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Yes, the AVON top management should explicitly continue to shape and change the culture within the organization. An Organization means - A deliberate arrangement of people to accomplish some specific purpose , which is combination of all level of different people contributed towards against the same objective and goals (Stephen P. Robbins & Mary Coulter, 1999). Meaning of culture , can be define by the term of "the way their do thing here", is a direction , which people use to work within the organization by existing method practices all this while , which total up we define organizational culture as the patter of shared values and beliefs that help individuals understand organizational functioning and thus provide them norms for behaviour in the organization." (R Deshpande, 1989) the Organizational culture is often to define as the "pattern" from a company to distinguish itself from others.
This definition can be support by 7 dimensions which is use to measure and emphasis within the organization culture which each of these carries different perspective , different behaviour and concept , which is :
Innovation & Risk taking - employee should be more innovative and be daring. The world is full of uncertainty. Employees must show precision analysis and attention to details.
Attention to Details - employee are expected to focus on results rather than techniques and procedures.
Outcome Orientation - whether an Org had achieved its Financial or Strategic goals.
Team Orientation - Team Building. Individually we cannot do much, but when we unified ourselves , Unity is strength. Managers keep emphasizing Team Work.
People Orientation - management must take considerations of outcome with People within the organization. Cannot accomplish without People assistance. Motivation & encouragement is key in order to achieve good org performance.
Aggressiveness - Employees are aggressive and competitive rather than easy going and cooperative.
Stability - Organizational activities such as Marketing, Finance, Investment etc. or Org functions emphasizes maintaining the Status quo.
Each of these dimensions might not apply to all departments or every level of the organization but different dimension may seek for different approached . Such as Avon sale department , manager might use outcome orientation and team orientation for measurement in sale performance , as this department seek for revenue to support whole company profit and expenses by working as a team to achieved the targets .
While for the service side , they are more on people orientation as some of the decision making is effect on the as they receive feedback from customer , they might highlight their feedback and concern on how to improve their system and services for management to evaluate and seek for improvement . Thus the communication is vice versa .
Exhibit 1: The Infrastructure of Every Organization.
Above diagram shown an organisation usually have four major components, which are:
Physical (Physical things in the organization)
Infrastructure (Systems and processes for directing and managing works)
Behavioural (Employees day-to-day actions or reactions)
Cultural (the underlying assumptions, values, beliefs and norms that shape daily behaviour)
(Source: Russell Consulting White paper - understanding culture, 2010, URL: http://www.russellconsultinginc.com/docs/white/culture.html)
Higher level is usually easier to change than lower level. But the change will not be durable if the bottom level has not changed.
The culture can be changed. If all the employees are agree , obey and commit to move towards the same direction and objectives therefore it can form a strong culture ( refer to exhibit 2) in the organization , a strong culture it show how the employees behavioural attitude yet it determine to organization growth .As for the weak culture (refer to exhibit 2 ) it's opposite of strong culture which ends up with poor management , demoted staff behavioural and weak performance result may lead to lose up revenue of the company .
Values permeate entire organization
Values limited to top management
Elements of culture send consistent message
Elements send contradictory message
Most employees can tell stories about history and heroes
Little knowledge about history or heroes among average employees
Strong identification with culture among all employees .
Employees identify more with subcultures than with overall organization culture
Surface cultural elements tied to employee beliefs and assumptions
Little connection between cultural elements and employees beliefs and assumptions
Culture had historical penetration - has exist over a long period
Culture is recent and not well establish
Exhibit 2: Comparison of Strong and Weak organizational cultures
(Source : Gerald W. Driskill, Angela Laird Brenton,2005)
Base on above table it indentifies Avon Company does have problems below :
Conservative or out trend marketing strategy as door to door selling method , and slow respond by the manager to market trend .
Multiculturalism - compete with different market with several different cultures environmental, different environment require different approached on product and strategy .
Identifying of Gender , base on existing culture top management are originated from one gender which similar the Avon product - Women / Female . Base on this circumstance it the organization is lack of sharing value and meaning , such as non existence of same gender , racism , religion in same organisation within the entire department .
