Organization’s Cultural Values
It is suggested that an interested outsider may discern up to 80 percent of an organization’s underlying cultural values. In comparison, an insider with several years of experience may have the capacity to discern between 90 percent and 100 percent of such organizational values. Today, more than ever before, organizations have increasingly realized the value of using their underlying cultural values to not only enhance their corporate image and reputation but also to achieve and solidify their competitive advantage in the marketplace. Strong cultural values have become indelible tools for organizations in their attempts to solidify their customer base, increase market share, and encourage the much-needed bond between customers and enterprises (Livengood & Reger, 2010).
Indeed, contemporary organizations such as Google and Hewitt-Packard are making huge investments to put their cultural values into the public limelight in a spirited attempt to get the public share in their beliefs, values, and expectations identify with the depicted cultural orientation as their own. It is indeed important to note that organizations are using various facets of their culture to mirror or project their values to as many customers as possible in the realization that such exposure elevates the image and competitive nature of the concerned organizations (Daft, 2008).
Therefore, these organizations have gone ahead to develop logos, symbols, ceremonies, dress codes, and other aspects of their corporate culture to elicit the much-needed appeal from the general public and the generation of core competencies. Consequently, it is fair to say that organizational cultural values have become instruments of achieving power, stability, and competitive advantage.
It is agreeable that pressure for change originates from macroeconomic factors; that is, external factors to the organization, while pressure for stability originates from microeconomic factors that are internal to the environment. Change literature, as demonstrated by Whelan-Berry & Somerville (2010), reveal that the impetus for change within the organization is most often triggered by external drivers, such as increased competition, shifts in regulatory frameworks, need to adopt newer and more effective technologies, and shifts in customer demands and expectations. All these factors, according to Daft (2008), arise from the external environment to affect the internal mechanisms of the firm and trigger the needed impetus for change.
In equal measure, it is understandable that change efforts are often tumultuous and ridden with a higher degree of uncertainty, especially among employees and mid-level management. Consequently, senior management and change agents must work in tandem to stabilize the situation immediately after the organization has undergone either a planned or unplanned change process. As noted by Choi (2011), the desire to achieve stabilization after undergoing a change process, therefore, comes from stakeholders and other parties who are internal to the organization, such as the senior management, supervisors, employees, and other stakeholders that are directly related to the daily operations of the firm.
Daft (2008) notes that “…managers can avoid the biases of escalating commitment, loss aversion, and groupthink by using evidence-based management and by encouraging diversity and dissent in the decision-making process” (p. 484). This observation reveals that although most management decisions should be supported by evidence in terms of facts, statistics or data, it is within the prerogative of the manager to listen to voices of resistance or dissent before making important management decisions as the viewpoints presented by these groups may be of much value and relevance to the organization.
This particular author seems to point out that managers must at all times exercise flexibility in listening to all kinds of input from all stakeholders before making important decisions, and they must never allow cognitive biases, which may or may not be based on hard facts or data, to cloud their decision making. Flynn & Wittermuth (2010) reinforce this observation by noting that decision-making processes must engage the input of all stakeholders and consider the viewpoints projected by opposing sides to develop the best probable solution within the context of the presenting problem.
Consequently, decision-making should not be just about following the laid down rules, procedures, and protocols; rather, it’s about listening to all viewpoints – rational or otherwise – and being able to synthesize issues to come up with the best possible decision based on the immediate concerns.
Organizational Power & Politics
Decisions in a rapidly changing organization are more likely to be made by employing the political model, in large part because its goals and objectives are often misaligned and inconsistent as the organization attempt to negotiate the change process, not mentioning that such an organization often relies on decentralized power and control mechanisms characterized by shifting coalitions and interest groups (Daft, 2008). In equal measure, it is a well-known fact that rapid change may occasion disorderliness within an organization, resulting in a lot of bargaining, conflict of opinion, withholding of critical information, and other vested interests (Kruyt et al., 2011).
Choi, M. (2011). Employees’ attitudes toward organizational change: A literature review. Human Resource Management, 50(4), 479-500. Web.
Daft, R. (2008). Organization Theory and Design, 10th Ed. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning
Flynn, F.J., & Wittermuth, S.S. (2010). Who’s with me? False consensus, brokerage, and ethical decision making in organizations. Academy of Management Journal, 53(5), 1074-1089. Web.
Kruyt, M., Malan, J., & Tuffield, R. (2011). Three steps to building a better top team. McKinsey Quarterly, Issue 1, 113-117. Web.
Livengood, R.S., & Reger, R.K. (2010). That’s our turf? Identity domains and competitive dynamics. Academy of Management Review, 35(1), 48-66. Web.
Whelan-Berry, K.S., & Somerville, K.A. (2010). Linking change drivers and the organizational change process: A Review and synthesis. Journal of Change Management, 10(2), 175-193. Web.