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Operations Management: Organisational Culture And Structures

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Discuss about the Operations Management for Organisational Culture and Structures.



Organizational culture refers to a set of shared assumptions values and beliefs common to an organization (Armenakis, Brown, & Mehta 2011, p. 305). It determines the way people behave towards each other in an organization. It concerns how people relate more or less ethically to each other. It determines how employees in the organization dress, act as well as the manner of performance of their jobs. An organization is constituted by different people from a wide variety of backgrounds. As a product of this an organization is likely to have some subcultures. Individuals tend to orient and see themselves as belonging to a certain group. These internal groupings lead to the creation of an organizational culture, of course, most of the time, not without elements of unity and fragmentation as well. The members of the organization identify themselves by a set of values and ideas which differentiate them from other groups and organizations. This paper explores the degree to which such organizational culture determines the organizational structure and its success.

Strong organizational cultures foster a good working relationship with the employees at the workplace. If well executed by the management, the organizational culture guides the workers to relate ethically and morally in ways that are facilitative to the company’s success. According to Samson and Richard (2010), the golden rule of “do to others what you would have them do to you” is a defining culture for TMT. This value of belief is also reflected in the organization's engagement with other stakeholders such as competitors, customers, suppliers and the society as well. The longstanding success of TMT over time could be attributed to this rule which is a culture derived from Espoused Beliefs Values This guides worker relationships whether in board room meetings where major decisions are made or in the day to day operations in the workplace.


Organizational culture is pivotal to the excellence of the organization. It has a bearing on the organizational structure. Organizational researchers are beginning to understand that one of the major functions of leaders in business is to develop and manage organizational cultures. Although organizational cultures vary regarding scope and content, Samson and Richard (2010) postulated five variables of organizational culture.

These are important determinants of the organizational structure and ultimately its performance. Communication- how receptive does one find their colleagues to be. How do they react to his/her ideas and suggestions? Motivation- is the individual motivated to come to work. Do the employees look forward to coming to work every day? What motivates the workforce? Decision-making- what is the extent of knowledge of the decision makers about the goings-on in the lower levels of the organization? Does decision making seek to understand workers plight? Control- in the various departments, what is the level of influence of the hierarchical management levels in the operations of the department? Does the workforce feel left out by the management in the organization's activities? Co-ordination-do persons working in the various departments sit down to plan activities together? Are their operations coordinated? These are variables that have a direct impact on firstly the productivity of the employees and overall on the performance of the department involved or the entire organization according to Peterson (2014, p. 8).


The five variables of organizational culture explained above would have a definite impact on among other things, the job satisfaction of employees. Some amount of research has been directed at this area of job satisfaction as an object of organizational culture. Kessler & Limor (2014) undertook a survey to look into the high voluntary turnover by IT managers and leading IT experts in the hi-Tech companies of Israel from the point of view of the IT employees themselves. They found that the effect of job satisfaction in influencing employee’s intention for voluntary turnover is a leading cause. Other organizational structure related factors that are pushing employees towards voluntary turnover are organizational culture, job-related, leadership and internal marketing related and Human Resource Management (HRM) Related. The findings of Kessler and Limor (2014) demonstrate a high correlation between lack of job satisfaction and voluntary turnover levels. Emotional variables associated with these include commitment, loyalty, and motivation. This calls for major organizational restructuring (among hi-tech firms in Israel) regarding organizational culture if this trend is to be reversed.

Let us take a deeper look at organizational culture and public service sector. Just like profit-making organizations, public sector, which is a non-profit making entity but rather providers of public utilities also, need sound organizational cultures if they are to deliver quality services. Today, in this global era, running organizations is all the more complex. There are constantly emergencies of citizen’s needs that have not been there in the past as well as newly emerging conditions. If public administrations are to successfully respond to these, Armenakis, Brown, and Mehta (2011) posits that they must employ methods, procedures, and practices that are more efficient. That calls for better organizational culture. For a long time in the public sector, attitudes, behavior, and practices containing the elements of innovation and entrepreneurship are encountered as strategies that advocate for change Peterson (2014). These are areas that administrators in the public sector need to look at to improve the performance of the public sector in service delivery. There is a need for public sectors to evolve into a form that is more flexible, effective and efficient. Samson and Richard (2010) also submit that through appropriate management of resources, new archetypes of behavior and entrepreneurial orientation, public service providers can provide better and high-quality services hence enhancing the propensity of the community.

It is vital that flexibility and autonomy in the undertakings of-of initiatives become part and parcel of the public service sector. It is essential that they develop an organizational structure and nurture entrepreneurial culture too. This will boost them in finding innovative remedies to situations focusing on human resource. Such culture according to Karyotakis et al. (2016) should rise above the legalism, formalism, inertia and overspending which is characteristic of many public entities. This is a sure way to put in place structure that will minimize red-tape, yield efficient and effective service delivery for citizens that meets the satisfaction of both the employees and the citizens. Armenakis, Brown, and Mehta (2011) also propose a cultural change process whereby objectivity, justice, and maturity are the points to social and political level. Quality, accountability, transparency, value, rules extroversion and orientation to results should be what characterize it. Every employee should then exhibit this change. Employees constitute public administration and as such should be active participants in the organizational culture change process. They should embody it in their daily practices, exude it in their attitude and exhibit it in their behavior.


The organizational culture and the characteristics of successful film crews provide an example of how organizational culture impacts on the performance of the organization. According to Rashidi, Nadeem, and Zakim (2017), this segment of the entertainment sector is characterized by some of the best models of organizational culture. This explains why the sector is thriving. The survey found that the workplace values of the said group are facilitative in the success of individuals and teams in this business. If organizational culture scholars were to borrow a leaf from the organizational profile exhibited by the film production crew, many organizations would perform better.

