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BUS101: Organisational Culture
Transcript of BUS101: Organisational Culture
Company Mead (1951) suggests that culture
“is a body of learned behaviour, a collection of beliefs, habits and traditions, shared by a group of people and successively learned by people who enter society” When describing cultures we look for “typical” values, belief and attitudes and “norms” of behaviour. Subsidiary - German Parent Company: Media AG
Specialises in security printing (cheques, banknotes)
Financially sound Present the analysis of the Organisational Culture of the French Company in the Case. Justify your analysis. What are the implications of this for the management of the Company? Ashley Harper, Martha Jacques,
Man Isha Kaur, Pacy Edwards,
Michael Boggan, Hofstede (1984) defines culture as
“the collective programming of the mind, which distinguishes the members of one human group from another culture, in this sense, includes systems of values” Religion Education Values Legal
system National Culture Political System Language Subcultures can also exist, based on other than geographical criteria. Religion Age Social Class Political System Subcultural Differences Ethnic Origin Gender Ravasi and Schultz (2006) state that organizational culture is a set of shared mental assumptions that guide interpretation and action in organizations by defining appropriate behaviour for various situations Organisational Culture Middle-aged or older
strongly influenced by traditional work ethic of duty, obedience, no criticism of instruction Employees Cadre System Superior skill awarded with personal benefits
admission through prestigious higher education / lengthy work experience Monsieur Warner Dr. Bernard President Directeur General (PGD) - head of French company
'Top' of formal hierarchy
No experience of private sector management - relies heavily on senior management Monsieur Abel Production director - responsible for all production matters
Reports directly to M. Warner
20 years at current position
Career progression due to dedication & effective performance M. Abel's leadership style M.
retires German parent
company replaces Abel
with German Dr Bernard
to be more closely involved
with French subsidiary. 35 year old German
Engineer by training, Ph.D in business studies
Fluent french speaker (learnt independently)
Polite, but not good at conversation
"A sensible guy, excellent qualifications, but ... serious ... cold ... he will find it difficult here as a German." Typical french 'patron'
style found in most medium-sized French firms
highly task orientated
social relations paternalistic
Independent decision making relies on personal experience
Doesn't consult subordinates/colleagues
Love/hate relationship with employees
"Acted like a dictator but managed successfully" Dr. Bernard's leadership style Studied intensely and believes in participative leadership
determined to introduce delegation, team work and joint decision making
Wants employees to
"take responsibility for own actions"
Aware that leadership style differs largely from M. Abel
think employees would appreciate greater involvement and autonomy Dr Bernard
Participative leadership style ORGANISATIONAL CULTURE Mr Abel
French traditional style KANTER Segmentalist
Participative Hofstede et al
Job-orientated Open System vs Process-orientated Parochial Closed System Tight control Normative Results-orientated Professional Loose control Pragmatic Employee-orientated The French Company “French institutions are, regardless of their size, highly centralised”
“The PGD manages through a strict hierarchy according to functional lines and top-down communication”
“We are each only responsible for our own area of work" "M. Abel's leadership style reflects the typical behaviour of the French 'patron'"
"Social relations between the 'patron' and employees are conducted on a paternalistic basis"
Employees were against it because of past experiences
Jean Fleur Bernard thought things were going well
Productivity levels were maintained
Resignations (supposedly) weren’t related to the job
Surprise at letter
Didn't think he was "always serious, somehow cold" “Abel was frequently found in the production area”
“He talked to all the staff and occasionally joked with them”
“He could spot when people were not pulling their weight and would tell them off there and then”
“He was always available if people needed help” “Dr Bernard goes through the production area every day but because virtually everything is discussed in meetings personal contact is rare and his is like a stranger to most of the staff”
“He didn’t seem interested in conversation”
“None of them spoke to him except to say ‘good morning’” Bernard thought culture could easily be changed
Had no experience putting theories into practice – doesn’t always work as in a textbook
“Their reactions went against everything he had learnt”
“He is upset that they did not understand his managerial philosophy”
The employees were resistant to change
“These ideas will just not work in our company”
He was not respected and accepted like Abel was, therefore he was never going to be successful Dr. Bernard is highly qualified and has an impressive track record however a lack of acknowledgment for organisational culture has led to his ‘greatest failure.’ Culture is ever changing
Organisational culture cannot be solely to blame for Dr. Bernard’s ‘greatest failure.’
National culture, age and managerial philosophy affected Dr. Bernard’s relationship with his workforce. Dr. Bernard should have implemented his changes gradually, allowing the workforce to adjust.
ANY QUESTIONS? In order to implement change Dr. Bernard must first understand how the workers expect to be treated, to create a working relationship they feel comfortable in. Conclusion M. Maillot's letter:
Appreciates Dr. Bernard but believes he is not right for the job