Utilising the video case study of Egg Finance' (Slave Nation, Channel 4), critically examine the extent to which corporate culture is used as an effective tool for the achievement of organizational goals.
Corporate Culture is widely used in many organisations and has a variety of definitions. It has been defined by Koozes, Caldwell & Posner cited by Moorhead/Griffin, (1989:494) as: "a set of shared, enduring beliefs communicated through a variety of symbolic media, creating meaning in people's work lives."
The argument to be taken in this essay will identify the usefulness and necessity for corporate culture to gain organizational success. In order to do this the argument will be utilized by supporting the theories of Emile Durkheim, Carol Axtell Ray, Terrance Deal and Allen Kennedy.
Qubein (1999:2), cited by Sadri and Lees, states that," corporate culture encompasses several key elements." He adds, "It is fostered not merely by a mission statement, but by a clear corporate vision which is a mental picture of the company's desired future."
It is not only the managers who should have this clear vision, the employees ought to perceive this as well. They should feel the need that they want to help to achieve the organizations goals. When organisations follow corporate culture, they try to make their employees feel that they belong and are accepted for who they are, thus making them want to work for the company. Attempt is made to make the employees feel that their organisation is their religion. This has been clearly demonstrated in Egg Finance. Corporate culture has been extensively used in Egg Finance, and in doing so have captured the hearts and minds of their employees.
Each employee working for Egg Finance feels that "Egg" is their life. They feel safe and secure and feel that they are affiliated to the company. Carol Ray (1994) agrees with this as being part of corporate culture as she states that:
"a corporation's culture has an important purpose to promote a sense of belongingness to the employees."
This has definitely worked for the employees at Egg. They even go to the extent of calling themselves an "egg person." This ties in with the corporate cultural belief of Emile Durkheim and his approach.
Egg Finance have tried to create an "Egg World" for their employees. They have many out-of-work activities that their employees can participate in. These include; running, football and many more. Egg feels that if they involve their employees deeply into their organisation, then this will be a psychological way to brainwash their employees. Employees will feel that this is their only life, and will feel inclined to remain loyal to the company. This has clearly worked, as all employees at Egg seem extremely happy and proud to work for Egg Finance.
Through the use of management psychology and techniques, Egg Finance have developed hardworking and loyal employees. The management of Egg realise that this is something that had to be worked at, and that it would not happen automatically. This coincides with the view of Carol Ray (1994:2), as she mentions,
"The effects of culture should not be left to chance." She adds, "Proper implementation then leads to internalization of desired values and norms."
This shows that in order for corporate culture to be an effective tool for organisational success, it will need to be implemented correctly. Employees must not feel that they are being used or abused.
If corporate culture is implemented correctly, then employees should feel that their firms' status affects them as well as the organisation. Athos & Pascale, (1982), cited by Ray (1994:2), share the same opinion as this, as they have stated:
If management meets this challenge, employees identify more completely with the firm and see their own interest as congruent with it."
This has been clearly demonstrated in Egg Finance. Employees working at Egg believe that as...
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• Channel 4 Productions, 2000, Slave Nation, Egg Finance.
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