My organization is in the retail industry. Presently, I am employed as a sales staff at one of the most popular high-end children’s department store. This store is known for its low cost name brand children’s apparel and school uniform. My organization is a franchise and has various locations through out the borough of New York that is in Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens. The owners are three brothers so it is family operated. My organization has three department floors. The babies department is on the 1st floor, girls department is on the 2nd floor and the boys department is on the 3rd floor. I am working on the third floor (Boys department). The functions of my organization consists of the owner/C.E.O, Store operation; manager, cashier, sales staff, receiving, loss and prevention, Marketing; visual display, public relations and promotions, merchandising; planning, buying and inventory, Human resources; Personnel, training, finance: accounting, credit. Each floor is assigned a floor manager who reports to the store manager.
The staff consists mostly women and the men do more of the inventory and moving of stock. Being that it is the retail industry, the organization main focus is to promote great customer service. Customers are the heart of the business. I recall when I got hired the store manager mentioned, “without the customers, we are nothing.” Members work either full time or part time, five days a week and are given two days day off weekly. My organization is very diversified. Workers are from all over the world e.g., Egypt, Bangladesh, Morocco, Africa and the Caribbean. Hence there is a mixture of norms, values and personal preferences. Each worker is assigned different sections and is expected to maintain their section and know everything about it to quickly assist customers in fulfilling their needs. Members wear a nametag so customers can easily identify and communicate effectively with us.
Customers do support my organization, although it has some slow days. Customers are very loyal because most times I see the same customers. My organization caters and targets all class of customers. We are known as a cost leader and operate like a Wal-Mart. The company already identifies a brand name for itself in the retail industry and has to do everything in its best interest to maintain the organization culture especially in this competitive market. As you read this paper, You will get a feed back of my organization’s culture and the gap that needs to be close so the organization can maintain its standard and work in the best interest of its employees and customers. Current Culture
Its imperative for organization to ensure they have the right balance of organizational culture incorporated in their organization. People are different and share different perception. Over time members’ personalities are integrated in organizations and has a significant impact on the organization culture. There are three types of cultural styles. These are constructive styles, passive/defensive style and aggressive/defensive style. Any organization culture influence employees’ behavior and thus may reflect in the quality of work and performance they provide. As defined, Organizational culture is. “ System of shared actions, values and beliefs that develop within an organization and guide the behavior of its members. In today’s workforce organization can either posses a weak or strong culture. Obviously one would prefer to be associated with an organization that has the ideal culture of being “strong”. A strong culture have a clear values and goals. Employees quickly respond and embrace to a stronger culture than a weaker one. Weak cultures are very distorted, inefficient and unproductive. They also tend to have more conflicts, tension, and employee dissatisfaction. Although, the OCI survey displayed favorable percentile scores in the constructive style because most of the styles like humanistic-encouraging, affliative have a lot to deal with its association of being in the retail industry and ensuring customers are satisfied. My organization culture is very weak because of high percentile scores for the styles in the passive/defensive style and especially unfavorable in the aggressive and defensive style.
* Cultural Type
The Organizational Culture Inventory (OCI) survey forecasted that my organization’s primary style is “Affliative”. The profile shows that this style had the highest percentile score of 96%. As described in the OCI descriptions: “An affliative culture characterizes organizations that place a high priority on constructive interpersonal relationships. Members are expected to be friendly, open, and sensitive to the satisfaction of their work group.” As mentioned before, because of the type of industry my organization is in; the retail industry, satisfying customers’ needs is the number one priority apart from profits. We are informed to always cater to customer needs, never argue with them, have patience and ensure they have a grand shopping experience. Employees are expected to put aside any personal problems, tension, stress relating issues and make sure customers do not recognize we are having a bad day. We are never to approach a customer in a hostile manner even if that customer gives us a hard time; we are to allow them to know they are right, because as the saying goes, “customers are always right.” It’s amazing how this compliments my personal style because in the Lifestyle Inventory I scored 99% for the “Affliative style” so it’s easy for me to portray these characteristics and integrate them into my organization’s culture.
Also, the secondary style as depicted in my OCI results is “Achievement” which scored a percentile of 91%. According, to the OCI style description. “An Achievement culture characterizes organizations that do things well and value members who set and accomplish their own goals. Members are expected to set challenging but realistic goals, establish plans to reach these goals, and pursue them with enthusiasm.” I emphasize this style a lot. I know my main goal is to meet the customers needs. I always interact with the customers and they always expressed their sentiments and compliment me for a job well done, some even tip me with cash for helping them. This is indeed a great feeling because I am promoting the company’s motto, helping to circulate unity and a great shopping experience. I am always aware of my surroundings and keep and eye at the entrance of the floor so I can be readily available for when a customer has a query. I would go to the extent and escort customers to other sections and help them pick out apparel, carry their apparel in my hand and to the cash register for them. The store manager loves to see employees busy, not just standing in their section loafing.
He usually makes frequent trips on the floor to see how the day is going and get an account of the customers. I know when it is slow he is very uptight and mad but when it is busy his personality is change, he is very happy and jolly. I wish he could stay like that all the time. From time to time I will walk around my section to ensure it’s looking decent and to be proactive. I try not to be distracted by my cell phone. When it is slow I assist the merchandiser and help her organizer the clothes to display on the floor. Although, my workers in my organization are highly competitive, egotistic and eager for power (you will see more discussion about this through out the paper) it’s good to take initiative and volunteer to help coworkers. For instance, one of my fellow coworkers assisted the merchandiser in arranging some Levi jeans on the counter and surprisingly the boss was very pleased how she arranged them and informed the merchandiser that he wants my coworker to be in charge of the Levi’s jeans.
This struck everyone by surprise because the merchandiser is one of the store manager’s favorite and him actually giving opportunities like this is very rare. Organizations are not perfect and in my organization there is a LOT to be rectified and this should be down as possible. The culture is very weak and employees are extremely unhappy. It’s the just way things are being down in my organization that upsets us. The weakest style that I think is working against my organization is “Oppositional” which had a percentile of 69%, In other words its too high and prone unfavorable. According, to the OCI descriptions, “ An Oppositional culture describes organizations in which confrontation and negativism are rewarded. Members gain status and influence by being critical and thus are reinforced to oppose the ideas of others.” There are three particular coworkers who are known to be the store manager’s favorite. One of them is a sales staff and she breaks all the rules. We are given a smock and name tag to wear and cannot wear sandals; she wears no smock, no nametag and always in slippers. Also, the Manager is very strict and does not want anyone to be on their cell phone while on the floor.
This coworker is always on her cell phone and its not on vibration so you her it rings and the boss does not condemn her. I can recall one day I was calculating my pay check with the calculator on my cell phone and the merchandiser came and condemn me in a hostile manner then minutes after I saw the store manager patrolling around my section. The merchandiser is known to snitch on workers and assume a lot of authority. A lot of negativity is transmitted in my organization. You often hear a lot of workers openly throwing unfavorable comments at one another. These three particular members always congregates and speak negatively of employees and reports to the boss if they think a member is not working good or abiding by the rules and it so noticeable. Members always suggest some good ideas like telling the merchandiser to select clothing they think will sell fast because customers are always demanding them but she rebukes the suggestion and discourage members. I totally agree with the results forecasted in the OCI.
The constructive styles portray favorable results. Workers are encouraged to portray a warm atmosphere for the sake of customers. But over all the culture is very weak and this is depicted in the high percentile for the aggressive/defensive and passive/defensive style. This means my organization has to reshape its focus and work very hard to decrease this unfavorable percentile in these styles. If you look at the chart you will see for instance “Oppositional” had a percentile of 69%, “Power” 47%, “Competitive” 72%, “Perfectionistic” 85%, “Conventional” 82% and “Approval” 96%. The lower these percentiles are the better for the organization. This result signals that my organization needs to rectify the organizational culture as soon and possible. Devise strategies and plans to make these changes. The sooner the better because it will encourage personal and organizational development. Below is a copy of my circumplex. Showing the results from my OCI survey.
