Change Coming Faster For Organizations Commerce Essay


Change is coming faster and faster for organizations. Many organizations feel that modest arrangement changes and slight plan modification are enough to counter popular cultural influences. As the infant boomer age group retire a new generation of leaders will replace them. These new leaders will cross age, gender, race, and geography. A recent Department of Labor report, Futurework: Trends and Challenges for the Work in the 21st Century, reveals that this rapid demographic shift will impact the future dynamics of organizations (Department of Labor, 1999). The purpose of this article is to provide an exploratory insight related to the new dynamics of a new workforce in American culture. This paper addresses two major objectives. The first objective is to identify the values of the current workforce and compare it with the Emergent Workforce in 21st century organizations. The second objective is to propose possible leadership styles in order to address any value chasms with workforce transition. The following discussion will be investigated: (a) an evaluation of the current workforce, (b) the Emergent Workforce value issues, and (c) possible solutions to issues of value arrangement in the future.

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Williams, Dobson and Walters (1989) state that culture is the commonly hold and relatively stable beliefs, attitudes and values that exist within organisation.

Robbins et al.(2001) states that culture is a common perception held by the organization's members; a system of shared meaning.

In summary, organizational culture is an expression of the values, beliefs and assumptions that dominate the organization. It tells employees what is important and what type of behavior is expected.

Definition Of Organizational Culture:-

Culture influences the organisational behaviour

business culture plays a critical role in organizational value creation Organizational culture relates to the underlying set of key values, beliefs, and norms shared by the employees Organizational culture development is remarkable bearing in mind changed people have altering values. Furthermore, Bass (1999) maintained that collectivistic values strengthen commitment within an organization. Malphurs (2004) argued that organizational values co-exist on two planes: personal and corporate. Core organizational values guide the operations. On a personal level, individuals have a set of middle values that read out their actions. Organizational leaders then find themselves as institutional advocates; they authority how followers perceive organizational values. The values and beliefs of an individual are fixed in a culture and affect a leader's behaviour. Therefore, an effective organization must contain leaders with high truthfulness who understand their corporate culture. However, Hackman and Johnson suggested that leaders cannot simply impose their values on followers. Given this perspective, there is an obvious opportunity that personal and organizational principles may conflict If leaders do not possess morals reliable with the organization's ethics there may be problems. In fact, Draft (1991) argued that individuals within an organization find themselves dealing with competing values. Therefore, leaders must prioritize which values are the most important for them and their organizations.


An kind of culture, and how to convert it, is a key skill for leaders trying to achieve calculated outcome Strategic leaders have the best viewpoint because of their location in the organization, to see the dynamics of the culture, what should remain, and what needs transformation. This is the spirit of strategic success


One of the primary everyday jobs of strategic leaders is to generate and keep on the organizational type that reward and support group effort. possibly the most basic 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 structure influence or modify an organization's culture?


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, suggest that an organization's culture develop to help it administer with its environment. Today, organizational leaders are confronted with many multifaceted issues during their attempts to create organizational achievement in VUCA environments. A leader's success will depend, to a great extent, upon understanding organizational culture.

Schein contend that many of the problems meet head-on influential can be traced to their lack of ability to analyze and measure organizational cultures. Many leaders, when trying to apply new strategies or a planned arrangement leading to a new vision, will discover that their strategies will fail if they are not in agreement with the organization's culture. A CEO, SES, political appointee, or flag officer who comes into an organization prepared to "shake the place up" and institute extensive changes, often experiences resistance to changes and failure. Difficulties with organizational transformations happen from failures to analyze an organization's existing culture.

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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).

This sampling of definitions represents the two major camps that exist in the study of organizational culture and its "application strategies." The first camp views culture as implicit in social life. Culture is what naturally emerges as individuals transform themselves into social groups as tribes, communities, and ultimately, nations. The second camp represents the view that culture is an explicit social product arising from social interaction either as an intentional or unintentional consequence of behavior. In other words, culture is comprised of distinct observable forms (e.g., language, use of symbols, ceremonies, customs, methods of problem solving, use of tools or technology, and design of work settings) that groups of people create through social interaction and use to confront the broader social environment. (Wuthnow and Witten 1988). This second view of culture is most relevant to the analysis and evaluation of organizational culture and to cultural change strategies that leaders can employ to improve

organizational performance.

