An Organizational Culture Inventory Analysis

All firms and institutions have their own distinct culture and clearly defined expectations from its stakeholders, for instance, some firms sets a competitive environment in the firm that makes its employees want to out-do each other by achieving better results, while other firms provide a cooperative environment and makes its employees feel that they unite and deliver on results as a team.

The Organizational Culture Inventory (OCI) contains a list of 120 guidelines, which explain the expectations of an organization from its members in terms of etiquette and personal attributes. These guidelines explain how individuals within the firm or institution are required to handle one another with mutual respect and responsibility within the institution, although the guidelines do not address how a member show deal with individuals outside the organization.

The Organizational Culture Inventory visualizes the organization’s operating culture in reference to members’ response towards what is expected of them. Thus by giving a guidance in the manner members approach their duties and relate with each other, these behavioral norms affects the probability of the organization to take decisions, implement change, and improve its operations (Cooke & Lafferty, 1987).

Culture in an organization is shown in common beliefs and principles that direct the way of reasoning and etiquette of the members. Culture establishes patterns for the operations of the organization and the personal attributes shown by its members. The operating culture varies from constructive to defensive behavioral norms. The OCI offers a point in time vision of the organization with the outcome representing individual’s philosophies as to how members ought to relate with each other while doing their duties and achieving the expectations of their leaders.

The OCI profile compares the results along the twelve cultural styles to the results of the respondents who explained the operating cultures of their units. When the data of each culture style is placed in the circumplex, it is it is translated into a percentile result, which offers a dependable vision of the culture. The results are ranked in reference to the center circle (the fiftieth percentile), with the results more than the fiftieth percentile are high as compared to the operating culture results of the unit. The culture traits that represent the unit’s present behavioral norms are shown by the most outward cultures in the OCI profile.

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Once the outcome of the survey is collected an Organizational Culture Report is generated for the organization and its segments. The OCR shows the definite expectations that employees use as a motivational tools and enhancing the unit’s performance. The OCR can be customized to ask different questions to individual units. The surveyor can involve all members of a unit or a sample representing the population. It can also be conducted on dispersed or multinational corporations through manual or online means (Cooke & Lafferty, 1987).

The culture style that is most outward from the 50th percentile are known as the primary styles while second most outward style from the 50th percentile are known as secondary styles. The primary styles explain the set of behaviors that thought to be greatly promoted by the unit’s culture. The secondary styles explain the set of behaviors that are determined by the primary styles or in a case where the behaviors of the primary styles cannot be implemented.

The objectives, visions, and principles of a unit determine the behavioral norms on the organization’s members. However, these statements partially affect the influence the normal operations of the organization. Rather, the behavioral norms and expectations determine the operating culture are affected by issues that members handle on a day-to-day basis, for example, organizational hierarchical structures, and also the attributes and individualities of its members and managers. These factors must be aligned with the organization’s principles to attain an idyllic operating culture.

When determining the operating culture, the Organizational Culture Inventory, also ascertains member satisfaction, role specialization, role conflict and observance of the organization’s service delivery. The OCI can be used to decide on the ideal or preferred organization’s culture. This helps the organization’s leaders to determine culture that suits the organization well to attain its objectives and promote long-term effectiveness (Schermerhorn, 2008).

Factors promoting and reinforcing the OCI

At the unit level or manager level in a passive/defensive organization, two factors that share norms and expectations include: First is the method of reinforcement. In this organization good performance goes unnoticed while poor conduct is highly sanctioned. This method of reinforcement holds that excellent performance is as a result of external reasons, such as adhering to necessary procedures, market conditions and ineffective systems. Poor performance is as a result of workers carelessness or lack of motivation. Thus members they are compelled to adhere to guidelines, procedures and restrictions rather coming up with new ideas or bringing about change.

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Expectations of conventional and avoidance norms mostly promotes when leaders, ignore roles that are performed well by direct reports; fail to cooperate with workers to solve challenges, leaders criticize individuals in cases they make errors or fail to solve problems; and where leaders address poor performance by sanctioning those involved or delegating undesirable roles to them.

The second factor is sources of power and influence. In this organization the influence of leaders is based on hierarchical and bureaucratical positions. Operating culture of the organization tends to originate from the lower organizational stages. Members with lesser legitimate power feel obliged to enact initiatives that they would otherwise not implement. Expectations for avoidance and conventional behavior are emphasized by leaders who; subdue their worker’s power and authority; and leaders who depend on the legitimate power to assert their influence to their workers (Kotter & Heskett, 1992).

Outcomes associated with the OCI norms

Passive behavioral norms insignificantly benefit the organization, and its stakeholders. Individuals feel frustrated and unsatisfied to work for the organization. Expectations by employees to hold on to their positions, and to defer to managers, results to compromise on the quality of customer service. At the unit level the outcomes of norms are: First, work avoidance. Leaders in an organization are encountered by the challenge of managing their workforce and to account each employee on a certain position. This leads to distraction from duties and employees are always finding excuses to avoid their tasks due to frustrations, and monotony. Managers in this organization are faced with problems, such as performance, employees spend a lot of idle time on unproductive activities; tardiness, where workers arrive late for work always; and lengthy break hours. The second outcome is passive customer service styles. Manager’s expectations for passive relations extend organization’s grounds and impact on the way members handle their individual customers. However members of the organization tend to identify with norms of their workmate when relating with their customers (Cooke & Lafferty, 1987).

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Discussion and conclusions

I believe that my organization’s culture is imperfect and necessary changes should be implemented in the organization’s structure to improve its operations. First, the management should determine whether the culture is sn asset or a liability to the organization. As much as the operating culture is vital to the organization, it can also lead to its collapse. So the organization should be able to manage its culture effectively although it’s a quite challenging role for the organizational leaders. Although the management have created organizational cultures that give the organization an upper advantage over competitors in the market, some cultures adopted that can lead to the collapse of the organization. The organization should take the OCI and the ‘Organizational Effectiveness Inventory’ (OEI), to offer consistent and suitable information on the culture that ought to guide member’s conduct, the factors that form and instill culture, and the consequences of reinforcing a specific cultural trait. The role of the organization’s management towards its culture should be: Determine whether the culture is an asset or a liability to the organization, define areas in dire need of change and modification, manage diversity of cultures, and measure the effect of change proposal.

Strong and strategic cultures are said to be provide a perfect organization performance, but Kotter and Heskett (1992) say that these two aspects are not sufficient in themselves but an organization needs to analyze its common norms and practices. The management staff should undergo training sessions on managing culture and maybe conduct weekly planning meetings. The managers should also adopt a mission plan and recognize and reward each member or team’s achievements.

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