* Behaviors associated with the current cultural type
Currently, my organization is a mixture of both the Aggressive/Defensive style and Passive/Defensive style. Although, it has norms from constructive styles which is not integrated from within the organizational culture. The culture that employees will tell you if you ask them is more of the Aggressive/Defensives style. The behaviors that are associated in my organization current culture is superiority, selfishness and malicious. Those are most distinctive of all behaviors associated with the present culture. Members in my organizations tend to want to be in control and especially when the boss is not around. As mentioned earlier there are three particular members in my organization who think they are boss and because they are favorites of the store manager. The manager is to blame because he allows them to get away with so wrongfully act. This is very unfair and presents a borderline of inferiority vs. superiority. The manager will greet them good morning and single them out and pass the other workers straight and not even acknowledge our presence hence that kind of attitude gives a lot of power to these three members. Another behavior displayed in my organization is selfishness.
It seems like everyone wants to undermined each other. Some will complain about workers to the boss instead of personally confronting workers and express their thoughts and help each other advance in the organization. Some feel threaten. I recall when I commence working. I heard a lot of stories about members in my organization and was warned because I am very pretty and intelligent and certain members will be go out to crucify me. Over time this has proven to be true. One member use to greet me morning then she stopped and I soon discovered that she tried to befriend me for the wrong reasons and because I did not get friendly with her she turned the other cheek. A behavior that I cannot tolerate and its very rampant in my organization is maliciousness. From time to tome you hear employees speak aggressively to coworkers. We all are adults and must display a sense of conduct ad respect. For instance my coworker explained a scenario to me. A Sunday she brought her son to the store and let him go to a street fair that was outside the store. Apparently one of the worker questioned her son and ask him was is the word “IT” and her son say he does not know.
My coworker explained to me that she told her son not talk to any of the employees and makes them ask him anything because she wants to avoid confusion. That worker went and gossip to other workers that her son doesn’t know the word “IT”. The next morning workers were throwing words indirectly to my coworker. She was very upset because the worker shouldn’t have discuss what had happen. She was so upset and approaches the worker but the worker kept avoided her because he was aware what he did. Both of them trashed out their differences and she explained why her son said he did not know the word. He knows the word but she did not want him to be so affiliated with workers to prevent the above incident. I cannot emphasize more on the weak state of my organization’s culture. I am in my fifth month there as an employee. I asked several workers who are there for numerous years why they didn’t quit if they are so dissatisfied. Most employees are students, they said its flexible with their school hours, some say they have a year or two before retirement and want to get pension of the 10 year package from the government, and some just find it difficult to get a job so they accept whatever tribulations in my organization because its better than nothing.
I personally belief and based on my experiences and observation the store manager needs to re evaluate him self and change the tone of the present organization. As mentioned previously, the primary style associated with my organization is “Affliative.” Members are to serve customers relentlessly, Always smile and embrace customers with a good attitude. We are given a specific time to go to lunch but most of the time we tend to go after that lunch hour because if we are helping a customer we have to put them first before anything else. Members have to exercise a lot of patience because some customers can be very tedious. Instead of showing a customer where an apparel is located I escort them to that apparel and ask if they need anything else. Being loyal to customers is key, especially on a hungry belly and if a customer approach for your assistance you are not expected to deny them and tell them you are going for lunch. The weakest style as identified previously is “Oppositional”. Some of the members in my organization are very egotistic and concerned about status.
They want to categorize themselves amongst those in authority. So they tend to approach and treat other members as their insubordinates. Based on my observations the manager has his favorites employees and these employees are associate with a lot of negativity. No one in the origination tolerates them. They are very corruptive, competitive and not trust worthy. I recall when I first started to work there it was during winter and my allergies was bothering me and I had flu for two weeks. They made rumors that I was pregnant and when I called out sick the store manager would question me if something else is wrong. Even my floor manager who had Ask me if I was pregnant. I thought it was so funny and small-minded. I know this thought derived from gossip members of the organization perceived.
