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In this fast-paced, ever-changing world, organizations are often looking for ways to improve - and that means constantly adapting the management style. One of the primary responsibilities of strategic leaders is to create and maintain the organizational characteristics that reward and encourage collective effort. However, to understand and substantiate what change is needed, researchers suggest a that at first the organization's culture must be examined. (Deal & Kennedy, 1982; Ornatowski, 1989; Schein, 1992; Zamanou & Glaser, 1994).
This chapter details and explains the vehicles used to present our findings. The 46 responses to the survey were analyzed and subsequently summarised to highlight the key points raised. In general terms an inductive approach was taken, as we started with some theoretical frameworks to both design and aid our data analysis.
Organizational culture is intangible yet its impact on a organization's operations is very tangible. This suggests that, whilst quantitative measures can be used, they are likely only to yield comparatively superficial information about the organizational culture. In order to probe beneath the surface of the organizational culture, to examine the less overt aspects of the organizational culture(s) and subcultures, it is important to combine quantitative and qualitative methodologies for data collection.
As suggested in the previous chapter a mixed methodology was used for the empirical data collection, using numerical and verbal data, in order to gather rounded, reliable data. A survey approach was used to gain an overall picture, and a more fine-grained analysis was be achieved through individual interviews.
The results of the questionnaire are shown in Figure 4.1. The culture analysis obtained in the survey shows that power culture is perceived as currently the dominant style. Almost, half of the respondents feel that the organization culture is Power Culture. Equal number of people feel that the culture is either Task or People culture.
The results from the answers to what the preferred culture, and their comparison with the current culture is graphically presented in Figure 4.2. The results indicate that majority of the employees prefer the task culture and are not keen on the existent power culture. Also, very less people was noted to be keen on the role culture like before.
Figure 1. Harrison Culture Perspective - Current Culture
Figure 1. Harrison Culture Perspective - Comparison between Current & Preferred Cultures
The employees all perceive the existing organisational culture as integrated (Figure 4.1). There is a majority consensus in the organization as to what the overall company culture is. Harris and Ogbonna, present research that differentiates between three hierarchical levels of sub-culture within retail organisations: head office employees, store managers, and shop-floor workers. To explore this in context, the current research analysis was carried out to identify the culture based on job hierarchy.
Figures 4.3 show the results of the culture analysis based on slicing of work group. Also, there are visible traits of fragmented cultures in the organization where different groups see different culture as being the dominant culture (Technical Group - Power Culture vs. Administration - tie between Power & People culture). Whilst the overall analysis of the questionnaire suggests the existing culture is integrated, the analysis of the responses based on job hierarchy show a differentiated or even fragmented culture. It can be seen that neither of the groups , can agree on what the culture of the company is. There is a strong inclination towards a specific type of culture (power orientated) but not a clear agreement.
Figure 1. Culture Analysis Results - By Group Slicing
Figure 1. Culture Analysis Results - By Group Slicing Current vs. Preferred Culture
The difference between what the various groups perceive as a the current dominant culture, and what is the preferred culture is depicted in Figure 4.4. All results indicate that all groups would like a change in culture from the current dominant one. On the overall task culture is what seems the preferred culture for all the groups.
The fragmented culture amongst the sub-groups might be due to several underlying reasons. Primarily the respondents in all groups included members who had people directly reporting to them, as well as just team members. Analyzing the results based on overall culture, and sub-group culture it becomes vital to understand if there exists a difference between people who are managers and the team members. Figure 4.5 graphically displays the cultural differences between managers and team members.
The comparison between the opinions of the team members and managers indicates the presence of a dominant sub-culture yet again. Both groups indicated that the present organizational culture is Power culture. Even in this demographic the results indicate that there is a presence of a fragmented culture where certain members of each demographic view the organizational culture to be different from the majority. The analysis of the results further to understand whether each of these demographic wanted to see a change in the culture indicated what was noted from all the above analysis. The preferred culture for both sections is the task culture as indicated by Figure 4.6.
