Primary Responsibilities Of Strategic Leaders Business Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

One of the primary responsibilities of strategic leaders is to create and maintain the organizational characteristics that reward and encourage collective effort. Perhaps the most fundamental of these is organizational culture. But what do we really mean by organizational culture? What influence does it have on an organization? How does one go about building, influencing or changing an organization's culture? How can organizational culture impact strategic? Why it is important to strategic management? With those questions, let me show you my opinion.


There is no single definition for organizational culture. The topic has been studied from a variety of perspectives ranging from disciplines such as anthropology and sociology, to the applied disciplines of organizational behavior, management science, and organizational communication. Some of the definitions are listed below:

A set of common understandings around which action is organized, . . . finding expression in language whose nuances are peculiar to the group (Becker and Geer 1960).

A set of understandings or meanings shared by a group of people that are largely tacit among members and are clearly relevant and distinctive to the particular group which are also passed on to new members (Louis 1980).

A system of knowledge, of standards for perceiving, believing, evaluating and acting . . . that serve to relate human communities to their environmental settings (Allaire and Firsirotu 1984).

The deeper level of basic assumptions and beliefs that are: learned responses to the group's problems of survival in its external environment and its problems of internal integration; are shared by members of an organization; that operate unconsciously; and that define in a basic "taken -for-granted" fashion in an organization's view of itself and its environment (Schein 1988).

Any social system arising from a network of shared ideologies consisting of two components: substance-the networks of meaning associated with ideologies, norms, and values; and forms-the practices whereby the meanings are expressed, affirmed, and communicated to members (Trice and Beyer 1984).

Organizational culture is a widely used term but one that seems to give rise to a degree of ambiguity. Watson (2006) emphasises that the concept of culture originally derived from a metaphor of the organization as 'something cultivated'. For the past number of decades, most academics and practitioners studying organizations suggest the concept of culture is the climate and practices that

organizations develop around their handling of people, or to the promoted values and statement of beliefs of an organization (Schein, 2004). Schein (2004) highlights that the only thing of real importance that leaders do is to create and manage culture; that the unique talent of leaders is their ability to understand and work with culture; and that it is an ultimate act of leadership to destroy culture when it is viewed as dysfunctional'.

Why is culture so important to an organization? Edgar Schein, an MIT Professor of Management and author of Organizational Culture and Leadership: A Dynamic View, suggests that an organization's culture develops to help it cope with its environment. Today, organizational leaders are confronted with many complex issues during their attempts to generate organizational achievement in VUCA environments. A leader's success will depend, to a great extent, upon understanding organizational culture.

One of the most important building blocks for a highly successful organization and an extraordinary workplace is "organizational culture." Understanding of organizational culture and cultural types also helps our understanding of why managerial reforms may impact differently within and between organizations. An organization with a predominantly internal process culture, for example, may be more resistant to reforms aimed at promoting innovation. Pollitt and Bouckaert (2004, p.55) note: 'We would also expect staff in high uncertainty avoidance cultures to be more concerned with rule-following and more reluctant to risk changing jobs - both factors of some importance for those reformers who want to deregulate bureaucracies and encourage more rapid job change in the public service'. Practitioners in both the private and public sectors have come to realise that organizational change often requires changing the organization's culture and learning. For example, in terms of improving career progression arrangements in the civil service, O'Riordan and

Humphreys (2002) suggest a need for a change in organizational culture in many areas of a department (p.83). In particular, O'Riordan (2004) says that 'developing a culture in which career progression and development of staff is prioritised represents an important retention and motivation tool' (p.77).

The culture of the Coca-Cola organization is mission driven; focused on refreshing the mind, inspiring optimism, and making a difference. The rich history of the organization has allowed the company to compile hundreds of stories of consumers and employees. These stories share real life examples of what Coca-Cola Company that they created a museum in Las Vegas that focuses on the stories of customers. After visitors heard others' stories they could record their own, which the company could use in the future. The company has been trying to change the culture by allowing employees to essential shape and reform the goals of the Coca-Cola Company positive stories that the company chooses to focus on provide a foundation to encourage employees to be not only model workers but model citizens.