Base on above weak culture issues , we suggest and highly recommended solution for Avon company business transformation .
Conduct culture analysis by indentifying the plan and clear direction to organization staff . Ensure they are well equipped skills to handling market change in order to sustain in today uncertainty market .
Reorganisation . Start changing organization structures , procedure and processes using a fair approach to support organisation culture .
Appoint new dealership with new vision - as a new leader stepped into the organisation. A new vision should establish to accomplish with new leadership.
Answer for Question 2
Developing the Competencies and Managerial Leadership
Yes , as other executive eager to seek for it own skills enhancement in terms of leadership styles & quality , they need competency to attract stakeholder' attention. Competency can be defined as generic knowledge , skills or attitude of a person . Related to effective behaviour as demonstrated through performance . (Journal of education for library and information science , 1998 )
Skills competency is vital for organisation and individual for success this is include the right skill for right level of executive. From Harvard Bussiness article in 1955, Katz recognizes three different abilities that a leader should have. These are: Technical skill, Human skill and Conceptual skill .
Exhibit 3 : Three Skill Approch
( source : http://www.bealeader.net/39/the-leadership-skills-approach/ )
As demo in above exhibit 3 when an individual move to higher management level , the need of different skill will be at different level . Like top management require more conceptual and human skill than technical skill .
Those skill must be fully practice with their experience to efficiency and effectiveness attain result outcome accordance to the objective plan and structure by managing and in controlling measurement .
They will need the Technology skill to assist them achieve organisational goal efficiency and effectively . Such like computer literal, team building, motivation and rewards, work force and diversity skill.
Answer for Question 3
Competitive Advantage in Global Trade
The main issue of AVON Company is due to they can't gain the competitive advantages in global trade.
Tom J. Palmer of the Cato Institute defines globalization as "the diminution or elimination of state-enforced restrictions on exchanges across borders and the increasingly integrated and complex global system of production and exchange that has emerged as a result."
The Competitive Advantage is the ability gained through attributes and resources to perform at a higher level than others in the same industry or market (Christensen and Fahey 1984, Kay 1994, Porter 1980 cited by Chacarbaghi and Lynch 1999, p. 45), Michael Porter identified 2 types of Competitive Advantage which is Cost Advantage and Differentiation Advantage.
Exhibit 4 : Competitive Advantage
( source : www.strategika.wordpress.com )
As shown in above exhibit. When a firm is able to deliver same benefit as competitors but at a lower cost (Cost Advantage), or deliver a benefit that exceeds others competing product (Differentiation Advantage). Then this is called "Competitive Advantage"
(http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/faculty/dick.rumelt/Docs/Papers/WhatisCA_03.pdf) and it can create Value. Porter had identify "Value Chain" which is by creating Value in a numerous of activity
AVON can use SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) to help company gain competitive advantage, by utilising the Matching and Converting method for internal factor and external factor. (Ansoff, H.I. , 1987).
R Deshpande, (1989), The Journal of Marketing, FE Webster, Jr - JSTOR, Retrieved from www. http://www.jstor.org/pss/1251521
Russell Consulting White paper - understanding culture, 2010, Retrieved from http://www.russellconsultinginc.com/docs/white/culture.html
Gerald W. Driskill, Angela Laird Brenton,2005, Organizational culture in action: a cultural analysis workbook, California, Sage Publication, Inc, p.41
Journal of education for library and information science , 1998
Robert Katz, 1955 , Three-Skill Approach, Retrieved from : http://www.bealeader.net/39/the-leadership-skills-approach/
References in Question 3
Porter, Michael E, 1985, Competitive Advantage: Creating and sustaining Superior Performance: with a new introduction, New York, free press
A Model of Competitive Advantage, 2008, Retrieved from: http://strategika.wordpress.com/2008/08/19/daya-saing/
Ansoff, H.I. (1987), Corporate Strategy, revised edition, Penguin Books
Globalization Is Great! by Tom G. Palmer, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute