‘To what extent do you think it is possible for leaders to manipulate organisational culture to achieve improved performance? Support your answer with examples from one or more organisations with which you are familiar’
Organisational culture, which is defined by Handy (1993) as the concepts and ideas which govern the behaviour of people and organisations, has a significant impact on the effectiveness of an organisation. Handy listed over sixty different variables which contribute towards an organisation’s culture including the style of leadership evident, the systems and structures which support the organisation and how the different sub groups within the organisation relate and work with each other. He felt that analysis and thorough understanding of an organisation’s culture could inform management decisions and make leadership more effective by taking into consideration both the environment in which people operated (physical, financial and technological) and the roles, motivations, ability and individuals who understood the work (Handy 1993). Mullins (2007) identifies a leader as someone who focuses on the long-term goals strategically planning for the future with а vision inspiring others to help achieve that goal. It could be surmised that if it was possible for a leader to manipulate organisational culture they could in turn achieve improved performance. This essay will investigate this concept, considering the possibility within the context of Nexen Inc, Canadian based oil and gas company’s operations in Yemen, where the author currently is employed. Firstly organisational culture will be defined and the formal and informal organisational culture of Nexen will be evaluated. The essay will then go on to consider how these cultures impact on security and will assess the importance of culture within this environment. The essay will then explore if, in the case of Nexen, cultural changes can be
References: Ali, A. J. (1996) ‘Organisational Development in the Arab World’. Journal of Management Development 15 (5): 4-21. Banksinternational.net. (2005) The Banks Report: Culture Change . www.banksinte rnational.net: http://banksinternational.net/newsletter/pdf/dec05.pdf (accessed 17 August 2010). Centre for Intercultural Learning. (2009) Cultural Information-Yemen. www.intercultures.ca: http://www.intercultures.ca/cil-cai/ci-ic-eng.asp?iso=ye (accessed 17 August 2010). Chia, P.A. Maynard, S.B. & Ruighaver, A.B. (2002) ‘Understanding Organizational Security Culture’ Department of Information Systems, University of Melbourne, Australia.1-23. Cox, S.J. and Cheyne, J. T. (2000) Assessing Culture in Offshore Enviroments 34; 111-129. Department of Criminology (2009/10) Leadership and Management Module, Leicester: Department of Criminology, University of Leicester. Module 3-4. Driskill, G. W. (2005) Organizational Culture in Action: A Cultural Analysis Workbook, California : Sage Publications. Handy, C. (1993) Understanding Organizations (4th Edition) Oxford: Oxford University Press. Johnson, G. and Scholes, K. (1992) Cultural Web. Li, J., Xin, K., & Pillutla, M. (2002) ‘Multi Cultural Leadership Teams and Organizational Identification in International Joint Ventures’ International Journal of Human Resource Management 13(2) : 320-337. Millder, G. E. (2004) Frontier Masculinity in the Oil Industry: The Experience of Women Engineers Gender, Work and Organisation 11 (1): 47-73. Miller,G.E. (2004)’Frontier Masculinity in the Oil Industry: The Experience of Women Engineers’ Gender, Work and Organization 11 (1): 47-70. Mullins, L.J. (2007) Management and Organisational Behaviour (8th Edition) London: Prentice Hall. National Defense University. (2010) Strategic Leadership and Decision Making: Organizational Culture. www.au.af.mil: http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/ndu/strat-ldr-dm/pt4ch16.html (accessed 19 August 2010). Nexen Inc. (2010) www.nexen.com:http://www.nexeninc.com/en/SearchResults.aspx?q=SEARCH#s=-7b0HYBxJliUmL23Ke39K9UrX4HShCIBgEyTYkEAQ7MGIzeaS7B1pRyMpqyqB Parker, D Salk, J. and Brannen, M. (2000) National Culture, Networks and Individual Influence in a Multinational Management Team, Academy of Management Journal 43 (2); 191-202 Schein,E.H Schein, E. H. (2004) Organizational Culture and Leadership, United States of America: John Wiley and Sons Inc. Singer, A. (2009) When Nexen Evacuated its North Sea Platform. www.singerpubs.com: http://www.singerpubs.com/ethikos/html/nexen.htmlA (accessed 20 August 2010). Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. (2010) Report on Governance Structures for Values and Ethics: Nexen, Inc. www.tbs-sct.gc.ca: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/rp/sgs09-eng.asp (accessed 17 August 2010). Waterstone Human Capital. (2010) Canadian Corporate Culture Study Results. www.waterstonehc.com: http://www.waterstonehc.com/news-events/news/2010-canadian-corporate-culture-study-results (accessed 18 August 2010). Wiist, W. (2010) ‘Corporations, Profits and Public Health’ The Lancet 376 (9741): 583-584.