Walmart was founded on three basic beliefs: service to their customers, respect for the individual and striving for excellence. Their basic beliefs are built on a foundation of integrity - their values of honesty, fairness and objectivity guide how they apply these beliefs to the workplace. In other words, they strive to: Be honest by telling the truth and keeping our word. Be fair by using their business influence appropriately and creating an open environment for raising questions and concerns. Be objective by making decisions based on Walmart's interests, rather than personal interests, and by avoiding even the appearance of impropriety. Every associate - from the CEO to hourly associates in local stores - is reminded daily that them customers are why they are here. They do best every day to provide the greatest possible level of service to everyone they come in contact with. They serve the customers by making them first priority, and support the associates so they can best serve the customers, give to the local community in ways that connect to them customers. From Walmart's earliest days as a small discount store, they have emphasized the importance of respect for every associate, every customer and every member of the community. They value and recognize the contributions of every associate. They own what we do with a sense of urgency, and empower each other to do the same. They communicate by listening to all associates and sharing ideas and information. The key to their success is constantly looking for ways to improve themselves and improve their business. They strive to lead not just their industry, but also each other to the next level of success. The Global Ethics Office is responsible for promoting Walmart's culture of integrity. This includes developing and upholding our policies for ethical behavior for all of their stakeholders everywhere they operate. The Global Ethics Office: Serves as a guide and resource for ethical decision making; Provides a confidential and anonymous reporting system; Leads a continuing ethics education and communication system. Giving people access to a better life. One community at a time. It is their mission to create opportunities so people can live better. They consider it their responsibility to make a positive impact in the communities they serve. Whether it's through the grants they provide to the thousands of organizations that share their mission or through the inspiring volunteer efforts of Walmart associates, they are passionate about helping people live better. One community at a time. In 2011, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave $958.9 million in cash and in-kind contributions around the world. This includes $872.7 million in cash and in-kind gifts in the United States and $86.2 million in cash and in-kind gifts in international markets. In addition, Walmart associates volunteered more than 1 million hours that resulted in more than $13 million in grants to local nonprofits.  Environmental sustainability has become an essential ingredient to doing business responsibly and successfully. As the world's largest retailer, their actions have the potential to save their customers money and help ensure a better world for generations to come. They have set three aspirational sustainability goals: To be supplied 100% by renewable energy; To create zero waste; To sell products that sustain people and the environment. Walmart is committed to getting the best, the healthiest, the most affordable food to as many people as possible. They are fighting hunger in the U.S. They are making food healthier and healthier food more affordable. And they are using their size and scale to help support farmers and their communities, produce more food with fewer resources and less waste, and sustainably source key agricultural products. The foundation of Walmart's business has always centered on helping people live better. This mission applies not only to their customers and associates, but also to the workers who make thrie products. They collaborate with other retailers, brands, NGOs and government leaders to verify the products they sell are produced in a way that provides dignity and respect for workers in their supply chain. As the world's largest retailer, they strive to positively influence global supply chain practices by raising their own standards and improving working conditions in the countries from which they source. The number one commitment is satisfying their customers and members-and they can not do that without their network of global suppliers.  Walmart's Supplier Diversity Program began in 1994 to ensure minority- and women-owned businesses are an integral part of their supplier network. Walmart's goal is to increase the amount of business they do with minority- and women-owned businesses, to integrate supplier diversity into all of their procurement practices and to ensure Walmart has a diverse supplier community that can supply products that meet their customers' needs. Through this program, more than 3,000 women- and minority-owned businesses play an integral role in their vast network of suppliers. And their investment in supplier diversity is growing every year. McDonald's brand mission is to be their customers' favorite place and way to eat. McDonald's worldwide operations are aligned around a global strategy called the Plan to Win, which center on an exceptional customer experience - People, Products, Place, Price and Promotion. They are committed to continuously improving their operations and enhancing the customers' experience. McDonald's strategic plan is called 'plan to win'. The concept of this plan is for McDonald's to not be the biggest fast food restaurant chain, but to be the best fast food restaurant chain. McDonald's tries to achieve this by applying the five P's: People, products, place, price and promotion.  