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Organizational culture has its origin during the period of 1980s. The word culture indicates the values, manners and knowledge those are shared among a group of people or society as a whole. In the similar lines, we can understand the organizational culture as the values, manners and knowledge that are shared among the people of an organization. The employees of organization have the culture imbibed inside them and follow them without the consciousness of it. This culture is often in the lines of the goals and objectives of the organization and helps it to achieve them in a structured way. This article takes the example of an organization from UAE which is into construction business. It helps to understand the goals of the organization by studying the vision and mission of the organization. It analyzes the culture that is present in the organization with the help of models and theories. It would focus on how the culture in the organization is helpful to achieve the goals and objectives. This will also give some solutions which can be adopted in GCC for betterment of the cultural aspects thus contributing to the organizational goals.
Gulf Contractors Company is one of the biggest companies in the country in the construction industry. Construction business is the booming business in the gulf as the country has many oil reserves. There is huge demand for the contractors as many government and private organizations want to construct new plants to expand or start up their businesses. They are known for their work in areas like civil engineering, building construction and many other activities (Rego, 2004, pp 210). The company is established in the year 1988 and it has a mix of vastly experienced people and fresh talent combined with vast knowledge in the construction business. This acts as an added advantage to the company because they were able to undertake huge projects having so many positive factors.
The company is located in Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates. The location ranks second most populous city of the country and has a population of around 6.2 lakhs. UAE has large oil reserves and this gives the company a location advantage. It expanded its business into many government countries which have projects in this sector. On an overall basis, the worth of all the construction projects across the country amounts to $350 billion. Being a 100% local company, the company knows every bit of how to continue with a project and what all external factors are involved in it. It would be a tough job for any competitor to provide an end to end business solution to the clients.
The company currently has 2379 employees under its payroll. All of the employees share similar culture of the organization right from the director to the unskilled labor. The personnel are divided into three verticals called management and Engineering level, administration level, and execution level. Each project will be allotted with required number of man power from each level. The company has 2200 employees in the execution level and these employees are capable of undertaking projects requiring extremely skilled personnel. Hence the company has enough man power to undertake all the current projects efficiently.
The company is established in the year 1988 and hence is having an experience of almost 24 years in the construction business (Barhem, 2008, pp 130). Throughout its journey, it has gained experience in many areas like civil engineering, buildings construction, pipelines construction, industrial construction, electrical, mechanical and instrumentation installations, Landscape and Irrigation. Also over the years, it gained competitive advantage in this area by providing an end to end business solution to every customer need in this particular area. As they are a 100% local company, they know how to build, where to build and what to build as per the local norms of the government.
As already discussed, organizational culture is the values, manners and knowledge that all the employees of an organization share which would help them in working towards the achievement of goals and objectives. Let us study the organizational culture with the help of a model given by Hofstede et al. according to this model, every organization operates in a society and will be influenced by the societal values. Thus organizations have to follow the values and norms of the society which shapes the culture to some extent. The second aspect which influences the organizational behavior is the personal values of people in the company and their tasks towards achieving goals which require specific actions to be followed. Applying this concept to the Gulf Contactors Company, located in UAE, the company will have some values from the society because of the basic manners of the people those are developed during the upbringing in the same society (Randeree, 2012, pp 70). Hence according to Hofstede, society in which an organization is embedded in will have a key role in determining the organizational culture.
However the model discussed above is complex in its own way. In 1985, Schein came up with a model which replaces the complexity to a greater extent. The model looks like this.
It says that realization of values helps to form the artifacts of the organization. Symbolization of artifacts helps to determine the symbols. Interpretations of symbols help us make assumptions and manifestation of assumptions is nothing but the values of the organization. At the Gulf Contractors Company the employees share many common values and manners. Like each employee is honest and transparent towards his work as well as the client that he is working for. Every business transaction is conducted fairly (Lund, 2003, pp 225). The patience of them to listen to the needs of the customer and understand them better help them to design the solution effectively in a cost efficient manner. Availability is one of the key features at the company. Client can approach any manager that he would like to talk regarding doubts and issues at anytime irrespective of other factors. Delivering quality service is something which lies at the back of the mind in every employee and they are committed towards delivering high quality service. This has always been the priority at GCC. Every project will have a quality analysis that will be done at various stages throughout the project. Achieving goals of the clients through a structured way of design and implementation schedule makes the company achieve a positioning in the minds of the customer that the brand is a reliable one. Appropriate resources are used at the right time for this purpose.
