I will argue that although managing the culture of an organization can be highly beneficial to the success of the organization, the attempt is still one that is very difficult and morally questionable to oversee. In the first section, I will outline the concept of corporate culture (Peters and Waterman 1982) (Parker 2000) as well as the reasons why managers view corporate culture as so beneficial to the success of the organization (Cockroach and Crowds 1990).
Secondly, I will argue the extreme difficulty of managing employee values and emotions, as it Is so demanding to find willing and implant labor that will work towards the goals of the organization. I will be drawing on examples from Gaffe (2001), Integers (1971 ) and Cockroach and Crowds (1990) to show Just how profound employees values and emotions can be and for this reason are so difficult to manage.
In the third section I will argue the efficacy and ethics of manipulating employees (Brewer’s 2006) (Wolcott 1993) as well as the questionable decisions regarding diversity (Dooley and Halverson 2004) (Astrakhan, French and Burgess 2010). Furthermore, I will conclude my essay by re-stating my argument, and summaries on key points. Corporate culture: The real key to success? Corporate Culture can be defined as the attempt to exploit the individual’s anxious striving for selfless. Wrought the expert psychological dissection and reconstitution of modern subjects, for the organization’s purposes (management lecture 3). The way pay systems are set, the attitude of management to customers through a high level of service or even the way employees are asked to dress. Are Just a few examples of what an organizations culture could be like, specified so that employees are aligned towards the goals of the organization. As Parker (2000) states ‘Every member of an organizations products and services and the unique patterns with which they carry out their responsibilities’ (Parker 2000 p. ) he recognizes that this unique lifestyles of businesses is what makes organizations have a culture, and is what distinguishes them from the culture of another. Managing the culture of an organization successfully, is about managing the employees prosperously (Peters and Waterman 1982). We see that the ‘excellent companies’ (Peters and Waterman 1982 p. 55) that have a ‘strong culture’ are those that recognize that the employees are the key to corporate success (Peters and Waterman 1982).
These companies give employees control over their destiny’s, reinforce that people are made to feel like winners and celebrate small wins, providing a sense of self achievement to these employees (Peters and Waterman 1982). It is this type of culture that allows for employees to feel optimistic and to excel in their degree, performing with confidence, and these types of organizations that perform successfully in working towards their goals and objectives as a result of managing employee values and emotions effectively.
Parker (2000) uses a quote from Business week to be on the same views as Peters and toys Geiger productivity with more employee involvement’ (Business Week 1980 p. 48 – Parker 2000 p. 10), similarly recognizing that employees are the key to success and that if employees values and emotions can be managed towards the goals of the organization it will be beneficial towards the success of the organization. As explained by Cockroach and Crowds (1990), if managers can begin to more adequately understand workplace cultures, they are more likely to oversee and control a beneficial environment.
We see that despite the fact that the slaughtering of the Chesterton plant, were doing highly routine and monotonous Jobs that involved working in a blood stricken environment, dealing with bodily fluids and animal excreta, these employees still had great self esteem (Cockroach and Crowds 1990) due to the culture of the organization where every man wanted to work harder then the next, When there was work to do the slaughtering at the Chesterton plant worked hard and fast’ (Cockroach and Crowds 1990 p. 5).
Not all people would enjoy and take pride working in this type of environment, and as such we can conclude that as different cultures react differently to diverse environments, cultures must be understood before they are managed, so that willing and compliant labor can be found. If this has occurred, it will be much easier to manage the values and emotions of employees, who will begin to enjoy working towards the goals of the organization, and hence a strong culture can be formed, ‘A strong culture will ensure that employees comply because they want to, rather than because they are told to’, (Parker 2000 p. 2). We also see that a strong culture like the Chesterton slaughterhouse, (Cockroach and Crowds 1990) provides a feeling of security and institutional purpose for the employee (Peters and Waterman 1982), encouraging employees to improve productivity and motivation levels, working towards the goals of the organization, potentially increasing the success of an organization. As such it is so important for managers to get the culture of an organization right quickly, however finding willing and compliant labor to work with the culture is more difficult than it sounds.
Why is it so difficult to manage the culture of an organization? It is in fact a very difficult process of managing the culture of an organization. A number of contributing factors have added to this difficulty, such as the radical change in technology. This change has resulted in managers wasting valuable time managing the culture of an organization, due to needing to read large volumes of information especially on e-mail, (Integers 1971), as a result of its speed and complexity.
Another example includes managers knowing little about the value of ‘positive reinforcement’, (Peters and Waterman 1982 p. 58) as by not reinforcing that workers are made to feel like winners’ (Peters and Waterman 1982), can result in negative emotions have not been managed properly. Attitudes like this will increase the difficulty for the organization to achieve its goals and objectives. Furthermore, often he style a manager may choose to direct the culture of an organization may increase the difficulty of managing the culture of an organization Fee 2001).
These styles can depend on a number of external forces and contexts and ‘influence management in their deployment of various attempts to secure the subordination of employees’ (management lecture 3). However it is clear that different styles will result in employees reacting in a way that can affect the ability to manage employees. For example if the economy is on the decline, then management may choose to redesign pay systems or even decide to watch very closely on the employees.