Figure 1. Culture Analysis Results - Managers vs. Team Members
Figure 1. Culture Analysis Results - Managers & Team Members - Current vs. Preferred
Triandis, Trompenaars, & Hofste
In view of the fragmented culture as suggested by Martin (1992) prevailing in all demographics, it was decided to approach the results from Triandis's (1987), Trompenaars's (1993), Hofstede's (2001), cultural dimensions. The first and preliminary dimension of masculinity vs. femininity was first explored. The results using the demographic of gender is presented in Figure 4.7. It is noted from the results that there is an agreement between both genders as to what the dominant culture is. Figure 4.8 gives the graphical comparison between the current and preferred culture for the gender demographic. Both the groups indicated that the preferred culture once again is the task culture. It needs to be noted here that the women did not think that there is presence of a role culture and also, were not inclined at all towards this culture.
Figure 1. Culture Analysis Results - By Gender
Figure 1. Culture Analysis Results - By Gender - Current vs. Preferred
To further explore the differences in perception of what the organizational culture with reference to another culture dimensions of power distance, and individualism vs. collectivism, the results were revisited from the ethnicity dimension. The results based on the ethnic diversity is presented in Figure 4.9. As noted previously almost all groups irrespective of ethnic diversity found the dominant culture.
Figure 4.10 gives the comparison between the current and preferred culture of each ethnic group. The Asian group displays the collectivistic approach as noted in the literature, by agreeing with a significant majority on the power culture. The group from European union which is noted in the literature to not prefer the power distance, and like uncertainty avoidance followed the trend by preferring the task culture. The Asian and African groups which come from a culture with a high power distance prevalence, still indicated some keenness towards the power culture.
Figure 1. Culture Analysis Results - By Ethnic Diversity
Figure 1. Culture Analysis Results - By Ethnic Diversity - Current vs. Preferred
Johnson's & Scholes' Cultural Web:
Johnson's and Scholes' cultural web is used for the mapping of organisational culture and for understanding the cultural change of the organisation. The web elements have been populated utilising various sources of information such as company bulletins, business plans, mission statements and observations as a employee of the organization. The central paradigm of the organisation supports the findings from the survey analysis.
Figure 4.11 displays the cultural web for Doosan Babcock with a similar paradigm i.e. the set of assumptions held relatively in common and taken for granted in an organisation, which are at the core of an organisation's culture. This is from the perspective of the research sample as it is constructed for this current project. From the Doosan Babcock cultural web, it emerges that there are two levels of paradigm; one inherent in the employees of Doosan Babcock and another one amongst the management of the Korean parent company, Doosan Heavy. The evidence that was used to construct and to confirm that this paradigm is indeed accurate, are discussed in the following sections.
184.108.40.206 Power Structures
"Doosan are more aggressive and ambitious than Mitsui, so the tensions are present with the change in working styles." This has affected all the areas of the company - some more than the others. Traditional Babcock employees with more than 10 years experience, being used to the low risk profile are finding it difficult to cope with the aggression and that's where the culture is being affected. Also, "the ruling Korean culture of the top management is a big issue - they want to be international but are very un international in their approach and this is where the tensions are coming in as far as culture is concerned, it is imposed on everyone alike without reciprocation" has been a common observation amongst everyone. Another major problem is "we are having to deal with not just with a dominant ruling culture but also having to deal with internal diversity of team members."
The interview process made it clear that the traditional Korean hierarchal approach had already been cascaded down the grassroots level of the organization. "a hierarchal top-down approach to everything â€¦challenges from sub-ordinates is no longer encouraged or tolerated". The process of decision making was quite clear in the sense "Information goes upâ€¦decisionâ€¦decision comes downâ€¦implement. No discussion". Equally there was some surprise at "how far small decisions go up the tree". Similarly more DHI (Korean) staff have been embedded into the Doosan Babcock organisation "There are Koreans in every departmentâ€¦..questions every major decisionâ€¦.needs justifications". The company is experiencing a "big impact on local leadershipâ€¦.major influence from Doosan Heavy. Traditions of Babcock are being lost, it can be said that we are being Doosan-itised".
Another key aspect in relation to Power Structures and the relationship between the Korean parent and local office was the adherence to the power distance. "It is very important to find your opposite number at the right levelâ€¦.Koreans get distressed if hierarchal protocols and boundaries are not observed". It is considered important to be cognizant of these cultural challenges.
The fact that both Doosan Heavy and Babcock are in the power generation business meant that there was more synergy between the tangible and intangible symbols (behaviours). The initial implementation of the Doosan Familiarisation Process "DFPâ€¦.made us feel part of the Doosan family and helped us understand the very different culture of the parent company".