Technological advancements are analyzed and implemented in the projects whenever a new technology comes into the industry. As the industry is huge there is high scope for research in areas like material research where more efficient raw materials can be used in the business. As the company has a very effective strategic way in dealing with the clients it has become a reliable and dependable brand. This is not only among the existing customers but also has spread to most of the companies in the locality. So, today, many private organizations approach GCC for their construction projects. Safety is the most important issue in a business of this kind. Because most of the unskilled labor works on the site which is dangerous in its own way, the company will have to provide safety measures to the employees. GCC has installed an Environmental and safety management system for provision of civil, electromechanical construction and maintenance services. It is a quality standard that the employees are protected according to a standard regulation from the government. Also safety awareness programs are conducted and employees are made to realize that they are bound by some norms and they should not go beyond those norms when it comes to work at the site. Also they are educated about the "Safety First" policy of the company.
Sustainability and care towards climate change issues are the top priority among many organizations in today's world (Garavan, 1997, pp 305). Hence for any organization to be sustainable in the long term it should take initiatives to protect the natural environment and surroundings that it is located in. doing business in a sustainable way and reducing the carbon emissions are some of the ways through which a company can sustain in the long term. At GCC, similar strategies are being followed. They care about the natural environment and try to enhance the nature by reducing the carbon credits emitted as well as taking initiatives those are helpful for the nature. They are also researching the idea of green building which is a recent development in the field and it has all environmental friendly materials those are used in the construction process (Bird, 2008, pp 22). The company is also flexible towards the fluctuations in the market. Even during the times when the market is not doing well, the company is able to conserve itself with the help of loyal customers that it has gained over time.
The basic and most important goal of GCC is to create an environment for the members of society as a whole which is vigorous and vibrant. The company wants to provide a very good return on the investment that is done by the client. It focuses on the returns that a client gets through its service and charges a very nominal price from the clients when compared to its competitors in the market. The quality standards that are delivered are high and through this they ought to become a good corporate citizen (Rashid, 2004, pp 170). The company always wants to create and add new value to the customer's needs and meet them more effectively. This has proven to be successful and helped to gain the trust of many customers throughout the country. It respects the ideas and views of its employees as well as its clients and keep upgrading the service with new learning and understanding. Today due to large technological innovations, the natural environment is being disturbed and the balance in the ecosystem is not maintained due to extensive exploitation of the natural resources like land, water, forests etc. At GCC, we care about the environment as well as the humanity that lives in it. Our practices are mostly green and have reduced our carbon emissions significantly over the past few years. We conduct energy audits inside our plans on a regular basis and keep track of the energy that is being consumed. In this way we are able to reduce on the energy being wasted as well as use renewable energy sources wherever we can use them.
After all, the employees are the key strength of any organization and the company GCC has utilized its resources efficiently to further its goals. The company has 2379 employees on its pay roll till date and has a large variety of machinery which is used for the preparation of materials required during construction projects. In july 2001, GCC has successfully became ISO certified company (DESTER, 1995, pp 20). Through this they were able to prove themselves to the outside world that there is a standard and quality in the kind of work they deliver. They have always emphasized on the cost effectiveness of project. They consider a project individually and try to improve the costs without compromising on the quality which is possible with the help of research. Hence they say that their core values are time, quality and cost effectiveness.
