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Experienced captains know that navigating uncharted sea should be pay more attention to observe, analyze to predict potential risks and make proper decisions. As a manager, running an existing or setting up a new company also need these skills, strategic management helps corporate to focus ahead, understand the marketing environment and reposition business to effectively compete other companies. Corporate strategy management is related to different aspects, such as financial aspects, human resources management, organizational culture, marketing, etc. Organizational culture is one of these important aspects, which is an indispensable and intangible aspect of strategy management. The concepts of organizational culture and organizational strategy looks like different, but they have a closer relationship between each other. Normally one part of corporate success depends on the support of organizational culture to organizational strategy. Organizational culture is about expectations, values and beliefs learned and shared by the company’s members and transmitted from one generation of employees to anther. The organizational culture generally reflects the values of the founders and the mission of the company. Culture gives a corporate a sense of identity: ” This is what we stand for. This is who we are. This is what we do.” The culture includes the dominant orientation of the company, such as customer care at Hilton, innovation at Apple, product quality at Volvo, or R&D at HP. It often includes the many informal work rules that the staffs follow without asking questions. These work practices over time become part of a company’s unquestioned tradition. The culture, therefor reflects the company’s value. (Thomas, L 2012) Apple Inc does well in their organizational culture, their culture was based on an ideal that self-motivated individuals will work harder if they do not have a boss micromanaging every action. This unique and successful culture helps Apple Inc develop the most attractive products and occupy the market rapidly. (Scribd 2010)
Elements of culture – corporate artifacts, shared values, shared assumption
When you walk into a hotel, a resort, a university, a bank, what do you notice first? What do “frist impressions” tell you about the organization that you have just entered? How friendly it will be? How expensive it will be? What kind of behavior is expected of you? How will the staff approach and deal with you? Now look more carefully at the physical surroundings – what positive and negative signs, symbols and signals do you get? How exactly are these being transmitted to you? These are all aspects of organizational culture. Cultural awareness will not only lead to more effective staffs, but also get more customers or clients and increase the customers’ loyalty. There are many elements of organizational culture, but three of them – artifacts, values, and assumptions are the key elements, organizational employees create the sets of artifacts, values, and assumptions, no single element can build corporate culture. Corporate artifacts are the observable signs and symbols of an organizational culture, such as the corporate stories or legends, the organization’s physical layout and the way guests are greeted, it is also a language and physical structure of the organization, the artifact may be as formal as the staff handbook or a hotel logo, or as informal as decoration in the front lobby. Artifacts are important because they offer the best evidence about a company’s culture. In Hilton, there is a famous story, 80% hotels were closed down during the great depression in America. The hotel’s owner – Conrad Hilton still told his staff don’t forget the etiquette, the smile is always belong to the guests. After the great depression, Hilton hotel lead into the new flourishing period and became the leader in tourism industry. (Charles Kelly 2010) Values are stable, evaluative beliefs that guide organizational members preferences for goals or plans of action in a variety of situations, such as compassion, innovation, cooperation, compassion, integrity, service innovation, and the creativity. Values could demonstrate themselves in the form of corporate strategies, goals and desired qualities. Building organizational core values can be used to guide principles and wish the employees to insist to these. For example: Lenovo which was established with 25,000 RMB investment in a guard house in China, today, Lenovo is a US$21 billion personal technology company which ousts HP as world’s largest PC vendor. (Gartner 2012) Its success mainly depends on its strategy and corporate culture, its core value – innovative spirit and customer service attract more talents and customers, which help Lenovo occupy the global market.( Lenovo 2012) Along with shared values , corporate culture consists of a deeper element – shared assumptions. These are unconscious taken for granted perception or beliefs that have worked so well in the past that they are considered the correct way to think and act toward problems and opportunities. Shared assumptions are so deeply ingrained that you probably would not discover them by surveying employees. Only by observing employees, analyzing their decisions, and debriefing them about their actions would these assumptions rise to the surface. (Steven, L. 2008)
Why do executives at Lenovo, Hilton hotel group and other companies pay so much attention to organizational culture? The answer is that they believe a strong culture is competitive advantage. Culture is one of the most precious things a company has, so the company must work harder on it than anything else.the effect of organizational culture depends partly on its strength. Corporate culture strength refers to how widely and deeply employees hold the company’s dominant values and assumptions. In a strong organizational culture, most staffs across all subunits hold the predominant values. These values are also organized by established artifacts, which make it difficult for these values to change. A strong corporate culture potentially increase a company’s success by serving three important functions: control system, which is deeply embedded form of social control that influence employee decisions and behaviors; social glue, which is increasingly important as a way to attract new staff and retain top performers; and sense-making process, it helps employees understand what goes on and why things happen in company.