Every organization is expected to impact the community. It is only possible to achieve if the organization will strike the delicate balance between the interests of its stakeholders. This means that shareholders, consumers, owners, employees and the government interests must be taken care of. According to Schein (2004), one remarkable difference between organizations that have an impact on society and those whose impact is minimal is organizational culture. It is what draws the line between the two.  Organizational cultures are a product of practices and traditions created over time. They are enacted by the organization's leaders and from time to time are changed as deemed appropriate. Schein (2004) posits that organizational cultures are manifested at three levels. One way is through a set of structures and processes that are visible, rituals, dress and ceremonies which he calls “cultural artifacts.”  Alternatively a set of formally developed and agreed upon policies, strategies or goals also exist these are called “espoused culture.” Also, underlying assumptions such as thoughts, expectations, and theories can also be part of an organization's culture.

Organizational structure determines the organizational structure in some ways. Research has demonstrated that organizational culture has an impact on the company’s profitability. According to Denison (2010) organizations that have a culture of participation are more profitable than those that are less participative. The impact of organizational culture seems to be the similar across profit making and non-profit making organizations. Peterson (2014) sought to understand the value framework and its bearing on the performance of hospital organizations. Gregory and his colleagues found that patient satisfaction levels were higher in hospital organizations that had balanced organizational cultures than those that did not. Rashidi, Nadeem, and Zakim (2017) identified these balanced organizational cultures as those that are centered on the group, developmental, rational and hierarchical structures.


Organizational culture is one of the major historical foundations of management. According to Samson, Danny Daft and Richard L.’ The Environment and Corporate Culture’ Fundamentals of Management 5th Asia Pacific Edition Chapter 2, strong organizational culture provides a basis for an organizational structure to thrive on. Organizational transformation must, therefore, be anchored and centered on organizational culture change. According to Peterson (2014) strong organizational cultures should incorporate the following areas ranging from moral, economic, to legal and philanthropic. Rashidi, Nadeem, and Zakim (2017) posit that, for organizations to assess, develop and transform an organizational culture, organizational decision-makers should be aware of and operationalize Schein’s cultural elements’ framework. This framework categorizes organizational culture as either ethical or unethical. An organization that observes a culture that is ethical is guided in its operations to avoid unethical business practices. This study, for instance, found that TMT was involved in the distribution of a potentially carcinogenic substance in their tobacco without rightfully declaring the potential risks to the consumers. This is a culture that is unethical and could have negative impacts on the organization's success if not reversed.

In implementing a new business strategy, an organization may need to accompany this with other transformations like a change of mission statement or organizational structure changes. For a better organizational structure to able achieved the change recipients in the organizations should be allowed to participate in the change process (Armenakis et al. 2010 p. 312). Herein is the readiness model that stipulates the tactic that allows change recipients to participate in the organizational transformation. They include; enactive mastery, vicarious learning and participative problem-solving decision-making (Armenakis, Brown, & Mehta 2011, p. 305). In determining the extent to which the recipients of the change have internalized and accepted the values and behaviors that come along with the cultural transformation, an assessment of the institutionalization model is carried out. According to Armenakis et al., (2016), this consists of an assessment of the change recipients’ reaction to the transformation regarding cognitive and affective aspects and alterations in the recipients’ beliefs. Also, another aspect that could be included is the organizational performance criterion.


The management of global organizations today gets all the more complex day after day. This scenario is similar in both the public and private sectors. The consumer population today is characterized by ever evolving changes and is largely knowledge based. In the face of all these only an organization with strong organizational culture can put in place the right structures to navigate through this. An organization that has a strong culture that takes care of the worker's interests will retain its valuable employees for longer. This is beneficial to the firm as high rates of voluntary turnover are costly. At the same time, an organizational culture that works for the employees must also foster good working relations with other stakeholders, notably the consumers, suppliers, competitors, shareholders/owners, the society and the government. At the end of the day, the success of the organization is measured by its impact on the society. Business leaders must work towards to evolve to stronger organizational cultures to enhance organizational performance and impact positively on the society. 


List of Reference

Armenakis, A, Brown, S, & Mehta, A 2011, 'Organizational Culture: Assessment and Transformation', Journal Of Change Management, 11, 3, pp. 305-328, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 10 May 2017.

Kessler, L & Ladelsky, L 2014, 'The Effect Of Job Satisfaction On It Employees Turnover Intention In Israe l', Annals Of The University Of Oradea, Economic Science Series, 23, 1, pp. 1028-1038, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 10 May 2017

Konstantinos M. Karyotakis, Vassilis S. Moustakis, L (2016), ‘Organizational Factors, Organizational Culture, Job Satisfaction and Entrepreneurial Orientation in Public Administration’, Journal of Applied Economics.13 (1), pp. 47-59, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 10 May 2017.

Peterson, L.C 2014, ‘That’s a Wrap!” The Organizational Culture and Characteristics of Successful Film Crews. Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict., 18 (1), pp. 89-114. 26

Rashidi, Z.S, Nadeem, A, & Zakim, S 2017,’Profiling Organizational Culture of Different Sectors in Pakistan’ IBA Business Review, 10 (1), pp.31-46, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 10 May 2017.

Samson, D & Richard L. 2010’ The Environment and Corporate Culture’ Fundamentals of Management 5th Asia Pacific Edition Chapter 2


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