Strong organization’s culture
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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016
There have been suggested that a strong organization’s culture as a source of competitive advantage (Brown, 1998). It is because strong culture helps consistency, control and co-ordination, diminish uncertainty and enhance motivation of the employees, culture facilitates organizational effectiveness. Hofstede (2001) states that” the stronger the culture and the more it was directed toward the marketplace, the less need was there for policy manuals, organization charts, or detailed procedures and rules.”
Organizational culture may be an important source of motivation for employees, and therefore a major affect on the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization (Brown, 1998). Employees are motivated when they find their work is enjoyable, they identify their goals and aims with the organization and they will feel secure and valued. Therefore, organization’s culture is definitely important here, as an appropriate culture can give employees a focus of identification and loyalty, in order to encourage them to think of themselves as high performers. Furthermore, employees’ participation plays an important role in the successful in high performance (Chow and Liu, 2009). In most of the Chinese organizations, employees involvement and sharing information is moderately weak, as Chinese employees unwilling to take responsibility and unlikely to exercise their initiative to get the things done (Chow, Huang and Liu, 2008). Brown (1998) also states that there is always a relationship between organization’s culture and its performance and therefore organization’s culture may have an effect on the overall performance of a company. This is the reason why there is a need to do interview and questionnaire of the case study company- Lai Wing Kee Cloth Factory, knowing how the employees feel about the company and in order to improve the motivation of the employees and their performance, as a result to be succeed in the marketplace.
To understand the organizational behaviour of a company is the most important thing that will direct a company to reach its highest peak. Organization’s culture starts from the discipline of the organizational behaviour. Having the right organization’s culture will affect the efficient everyday operations of the company. Also, there are many processes and decision making which managers have to do. Therefore, in order to manage all the processes in an effectively company, an in depth knowledge of organization’s culture is needed. It is suggested that organizational culture, business strategy and human resource strategy each of them have an impact on the company performance (Chow and Liu, 2009).
The researches of this topic is by knowing more in depth of the organization’s culture and see how it affects the overall performance of a company. Meanwhile the report will help the company in measuring the degree of fit between their current organization’s culture and their current strategy and also emphasize the areas which need to be adjusted. As strategy and organization’s culture are really important to the company’s succeed. Most of the time adjusting is either costly or impossible and there have been an argument that strategy should be formed against the organization’s culture, it is because it has been suggested that organization’s culture is an intrinsic part of the company (Chow, Huang and Liu, 2008). Furthermore, the data collection for this topic will be targeted the management level and the individual of different level of the hierarchy in the company. There is a need for qualitative analysis with questionnaires and telephone interviews.
There are various literature related to my topic, therefore it is better to begin with knowing in depth about the origins of the organization’s culture. However, there are lots of definitions from different literature for the term ‘organizational culture’. As the concepts have been defined from various subjects. For instance, psychology, organizational behaviours…etc. For each of them have different perspective for the term ‘organizational culture’. To classify, Brown (1998) uses a basic distinctions philosophy on culture to demonstrate that it can be seen as either mainstreams or an objective entity. Hofestede (1997) states that culture is not inherited but as an alternative it can be learned in a way that is similar to programmers teach a computer how to deal with the information it has been given. According to Frost et al (1985), he says ‘Talking about organizational culture seems to mean talking about the importance for people of symbolism- of rituals, myths, stories and legends- and about the interpretation of events, ideas, and experiences that are influenced and shaped by the groups within which they live.’ It is a common knowledge that a company’s culture can be strongly affected to its home country. The organization’s culture and management approach is normally depending on where the company establishes rather than where the company operates. Other issues that influence the organization’s culture will be the company objectives, social environment and the company market positioning.
There are four layers of culture, these includes value culture as the central core surrounded by ritual culture followed by heroes culture and lastly symbols culture (Hofestede, 2001). Each of them shows how culture can affect individuals and groups behaviour in different countries and different organizations. However, culture can also influence the research result collected from questionnaires, it is because the respondents may lose their interest while filling the questions. This also relates to the process of the organization’s culture in the company from planning to the final implementation. Organization’s culture will be affected by the organizational structure. It is essential that managers should bear in mind that the crucial relationship between organization’s strategy and culture. Changes should not just be in the structures and operations but as well as the organization’s culture.