Along with this they also incorporate geographic strategic plans. In the U.S., McDonald's strategic plan continues to focus on breakfast, chicken, beverages and convenience. These are the core areas in the United States. McDonald's has launched the Southern Style Chicken Biscuit for breakfast and the Southern Style Chicken Sandwich for lunch and dinner. In the beverage business, McDonald's starting introducing new hot specialty coffee offerings on a market-by-market basis. In Europe, McDonald's uses a tiered menu approach. This menu features premium selections, classic menu, and everyday affordable offerings. They also 'complement these with new products and limited-time food promotions'. In the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa markets, McDonald's strategic plan is focused around convenience, breakfast, core menu extensions and value. With McDonald's overall strategic plan and its geographical strategic plan, the company should start to see more positive financial results. As well as all this, McDonalds also incorporates organizational strategic plans which include better restaurant operations, placing the customer first, menu variety and beverage choice. Another example is Haier, which is the famous electronic manufacturing supplier in China even in the world. Core Values of Haier: Customer Oriented - Think what consumers think; Development Focused - Entrepreneurial spirit and creativity; Interest Driven - Win-Win Culture. Thinking what consumer thinks means not only to meet but also to create consumer needs. They constantly challenge ourselves to make break-through in the ever-changing world. They don't change with the world, but strive to create trends - this has become part of their DNA. This DNA, together with their "Enterprising and Innovative" culture, constitutes their core competitive force in the market: the more the world changes, the faster the consumers shift, the greater success they achieve. Haier's philosophy is not only guidance on individual development, but also restricts on employee values. "Think What Consumers Think" requires everyone to be enterprising and innovative. By "enterprising" they mean entrepreneurial spirit, which is encouraged for everyone at Haier: they should actively take charge and be their own CEO. The essence of innovation lies with value creation, which is in turn derived from customer creation. Haier is about all stakeholders - their employees, customers and shareholders. Only the win-win culture can guarantee the sustainable growth of Haier. In order to realize this goal, Haier will continue to innovate its business modes to build a Haier-specific win-win culture - the enterprising and innovative employees will be committed to value creation for customers in different independent operations, while at the same time realize values for themselves, the company and shareholders. In independent operations, each employee enters into a contract with the customer, shifting from "managed and motivated" to "self-managed and self-motivated". This is what they call "human-oriented management". The win-win culture at Haier provides resource and system support for every employee to be enterprising and innovative, which ensures spontaneous innovation in the ever-changing world. In order to cultivate talents, Haier has their own university. The establishment, Haier group CEO ZhangRuiMin has put forward the haier university positioning: is not the how many good facilities and hardware conditions, the key is the connotation and software, to be haier employee thought forging furnace and ability training base, to be in GE management training center for example, become China's enterprises "Harvard University". "Innovation, realistic, innovation" is the school motto of haier university, is to ask for each student with innovative motivation and existing innovation achievement to haier university participation, through the interactive, learning, and seek things develop universal rule and sum up a module, and then go back to practice, in the new innovation platform module on the innovation of higher level, thus forming continuous cycle, spiral process. At present the haier university in action change study continuously explore and realize from the pure management training to create the learning organization change, become a real managers promoting performance business partners, become staff development consultant, help people release potential, maintain the motive of study; From the source reserve suitable for the development of enterprises "talent pool", create the most global market competitiveness, the most innovative spirit of the staff and the all-round construction of haier's "talent Shinkansen". Haier for each employee to provide a equal career development stage. Through the "independent development" career development mode to each employee independent development rights, let the right people in the right post, give full play to the subjective initiative, create value for the customer in the process of realizing their own value. Employees in haier's career success depend on personal goals and interests, enterprise's business strategy and goals, personal in enterprise's career opportunities three aspects of the organic fusion. The employee develop the individual development target, self assessment, and the choice of appropriate training resources, develop the individual development plan and implement to closed gap, personal ability. At the same time, the staff may at any time through the related channels to know the company's internal position requirements, in line with the goal post requirements employees are based on their personal goals and interests to an independent, and finally achieve the haier's career development.

How is expert think about organization culture? A famous enterpriser named Wang weidong think, organization culture should not be a from enterprise actual discussion topic, the individual organization culture out design and manufacture tend to put the cart before the horse. In the construction organization culture should be for organization development services, but the reality is a lot of organization specialized organization man physical resources to develop enterprise culture, as if to have a enterprise culture and is engaged in the same invention. Exploring the organization culture or under the organization culture in many enterprise inside has become a pretence. Fundamentally, the organization culture of building is only a various factors like to take this opportunity to integrate, and not for the establishment of organization culture to create something new out, it would be against the law of organization development. Even if made, also won't someone keep because it has no culture foundation.


Organizational culture includes the values, beliefs, behaviors, norms and artifacts that connect the members of an organization. As in all other cultures, organizational culture develops over a long period of time with the participation of the members. Through studying or analyzing the culture of an organization, you are able to come up with various conclusions. These include conclusions about the resistance of culture, organizational performance, and communication and leadership styles. These conclusions can be helpful for managers and consultants seeking to encourage better organizational cultures.