OCI Style| Your Raw Score| Your Percentile Score| Typical IdealPercentile Score*|
1. Humanistic-Encouraging| 44| 86%| 85%|
2. Affiliative| 49| 96%| 71%|
3. Approval| 34| 82%| 27%|
4. Conventional| 27| 47%| 18%|
5. Dependent| 30| 48%| 24%|
6. Avoidance| 17| 33%| 27%|
7. Oppositional| 25| 69%| 45%|
8. Power| 24| 47%| 30%|
9. Competitive| 27| 72%| 42%|
10. Perfectionistic| 37| 85%| 25%|
11. Achievement| 45| 91%| 78%|
12. Self-Actualizing| 42| 90%| 82%|
Targets for Cultural Change
It is essential to tackle the root of the problems that is detrimental to organizational culture. Based on the results from the OCI survey and the calculations of the gap that depicts the targets for cultural change. This information will help me to better analyze and know the greatest gaps that need to be close. Below is a copy
Of my results in the OCI showcasing the targets for cultural change. Furthermore, the second table will highlight the gap and shows which target has the greatest and second greatest gap and the other targets that gap needs to close.
OCI Style| Your raw score| Percentile score| GAP*| Typical Ideal percentile score*|
1.Humanistic-encouraging| 44| 86%| 1| 85%|
2.Affliative| 49| 96%| 25| 71%|
3.Approval*| 34| 82%| 55| 27%|
4. Conventional| 27| 47%| 29| 18%|
5. Dependent| 30| 48%| 24| 24%|
6. Avoidance| 17| 33%| 6| 27%|
7. Oppositional| 25| 69%| 24| 45%|
8. Power| 24| 47%| 3| 30%|
9. Competitive| 27| 72%| 30| 42%|
10.Perfectionistic*| 37| 85%| 60| 25%|
11. Achievement| 45| 91%| 13| 78%|
12. Self-Actualizing| 42| 90%| 8| 82%|
*The Gap column figures was derived from calculations where I subtracted the (percentile scores from the typical ideal score)= GAP *The greatest gap is Perfiontisitc of 60 (84%-25% =60)
*Second greatest gap is Approval of 55(82%-27%=55)
The greatest gap based on the calculations is “Perfectionistic”. According, to the OCI styles description; “ a perfectionistic culture characterizes organizations in which perfectionism, persistence and hard work are value. Members feel they must avoid mistakes, keep track of everything and work long hours to attain narrowly defined objectives.” Members do their best to impress the store manager so they can be on his favorable side. He is very criticizing and intimidated. Members of the organization fear him a lot. Members ensure they keep busy and go all out sometime so he could appreciate their gesture but he does not show any appreciation or even gave rewards. I recall one Saturday it was so busy. I normally leave at 6 pm but ended up leaving the store at 9:30 pm. Whenever it is slow the manager cut your hours. Being that we are in the retail industry. We have to keep a proper account of everything, ensure the prices are correct, watched customers so they wouldn’t steal merchandise. Although members in my organizations try their best to be perfectionist its like they are doing it in vein because they are not being recognized and appreciated for their efforts.
The boss does not care if your burn out was you accomplish his work. The second greatest gap is “Approval”. As described in the OCI styles description. “An approval culture describes organizations in which conflicts are avoided and interpersonal relationships are pleasant-at least superficially. Members feel that they should agree with, gain the approval of, and are liked by others. There is so much red tape in my organization. Certain members feel the need to be obligated to the boss to gain status. As the Approval description states that interpersonal relations are superficially. This is so common in my organization. Members relate to you because they have no choice. But as soon as your back is turn they condemn you. I know of members who look up to other members as if they are boss.
They do anything to please them like run personal errands for them, snitch with them to others and I overheard these same members bad talk the members who praise them. Recently, we had a new worker who works in the shoe department she was on her cell phone and another member who was on her cell phone told the newbie not to be on her phone. The girl said to her you should practice what you preach. The member didn’t like that and went and complain the newbie to the boss. The boss then called the newbie to his office. This created a lot of tension. Personally, the older member had no right to go and complain the newbie to the boss because she did not set an example; she too was a culprit of using her cell phone so she wasn’t in a position to tell the newbie she was wrong.
