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Managing Change and Leading People Essay

“Impact of Organisational culture on role and responsibilities of the managers within the organisation” (Word count 2900 / Word limit 3000)
Haque, A. U.

According to Schein (2004) the core concept of organisational culture is developing an atmosphere and the procedures are created to ensure that employees are properly managed. Glendon and Stanton elaborate the that visible expression of an organisation is considered as a climate (2000, p. 198 ). By investigating in more depth, it is evident in the past literature, “Organisational culture is an outline of collective fundamental conjectures that the individuals together collectively discover a way that is valid to overcome problems of external adaption as well internal integration, and the validity is a reason that fresh employees are being told that this is the right way to feel, think, and perceive in association to those problems” (Schein 1992, p. 12).

Lundberg (1990) explains the key attributes of the organisational culture: a framework that is designed on the common and shared beliefs, interests, perceptions, and values that individuals not only embrace and governs. It is set of rules and principles that not only make the organisation unique but define the organisational behavior or a common psychology driven from the set of rules (p. 19). Therefore, it can be said that organisational culture are the set of norms, beliefs, and patterns that serves the purpose of the organisation’s existence. The organisational culture is visible at all three levels of the organisation.

The above mentioned figure explains that in the first level “artefacts” there are more visible values that are easily noticeable like dress code, workplace related patterns etc. In second layer there are espoused values that explains the norms and philosophy of organisational working pattern where as the third level consist of strong beliefs that are generally accepted for granted without any objection or protest. These are underlying assumptions and workforce take it for granted.

Denison (2010) strongly emphasis that over a time period, all types of organisations forms its own culture that serves as a special and unique identity and individuality differentiating it from the other organisations. This shows the significant of the organisational culture that why it is important for the present day leaders and managers to comprehensively understand it. The better a manager understands the organisational culture, more he or she can motivate and the workforce to achieve the organisational targets and objectives because the actual vision and purpose of existence of a company is in the heart of beliefs, norms, and culture of the organisation. The leaders and managers can only make themselves and their workforce to live up to the core values or corporate values when they ensure that from inspiring workforce to walk to talk and practically implement those values.

The need to understand the organisational culture arise more for the leaders and managers to ensure the resources are allocated in effective and efficient ways. As per Schien (1985), in the manner things are being done is a significant notion that urges on the significance of understanding about the organisational culture in more depth (Deal and Kennedy, 1982, p. 04).

The Above figure 2. reveals that the essentiality of understanding the organisational culture. The model shows that organisational culture is similar to an iceberg, as it appear to be small at upper surface but deep down is much larger than it appears. If leaders or managers do not properly understand organisational culture, they will not be able to perform their respective assigned tasks nor bring out the best from their respective workforce.

Watson (2006) strongly highlights that in the present era, the shift in managerial thinking has been remarkable as now leaders and managers are more encouraged to make efforts in developing a strong organisational culture. One of the example is Ford company where leaders play integral part in the formation of the organisational culture (Siriginia, 2012). On the other hand, Schein (2004) argue that leadership is bind with the culture in more than one way. TATA motors is an absolute example that organisational culture has from time to time played vital role in the responsibilities and roles of the leaders. The empirical research of O’Farrell (2006) at the Australian public service indicates that principles, code of conduct, statements of values has immense affect on the role and responsibilities of the managers. For instance, Ford motor company’s vision of aiming to become leading automotive consumer choice, this is a vision bounded in the culture of a company driving the managers towards more excellence in their respective performances as it has increased the role and responsibilities of the managers to accomplish and view the vision together with the workforce.

“It is our responsibility as leaders, managers and administrators to transform the vision of the organisation into reality” (O’Farrell, 2006. p.8). This explains that the roles and responsibilities of the managers cannot be separated from the organisational According to Lester (2010) managers role turns at time into disciplinarian in small organisations as he or she attempts to ensure that the missions and targets are accomplished by the employees due to the organisational culture. However, it is not just limited to the small organisation as Ryanair is not a small business, but manager’s role is more disciplinarian due to organisational culture (Riley, 2013). Therefore, it can be said that no matter how simple or complex organisation may appear but managers have a definite role to play that is being architect by the organisational culture.

