This post is about the new trends in how managers try to change the culture in the organisation they work for and the decision-making process they go through. The examples I read for this week were based in a library, a retail chain and a theme park. Even though these example come from three different industries they all provide a service to the public and have a lot more in common than one would previously assume.
The articles talk a lot about trying to change the culture and attitude employees have towards their role in the organisation and stress the importance of appropriate training. In the case study from the retail and the theme park they refer to their general staff as being on stage or actors while they are on duty. Although, the example from the library doesn’t do this all three articles say that the real decision-making process is done at the top-tier of the organisation and that the only way to guarantee the smooth running of the organisation is through fear. In the library case study the author stated that the director that states that they are all equals looses power and control very quickly. Whereas in the case studies from the retail sector and the theme park the company jargon they use to motivate all staff is that they are all equal working for a common goal even though the opposite is true. The majority of staff in these case studies work for low pay and have no job security. Even though the two case studies are very big companies I think that all three organisations could run smoothly and be more productive if all the staff had more security, were paid a fair wage for their work and genuinely given more autonomy in the work place.
I have worked in various positions in the retail, service and education sector and have come across many managers who followed the traditional dictatorial role of manager and small few who have tried to change this culture by being effective communicators. Although the later examples are few, I was much happier and less stressed in my position thus I was more productive and worked more efficiently. Although, the two detailed case studies highlighted insecurity and the fear tactics used by the company as being an obstacle for productivity at all levels in the company. This culture has not been addressed in any attempts to the change the organisation of the company or the institution because it costs more money. In the race to the bottom companies are more interested in increasing profits and cutting more expenses. Tescos and Wallmart are two examples of companies with huge profits every year while the people working for these companies are scrapping by on minimum wage with no job security or pension plan. In the case of libraries, they are non profit-making institutions and face massive cuts in budgets and staff. I think the only way to change this is by strong leadership in trade unions and the support of the community.
I think if I was in a managerial position I would use some of the key points highlighted in these examples but at the end of the day I would treat my staff in a way that I would like to be treated by management. This means clear communication for what is expected in my position and feedback on my performance and constructive criticism.
Maanen, J. (1999). Smile Factory: Work at Disneyland. South-Western College Publishing.
Holt (2002). God – and the devil – are in the details. The Bottom Line, 15(4), 174-175. Retrieved September 9, 2011, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 274375901).
Ogbonna, E., & Wilkinson, B. (2003). The False Promise of Organizational Culture Change: A Case Study of Middle Managers in Grocery Retailing. Journal Of Management Studies, 40(5), 1151-1178. doi:10.1111/1467-6486.00375