In order to bring about a change in my organization. Certain behavior needs to be encouraged and discouraged to enhance the organization culture. In relations to the constructive target. Three behaviors to emphasize is Appreciation, rewards and loyalty. Managers and members much show appreciation to each other. We must consider each other’s feelings and help to develop each other growth. When members display a high performance on the job and is very consistent, my manager should compromise and reward members either by bonus, benefits, training. Being loyal to one another in organizations we give members a sense of belong, confidence and trust each other. Currently, the behaviors that are working against my organization constructive style are discouragement lack of incentives and separation. Members in my organization need to realize that we are a team fighting to achieve one common goal and that is to provide customers with the best shopping experience. If we can relate well to customers then it is expected to have the same attitude towards each other. Managers too need to implement systems that will motivate workers to come to work daily.
Based on the complaints of my co-workers they don’t have the feeling to come to the job everyday but force themselves. Even I am guilty of this behavior as well. In the Passive/Defensive target the three behaviors that my organization should encourage are assertiveness, independence and diplomatic. It’s all about communication and the way we convey messages and give feedback to members. Portraying a bit of assertiveness will allow members to respect you. Displaying true independence will depict your willingness to learn and grown in the organization and can handle complex tasks. Being able to portray a sense of diplomacy in your attitude behavior and they way you response to members would encourage proper communication because members know what will aggravate members. Three behaviors to discouraged in order to close cultural gaps is to stop favoritism, negativity and sticking to old norms. My manager needs to be neutral and give jack the jacket.
No more singling out mornings and empowering certain members who feel they have more say than other members. My organization should encourage more positivity thus avoiding conflicts and Members need to accept changes and realize that changes are inevitable and for the best. In the Aggressive/Defensive target three behaviors to encourage are teamwork, provided training and be positive. For example recently I notice a slight behaviorally pattern change with the merchandiser. I used my initiative and volunteer to assist her although she gives me a hard time I know deep down she appreciate my help. So if this type of thinking is spread through out my organization we can be each other teacher. Even if there is no space for promotions, managers can send workers to various workshops to enhance their technical skills. Encouraging members to be positive can help them to be humble and handle stress and conflict easier.
For these cultural gap to close we must first eradicate the behaviors that are being utilized. These behaviors are negativity, jealousy and egotistical. The organization needs to be steered on the tight path and members need to stop criticizing members especially when it is not construction. There is no need for jealousy because we all are getting the same pay and there is nothing really to be jealous about. I would understand if the company promotes very often and members are working for promotions. Although being confidence is very essential one should not be too egotistical and thinks the world revolves around them. They should appreciate others for who they are.
Potential Benefits and Risks of Cultural Change
Sometimes it is not easy to change a present organization culture. Especially when employees who favors it. My organization needs to alter their organization culture and this change must occur instantly because I fear that the organization will suffocate. At the end of the day the members are the pivot of organization hence managers should make should all members are happy. Most of our time is spent at work so overtime work becomes like a second home and of course one would want a peace of mind and tranquility at work. Even though members will procrastinate for these changes to occur and some risks may involve like members rebelling by slowing down productivity in other words striking, deteriorating the quality of work. Any rightful member of my organization even though they seek their personal interest would agree their needs to be an organizational culture change. This change would bring about positive feed back. Members have been constantly mentioning that the selection of clothing displayed on the boys department is very poor but not one is trying to listen to our views. We deal with the customer’s daily and know their demands hence it is right to meet such demands.
This cultural change would enable teamwork and accept member’s opinions and act on them. When such tactic is utilize employees will feel appreciated. However, the merchandiser may feel threaten that she is overshadowed and members what to take her position so she may be reluctant to listen although it’s for a common good. Assigning specific roles and make it very clear of what employees are too do will help members to be on the right track and to do what is expected of them. This will help to reduce conflict. Some members like to take on a lot of roles, which is not given to them, and assume invisible positions. This new cultural change will allow members to have a sense of security. Some members especially the boss’s favorite may feel threaten and think they will be outshine by members and may try to discourage such change. Members in my organization are vey dissatisfaction and hence lack commitment because they feel it’s a waste of time to put your heart in an organization that does not reward you faithfully. The amount of work, hours members put into the organization they don’t feel they are being rewarded fairly. Changing this norm and encouraging a reward system will encourage workers to perform well because they know they can look forward to something and being treated fairly.