Decisions such as this may reduce employee emotions, and can become increasingly difficult to manage as a result. We see with the use of ‘scientific management’ Gaffe (2001), where there could be no bargaining by the worker over pay or how work is done, Fee 2001) that people became concerned over its implementation and was considered to be undemocratic, ‘labor didn’t reject science, but rather they were concerned/re]acting the scientific musings of the managerial class Fee 2001, p. 9), and as a result many employees lost the desire to work towards the goals of the organization. As is the case with every organization, employees will react differently to different situations, and it is up to the manager to use the right strategies to suit the employees, although often managers do not get this right quickly. However the real difficulty evolves when changing an already existent culture.
As stated by Cockroach and Crowds (1990) ‘case studies… Suggested that work cultures are highly distinctive, resilient and resistant to change’ (Cockroach and Crowds 1990 p. 9), they recognize that as people become complacent within the culture, it can be very difficult to change up. Evidence of attempts to change culture are constantly occurring, however there is little evidence of successful changes as a result of traditionalism’ Fee 2001 p. 47).
We see with the formal subordination of labor, where owners began to sell off their labor power to a capitalist for a wage, that it is only the beginning of a long and hard struggle between the organizational managers and the workers, where managers found it difficult to overcome laborer’s traditions Fee 2001). As explicated by Gaffe (2001) ‘human resource required by the emerging factory system could not simply be purchased, collected, and controlled like there factors of production.
Humans develop traditions, identities, bonds of solidarity, and routines that cannot be easily abandoned and replaced’ Fee 2001 p. 44) he recognizes that as a result of laborers wanting to follow the rituals of the organizations, and becoming so resistant to change, managers cannot Just control labor to become satisfied with new practices. Whilst extremely difficult to manage, another concern over the ethics of the manipulation of employees arises whilst managing employee’s values and emotions.
Although strong cultures can be seen as desirable, there is still the question of whether it is ethical for managers to be seeking to change and manipulate employee’s values and emotions. Whilst a strong culture is one that can provide a sense of security and connection to the individual, it is generally at the price of giving up their freedom (Wolcott 1993), ‘Employees willingness to subjugate themselves to corporate cultures is procured by the sense of identity, security and self determination that devotion to corporate values promises to deliver’ (Wolcott 1993 p. 40). Such manipulation also increases the possibility of abuse as well, as employees become more tolerant towards managers who can exert more power when manipulating under the clause of providing security (Peters and Waterman 1982) ‘Corporate culture programmer celebrate, exploit, distort and drain the dwindling cultural resource of caring, democratic values’ (Wolcott 1993 p. 540).
This manipulation can also result in serious repercussions towards employees who start to live their external, daily lives under the influence of the organization, losing their self identity due to so deeply believing in the culture that they act this way, the ability to establish a life and a self independent of the corporation’s influence is minimized’ (Sundae 1992: 225) (from Management lecture 3). Whether this controlling is right can be seen as a major question towards the attempt to manage employees, just so that the culture can function properly in the organization.
However, most people would see this approach as wrong, and clearly this can affect the attempt to manage employee’s values and emotions. This manipulation may also be questionable in terms of a business perspective as it can affect an individual’s ability to think outside the box. As Brews (2006) argues, strong cultures ‘may encourage complacency, inflexibility and corruption (Brews 2006 p. 8) preventing individuals to prosper and their ability to overcome small problems, and such can be seen as a questionable approach to manipulate when managing the culture of the organization.
However, this is not the only aspect that is questionable for managers. The issue of diversity and discrimination in an organization also has its questions in attempting to manage employees, as even today a number of societal groups have suffered from unfair treatment in the workplace. As Deployed and Halverson (2004) shows with the survey that 37% of the people that were surveyed had been germinated in the workplace, he recognizes that the issue is still one that is occurring in today’s society, despite many managers not recognizing this.
Further, when selecting an employee, it would not be fair to choose one employee over another disadvantaged groups such as the Indigenous, with the view that these types of ‘disadvantaged groups bring less human capital to the work situation in the from of skills, education and experience’ (Deployed and Halverson 2004 p. 135). It is these types of views that are not ethical, and illegal (but easy to get away with), and can be severely questioned in managing employees.
Situations such as this could lead to employees becoming concerned over the ethics of the organization, potentially increasing the difficulty to manage their values and emotions in aligning them with that for organizations to become more ethically viewed they need to develop programs such as ‘skills shortages’ to prevent disadvantaged groups from being left out, however most organizations do not provide this. Conclusion In this essay, I have argued that that the attempt to manage employee’s views and values is both practically difficult and morally questionable, although beneficial when he culture can be seen as ‘strong.
In order to portray this, I put this argument into three sections. In section one I outlined the concept of corporate culture and explained some of the benefits of having a strong culture. In section two I argued that the Job of managing the culture of an organization is an extremely difficult position to take, especially as it is very challenging to find willing and compliant labor to work and fit in with the culture of the organization. In the last section I then argued whether it was right for managers to be seeking to change employees views and aloes as well questioned the issue of diversity in the workplace.
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