The brand is very important to Doosan - on buying the company from MES "Every Mitsui reference had to be removed within 30 days, this symbol of change was important to DHIâ€¦get rid of all evidence of Mitsui". The indirect message that you now work of Doosan was obvious with all the changes, and rapid influx of Korean members in all key positions.
The management of Doosan Heavy prefer a much more formal working culture. Less autonomy is the norm and there is more reliance on control and processes. DHI's approach to risk management was a considered a symbol of their ownership of what was previously considered group owned by Babcock. "Many more systems in place to measure and manage riskâ€¦.gate systems to get internal funding for development work, bid approvalsâ€¦. project risk management'. All of this was indicative that as Doosan Babcock is no longer allowed to operational as an individual entity and is expected to adopt the procedures to ensure "measure the risks associated with the drive for growth" as dictated by DHI.
Equally the investment in "a world class Visitors Centre" and "sponsoring the local major events - DHI now sponsors the "The Open" Golf tournament" were regarded as symbols of how highly DHI valued its recent acquisition, and its keenness to be make its presence felt locally.
DB is still undergoing a period of transition and change - "There have been close to four major reorganizing changes that have happened since the Doosan takeover." A feeling that "lots of changes happening simultaneously" and "the rate of change is frightening" is common. The staff feedback that there is a state of "general chaos" about the direction of the organization. "Constant change is unsettling and a stronger sense of direction is needed â€¦if people can see the road map they get more engaged."
At the same time, there is a strong sense of oneness amongst working groups. Engineers, trainees all talk proudly of their projects. People still see working at Babcock as a tradition - "I am the 4th generation of my family to be working here." "There is a inherent family culture that is present in the organization - people support each other." The employees though are unsettled on the overall due to the changes, are still dedicated to, and are proud of the work they do. This breeds employee loyalty to Doosan Babcock, which is recognized by Doosan by their service awards, and profiles of long serving employees along with the major achievements and contributions published in the quarterly magazine.
220.127.116.11 Routines and Rituals
Considering routines and rituals as the way we do things around here, a lot of changes have occurred. More communication has been encouraged - "In view of the general state of very scare information on the overall direction of the organization, teams have started to feel more close and information sharing at a local level has been encouraging, there are certainly more monthly team meetings." The meeting are held "given with corporate guidelines, in a prescriptive mannerâ€¦.listen, and listen hard" is the approach. Equally as Doosan Babcock there is more emphasis on market analysis, and "true marketeering" to inform decisions that are made "if the market says thisâ€¦it should be reflected in the business plan". Staff are also seeing the implementation of "individual rewardâ€¦.incentivisation" that go to DHI's higher expectations of Doosan Babcock.
With respect to rituals at the moment Doosan Babcock are still finding themselves in transition. Some staff have experienced the DHI personnel's loyalty to "Company and family" and adapted readily to the Doosan drinking toast "Doosan Number one!!" However, employees who are have been ingrained in the Babcock ways, and the individualistic cultural dimension are finding it difficult to adapt to the Doosan..isation of every possible activity at a local level
18.104.22.168 Control Systems
Hierarchy and the underlying the power distance dimension of the Asian culture is woven into the fabric of Doosan Culture. The entire organization structure is based on uncertainty avoidance, and it is the crux on what the business plans are based on.
Doosan Babcock's leadership clearly understood that sticking to the business plan was essential - "opportunistic or windfall projects are unplanned for, and therefore you are out of control" as the message from the parent company. A stringent hierarchal structure is in place "and a desire for control" was obvious. The general agreement was that more "structured financial and compliance procedures will mean the business plan will be metâ€¦.the incentives are thereâ€¦". But, hard handed management all through was noted to have its own detrimental effects when dealing with diversity.
There was general consensus that DHI were "more focussed on business and strategy as opposed to the operational aspects" of organisational life, despite the formalisation of the procedural approach. Similarly the "2G programmeâ€¦growth of people, growth of business" which DHI rolled out to all Doosan Babcock employees was quoted by our interviewees as both positive and negative representation.