Impact of organizational culture on tourism industry – customers decision
In tourism industry, the organizational culture also play an important role in its daily business, the organizational culture will have impact on the customers’ decision, employees’ service, the company’s brand or reputation and the revenue. Organizational culture is the most basic determinant of a person’s wants and behavior. It comprises the basic values, perceptions, wants, and behaviors that a person learns continuously in a society. Today, most societies are in a state of flux. Culture is expressed through tangible items such as food, architecture, clothing, and art. In the minds of millions of travelers worldwide, “hotel” means “Hilton” a place where they know they will find warm hospitality, comfort, value and rewarding recognition. This brand strength, coupled with Hilton’s leading edge management systems, translates into an incredibly successful business model. Partnering with this iconic industry The culture of Hilton hotel group helps the corporate to attract more customers and increase their customers loyalty indirectly.
Impact on employee performance
Corporate culture not only have impact on customers’ decisions, but also on the employees’ satisfaction and performance, organizational culture has the potential to increase the corporate performance and employee satisfaction, the relationship between the culture and performance are that organizational culture can have a significant influence on a company’s long-term economic performance and will probably be an even more important factor in determining the success or failure of firms during the next 10 years, the impact of organizational culture is also related to the service to the guests. Organization culture is important in hotel, because it sets out a control mechanism. It influences the the relationship between the employees and how decisions are made by managers in hotel. An example is where the hotel hire a new supervisor who make decisions without studying the organizational culture first, If the changes he makes conflict with the organization culture, it will confuse the employees’ behavior. In Hilton, the hotel management do it specially, other hotel put the customers in the first place, but in Hilton, they also put their employees in the first place, not matter you are the general manager or the cleaner of the back area, they think that in the hospitality industry fulfilled guests are the direct result of a fulfilled staff. The hotel offer scholarships ,travel plans, health schemes for the employees, and trust, respect, understand their employees, create the relaxed working environment to build team spirit and good mood. Hilton elevator program, which helps the Hilton Group develop a large amount of talented, internationally mobile employees and try the best to make sure every of them to the management level during 5-8 years from starting this elevator program, also helps the corporate retain their talent employees and attract more new employees.
Impact on branding
Nowadays, the most important thing lead brands famous or not normally is their strong culture. Successful organizations often ask themselves: how do we continue grow and promote the continuation of organization culture that makes them successful? Amazon purchased Zappos.com. Why? One key reason: because of their culture and potential to innovate the customer experience on the web and “WOW” them. What are the ingredients for the kind of brand culture that will fuel your company’s sales, create customer loyalty and attract the right people to work with. When company begin to create culture, people are the company’s asset. A company existing in the world now consist lots of people – staffs, guests and suppliers. That’s why people and what they think and feel matter now more than ever before. The look of a company’s advertising, design of the web site, coolness of its mobile apps are all important, but not as important as the voice and the actions of its people. Building a strong brand culture, then, starts with the people. The culture is not ‘owned’ by the marketing team, it is owned by the entire company – from the CEO to the customer service rep and everyone in between. And companies that nurture a distinct brand culture in the workplace will become a distinctive brand in the marketplace. Focus on developing your people and relationships and everything else will follow.
