Organizational Culture

Better Essays
Downsizing And Organizational Culture
Thomas A. Hickok

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Abstract
In this article Hickok argues that, ultimately, the most prominent effects of downsizing will be in relation to culture change, not in relation to saved costs or short-term productivity gains. In particular, the author notes three observations in relation to the impact of downsizing on organizational culture. First, it clearly appears that power has shifted away from rank-and-file employees in the direction of top management/ownership. Accompanying this change is a shift in emphasis away from the well-being of individuals in the direction of the pre-eminence and predominance of the organization as a whole. Second, it appears working relationships have changed away from being "familial" in the direction of being more competitive. Third, the employer-employee relationship has moved away from long-term and stable in the direction of short-term and contingent.

The author suggests five simple question areas that organizational leaders who are interested in probing the moral and spiritual dimensions of downsizing might usefully consider. These include ensuring the fundamental decency of the approach being considered, engaging in appropriate dialogue, thinking through the consequences for those who may be adversely affected, having ready explanations for multiple constituencies, and offering a realistic opportunity for a better future for the organization and the organization's stakeholders.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Downsizing And Organizational Culture
Introduction
A noted scholar recently assessed downsizing as "probably the most pervasive yet understudied phenomenon in the business world" (Cameron, 1994). While we have become numbed by the near daily accounts of new layoffs, a New York Times national survey finding is perhaps more telling: since



References: American Management Association (1994). 1994 survey on downsizing. Armstrong-Stassen, M Argyris, C. (1992). Knowledge for action: A guide to overcoming barriers to organizational change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Bennis, W Bridges, W. (1987). Managing transitions. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Bridges, W _________ (1994). Job shift: How to prosper in a world without jobs. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Brockner, J Cameron, K.S., Freeman, S.J., and Mishra, A.K. (1991). "Best practices in white-collar downsizing: Managing contradictions," Academy of Management Executive 5(3), pp. 57-72. Cascio, W Downs, A. (1995). Corporate executions. NY: AMACOM (225 pages). Fierman, J Greengard, S. (November 1993). "Don 't rush downsizing: Plan, plan, plan," Personnel Journal 72(11), 64-76. Hamel, G., and Prahalad, C.K Handy, C. (December 5 1990). "What is a company for?" Michael Shanks Memorial Lecture reprint (13 pages). Hecksher, C Hickok, T. (1995). The impact of work force reductions on those who remain: A study of civilian workers at two Department of Defense bases. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. Kearns, D Kotter, J. And Heskett, J. (1992). Corporate culture and performance. New York: The Free Press. Kozlowski, S., Chao, G., Smith, E., and Hedlund, V Leana, C. and Feldman, D.C. (1992). Coping with job loss: How individuals, organizations, and communities respond to layoffs. New York: Lexington Books. Lewin, K McGregor, D. (1960). The human side of enterprise. New York: McGraw-Hill. Mohrman, S.A., and Mohrman, A.M., Jr New York Times (1996). The downsizing of America. New York: Times Books. Noer, D Pfeffer, J. (1981). Power in organizations. Marshfield, Mass: Pitman Publishing. Petruno, T Rousseau, D. (1995). Psychological contracts in organizations: Understanding written and unwritten agreements. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Schein, E Schumpeter, J. (1950). Capitalism, socialism, and democracy. New York: Harper and Row. Sloan, Allan (February 26 1996) Sutton, R.I. and D 'Aunno, T. (1989). "Decreasing organizational size: Untangling the effects of money and people," Academy of Management Review 14(2), pp. 194-212. Tichy, N Tomasko, R.M. (1990). Downsizing: Reshaping the corporation for the future. New York: AMACOM. Washington Post (March 5 1996) Washington Post (May 5 1997). DIGEST, p. c1. Waterman, R., Waterman, J., and Collard, B The Wyatt Company (1993). Best practices in corporate restructuring: Wyatt 's 1993 survey of corporate restructuring. Vroom, V