The organization’s culture is usually created by the headquarters and it is carried and controlled by the executives and company policies. These policies will lead the executives to work with the employees and explain how they should be behaved in accordance to the organizational culture. Meanwhile, different employees can also enhance and complete a better organization’s culture by sharing their own knowledge and own culture to others. Drennan (1992) states that culture is how things are doing around here. It is the collective behaviour of employees sharing and using common organizational strategies, goals, beliefs, visions, habits, systems and how individual employee as well as groups should interpret their experiences and behave accordingly (Dobson & Walters 1993). In other words, organization’s culture includes social, moral and norms of behaviour of the company based on the common objectives, for examples, attitudes, values, beliefs and priorities of employees. According to Chow and Liu (2009), strong norms of cultural can help an organization more efficient.
Organization is a place that groups of individuals share the same knowledge and norms of behaviour of working together to achieve the company’s objectives. However, in the Chinese society, people do not share their knowledge with others as they do not want anyone to take over themselves. Looking from the philosophical view, most of the individuals in the Western society are making every effort to find the truth by themselves and ways to confirm their beliefs. Though, individuals in the Chinese society are most likely believed in what they have been told as the truth. Furthermore, Chinese people possibly consider their responsibility to the society rather than their individual responsibilities.
In most of the cases, organizations with a strong corporate culture are most likely to achieve higher performance as employees are being motivated and they know what they need to do to complete the tasks. Most importantly is to be aware that the organization’s culture can be changed over a period of time, however, leadership will be more difficult to change. As a result, to maintain a good culture of the company, it has to come from the top of the management level. According to Chow and Liu (2009), organization’s culture is not only helping the company’s performance but as well as reinforce the impact of HR systems on company performance. Chow and Liu (2009) state that “Companies whose organizational culture complements their HR systems will perform better.”
Chow and Liu (2009) state that there are three different organizational cultures, these include: bureaucratic, supportive and innovative. Bureaucratic cultures are power oriented, managed, hierarchical and procedural. The work is organized and systematic. It is good for well-trained employees but unlikely to attract, maintain creative and ambitious people. Whereas supportive cultures are trusting, collaborative, supporting and relationship oriented. They give an open, pleasant and warm place for employees to work. People there are friendly and helpful. Employees who work in a supportive environment are more satisfied and have a greater degree of organizational commitment (Chow and Liu, 2009). An innovative culture is self-motivated and exciting. They provide a creative place for employees to work and also are filled with challenges and risks. Innovative cultures encourage competitions and develop an entrepreneurial environment. An example given by Silverthorne (2004) which showed a supportive organizational culture most likely in the highest level of employees’ job satisfaction and organization commitment. Whereas a bureaucratic organizational culture result in the lowest of employees’ job satisfaction and organization commitment.
According to Richardson and Foong (2004), they mentioned managerial style can influence the organization’s operation. Effective managerial styles can increase employees’ morale, motivation, productivity and contribution to the company. Therefore, managerial styles are important to be identified carefully so as to improve the productivity of the company and enhance the motivation and morale of the employees. Normally, managerial styles of a manager in a company will have an impact on the performance of his subordinates. In other word, productivity and management are inseparable. The way that managers lead, think and behave, it is totally affected to the corporate culture will be succeeded or not. If the management provide meaningful work and good corporate culture, then employees will be very happy to contribution, share their knowledge, add new ideas and increase productivity. Frankly, productivity and good management are inseparable. Good management can be even more complicated to understand than productivity because of different perspectives. However, it is a fact that organizational culture and productivity are closely related. As Productivity is a result of motivation of the employees.
First of all, by using telephone interview of 3 people from the management level of Lai Wing Kee Cloth Factory both Hong Kong and Zhong Shan in China. The reason for this is because they influence the most over the company’s culture. The telephone interview will be taken about 30 minutes each. Also it will be recorded and then transcribed for later reference when proposing the organization’s culture. It is essential to aware the opinion of the managers in order to construct a suitable corporation culture for the company and design a suitable questionnaire where the results can be analysed accordingly.
