An Analysis of Organizational Culture

Topics: Organizational culture, Sociology, Strategic planning Pages: 7 (2320 words) Published: July 15, 2010
Running head: An Analysis of Organizational Culture

An Analysis of Organizational Culture

The following is an observation and analysis of the role an organization’s values play on the development and state of its culture. This analysis is based on five interviews of both male and female workers from a privately owned manufacturing company with annual revenues exceeding a billion dollars. In forming my conclusions, I will analyze the synthesis of data and draw from the classification and examples set forth in the “Workplace Culture and Socialization section of Volti’s “An Introduction to the Sociology of Work and Occupations” Volti (2008) as well as the National Defense University’s publication “Organization Culture” (National Defense University, Undated).

An Analysis of Organization Culture

The following analysis focuses on data collected from five individuals of varying tenure and gender employed by a privately owned manufacturing company with annual revenues exceeding a billion dollars. A family of German immigrants in Cleveland, Ohio founded the company seventy-five years ago. The company has since grown from an Ohio based tool and die provider to a global manufacturer of outdoor power equipment with offices in North America, Europe, Australia, and China. In the last twelve months, the executive leadership of this company has undergone a significant succession period. The office of the CEO has been handed down from the family patriarch, who had held the position for more than twenty-five years and had reached the company’s mandatory retirement age, to his eldest son who was a division president and is currently in his mid-forties. In addition to the office of the CEO, seven out of the nine current executives are set to retire in the next twelve months. The company is undergoing a major leadership transition in a time of great economic uncertainty, particularly for an American based manufacturer. The market for outdoor power equipment has decreased in the last five years as it is tied closely to housing starts and other real estate indices. The company is faced with a stagnant and highly competitive market in which the ability to make timely and accurate decisions is critical for retaining customers and profitable operating margins. It is also important to note that within the last twelve months, the company has cut their workforce by ten percent and made the decision to close one of its North American factories. The culmination of these attributes provides the opportunity to assess a previously stable culture in a rare state of transition and discomfort.

Organizational Culture Concepts

“One of the primary responsibilities of strategic leaders is to create and maintain the organization characteristics that reward and encourage collective effort.” (National Defense University, Undated) Exploring the contribution an organization’s leadership and their personal values plays in creating behaviors, values, and symbols adopted by the organization as a whole is critical in their ability to set goals that will compliment the culture of their workforce. Leadership’s ability to identify the dominant culture as well as their responsibility to be aware of subcultures and the reasoning behind their development will determine their success in achieving the goals they set for the organization at large. The way leadership approaches these subcultures and their willingness to address whether the subculture’s attributes are complimentary to the culture advocated by leadership is fundamental to the analysis of this paper’s subject organization. The organization evaluated in this paper is experiencing a leadership transition and the culture that served to help “cope with its environment” (National Defense University, Undated) previously faces uncertainty. “Leaders at the executive level are the principle source for the generation and re-infusion of an...

References: Organizational Culture (undated). Strategic Leadership and Decision Making, Part 4, Number 16. National Defense University. [Adapted from National Defense University website ( by M. Brooks-Terry.]
Volti, Rudi (2008). An Introduction to the Sociology of Work and Occupations. Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press.
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