Malinger et al., (2009) emphasized that the organisational culture is indeed a tone setter for the leaders and managers in not only accomplishing the organisational objectives, but the changes are also managed by the managers and leaders due to the existing organisational culture. The same study revealed that managers role may not emerge as clearly as it should have been due to the reason it is at time overshadowed by the organisational culture. To support the statement, a survey at a Goodwin company indicated that managers may not succeed in the bringing the changes in the organisation due to the lack of employee’s personal motivation. This means that no matter how much strong influences of organisational culture may have on the responsibilities of the managers but there is no guarantee that employees will accept the changes if lacks motivation. Hence, we can say that the responsibilities of the manager further exceed as to motivate and convince the workers towards accepting and embracing the changes for the organisational interest.

The role of a manager increase more when the organisational culture demands to bring the changes inside the organisation. The manager become more of mentor and a coach to ensure that employees are trained to accept and respond in right manner towards the required changes. In the example of Head Start, the managers and leaders role and responsibilities include empowering the workforce in order to bring the best out of them. The ‘Program Culture’ is the responsibility of the managers to make sure that every individual understand the culture of the organisation and positively contribute towards the organisational success (ECLKC, 2013). In other words, the manager’s prime role is to create an environment that promotes a healthy relationship among employee with employees, employees with the management, and employees with their respective jobs. Training and development is essential for the managers to ensure that employees are understanding the organisational culture and contributing towards the organisational interest rather than personal goals and interests (Bennis, 1989).

Lister (2010) propose that the role of managers shaped by the firms with organisational culture that promote the role of disseminated leadership culture where workers are integral part of the formation of the strategies related to business, will urge the managers to have more close coordination and interaction with the employees. From the above figure, it is clear that the corporate culture and strategy of the organisation must be align so that managers can accomplish their goals. Similarly, the research report of Head Start Program published by ECLKC (2013) revealed that the role of manager is to communicate with the workforce properly to make sure that the organisational operations are being carried out in a swift and smooth patterns.

However, Riley (2013) strongly argue that leaders and managers’ personal style has more influence in shaping the organisational culture. Considering the case study of Ryanair, the “macho” management culture is dominated and result of the leadership style of Michael O’Leary. Despite, this notion, the management literature suggest that in majority of the cases, it is the organisational culture that has impact on the changing responsibilities and roles of the organisation, such as in the case study of TATA motors and Ford (Sriginia, 2012). Therefore, it can be said that manager’s may have more interaction with the subordinates to encourage their participation in the decisions.

Furthermore, Reed Business Information, (2011) states that individuals inside the organisation forms the organisational culture. Individuals with more authority do lead the firms and have huge influence on the culture as a result of power linkage between subordinates and managers or leaders. For this reason, it is essential to develop a comprehensive understanding about the group’s distinct behaviors so that organisational culture and its influences on responsibilities and roles of the managers can be analyzed. Manager’s main task is to make certain that right things are done in right manner. This means that it is responsibility of the manager to establish the channels in which job is done in correct manner without enticing the workforce to react in a negative way.

Mowbray (2010) consider trustworthiness, motivation, wisdom, intelligence, skills to foster others, and attentiveness are some of the key attributes required by the managers to accomplish the organisational objectives through workforce. Similarly, Kouzes and Posner (1993) also argue that the role of the manager is to built an effective team inside the organisation, that can only be possible when managers posses these types of attributes. The similar findings is evident in extract of Lister (2010) that manager’s role is to lead by examples. It is the responsibility of the manager to double check that employees are motivated and performing for increasing organisational outcomes.

The core values of the organisation must be lived by the managers themselves. For this reason, it is important that manager should set examples. Ron Williams of Atena is example of how leading from the front is important as he is the first person who encourages his workforce to be the first person to be informed about the bad news. The organisational culture of Atena has four phases that are (i) Integrity, (ii) Excellence, (iii) Inspiration, and (iv) Caring respectively. These four components are the core competencies of the organisation. The manager is responsible to make certain that quality services are being delivered in an effective and efficient way. The others are being respected and inspired to perform better.

These core concepts are the actual components that encourages and develops the role of leader to be more result oriented within this framework. One of the element of Atena is discussed here to explain the impact of culture and that is inspiring each other to find new ways to make a world better place. RIB – Reed Business Information (2011) also states that managers must have adaption in his approach to develop a culture of positivity at workplace that a firm requires and inspire and empower other employees to do the tasks with positive attitude and intent.