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE 1. INTRODUCTION One of the significant elements while discussing about organization development is to discuss its own existing culture as the culture itself is part of organization behavior that gives significant role in shaping organizational sustainability. Above all there is a need to recognize the right culture for any organization to achieve excellence. Peters and Waterman (1982) clearly described organizational…

    • 3438 Words
    • 14 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE

    • 1117 Words
    • 5 Pages

    ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE Culture consists of beliefs and behavior. It is cultivated behavior in the sense that it is learnt from the other members of the society. According to Henry Mintzberg, an internationally renowned author on Business and Management, “culture is the soul of the organization – the beliefs and values, and how they are manifested. I think of the structure as the skeleton, and as the flesh and blood. And culture is the soul that holds the thing together and gives it life force…

    • 1117 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Organizational Culture

    • 933 Words
    • 4 Pages

    ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE – HOFSTEDE MODEL AND SCHEIN MODEL This essay/assignment is a solution paper on Organizational Culture. It reviews the Hofstede Model and Schein Model as well as tries to understand the the dynamics which influences the occupational cultures. This is a sample paper. The definition of culture remains quite ambiguous with researchers assessing it utilising different methodologies. The common understanding of culture is a way of doing things, or the norm by which a society organizes…

    • 933 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Organizational Culture

    • 1194 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Organizational culture influences many aspects of workplace life. A workplace with strong beliefs, values, behaviors, ideas and expectations define an organization. Well-communicated beliefs, values, ideas and expectations influence employee's behavior and determine how employees communicate with others throughout the organization, thus defining the organization's culture. Over the years, the topic of organizational culture has been studied in many disciplines from anthropology to sociology. A prominent…

    • 1194 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Organizational culture

    • 696 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Corporate culture. Let’s start with the definition of culture and corporate culture. 2. slide Organizational Culture Culture is the characteristics of a particular group of people and the symbolic structures that give such activities significance and importance. Corporate culture: The customs, rituals, and values shared by the members of an organization (company, workplace) that have to be accepted by new members. 3. slide The importance of Corporate Culture Overall „ feel”: Culture determines…

    • 696 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Organizational Culture

    • 1054 Words
    • 4 Pages

    A Definition of Organizational Culture Organizational culture refers to a system of shared meaning held by members that distinguishes the organization from other organizations. Seven primary characteristics seem to capture the essence of an organization’s culture 1. Innovation and risk taking The degree to which employees are encouraged to be innovative and take risks. 2. Attention to detail The degree to which employees are expected to exhibit precision, analysis and attention to detail.…

    • 1054 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Organizational Culture

    • 945 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Organizational culture of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) was examined and how it is used in managing the culture. This paper will discuss the use of the seven dimensions of organizational culture. Each of the seven will be explained as to how they are used and what barriers they might cause. USACE Organizational Culture The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers is a unique organization and its culture can be somewhat divided as it is made up of military and civilian personnel. So the culture…

    • 945 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Organizational Culture

    • 1175 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Organizational Culture Essay Organizational culture is a complex concept including many different meanings. In this essay, the definition of organizational culture is described as "a set of shared values and norms that controls organization members "interaction with each other, and with suppliers,customers and others outside the organization, given by Gareth Jones. According to Morgan 's theory, metaphor is a method to explain a phenomenon or create meaning by using one element of experience to…

    • 1175 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Organizational Culture

    • 1961 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Strong/weak cultures Strong culture is said to exist where staff respond to stimulus because of their alignment to organizational values. In such environments, strong cultures help firms operate like well-oiled machines, engaging in outstanding execution with only minor adjustments to existing procedures as needed. Conversely, there is weak culture where there is little alignment with organizational values, and control must be exercised through extensive procedures and bureaucracy. Research shows…

    • 1961 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Organizational Culture

    • 813 Words
    • 4 Pages

    of culture varies with an estimate of 164 individual definitions of organizational culture. One potential catalyst for the number of definitions comes down to the application of theory to the abstract concept of culture within an organization. The more theorist and different organizational fields of study you have the more individual definitions are spawned. Though there may be many definitions of culture one point is understood, the strength of a company is directly related to how culture is…

    • 813 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays