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Uniqlo Background

Discuss about the Culture and Organization for Uniqlo Company Ltd.
 

Uniqlo Company Ltd. is a very well known casual wear manufacturer and retailer in Japan. It is a subsidiary of Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. which is completely owned since the year 2005.  It started from being a single store and now has went up to becoming the international brand and is famous for designing the clothes for all kinds of consumers (Uniqlo, 2018). This organization has a wider reach globally. Besides operating in Japan, this organization also operates globally in 14 countries. Additionally, it is also located in China, Indonesia, South Korea, Russia, Bangladesh, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany and many other places. It was established in 1949 which is very early as compared to other companies; hence it has a huge area of the share of the market (Uniqlo, About Uniqlo, 2018). This is just because of the elegance clothing style and the preference of the customers. It has more than 50% of the market share. The environment of this organization displays the success acquired by it in the sustaining of the long term business. It has flexible environment in all the workplace stations. Whenever any employee has any idea to share, it is always appreciated in making the unique clothing designs for their customers. Their values are very simple like simplicity in making clothes; quality and longevity are completely bonded with each other in the environment for the designing of the elegant clothing (Uniqlo, Our Story, 2018).

The culture of the organization is the kind of system which involved shared culture, beliefs and assumptions. All these define the behavior of the employees of the organization. The practices of the organization are the types of behaviors and the actions which are performed by the employees of the firm. This practice is also highly reliable on the culture of the organization. This report will study about the culture of Uniqlo. The analysis of the culture will emphasize upon the specific organizational practices namely innovation. Uniqlo always incorporate the innovative and different designs for its clothing line (Uniqlo, Uniqlo Business Strategy, 2018). The core of the simplicity of the organization is the creativity of this firm. Theoretical framework of Edgar Schein is discussed in the context of this firm to analyze of the culture of the firm furthermore. 

As per O’Reilly (2014), this model of organization combines the ideologies and principles with the policies of the organization for defining the corporate culture. This model always highlights this fact that the culture of the organization defines the ways through which the members of the organization communicate with each other. Additionally, it also can decide the way in which the members of the organization communicate with each other. Also, Glisson in the year 2015 stated that this model depends upon the concept that any firm cannot adopt a specific culture in a few days. It always takes time and it also depends on the needs of the organizational changes. The core of the culture of Uniqlo majorly depends on the innovation and the creativity that it works on and also on the needs of the customers. Hence, to analyze the culture of Uniqlo on the basis of Edgar Schein model is apt (Quick & Gavin, 2000).

Culture of Uniqlo

The analysis can also be done with the help of the Deal and Kennedy’s cultural model. In this model, the focus will always be on two factors. One of them is the degree of the risk linked with the activities of the company. The second factor is the speed with which the firms learn about the actions and the strategies of the firm which are effective. This model divides the culture in 3 types. Work hard and play, tough guy, process and bet-your-company (Cui & Junchen, 2012).

In the work hard and play culture, the staff always maintain a level of energy for their work and risks they take for the firm’s success. Additionally, feedback is also very important in this type of model and culture (Wallace, Hunt, & Richards, 1999). This type of cultural highlights the efforts of the team and never considers the effort of the individual effort. In Tough Guy or macho culture, the staff members are interested in enjoying the risks more than safe work or decisions and the feedback is also received faster from a particular part of the organization. In bet your culture, the staff always takes risks and work but also they will have to wait for the feedback for a very longer amount of time (Sun, 2008). When feedback takes a long time, it might discourage the employees who are giving their sweat to the firm. This lacking of the feedback is not good for the company and for the performance of the staff members. Additionally, the model of the culture never focuses on the individual development process and the motivation of the employees via encouraging them. Hence, this theoretical framework is not suitable for the analysis that is to be done for Uniqlo.

While on the other hand, Schein model always focus on the way in which the organization deals with the external environment and also the way it maintains the internal assimilation. Also, this framework focuses on making the new comers for their own development and the success of the firm as well. According to Lukas in the year 2013, this model displays the facts of the apt understanding of the dynamics of the organizational growth (Kong, 2003). Hence, this framework could be very effective for the analysis of the culture of this firm. This framework will also be helpful in focusing on the leadership and shared values for the solution providing to the customers. Hence, this cultural model could easily be considered for the analysis of the organizational culture of Uniqlo Company. 

Cultural Analysis Using Edgar Schein's Framework

The success of the organization always majorly depends upon the culture of the organization in which it surrounds with the employees and the team of management. All the employees of any firm should always respect the firm and the culture that the organization follows. Also, the culture of the firm should be created in the way that it is able to extract the best out of every employee and they are also able to enjoy it. The analysis of the culture can be done via many cultural models. Edgar Schein model is a cultural model that defines the exact culture of the firm in a very effective way (Schein, 2004). Hence, as per this model, the culture of the organization is not built in a day and instead it always evolves with time and according to the changes of the needs of the customers. This model also displays the experience which is gained by the employees by working in the past in the same company and by practicing the culture everyday so that the organization can grow gradually. There are three levels of the culture of the organizational model. They are:

The level of artifacts is the very first level of this cultural model. In this type of the model, the characteristics of the model is heard easily and also felt by all the individuals. This involves the touchable, verbally identifiable and the very obvious element in the firm. It also involves the behavior of all the employees which is visible and also comprises of the cultural level in the firm in a deeper way. The furniture of the office, the dress code like formals and other facilities and also the behavior of the employees comes under the artifacts level. Additionally, the mission and the vision of any firm also are under the artifact level. Also, artifact level goes to the long way for defining the culture of the workplace of the firm. This is the level which is also defined as per the way in which the employees of the firm gives respect to their managers or the supervisors. Via this level, the encouragement level of the staff can also be assessed in getting the huge firm success. Moreover, this level also includes the architecture, logo, structures, processes and the clothing which defines the corporate culture. It is also recognizable to the internal employees but also to the external parties (Skar, 2013).

Conclusion

This is the next level of the Artifacts level in the Edgar Schein framework. This level consists of the culture of the firm via the values that are provided to the employees working in the firm. According to Brettel in 2015, the values of the staff members those who work with the firm always play a significant role in deciding the corporate culture of the firm. The way the employees behave and the attitude they possess for the firm are of very much importance in the framing of the firm’s culture. At the same time, Weare in 2014 stated that this level is also inked with the firm’s standard, rules of conduct and the values via which the firm communicates with customers (Cummings, Bridgman, & Brown, 2016). Exposed value states that the firm can face issues when the ideas at managerial level are not aligned with the fundamental assumptions of the firm. According to this level, the staff displays the genuine and real values for the success of the firm. The degree to which the staff members share their information and the knowledge with each other is also defined in this level. 

The third and the last level of this model are assumed values of the staff members which is responsible for creating the difference in the culture of the firm. In this level, the highlights on the particular facts and beliefs that remain hidden but at the same time they do have the major influence on the shaping up of the culture of the organization (Fleury, 2009). According to Bailey and Bruner in 2015, they stated that this level always considers the internal aspects of the nature that human have and which is majorly valuable for the influence of the culture of the firm. Also, on the other hand, Jippes in 2015 stated that the basic assumptions usually are not conscious in nature but they are imbibed in the culture of the firm automatically.  Additionally, assumed values are hugely combined in the culture and it is tough to analyze them from outside (Bailey, Benson, & Bruner, 2017).

Edgar Schein's Theoretical Framework

Edgar Schein's Theoretical Framework

Source: (Aier, 2014).

Now it is time to analyze the culture of Uniqlo Ltd. by the help of the Edgar Schein’s framework. It is as follows.

This level of the organization culture as discussed before, deals with the characteristics of the firm which is felt and touched by the employees of the firm and can easily be viewed also. The employees of Uniqlo are very dedicated towards their work and they perform very nicely for contributing to the firm so that it can keep on growing (Wong, 2012). But there will always be some of the employees who will not perform better as they are fairly new to the firm. Uniqlo has the technologies which are innovative and adds up a different and one of a kind design to the fabrics. This way the firm keeps on practicing the innovative and the efficient culture in order to gain the competitive advantage in the share market. At the same time, Uniqlo follows the divisional firm structure where the firm is divided into different self contained divisions. These divisions are done as per the specialization that the employees work in. When the people work in the similar divisions according to the specializations, they work collaboratively with the other divisions to make the firm achieve its goals. The authority of the firm is hugely dependent on the staff and the employees can take their own decisions at work. Hence, the staff of Uniqlo has good morale in terms of performing their jobs (Büschgens, Bausch, & Balkin).

