Describe the impact of managerial behaviours on corporate culture Essay Example

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    Management
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    Masters
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9MANAGEMENT

Corporate Behavior and Culture

Background to Organizational Culture

Organizational culture is an idea describing the psychology, experiences, attitudes, values (cultural and personal values), and organization beliefs. Culture of an organizational has definitions derived on «normative glue» terms seen to organization together. Culture hence entails the set of characteristics describing an organization hence differentiating from others (Schein, 2004). Other comprehensive versions, take culture to be behaviors and values taught to new members and believed to lead to success.

Group or corporate culture change and evolve through time resulting from the dynamics of various contributing factors (Cummings & Worley, 2005). On the contrary, the components and influencing factors of organizational culture are intertwined and complex. Therefore, the market and the management may be too slow in implementing the evolutionary changes. The issue crops up in whether changes in group or organization can be managed.

Organizational culture according to some researchers questions its manageability owing to existence of countercultures or subcultures. They offer competing definitions to the nature of circumstances within organizational scope. Ashforth and Mael (2006) notes that no one authentically tends to dispute cultures as being incapable of new directions and absolutely inert. However, the degree of ease with which change can be managed and introduced is shrouded in controversy. The debate lingers on whether the famous texts simply relate to strategic structures and directions or whether they essentially relate to culture (Schein, 2004; Cummings & Worley, 2005).

Many of the changes relate to improved entrepreneurship are championed and discussed as successful culture changes. The adoption of a financial discipline, market orientation or a customer, or teamwork is important. Superficial indicators of cultures as described. Hatch and Majken (2001) argue that such orientations would have been subsumed under umbrella terms like strategy or structure. Changes in norms that shape behavior and the underlying values are not likely to change. Companies witness behavioral compliance hence such orientations may be short-lived due to implied benefits of the adoption (Bennett, 2003). Culture cannot change unless they are confronted and brought to the surface since it operates as a set of implicit assumptions. Change comes by re-examining the assumptions employees hold and getting them to the surface (Henderson & Cote, 2003). Manipulating and identifying the culture-influencing factors is the role of management. This will motivate and potentially change employees to re-examine own internal values and assumptions. Managers form the company culture hence their assumptions and own values needs review. Overall, managerial activities instead of being dictators of change act as catalysts.

Corporate Identity

The corporate identity concept is akin talking about our own identities. These are those specifics differentiating us from individuals. It is our character and personality sustaining own individuality expressed through behavior, speech, and dress. Similarly, a business differentiates through the image it portrays to the entire world by way of collateral such as business cards, brochures and letterheads. Company’s brand is physical expressed by extending the culture through behavior and communication style (Cummings & Worley, 2005).

The Corporate Identity concept draws the attention of a company in the manner it perceives oneself. Identity can be misleading by sticking to rigid limits between management, shareholders, suppliers and employees. With corporate identity, a company presents itself as an ideal entity. However, this is consciously dealt with through assessment of own behavior. Companies perceive better by potentials and limits which are the basics of corporate culture.

The identity discussion within the literature in an organizational develops around the organizational identity (Bennett, 2003; Henderson & Cote, 2003). Literature on marketing has focused more on corporate identity. Organizational identity broadly refers to what perception of members, feelings and thoughts about the organizations. This theme is seen as a commonly-shared, collective understanding of the organization’s distinct characteristics and values.

Organizational identity differs from corporate identity in the magnitude at which it is conceptualized by its focus on the visual and as a function of leadership. Both concepts draw from the idea organizational definition and are connected to the vision and strategy company (Cummings & Worley, 2005). There is emphasis on the explicit top management role in formulating corporate identity. The approaches in marketing specify fully ways where management can express idea to outside audiences.

Influence of Corporate Culture on Corporate Identity

The need to communicate company identity and values is one of the major communicative challenges facing the current corporation. In promoting corporate brand and distinguishing itself from competitors, branding becomes increasingly important since Corporates are highly competitive and international business context is growing. Hampden-Turner (1994) agrees that organization culture shapes its corporate image with relation to external and internal customers and significantly contributes to the brand promise and brand image of the organization. Organizational culture is defined by basic assumptions, values and beliefs that are shared by employees and guided by leaders (Cummings & Worley, 2005).

Primarily viewed as an internal phenomenon, organizational culture has an impact on staff attitudes and behavior which ultimately impacts on organizational performance (Stuart & Muzzelec, 2004). In the recent past, organizational culture has been conceptualized as an issue that shape image of a company in the marketplace. Different segments of the public hold corporate image as the overall perception of the company.

The different segments and overall perception establishes that corporate image is exceeds the sum of the individual attribute impressions. It encompasses all of the company roles and functions. Black (2003) reiterate that corporate image comprise inferences and information about the firm as a seller as an employer, as a corporate citizen, and as an investment. Depending on the nature of the interaction, a company will have various images with the diverse groups. People have a tendency of «humanizing» companies hence corporate image will also include features largely attributed to humans such as ruthless, caring and friendly.

Stakeholder groups are of great concern to public segments among the corporations. Every stakeholder group comes with some needs, expectations, and characteristics that hold a different company image (Black, 2003).

Transparency in the business world and increasing demand in society for authenticity requires corporate unity and identifiable voice. Christensen and Morsing (2008) notes that addressing groups potentially different or conflicting agendas is the gift of multiple stakeholders. Shelley (2005) noted that stakeholders relationship with the organization constitute an outstanding feature of organizational identity. Relations with internal and external stakeholders are pure and hybrid identity orientation types seen as tightly coupled but both are relatively common. The identity orientation differs broadly among business firms. A clear internal awareness and a strong corporate identity depend on a balanced and successful interplay between corporate vision, corporate culture, and corporate image (Balmer, 2001; Shelley, 2005).

