1.) How do changes in the demographic makeup of Sundown Bakeries reflect transformation of the large workforce?
As the bakery grew, the changes in the demographic makeup started to appear in the cultural differences and in many other demographical aspects. For example, Cultural impact on communication exposed Sundown management to have challenges on delivering important information and messages efficiently.
2.) Consider the following dimensions of culture as you describe the impact of culture of communication within the company: high- and low-context styles, individualism and collectivism, and power distance.
The culture of Sundown’s was diversified where the regional manager would only communicate through letters and/or memos (high context culture) which resulted in the weakening of the initial family-oriented feeling, and therefore employee isolation. As the owners were so busy in running their financial aspect of the company, they were not able to follow up the human relations needed for the employees that is required in cases where dealing with multi-cultured staff. None of the employees were originally from the United States, which reflects transformation of the larger workforce in the demographic makeup of the company.
With all of the employees having such different cultural backgrounds, the cultural impact on communication exposed Sundown management to have challenges on delivering messages more efficiently, as well as relaying implementation of new policies and procedures. Management should have been more sensitive, eloquent and particular when dealing and communicating with employees that have such different attitudes and different views of power distance.
3.) How would you describe the early organization culture of Sundown? How has the culture changed as the company grew?
The initial organizational culture of Sundown has a sociable environment in which it was familial and friendly. Also, it has an emotional support and employees are assigned only to one job. As the company grew the culture has changed to be in a bureaucratic form, less emotional support, and the employees were not involved in organizational decision making.
4.) What advice would you give to Sundown’s management team about how to maintain the most effective culture in the face of the company’s growth?
I suggest that Sundown’s management get together to sit down, evaluate and find a solution the various conflicts and communication barriers which they are facing. Taking a more integrated approach with the current employees will give them a sense of belongingness and appreciation, which will yield more open lines of communication; better communication results in higher success and growth. Management should also emphasize the social aspect of the business to achieve long term family-like consistency. The most effective culture for Sundown is to be a low context culture, focused on collectivism, and having a low power distance.
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