Managers would have to be consistent and do not disappoint workers. If managers are inconsistent then members would withdraw more so even managers have to display commitment and stick their promises. My organization lacks encouragement and motivation. The manager is very stern and do not interact effectively with members. Often he gets feedback from his favorites members and most of the time the feedback is negative. With cultural change it should enhance the attitude of my manager and allow him to interact with members, have staff meetings and do performance evaluation. Also, he must take time and get to know us better and listen to our concerns. Again the only risk I can think of that if the members who seek favoritism notice the elevation of other members they may seek to undermined members thus resulting in conflicts. A change in my organization would definably encourage members to enhance their skills and knowledge. They can rotate through different departments. This will help members to increase their strengths, fill in for other workers when they are out sick. Members will become so engross, eagerly interesting and continue to work hard in the organization.
Being that my organization is in the retail industry, It is imperative that members work as a team, communicate effectively and genuinely be loyal to fellow members. This will help to reduce conflicts, and improve the trust issue amongst employees. It’s important for members to have a good working relationship so customers would feel the positive vibes. Although some of my members still find it hard to trust members it may be difficult for them to communicate effectively because of the stigma and experiences. This may affect some decision-making without being bias and know how to separate their personal feelings. It is very important that organization works in the best interest for the wellness of its members. Less anxiety, resistance and conflict in the organization will be derived from this cultural change. Everyone wants to be happy and when managers meet members needs this will indeed motivate them and boost their performance. This positive and happy mood will be spill over to customers. To over come this members may have to resolves differences with each other so everything be clear and concise. This can take up a lot of time and result in more conflict.
Conclusion and Reflection
The results of the Organizational culture inventory (OCI) were a true summarization of my organizations’ culture. My organization primary style is “Affliative” and secondary style is “Achievement.” These styles are in the category of “Constructive” Style. My organization weakest style is “Oppositional” and scored in the high range, which is not favorable. This weak style needs to be rectify because if cultural change is to be enforce. Behaviors associated with my primary style “Affliative” like patience, loyalty and perseverance. Because of the nature of my organization being in the industry members are encourage to put customers first and meet then demands. However behaviors that are develop from my organization’s weakest style “oppositional” needs to be discourage. Such behavior like negativity, aggressiveness and egotistic. I have identified potential targets to bring about change in my organization culture. According to the Gap results in the above table, base on the ideal percentile score the greatest gap is “Perfectionistic” is 25% which was the greatest gap of 60 but my organization scored 85%.
This gap is too wide and needs to be close. Members strive to achieve the best in my organization but are not be recognize enough for their work. The second greatest gap “Approval” scoring 55. This ideal score is 27% but scored 82%. Employees need to develop genuine relationship so everyone would be comfortable with each other and no ambiguity with each other. The potential benefits would definitely increase employees morale, job satisfaction and organization involvement thus closing the gaps for cultural targets. Although they are some risks involve like procrastination, unwillingness to cooperate. Over time members would realize that it’s best to encourage the change because it is only for the better.
Cultural change in my organization will result in reducing rates od lateness, absenteeism, employees stress and sick day, cutting cost and reducing employee turnover, getting people to work together towards organization goal. This survey helped me to identify the potential targets to improved my organization culture. With this information I can provide feedback to my manager, members of my organization. Although, changes do not happen over night. I do believe If I take the initiative and be the voice to start this change it is better than not trying at all. Nothing beats a failure and I do not want to stick with the norm that if you can’t beat them, join them. As a member of an organization I will know what norms are expected of me and which ones to capitalize on. I will know how to operate throughout my professional life as I go through different organizations.
Personal Goal for GM591
This exercise certainly help me to be on my P’s and Q’s. I should know better now especially with all this resources dispersed to me hence I should try hard not to encourage a bad organization. I must be an advocate for great organizational culture to any organization I am associated with. I will make it my business to ensure they are practicing great organization culture. I would not stand on the side and watch as my organization fail. Especially when I have such knowledge of how to make this change. The goal for this exercise helps me to realize how critical it is to give feedback and not to be lackadaisical in it. I will develop such communication skills and apply them where deemed necessary and continue to advocate a strong organization culture. Change have to start within before one can bring about change elsewhere!
1. Human Synergistic, International, Inc.
Organizational cultural Inventory
2. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Chapter15-Organizational culture and Innovation
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