In 2016, Kontoghiorghes stated that the staff members of the firm are very polite in their behavior and give a lot of respect to their supervisors or managers. They deliver their work on time which is given to them by their supervisors and they do their work according to the deadlines and deliver work on time. Hence, the firm is very consistent when it comes to delivering the products created by Uniqlo to the users on the right time or before time. Employees of Uniqlo also wear formal attire when they come to work. The dress that they wear is formal and it shapes up the perception of the employees of Uniqlo. Additionally, with this type of attire, the firm is able to maintain the professional image in the market (Choo, 2013).

Additionally, the mission of the firm is to submit the quality and the simple clothing designs to their customers. This type of clothes is very suitable to all types of customers and at the same time they are very fashionable and anyone can wear them at any point of time. This way the firm’s mission is driven towards achieving the goals.  The policies of Uniqlo always manage to stay updated with the changing of the retail business and according to the environment of the business that is done today. The complete work is always kept synchronized at the global level which includes the business partners, customers and the corporate functions (Rushton, 2014). The firm also provides every kind of facility so that the motivation of the employees is maintained in the way as it is in order to get the best out of them in terms of work. Bonus is also given to the employees in the form of rewards. Hence, the firm can simply include and implement the new processes for the new innovations. 

Employees at Uniqlo are highly dedicated towards their work and in their performance. Hence they are in a better way aligned with the success of the firm. At the same time, Uniqlo also maintains the high standards and also the employees maintain their standard according to the job they do. The firm also has the feature of penalizing for any deviation happening in the standards of work. Hence, the employees work genuinely and retain the standards of the workplace stations (Srivastava & Banaji, 2011).

The managers at the firm are very helpful and supportive of their employees whenever they need any help in completing any of their tasks. Additionally, to bring the innovation the business in such a competitive environment is not at all easy. It is clear that the employees face strong challenge in the design of the innovative designs. Still all the staff members get enough support from their managers. In order to create the complicated design in which the staff members also need help and support, the managers are always there to help them in order to create innovative designs.  Uniqlo employees have ample amount of the value contribution in order to grow the business further (Wei, Lee, & Samiee, 2014).

In terms of the customer’s satisfaction, Uniqlo always provides the unique type of clothing designs for their customers and also they provide the clothes on a very reasonable level.

This type of values cannot be counted or measured in the organization but they are of great influence to the firm. Uniqlo always gives priority to all the male and female workers of the firm. All the female employees get the privilege top work in comfort in their workstations. The female employees also can very well add up to new ideas and design clothes according to their ideas. They are given this sort of freedom (Pakdil & Leonard, 2016).

A few of the new joiners face issues in the alignment of their efforts with the process of the firm. In addition to that, the need of the innovation skills are increasing day after day and hence, the employees should be provided the training for it so that the employees can take the designs to the next level (Alghareeb & Wadi).

Often changes in the designs usually create issues with the employees to complete their tasks effectively and efficiently. In such situations, the leaders of the company need to be very supportive of the employees (Sree & Gunaseelan, 2016).

The motivation for all the employees is necessary in order to take good work out of them such as complex designs.  Hence, they should be given very high bonuses and rewards for t hem to keep on working in such an environment (Njanja, Maina, Kibet, & Njagi, 2013).

Conclusion 

It can be concluded that Uniqlo is clearly a very popular brand in clothing since a very long time.  It is very well known for its dissimilar designs of clothes. They maintain the quality, longevity and the simplicity in making their clothes. The firm also is gaining the competitive advantage in the market because of their unique designs. The culture of the organization is analyzed with the help of the Edgar Schein theoretical framework. The justification of suing this model is given. One more model of culture by Deal and Kennedy could be used but the justification of not using it for Uniqlo is also discussed in this report. Deal and Kennedy model would not be able to analyze the development of the employees. While at the same time, Schein model could display the details of the culture and also suggest the betterment for the staff and the firm. The Schein framework discusses about its three factors. That is Artifacts, Exposed values and assumed values. All these values are discussed independently to explain about them and then also they are discussed in terms of Uniqlo culture. At last, the recommendations for the betterment of the employees are also advised.  

References 

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