According to the vision statement we can understand that the major goal of the company is to be recognized as 'best in class' organization in the industry. It wants to achieve this through the technological advancements, constructive solutions and most importantly a cost effective approach of dealing with the projects. It also emphasizes on the customer satisfaction. A customer will have a perception about how the service will be and compares it with the actual service that is being provided. If they both match the customer would be satisfied. The next term that the company focuses on is dedication. They believe that reputation is very difficult to attain and easily lost. So it should deal with sensitively. So to maintain the reputation, they are always dedicated to the documents they sign and the rules that they agree with. Also they follow all the government rules and regulations while executing a project because that may also damage the reputation of the company (Wetzel, 2001, pp 42). The company always aims to achieve quality when compared to quantity through the commitment levels that they show while executing a project. Innovation through research is given importance. Through innovation and new technological implementations, they try to find better business solutions to the existing problems through which they also achieve cost effectiveness. Human resources department employs the best people into the company as they believe that the best employees make an organization as best. It also assigns the work or project to the employees based upon their skill set and hence ensures the best person is allotted to the project. Team work as it works in any other organization is also believed to give best results in the company. The team opinion is preferred to individual opinions because the company as a whole comes before an individual. They try to attain above average profits because all their business operations are related to financials. With better financial position, they will be able to allocate more funds to the research department and also recruit more talent into the company.
Ethics are important for an individual to succeed in his life and in the same way for an organization to have long term sustainability it should be ethical. They strive to become a highly ethical and honest firm and also encourage its employees to be ethical in the work they do for the company (Sanz-Valle, 2011, pp 60). Also as they knew the boundaries better, many local firms prefer coming to GCC for execution of their constructional needs. So with the help of experienced resources they strive to increase the market share by providing quality services.
Safety is one of the major objectives of the management at GCC. When it comes to safety, the management should consider three important categories. They are people, property and equipment. The company is highly committed towards the safety of its employees and resources which is clearly evident from the way it operates the project. For this purpose the company employed a dedicated safety leader who monitors and implements the safety programs like Injury and Illness Prevention Program and Gulf Contractors safety procedures. The onsite safety coordinator will be responsible for all the operations that take place at the job site. He will also have to analyze the possible dangers or hazards at the site and necessary precautionary measures have to be taken. He should also design some methods to overcome the hazards at the job site. Training programs need to be conducted for employees and awareness has to be created on what has to be done in the case of emergencies.
Analysis of relation between organizational culture and Organizational goals
As per the analysis done till now, the culture at GCC is fully supportive of the goals that the organization formulated. The culture which has the basic values like honesty, quality and cost effectiveness helps the organization to work towards the organizational goals. With a good mix of human resources which consists of senior experienced people and fresh talent helps to achieve the transparency in the work they do and efficiency in the quality they deliver. The emphasis on the research and development at the company helps it to find and innovate new technologies in the operations like developing a environment friendly strategy of construction or implementing green building strategy in some of their projects. The company also is making good profits which help it to retain the talent and allocate financial resources to every department. The special safety officer who is appointed to look after the organizations safety measures helps it to achieve the safety goals that they have put forth. Also this helps it to take precautionary actions like installing safety devices at the job site and preventing accidents. The culture of developing and protecting the nature in the country impressed many customers and improved its brand image thus trust of customers (Lee, 2004, pp 350). This also made the organization more sustainable in the long term. The emphasis on the cost effectiveness of the project helped the company to lessen the costs of the customers. Also because of the quality of the work they deliver they gained the trust of the public and many private companies are approaching them for services. Being a 100% local company, they know the boundaries of the business and can provide complete end to end services to any customer. They can also provide design plans for their projects which the customers can use for their own purposes.
Thus the conclusion is that the company is doing pretty well in the booming construction business in UAE and achieving good market share and net profits through trust and loyalty of its customers. It achieved them by sticking on to the basic values and never compromising on their ethics. Some of the recommendations to the company through which it can serve its customers better are listed below.
Improve the resources in the organization as many projects are in the pipeline and there might be a requirement of human resources.
Improve the emphasis on sustainability by recruiting a chief sustainability officer and giving him duties like developing sustainable strategies, addressing climate change issues, water management, energy management which will help to attain the trust of the customers.
The culture in the organization should always include some kind of recreational activities to the employees. Hence some kind of activities which enhances the cultural spirits of employees are needed which involves all the employees in the structure.