How we understand organizational design is in the midst of radical change. Just as the industrial revolution in England and the Unites States changed predominantly agricultural societies to urban societies forever, so is the availability of knowledge markets changing the industrial landscape? 

Defined, design blends plan with a proposal for a look or function. Design is also the art or action resulting in conception of a plan or idea. Design, in light of this definition, presumes structure in a physical sense. However, design is not a word that means specifically structure. One origin of design comes from Latin that means designate. A designation includes such meanings as an appointment to a position, an assignment of status, or an ascribed meaning. If we ascribe meaning using ascribe as a transitive verb, we enter the realm of cause and effect.

History supports the lure of industry pulling large population groups away from farming. Industry made the growth of cities possible. Industry provided job security over the long term that farming did not. Industry relied on physical structure, command and control over generally uneducated workers. Industry supported the wealth of nations. These multiple causes had their multiple effects on what we know as organizational design. Industrial age organizational design employed strict hierarchy, workers delivered only product and the boss ruled supreme.

To search for the spark that caused the radical shift away from industry, one may find it with a small group of professors and students at Stanford University who sent the first binary message from one computer to another over a wire. Now we know that they created not only a spark but a firestorm that has not subsided and continues to burn on a global level. As a consequence, not only do we now have virtually instantaneous connections to people everywhere, but work no longer dependents on structural design. Therefore, this paper looks at organizational design in 21st century business operations with a focus on design function and its role in the changing structure.

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This discussion, while acknowledging that physical infrastructure is important, suggests that traditional brick and mortar structure does not necessarily provide the best environment for accomplishing work. In addition, this discussion accepts an operational design including leadership and management hierarchies but in roles that do not stifle innovation or idea generation.

21st Century Organization

Gates (1995) observed that business now exists in an information age. Bryan and Joyce (2005) cite Peter Drucker as coining the phrase "knowledge worker" about 50 years ago. Gates and Drucker share a common vision for contemporary business and of 21st century workers. Their shared vision is of professional employees who are knowledge generators rather than commodity or capital generators.

Already, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and media and entertainment industries find over 25 percent of their workforce engaged in knowledge generation, idea generation, and innovation. Professional knowledge workers share in the responsibility of generating the competitive edge of big enterprise.

Bryan and Joyce (2005) report several statistics reinforcing how professionals experience interconnection. They cite that many large national and global organizations may employ as many as 10,000 professional knowledge generators within their corporations. These people may have as many as 50 million bilateral relationships. From these numbers, one can make out that 21st century workers do not perform in a traditional vertical or linear organizational design.

Regard also another measure of professional interconnectivity. In 1998, the volume of corporate email was about 1.8 billion messages a day. While it is hard to imagine 1.8 billion emails a day, by 2004, the volume was up to and beyond 17 billion corporate email messages a day. That is about a 944 percent increase in six years. Measure the email volume increase with the number of bilateral relationships among professional workers and it becomes clearer that information age knowledge workers are able to share large amounts of information over time and space with aplomb.

The new organizational design recognizes the value of people and their capacity to generate ideas. Nadler and Tushman (1997) make a very succinct point about organizational design and capacity for workers to interconnect internally and externally. 

Uncontrolled by geography, physical plants, travel times, and interminable delays in getting the right information to the right people, organizations have been freed to forge new relationships with customers, supplier, and partners (pg. 213).

The role of organizational design in contemporary 21st century corporations is to streamline and simplify vertical and linear structure. Traditional lines of supervision tend to create walls or silos, which block free movement of knowledge and block bilateral relationships. General Electric Corporation pre Jack Welch is an example of silo structures preventing communication between business units. During and post the Welch era GE has become leaner, more competitive, and shallower in vertical structure.