The influence of American based management techniques was also noted from the interviews. "McKinsey have been brought in to help us with a strategic initiative programme" and "â€¦MBO's (management by objectives) are in place for senior management and will be cascaded down soon" demonstrated this. The distinct communication gap that existed in the control system, became obvious with the lower level of employees confirming the lack of knowledge of the existence of these programmes.
22.214.171.124 Organisational Structures
As a result of the synergies between DHI and Doosan Babcock a hierarchal structure was considered put in place with "some degree of horizontal and vertical integration". However the general sentiment is that "we were still in a degree of organisational flux" with more organisational changes happening constantly due to the shift in market focus. It is generally noted that these changes are being made at the Doosan Babcock management level - "organization chart is one of the few things that seems to be constantly changing here."
The strong feeling that any changes would reflect "a focus on core competencies in the power generation businessâ€¦â€¦such that we can meet our aspiration of being a power island specialist rather than just a boiler specialistâ€¦opens up to more market share," are now seen to be replaced by an unsaid agreement of "It will be the Korean Management wants it, and everyone who opposes it will be shown the door."
The practice of implementing a hierarchal, mechanistic structure seems to continue at DB with elements of the "DHI practice of Job Shifting would becoming more prevalent." The people who thrive in the organization are the "ones who can readily these rigid and constantly changing structures."
126.96.36.199 The Paradigm - Doosan Babcock
The examination of the evidence has led to the belief that there are two sets of levels in the organization. From the web, it emerges that there are two levels of paradigm; one inherent in the employees of Doosan Babcock at a group/team level and another one amongst the management of both DB and DHI.
The common perception across the leadership sample are that Doosan Babcock is a traditional UK based engineering company, managed and led locally under the firm instruction and guidance of a 'strict parent' in DHI. At the local level employees are project focused and enjoy working in the power industry. They are proud of their technical delivery and enjoy a level informal loyalty to business and each other. The autonomy and family feeling is appreciated. Managers prefer control and processes, but are not blinkered by these.
The second level is the a period of transition - due to shift in business focus. Putting in place the people, resources, competencies and procedures to meet the aspirations, ambitions and growth targets the parent has set i.e. to be a global leader in power generation are the next steps. Traditional Korean influences have been quite prevalent thus far, with more to come as we go forward.
In the discussion chapter to follow each of these paradigms will be considered further, relating the differences uncovered due to cultural diversity, to the theoretical models covered in the literature review.
Figure 1. The Culture Web
A further culture model which can be applied to the analysis of organizational culture is the Schein model. Schein identifies three interacting levels of culture:
Artefacts, including behaviour patterns, language, symbols;
Beliefs, values and attitudes;
Basic assumptions concerning human nature, the nature of reality etc.
It is generally regarded that the third level identified by Schein, the Basic Underlying Assumptions (BUA) are those which represent the deepest, most fundamental level of organisational culture. Tables 4.1 Schein's 3 level model using the approach adopted by Buch and Wetzel.
Analysing Doosan Babcock's Schein model, it is clear that rather than a traditional West of Scotland manufacturing culture, the BUAs display a strong tendency towards technical excellence and task focused employees. As with the cultural web for Doosan Babcock, it can be inferred that amongst the employees there exists a task oriented culture and amongst the management of Doosan Heavy, a power culture. The Doosan Babcock task culture is deeply embedded in the organisation within the BUAs, and representing a challenge for Doosan Heavy to replace or impose a much more formal power culture.
However, it is apparent that there are commonalities between the two levels of culture. Both the Doosan Babcock and Doosan Heavy cultures can be seen to be linked through "common glue" holding both cultures together: loyalty. Both the employee task culture and Doosan Heavy power culture are interwoven with employee loyalty which is evident in the stories told throughout the organisations of family generations working at the organisations and the average length of employee service. This loyalty has been developed in slightly different ways within both cultures. Doosan Babcock achieves employee loyalty through the provision of challenging and motivating work.
Doosan Heavy achieves loyalty through the mutual employee/organisation respect most commonly seen in the past within Japanese organisations. With loyalty already one of the deepest, fundamental aspects of both cultures, Doosan Heavy may have a strong starting point in managing the attitudes of its new employees. The task of managing these attitudes would need adjusting with the increasing diversity in the work force. The necessary competencies for managing diversity need to be present from the lowest level in the work force, for effective working culture.