Second of all, by distributing two different types of questionnaires to the 25 selected employees from both Hong Kong and China, it will enable to result in a valuable data and an analysis into what they think the company’s culture should be and what the current company’s culture is. Brown (1998) claims that in order to get a good overview of an organization’s culture, the questionnaire should distribute to a sufficient number of individual at different levels in the hierarchy of the company. The questionnaires will be sent through e-mails, the employees are chosen for the research will be irrespective of gender, religion and age. However, the questionnaire will be carried out in Chinese in order for the employees to have a better understanding and will be designed in a way to collect the information needs to fulfil the research question. Fisher (2007) claims that a simple questionnaire contains pre-coded and open question. The very first step is to set a pre-coded question which has tick boxes to be filled in and afterwards a several open questions which both female and male will be able to answer and provide their thoughts. Meanwhile, the questionnaire will only provide four possible choices for the respondents to overcome the problem of central tendency bias. For instance, some people always the middle box when the questionnaire is providing 5 choices, so if there are only four choices, they will need to really think about what they are going to choose. Finally, this will translate to English for analysis and therefore provide a final result and conclusion.
The secondary research will be caused by related theories and literature proposed by different authors and a variety of database such as Emerald, Jstor and Business Premier which provide more valuable information of explaining the research topic. Also the information will be able to access the peer review articles that help in knowing more in depth of the research area. The secondary research will also focus on e-journals which published in different websites. Also it is essential to find out some empirical evidence in order to help in understanding from the study which conducts in the similar area.
The scope of the research will be limited by several factors which will affect the efficiency of collecting data. One of the main limitations is time and resources such as the ability to interview 3 people of the management level and selecting different levels of the employees to do the questionnaire. Furthermore, some employees might not give their true thoughts in the questionnaire or fill in without any interest; this will not help for the research and will only lead to faulty analysis and evaluation. Also Chinese or English language barrier is one of the major limitations, it is because many of the journals and theories are written in English and it is not likely to be translated directly in a Chinese environment. Furthermore, the managers and the employees who are selecting to be interviewed and doing questionnaire may not be able to understand some of the concepts contained in the questions that they will be asked. Therefore, this makes it really difficult to create a set of questions which both fulfils the objective of collecting all the require data in addition to be easy enough for the employees to understand.
- Ashkanasy, N.M., Broadfoot, L.E., Falkus, S., 2000. “Questionnaire measures of organizational cuture” edited in Ashkanasy, N.M., (Eds), Handbook of Organizational Cuture & Climate. Canada: Thousand Oaks
- Brown, A.D., 1998. Organizational Culture. 2nd ed. Essex: Pearson education limited
- Chow, H.S., Huang, J.C., and Liu, S.S., 2008. Strategic HR in China: Configuration and Competitive Advantage, Human Resource Management, 47, 687-706
- Chow, H.S. and Liu, S.S., 2009. ‘The effect of aligning organizational culture and business strategy with HR systems on firm performance in Chinese enterprises’, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20: 11, 2292-2310
- Drennan, 1992, p.3. Edited in Senior, B., Fleming, J., 2006. Organizational Change. 3rd ed. Essex: Pearson education limited
- Fisher, C., 2007. Researching and Writing a Dissertation: A Guidebook for Business Students. 2nd ed. Essex: Pearson education limited
- Frost et al (1985:17) edited in Alvesson, M., 1995. Cultural Perspectives on Organizations. Cambridge: the Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge
- Hofstede,G., 2001. Culture’s consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions, and Organizations Across Nations. 2nd ed. London: Sage Publications Ltd.
- Hofstede, G., 1997. Cultures and organizations: software of the mind New York. London: McGraw
- Richardson, S. and Foong, Y.P., 2004. Managerial Styles: A Study of Potential Managers in Malaysia, American Journal of Applied Sciences 1 (4): 279-283
- Silverthorne, C., 2004. The Impact of Organizational and Person-organization Fit on Organizational Commitment and Job Satisfaction in Taiwan: Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 25, 7/8, 592-599
- Thomas, R.M., 2003. Blending Qualitative & Quantitative Research Methods in Theses and Dissertations. California: Corwin Press Inc
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