The role of 21st century organizational design is to stimulate the intangibles of knowledge generation. Business acknowledges talent markets and formal networks that create and exchange knowledge. Within that design, business leaders have the role of both developing intellectual property and developing the individuals who have those assets. In this view, leaders facilitate knowledge generation rather than supervise a work force.

In the 21st century organization, the role of design allows operational overlays. Within organizational knowledge markets, workers have networks among other knowledge markets that facilitate free exchange of information and collaboration among professionals. However, these overlays and networks do not exist naturally; organizations must take action to put them into place.

In 21st century organizations, leaders have a responsibility toward knowledge networks; granting them resources necessary to develop common capabilities, develop incentives for membership, as well as standards and protocols for sharing information. These networks provide workers with an opportunity to inspire, self-direct, and support the common interest of the group. 


Design of the 21st century organization expands beyond physical infrastructure into a network-based knowledge generating professional work force. They do not resemble post World War II organizations of neatly aligned desks and workers supplying their specific piece of the product. Workers in this century may not have an office or desk. In the age of information in which knowledge is the product, working professionals use technology that facilitates working where they are not where an office is.

The paradox, according to Handy (1995), is that big organizations need to think small even when operating globally. Small autonomous units are more agile and mobile. They are better able to understand their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT). Small units of knowledge professionals reach customers faster and more personably. 

Nadler and Tushman (1997) share insight the small subunits of have more control over their resources. Because of size, the subunit has a better reward system, better work environments, and individualized job design. Camprass and Farncombe (2004) go deeper by calling small units "agile atoms, which are innovation and relationship driven" (pgs. 61-62).

The organization of the 21st century does not resemble organizations with vertical and linear design. Rather, their appearance is of fluid and dynamic work groups similar to cross-functional work teams. Each group will have assigned membership; however, groups will have the ability to draw temporary members into the group for special projects and share their resources with other groups in a fluid environment. Having the ability to interact and overlap across operational lines, results in leaner less vertically and linearly oriented design.

In this century, organizations still operate by creating and sharing vision, having a mission and set goals. However, they must understand how to maintain energy within dispersed work groups and among separate group members. To achieve goals, 21st century organizations need focus on goals using mental energy, physical energy, and spiritual energy (LaFasto and Larson, 2001). 

Mental energy - having creative people who join their ideas for goal achievement.

Physical energy - assuring everyone on the team performs.

Spiritual energy - having collective esprit, encourage everyone to have a voice, eliminate fear of failure, have members willing to rock the boat, establish an atmosphere of cooperation and collaboration.

Therefore, as organizations evolve, so does the role of design. The role of design in 21st century organizations places value of the system as though it is an organism. Moorman and Kreitman (1997) explain this role as a "...wise body [that] does not put its parts in opposition or competition with each other. ... Nor does it require that every body part meet the same standards." It is interesting to note that their depiction of the role of organization as an organism flows smoothly from the Apostle Paul's 1st Corinthians 12:8-26 explaining how the Church is made up of many parts of the whole body.

The role of organizational design as an organism, therefore, suggests adaptivity rather than adaptation. This design allows for collective access to knowledge and memory, but, even more importantly, ability to tap into knowledge and memory to facilitate thinking, coordinate knowledge and memory, and share an ability to evaluate results of new behavior.


The paradox of design in 21st century organizations combines big operations with small agile subunits. Organizational design is not one of static buildings and rows or desks with people acting upon only one part of a product. The new role for organizational design incorporates skilled knowledge workers whose product is information and information sharing across broad spans.

The design role is one that recognizes the value of each part as a contributor. Like in the natural world of each plant and animal contributing to the environment, small subunits take from and provide to each other for the greater organizational good and the greater global good.

Organizations capable of surrendering old design roles for new design roles release their hold on workers. New professional information age workers generate knowledge products in free flowing networks unimpeded by work center silos. Statistics presented in this paper only scratch the surface of scientific evidence supporting boundaryless work places. The role of organizational design in the 21st century turns loose the reigns of control allowing professional knowledge workers to generate networks of sharing across time and space. In this century, a worker enjoying the sun in Luxemburg City Park may have a work partner in Tokyo. Instant global communications means they can work seamlessly, together, a world apart.