The issue of identity is reflected at different levels in brand related narratives. The relationships between identity and culture form circular processes with mutual interdependence. Dynamic processes of organizational culture engender a self-reflexive organizational identity. Organizational images are constructed in a culturally entrenched organizational identity acting as the symbolic material forming the basis of communication. Alvesson (2002) unravels that organizational identities are outwardly projected and re-absorbed into a cultural system of meaning by being symbolically used to infer identity and regarded as cultural artefacts. These are reflected in deeds and the manner in which others interpret our identities and actions. For example, the press can have negative reading of organizational culture hence affecting the organization’s identity given that news reports are perceived as real reflections of organizational intent or activity (Stuart & Muzzelec, 2004).

The message in the news is the symbol to be rejected or interpreted. If they are interpreted, it can affect how the organization defines itself. This way, organizational identity is susceptible to the influence of reputations and opinions molded beyond the direct sphere of influence of the organization. For example, allegations made in the business press that affected the identity of Body Shop as a green retailer was became obvious. In defense of Body Shop, Anita Roddick argued that it was attempt to salvage the organizational internal culture by avoiding negative external identities.

A number of external influences affect organizational identity. To start with, various constituencies of the external environment communicate organizational identity as emanating from organizational culture. Balmer (2001) notes that this is partly a response to communications that is identity-based. The means and forms of such communication can differ depending on unplanned appearances by top public media management. A conscious external corporate communication strategy involves corporate advertising, public relations and design management (Cummings & Worley, 2005). However, in the image-formation processes, interaction and direct experience with the organization are also strong forces of external constituencies.

Organizational culture contextualizes direct contacts between outsiders and insiders given that everyday organizational behavior is assumed to be shaped by local interpretation and sense-making. Alessandrini (2001) contends that organizational members interrelate with ‘outsiders’ to influence both organizational identity and culture beyond that carried by other corporate spokespersons and top management.

Organizational culture externally produces meaning-making of the organization and influence identity formation from internal processes. Organizational members are external groups’ members such as its customers, media watchers, and environmentalists. It is likely that culture and identity are compared and communicated within the organizational internal symbolic context. This leads to potential for cynicism and synergy. Bennett (2003) points out that the way organizational members are perceived by competitors and customers influences members’ organizational identity. They mirror themselves in the complaints and comments about the firm open to them by their external contacts. Organizational identity is encountered by members as part of their lives both outside and inside the organization (Stuart & Muzzelec, 2004).

This is the feedback from culture to identity. Top management leadership and vision is opened to external influence through its attempt to control organizational identity. The statements, whenever this influence occurs have actions and decisions of top management directed to internal audiences. These external concerns have consequent effects on organizational identity (Balmer, 2001).

Summary and Conclusions

The relationships between identity and culture form circular processes with mutual interdependence. Corporate culture to a higher degree has been explored lately. Culture cannot change unless they are confronted and brought to the surface since it operates as a set of implicit assumptions. Changes in norms that shape behavior and the underlying values are not likely to change. Manipulating and identifying the culture-influencing factors is the role of management. Companies witness behavioral compliance hence such orientations may be short-lived due to implied benefits of the adoption (Schein, 2004). Change comes by re-examining the assumptions employees hold and getting them to the surface. The various constituencies point to the external environment as essential in communicating organizational identity as emanating from organizational culture. This is partly a response to communications that are identity-based. The means and forms of such communication can differ depending on unplanned appearances by top public media management (Balmer, 2001).

References

Alessandrini, S. W. (2001). Modeling corporate identity: A concept explication and theoretical explanation.Corporate Communications, 6(4): 173-183.

Alvesson, M. (2002). Understanding Organizational Culture, Sage, London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi.

Ashforth, B. & Mael, F. (2006), Social identity theory and the organization, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 14, pp. 20-39.

Balmer, J.M.T. (2001). Corporate identity, corporate branding and corporate marketing-Seeing through the fog. European Journal of Marketing, 35(3/4): 248-270.

Bennett, N. (2003). Structure, culture and power in Organizations, in: Effective Educational Leadership. Ed.: Bennett N., Crawford, M. & Cartwright M. London: Paul Chapman Publishing.

Black, R.J. (2003). Organizational Culture: Creating the Influence Needed for Strategic Success, London UK

Christensen, L. Th. & Morsing, M. (2008). Bagom corporate communication. Frederiksberg. Samfundslitteratur.

Cummings, T.G. & Worley, C.G. (2005). Organization Development and Change, 8th Ed., Thomson South-Western, USA

Hatch, M. J. & Majken, S. (2001). Relations between organizational culture, identity and image. European Journal of Marketing, 31:356-365.

Hampden-Turner, C. (1994). Corporate culture. How to generate organizational strength and lasting commercial advantage. London: Piatkus.

Henderson, P. W., & Cote, J. A. (2003). Building strong brands in Asia: Selecting the visual components of image to maximize brand strength. International Journal of Marketing Research, 20: 297-313.

Schein, E. H. (2004). Organizational culture and leadership, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.

Shelley L. B. (2005). Organizational Identity Orientation: Forging a Link between Organizational Identity and Organizations’ Relations with Stakeholders, Administrative Science Quarterly Volume: 50, Issue: 4, Pages: 576-609.

Stuart, H. & Muzzelec, L. (2004). Corporate makeovers: can hyena be rebranded? Journal of Brand Management, 11(6): 472-483.