Organizational Behaviour Of Breadtalk Management Essay
Corporate social responsibility can be defined as the continued commitment by organizations to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while at the same time improving the quality of life of its workforce, their families as well as the community and the society at large (Bala 2012). The emergence of corporate social responsibility stems from the impact of decisions and actions of organizations on the society as well as the environment and the notion that the organization must take responsibility for its actions (Horrigan 2010). There are arguments that organizations make use of community resources and therefore they must act responsibly and take steps to protect and improve the welfare of the society within which it operates. Corporate social responsibility in the sense of it requires that leaders and managers make an assessment of their decisions and actions not on the basis of organizational effectiveness but from the perspective of the general good (Turker 2009). Organizations exist in a system and thus corporate social responsibility requires a consideration of the organizational activities and the impacts such activities have on the system as a whole and act responsibly for its actions on any part of the system (Phillips and Gully 2011).
Research shows that CSR initiatives lead to increased organizational commitment and organizational citizenship by the employee (Royalty, Ward and Madison 2012; Turker 2009; Horrigan 2010)). They have also been reported to contribute to increased employee satisfaction by improving their morale and levels of productivity. The reason for this is because employees feel a sense of satisfaction from their involvement in improving the environment and the community (Turker 2009). Some of these programs are established with the purpose of giving back to the community and thus they establish good faith and as well as improve the organization’s reputation (Horrigan 2010). By BreadTalk initiating relevant corporate social responsibility programs, it helps employees to realise their potentials by helping others. In doing this the company is able to build employee self-esteem as well as morale in the process helping to enhance employee job satisfaction because of their work towards helping the community.
The argument is that, CSR leads to a change in perceptions and attitudes of employees as well as the community concerning the organization’s activities. This is true especially if the CSR initiative is well crafted to fit with the value of the organization and the society (Bala 2012). The change in attitudes and behaviour is witnessed in employees because of their involvement in doing something for the community. In this way they become committed to the organization and their jobs with an understanding that the organization actually cares for the greater good (Royalty, Ward and Madison 2012). This is in line with social identity theory that suggests that individuals tend to reinforce their self-esteem by identifying with groups and organizations responsible for their social engagement and responsibility. Therefore, BreadTalk implementation of CSR initiatives will influence employee behaviour by increasing job satisfaction, organizational commitment and citizenship (Turker 2009).
Why is an understanding of cultural differences important to the business managers at BreadTalk?
Cultural differences affect workplace interactions in many ways. It is important that managers have a critical understanding of cultural diversity at the workplace in order to manage effectively (Phillips and Gully 2011). Culture represents an individual’s way of life including beliefs, norms, values and perceptions. Cultural differences are manifested through behaviours which differ between cultures (Branine 2005).
Managers need to understand that cultural differences cause people to behave differently and these differences should be accepted and incorporated into the organization (Phillips and Gully 2011). It is also important for managers to understand cultural differences in order to implement policies and practices that are fair and provide equal opportunities for all cultures (Griffin 2010). This also helps them to eliminate discrimination. The manager through understanding of these differences becomes sensitive to the communication needs of the employees and thus will be in a better position to provide support and to acculturate them to fit within the organization (Bonvillian and Nowlin 2004).
In the case of BreadTalk, the company has diversified its activities across cultures and thus managers will need to understand these differences in order to develop products that are in line with these cultures to avoid failure/losses (Bonvillian and Nowlin 2004). Secondly, managers must understand these differences in order to implement policies and practices that are fair to all employees and in line with their cultures. Practices in Singapore may not be the same with those in Kuwait and China and thus the company will need to localise practices in order to remain sensitive to these culture (Griffin 2010). Third, the large global workforce at the company must be effectively managed and this requires the managers to be aware of the language differences, norms and values of each of these employees. Without this understanding, it becomes difficult to effectively manage the large workforce (Bonvillian and Nowlin 2004).
Why is an understanding of cultural differences important in assisting the managers at BreadTalk to decide if they should expand to Australia?
There are reasons as to why companies expand internationally and these include prospects of growth in order to increase revenue streams, increasing market share and lastly for strategic reasons such as search for new opportunities and markets for products due to high competition locally (Wall, Minocha and Rees 2009). In this movement companies have to restructure operations to take care of the new challenges brought in by new markets and new people and cultures. The most difficult challenge that companies face once they expand to the new country is that of viability of its products and services. The problem being that products may not match the culture of the new country and localization is thus necessary in order to avoid failure (Griffin 2010).
BreadTalk as a company expanding into Australia has to be wary of cultural differences that exist among people in Australia before expanding to Australia. Their bread products might have been appealing to the Singapore people and other countries because they are in line with their culture. Therefore, it will be of critical importance that the company’s managers first understand the cultural orientation of the Australian people together with their food norms and other social values that might be important in dictating the types of food they eat and what they prefer (Bonvillian and Nowlin 2004). Also, the company will need employees in Australia and it has to understand the appropriate management styles applicable in Australia in order to be able to effectively manage their workforce (Stephens and Greer 2005). There will be a problem if this is not considered and a new approach to managing the people is implemented. If this happens conflicts will arise between employees and management which could plunge the organization into problems (Branine 2005). Therefore, culture is an important element to consider in the decision making process because it will dictate the type of products to be produced and how the workforce will be managed to achieve outcomes (Bonvillian and Nowlin 2004).
The Australian Culture
Australia can be categorised as a multi-cultural, cosmopolitan society. The society and its people boast of a diverse culture as well as a rich lifestyle that has stood the test of time. The original inhabitants of Australia are the Aboriginal and the Torres Strait Islanders people. These people hold a rich culture and one of the world’s oldest cultural traditions in existence today. The contemporary world has spurred series of migrations all over the world and this has also affected Australia because most of the remaining population consists of immigrants or their descendants who are from different countries. Statistics estimate that one out of four Australians is an immigrant and this is a clear indicator of the high level of migration to the nation that has occurred over the years. The original people of Australia make about 2% of the total population. The nation is estimated to have more than 100 ethnic groups and this shows the diversity in cultures that can be witnessed in the nation (Clancy 2004).
Most Australians speak English and this can be viewed as the after effect of the British colonization. However a significant population of the nation, about 17% speaks a language other than English. The diversities in languages are caused by the diversities in ethnic orientations. Most of the English speaking people are born overseas or have one or both parents overseas. The Australian nation does not have a state religion, however about 60 per cent of the population are Christians while the rest profess other religions. In terms of customs, the Australian nation is still young and diverse and the many cultural orientations of the people do not give the nation a typical look as is with other nations. It is not possible to get a typical Australian because people have a wide range of customs, habits and perceptions. Australians place a lot of emphasis on being called by their first names in informal situations. This is different in many other cultures and nations where people prefer surnames (Clancy 2004).