Impact on leadership
Organizational culture can have impact on customer’s decision, employee performance and corporate brand, it also can influence the leadership, leaders is created by the culture; culture created by its leaders, Leaders are supposed to be in charge of organizations, but the organizational culture also have huge impact on their decision-making in the workplace. If the leaders want to change something in company, their styles of leadership should be adjusted strategically and accommodated the organizational culture. Leaders have the roles to decide the daily business and program of activities according the basic assumption of the organizations. If the subordinates’ behavior are in accordance with the program outlined by the leader the value obtained is high, and vice versa when the behavior of individuals within the organization is far from the truth as set forth in the work program by the leader, then its value is low. Leadership is about supervising and guiding the following employees towards a unified standard or target, by broadcasting as a positive impact and using motivational strategies. Leaders can be used to lead corporate through organizational, operational, structural and operational reforms.This phenomenon can be said to be similar to the growth phase of organization proposed by, especially in the second growth phase in which an organization grew on the basis of guidance (direction) of a leader that has been agreed upon by the organization. The phenomenon can be turned around, meaning leader could be created by the organizational cultural when the leader is born as a successor (succession) in an organization in which the organizational culture has taken hold and has become part of the life of the organization. An example is in the organization of government. A country or government was born from the foundations of the Constitution and the philosophy of life in which the state constitution and the philosophy of life is the basic assumption of the government culture. New leader as the next generation will continue the previous leadership with the basic assumption that the new leader as the successor will hold and preserve the culture of the organization. It can be said that new leader was being created by the organizational culture. This thinking has been proven by. In his research, he found that the differences of the dimensions of transformational leadership, especially is on the charisma and inspirational motivation. U.S workers have greater leadership on the variables that focus on the vision, expected future, optimism, and enthusiasm in achieving business results. While in Germany, workers have less charisma and initiative. But there is no difference in terms of transactional leadership. Some cultural values may also predict leadership style, but only in small portions. This explains that cultural values have little affect on the leadership.
How to learn culture?
Building organizational culture should be taken long time, thus let the employees learn the organizational culture also be difficult, Culture is broadcast to staffs in many ways, the most efficient methods are the stories, material symbols, language and material symbols. Numerous of senior Nike executive spend lots of time to be a company storytellers to promote their organizational culture. And these stories they convey are about the Nike history. The executives always tell a story about their co-founder Bill Bowerman, he poured rubber into his wife’s waffle iron to create a better running shoe, this story is about innovation sprite of Nike. When the new employees hear the story of Chinese runing star Liu Xiang’s battles to be succeed in winning champion at the 100-meter hurdle race, especially he used Nike’s equipment, this stroy tells the new hires that Nike’s commitment to helping athletes. These stories are circulated through many retail shops and companies. Normally they will tell a narrative of stories about he companies co-founders, reductions in the workplace, rags-to-riches successes, relocation of employees, reaction to reduce the mistakes. The stories explain legitimate current practices and describe history.
Rituals are repetitive sequences of activities that express and reinforce the key values of the organization – what goals are most important, which people are important, and which people are expendable. One of the better-know is Walmart’s company chant. Begun by the company’s founder, Sam Walton, as a way to motivate and unite his workforce, “Gimme a W, gimme an A, gimme an L, gimme a squiggle, give me an M, A, R, T!” has become a ritual that bonds workers and reinforces Walton’s belief in the value of his employees to the company’s success. Similar corporate chants are used by IBM, Ericsson, Novell, Deustsche Bank.
Many organizations and subunits within them use language to help members identify with culture, attest to their accpetance of it, and help preserve it. Unique terms describe equipment, officers, key individuals, suppliers, customers, or products that relate to the business. New employees may at first be overwhelmed by acronyms and jargon, that once assimilated, act as a common denominator to unite members of a given culture or subculture. If you are a new employee at Boeing, you will find yourself learning a unique vocabulary, including Boeing online data, etc.
Organizational culture has three main functions. It is the “bridge” that connect people together and makes them feel part of the organizational experience. corporate culture helps employees make sense of the workplace. Third, It is also a deeply embedded form of social control. Organizations with strong cultures normally perform better than those with weak cultures, but only when the cultural content is suit for the company’s environment. Also, the culture should not be so strong that it drives out dissenting values, which may form emerging values for the future. As a manager, you can help the company shape the culture. All managers work together and can especially do their part to consider spiritually and its role in creating a positive organizational culture and to create the organizational culture. Often you can do as much as to shape your organizational culture as the culture of the organization shapes you.
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