Each organization has a different culture. The culture can help shape how an organization functions and has the potential to set it apart from the competition. There are three levels to culture: observable artifacts, espoused values, and enacted values (Baack, 2012). Each level plays a different part within an organization. State Farm Insurance is the larges mutual property and casualty insurance carrier in the United States. The company was founded over 90 years ago and has had plenty of time to develop their layers of culture.
Observable artifacts are the outward viewable signs of an organization. Observable artifacts are viewed not only by the employees of the company but also by outsiders. State Farm has a various artifacts. The company has a recognizable logo and slogan, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”. These have artifacts are recognizable in most households. On an internal level, yearly there are ceremonies that the company conducts to reinforce the feeling of family. Yearly the company holds Christmas in the Atrium where Santa comes for all of the employees and their families to visit.
Annual Easter parties and Founder’s Day celebrations also encourage the neighborly atmosphere, keeping in line with the slogan.
According to Baack (2012), espoused values are aspirational opposed to the actual outcome. The values set forth by the company are to act as a guide but are not always achievable. State Farm includes its values within the mission statement, “…quality service and relationships, mutual trust, integrity and financial strength” (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, 2013). The most recent value set by the company is to be remarkable. Employees not only need to strive to give remarkable service to the agents and the policyholders but also be remarkable in the interactions with fellow employees. The idea of providing remarkable service guides how employees are to work everyday. It defines the product being sold and the interaction with policyholders.
The last layer of culture is enacted values. These values are the actual behaviors exhibited by the employees. Rick Darby of Safety Culture (2012) stated, “the enacted values of an organization…may be at a considerable distance from those proclaimed in official statements and public relations material”. In the case of State Farm and being “remarkable”, employees are having a hard time providing the remarkable service.
Slow systems, being short handed, and a disconnect between operation employees and agents, contribute to less than remarkable service. These enacted values differ from what the company would like but not much has been done to rectify the situation. Darby (2012) believed if a great gap was found between enacted values of the employees and the espoused values of upper management, there could be confusion and dissatisfaction. The dissatisfaction found in employees can start to alter the observable artifacts of the company. The recognition of State Farm for being an admired company will stop being awarded if management does not address the enacted value of its employees.
The three levels of culture contribute to how an organization is presented to the public. Observable artifacts, espoused values, and enacted values all supply a foundation for the organization’s culture. The culture of the organization is part of what defines their success and growth. State Farm is known as the good neighbor company but needs to address the enacted values of the employees in order to provide the remarkable experience it is striving for.
Baack, D. (2012). Organizational Behavior. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Darby, R. (2012, April). Pyramid Building. Safety Culture , pp. 52-55. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. (2013). State Farm. Retrieved February 25, 2013, from State Farm web site: www.statefarm.com
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Organizational Culture Analysis. (2017, Mar 24). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/organizational-culture-analysis-essay