translated into tangible practices and policies to the people who work in the New Zealand office. They have developed a customer focus team to ‘make a better understanding of customer needs and interests, interpret them and then work with marketing and support teams to provide smart deliverable solutions that fit the unique profile of every customer.’ (Thomas David C, 2003, p94) In other words, AT&T is a company that uses market culture. Thomas also said that after the take over of AT&T, there are still some old NCR ways existing in the new company. AT&T attempts to abolish the NCR...
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