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Reflection Paper

Groups, Teams, and Conflicts →

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Reflection Paper

Corporate Culture

Corporate culture defines a mix of coherent and valid standards, rules and regulations that govern systemic, constructive and positive interaction between diverse organizational elements. It also determines overall organizational stance with regards to the external systems. Organizational culture maintains the most efficient and productive uniform framework of operational behavior and thinking. Businesses always strive to develop an adequate and strong organizational culture, as it provides control of the human resources through commitment and conformity (Boxall, Purcell & Wright, 2008).

The main argument is that our organization has a weak and inadequate culture. It currently applies such type of organizational culture that emphasizes centralized decision-making, hierarchal subordination, and limits individual initiative. Performance is assessed according to the scale of behavior, schedule and output indicators that the employees are bound to comply with. This approach would be more suitable for the routine technological processes and formalized operations. However, our company operates in the unpredictable and transient market of technological innovation. Irregular strategies and sudden change transformations can only be efficient if they are supported by an organizational culture that promotes creativity, initiative, and loosens control. I believe that the existing culture is weak, because the employees are usually told what to do. Hence, there is a great deal of formalization and bureaucracy that hampers overall efficiency (Pease, Byerly & Fitz-enz, 2012). Strong organizational culture receives the same effect without autocratic regulation. It puts commitment to structural and operational efficiency at the forefront. Therefore, employees understand and support cultural values, opinions, and principles (Schneider, Ehrhart, & Macey, 2013).

Another deficiency of current organizational culture is embedded in its top-down development. It neglects experience, knowledge, values, and needs of individual employees that have to become its followers. Therefore, it is subject to the high risk of personal conflict, misunderstanding, and resistance in the context of human resources.  < style="text-align: justify;" align="center">Control versus Commitment

Another procedural default that partially stems from the issue of weak corporate culture is the prevalence of control over commitment. Excessive control hampers flexibility of organizational strategic development, discourages human resources development, and involves high costs for its implementation. Control also undermines corporate ethics as it disregards such values as partnership, creativity, collaboration, respect, and trust (Lan, 2007).

Control-based human resourced management in our company is built upon the practice of hiring average specialists, i.e., those, who lack skills or experience to do the job on their own or excel beyond the preset standards. They are put into the existing project teams and expected to learn and perform in the process. This approach contributes to the situation where average performance lingers across groups as it is enough to satisfy the standard performance and output requirements. Notably, the existing rewards system is linked to the employee ability to conform to the management’s expectations and basic standards. Moreover, veteran workers urge newcomers not to demonstrate any overdue zeal or skills to be able to comply with control requirements with no particular strain. Mediocre performance and indifference have become the appalling underlying values for employees.

A major change is required to substitute commitment for control in order to improve corporate ethics and interpersonal relations among employees. The change should also address responsibility for the teamwork results, increase individual contribution, develop and seek common goals. It is necessary to stop the tendency for isolated and fraudulent results, reduce misunderstanding and conflicts, facilitate communication and information flow, and manage organizational knowledge. In other words, by establishing committed and goal-oriented teams, organizational leaders can achieve productive distribution of tasks, delegation of responsibilities, and empowerment of those employees who will care about performance, quality and productivity in their professional fields (Boselie, Paauwe, & Jansen, 2001).

Work-Life Balance

Harmonious work-life balance is the natural aspiration of any employed individual, whether he is a regular employee or a CEO of the transnational corporation (Boxall, Purcell & Wright, 2008). Complete and efficient personality development is impossible without having this balanced settled. Recent research has proven that work-life balance provides advantages not only to the employees, but also to their employing organizations. It has been proven that satisfaction is one of the keys to commitment and performance (Burg-Brown, 2013). 

Work-life imbalance is a serious problem in our company. Control-and formality-based organizational culture leads to the establishment of uniform working schedules. These schedules are based on workaholic preferences of the top management. Therefore, there is an unofficial understanding that one has to let work become life in order to get distinctive appreciation and respect. On the surface, there is no breach of employment legislation, while employees are expected to knowingly and willingly waiver their rights to conform to the exploitative organizational culture.  There are some employees who sincerely like to spend longer hours at work or thinking about it, sacrifice holidays, days off, and ignore sick leaves. It is their conscious choice to value work more than their families or hobbies.

However, there is a greater group of employees, who cannot achieve a desired work-life balance, because organizational practices have been formulated with regard to the former group. These employees and their families suffer a great deal from having to conform to the workaholic organizational culture. Their arguments for the rationalized approach to work structure are rejected. Naturally, the first group gets promoted and rewarded more often. Unfortunately, women are hit the worst by these discriminative conditions. They have to give up their careers to take care of their children and see their and families more often. It is necessary to understand that the work-life balance is a dynamic and individual phenomenon. Therefore, it requires a more focused and case-specific arrangement of organizational processes for three reasons, namely, equal employment opportunities, enhanced employee motivation, and the advancement of ethical organizational culture.

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