However, workwell model (2010) for health management, that is being issued by the Business In The Community – BITC does not consider the management behavior as the hub and therefore does not take in account the managers and employee’s behavior can have influence on the environment but it considers environment as a key consideration that will have a strong influence on the choices and feelings. Since the role of manager as being identified by various researchers as “inspiring and motivating employees” (Bennis 1989; Lister 2010; and Sirginia, 2012). Therefore, it can be state that full understanding of the organisational culture is essential to increase employee engagement, which is the responsibility of the managers within the organisation.

Mowbray (2010) consider that code of conduct is one of the important responsibility of the manager to ensure that all the employees are following the code of conduct regularly. These code of conducts are in reality part of the organisational culture’s artefacts. This means that it is the duty of the managers to make sure that the employees are following the code of conduct inside the organisation. This way, it can be said that the management behavior is reflected as well developed through the organisational culture.

Furthermore, Mowbray (2010) stressed on the role of the manager to maintain a steady focus on the organisational management, people and talent management, and service management. We notice that the values must be promoted and lived by the managers themselves in a practical manner as Blue Skies case study, it was clear that the core values of the firm were not personally lived by the managers and owner which lead to the turmoil and severe consequences. On the other hand, it is viewed that IKEA Group corporate is preferred by the employees as they feel proud to be part of it. The reason behind it is the values are centre of the culture (IKEA, 2013).

The principles, values, and missions are being reflected by the code of conduct as a guiding source for the managers to carry out their responsibilities. These codes enable the managers to manage conflicts and resolve disputes at the workplace. For this purpose, effective communication is very important. It is one of the key responsibility of the managers to monitor and evaluate that the smooth communication is flowing in horizontal as well vertical direction. In case of Head Start values and beliefs are most crucial for the managers and leaders to understand and deliver the best to ensure that the conflicts are resolved. Any conflict or issue is an obstacle that will hinder the organisation from performing properly. Therefore, manager’s responsibility is to make certain that the conflicts are being resolved in a way that will contributed to the success of the organisation. As the communication channels improve, there is more and more effectiveness and efficiency in the working of the organisation.

Everything that a manager manages is with the ultimate goal of reaching and accomplishing the organisational objectives. Planning, organizing, controlling, monitoring, directing, staffing, and coordinating are all the primary roles of the managers in the organisation. All these roles are linked with the one ultimate objective that is to make the most of the available resources to achieve goals and targets of the organisation. It is evident clearly that vision and mission are part of the organisational culture that are translated by the managers through above mentioned roles of the managers. For instance, the manager’s behavior play vital role in the influencing the behavior of the others was identified in the process of NHS managers’ quality assurance done by the management consultancy PwC – PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC, 2009).

This means that positive behavior of a manager is important to develop a positive culture so it can be said that it is the responsibility of the managers to ensure that positive workplace environment is established within the organisation. However, the roles and responsibility varies from managers to managers and organisation to organisation because of its own unique culture. It is not that only manager’s role and responsibilities are being influenced by the organisational culture. There are other things like the behavior, attitude towards work, and commitment and engagement of both employees as well managers are also influenced by the culture of the organisation.

On the basis of above analysis it can be said that the organisational culture is like an umbrella under which all the values, beliefs, codes, principles, norms, and procedures groom to give rise to the unique identity of the organisation. The organisational culture is not limited to only written principles, it is something that from walk to talk must be embraced by each and every individual, transformed through the managers and lived by each and every individual. Organisational culture has three significant level that are similar to the iceberg, where underlying assumptions are covered inside rituals and generally taken for granted beliefs. Furthermore, it is also clear that role of manager is to make certain that employees are led by setting examples, building effective teams, promoting smooth channels of communications, conflict management, planning, organizing, coordinating, directing, monitoring, etc are all key roles of the managers.

Moreover, it is the responsibility of the manager to make sure that employees are properly trained and embrace the organisational culture properly. The more employees are familiar with the organisational culture, more are the chances of smooth operations and long time sustainability. The organisational culture not only differentiate the organisation from the other in line competitors but helps in the business succession planning and developing the environment to retain the best talents inside the organisation.

Employees who have better understanding of the organisational culture, works to promote the organisational goal with more devotion and motivation. This means that talents are retained by the organisations. However, sometime the norms and beliefs may hinder in the way of progress and change as managers and leader unconsciously follow the same routes that they have been following from long time. It is essential to develop a system through which top management review that the organisational culture is positive and progressive, proving the opportunities for the workforce to be more professional and participative.


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