Table 1.Schein Model - Doosan Babcock
Artefact or Quote
Values, Beliefs and Attitudes
Mitsui logo removed from all stationary etc. and replaced with Doosan almost instantly on takeover
Belief that quick results can be achieved through fundamental changes in branding. Power exerted through Doosan brand being in every place and on every item - "Now you work for Doosan".
Korean employees wear uniform.
Organization believes in the one identity and to some extent equality.
UK employees encouraged to wear a uniform when meeting clients, but otherwise non-standard uniform allowed in the office.
Autonomy (employee perspective)
Korean way is not the UK way. UK staff prefer to make their own decisions. Rebellion against the "foreign invaders". How can we show that we won't conform - by not wearing uniforms?
Corporate colours of Doosan on all stationary, company bulletins etc.
Power exerted through Doosan brand.
Lots of stories of successful projects in circulation written from the perspective of proud employees
Employees believe their technical delivery makes a difference and are motivated to achieve. Technical success and professional excellence is worthwhile and rewarding.
Temporary secondment of staff from UK to Korea and vice versa
Both Doosan Heavy Korean employees and Doosan Babcock UK employees need to work together to achieve success and need to understand and respect each other.
Specialist computer software equipment used in the organisation (CFD etc.)
Doosan Babcock employees take pride in their work and technical success and believe that this is the way to achieving success in their career
Doosan believe that to achieve their goals they need to improve their business portfolio, technical capabilities and business systems
Parent (Korean) organisation intent on change and professionalism. Formal systems are the way forward.
Doosan place considerable emphasis on creating a corporate culture where employees actively and voluntarily participate in business, are able to trust each other and are rewarded for their performance
Korean parent company expects formal mode of loyalty through working relationships.
Doosan Babcock CEO encourages employees to embrace integration into Doosan Heavy and believes that Doosan Babcock has been involved in the integration scene for a long time, i.e. employees are used to change
Doosan Babcock employees have the ability to make or break the integration into Doosan Heavy. Currently they have a degree of autonomy.
CEO quote - Doosan Babcock to sacrifice some autonomy in integrating into DHI but in doing so Doosan Babcock can be part of a major player in the Power Industry
Doosan Babcock releasing power and control of the organisation to Doosan Heavy for the greater good of making a better company They believe that the future is secure and brighter under DHI.
Belief that Doosan Heavy will have to give up some autonomy, employees to be open to a change in mindset to address things such as appetite to multi-unit deals (as this is what Doosan Heavy expects) and a spirit of cooperation with new owner and colleagues
Doosan Babcock releasing power and control of the organisation.
Employees have the ability to make or break the integration with Doosan Heavy. Only way success will come is if the employees cooperate and adapt to the new ways.
Directors quote that Doosan Babcock's long-term plan to sustain a home-grown UK workforce
Doosan Babcock reciprocates loyalty to UK employees. Message "By integrating with Doosan Heavy they are not abandoning their employees."
Stories of Doosan Babcock employees talking about training and development, e.g. apprenticeship schemes.
Employees believe in training and developing staff. They value succession planning and promotion from within and promotions are related to technical prowess.
Doosan Babcock professional excellence is well recognised and rewarded by clients and employees efforts are worthwhile for themselves, the business and clients. Northern Branch have come to expect assured and excellent delivery
Doosan Babcock employees are motivated by the work they deliver and technical excellence is key to the organisations success. The employees know they are key to Doosan Babcock success.
What became clear as the research progressed was that Mitsui Babcock had no major tangible Japanese cultural influence However, certainly a number of key Korean theoretical understandings and practices - e.g. regimented hierarchal organisation, top-down decision making and long term strategic planning - were thrown up as obviously having an impact on Doosan Babcock during survey and interviews. Korean culture with respect to hierarchal protocol also featured as loyalty toward the direct elder (boss) and company was often observed.
The demographics considered in the survey all indicated that there exists a need to change the current organizational culture. It is known that culture can be managed but if a traditional culture emerges and cannot be completely eradicated, then management are faced with the option to try and change this completely and meet resistance, detrimental to the organisation; or to live with some elements of the traditional culture but harness it in different ways. In essence culture can be managed but it depends on which level it is being managed and what add-ons / bolt-ons to this culture managers attempt.