Friday, August 23, 2013

Module 1 post for my students (and other readers)

This is my Module 1 post for students which you/they are to reply to in a substantial way, including a link to a relevant online resource, by Sunday, September 1. I read every day but I don't often exactly "enjoy" reading books. I read mostly because I want additional knowledge to share with others, especially my students. At the moment I am reading, Charting the Course: Launching Patient-Centric Healthcare by Nance and Bartholomew. It is a recent book book about hospital administration. So far I actually am enjoying the conversations it contains, almost like a novel. At the point where I am into the book now, "Will" has accepted a position as CEO of a hospital in Las Vegas but is presently working "under cover" in departments within the hospital listening to the conversations of people who will soon be working under his administration. My thought is that they are going to be really angry when they realize what he has done by working among them without letting them know who is really is. (But I think readers are suppose to accept that what he is doing is necessary to really gain "situation awareness.")

What he is finding is that the culture of the hospital is characterized by fear and authority, and that he has taken on a major challenge. The authors of the book write that this is the culture in most hospitals today. CEOs come in with their "visions," and employees struggle for their sanity and survival within "sick" organizational cultures. I suspect that there is substantial truth in this perspective. It is not limited to hospitals.

To my students -- please think about the meaning and importance of culture in large modern organizations. What does organizational culture include? How does it relate to the goods, services, or experiences produced by organizations? Without talking about any particular organization, share (if you can) how you have experienced organizational culture. Realize, of course, that culture can be good and that what you may share may be your memory of a good experience, either as an employee or client of an organization.

It is possible to try to "paint" the appearance of a good, healthy culture on the reality of a culture characterized by (dis)stress and/or fear. Fast-food enterprises, for example, are very stressful work environments, and yet employees are required to create the appearance of joy and harmony. As a manager or administrator, how could you address the culture of an organization? (This is not necessary an "essay" question in which you have to respond to every part of the question. Please write at least a paragraph that is relevant and that may be instructive to people reading this blog. Use only your first name, or make up a name and let me know the name you are using. Remember to include a link to a relevant Web page, or perhaps a YouTube video.)

19 comments:

  1. Organizational culture is the behavior of humans who are part of an organization and the meanings that the people attach to their actions. Culture includes the organization values, visions, and norms, working language, systems, symbols, beliefs and habits (Organizational Culture, 2013). It could also be defined as the values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization (What is Organizational Culture, 2013). Imagine it as the how or why that drives an organization toward its goals and honors its mission statement. An organization’s culture definitely shapes how workers administer services or render services. A happy employee will go above and beyond and will typically spread joy to his or her co-workers. Conversely, a disgruntled employee will only do just enough to get back. These will be the “middle of the packers” and can be a cancer to your organization’s culture, spreading ill and malicious will. In my years as an assistant call center manager, I have witnessed both good and bad organizational cultures in action. I have seen where a company, initially for its employees happiness and well-being, be reduced to a “meat shop” where all employees were treated like assembly line parts with a back-up already prepared in inventory. What this brought about for the company was 1000’s of employees either quitting or getting terminated and a branded reputation around the city as a bad company to work for. The benefits to improving an organization’s culture are better aligning with the company towards achieving its vision, higher employee morale, and increased team cohesiveness (Organizational Culture, 2013). As a manager, one of the best pieces of advice that I could issue out is to never forget about the people. A company is nothing without its human capital. In the end, shaping employees visions and behaviors is a part of immersing them and having them acclimated to an organization’s culture. If it is to be successful, it will require a joint effort from management, human resources, and the rank and file employees!
    For an example of poor organizational culture, please see the YouTube video below:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7_R921f1OA
    Works Cited:
    Organizational culture. (2013). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organizational_culture
    What is organizational culture?. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/organizational-culture.html

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    1. Organizational culture is the values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization. It includes an organization's expectations, experiences, philosophy, and values that hold it together, and is expressed in its self-image, inner workings, interactions with the outside world, and future expectations. It is based on shared attitudes, beliefs, customs, and written and unwritten rules that have been developed over time and are considered valid. Culture affects the organization's productivity and performance, and provides guidelines on customer care and service, product quality and safety, attendance and punctuality, and concern for the environment. It also extends to production-methods, marketing and advertising practices, and to new product creation. Organizational culture is unique for every organization and one of the hardest things to change. Organizational culture makes each company unique. For example there are several McDonald’s in Albany,GA, but each franchise has somewhat of a different culture. This is made up by the employees and their attitudes as well as management. The vibe and environment should be commercially equal but smiling faces and the golden arches customer service are not always guaranteed. Overall to achieve a good mixture you must have different qualities to create a social control system. Sometimes you must focus on the role of culture in promoting and reinforcing "right" thinking and behaving, and sanctioning "wrong" thinking and behaving. Key in this definition of culture is the idea of behavioral "norms" that must be upheld, and associated social sanctions that are imposed on those who don't "stay within the lines." I think PPMH has a fairly great organizational culture. Their vision, Values, and practices are upheld and promoted throughout the community it serves, but not all things are perfect and you can’t please everyone. Of course there are some things I personally do not agree with, but it’s mostly departmental. I will say I think corporation as a whole would benefit if would empower and engage its employees more. A happy employee makes a productive employee.

      http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/08/dont_let_them_understimate_you.html

      Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/organizational-culture.html#ixzz2dhdTcDfM

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  2. Dracodi Vaughn
    Organizational culture, in many ways represents shared beliefs or values of a group of individuals who are working toward a certain goal. The organization must have direction, so that individuals know what they are working together for. Therefore, Organizational culture can be described as being rules or instructions of how the business will be conducted. These set of rules can outlined by management or simply an underlying notion that everyone follows because he or she has attempted to work in unison. For example, when I worked as a customer service representative for Telerperformance, which was a phone company, I had specific duties to follow. However, certain rules were not always spelled out. The time that I took my break was flexible simply because I observed everyone else taking their break in the same fashion. Therefore, the shared belief was created or organizational culture was made.

    www.businessdictionary.com/definition/organizational-culture.html

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  3. According to Aristotle, culture is defined by what we repeatedly do. This repeated behavior contributed to how we think, act and feel. Applied to the workplace, organizational culture would be defined as to how we think, feel and act in the work environment. The organizational culture is the mold for the entire organization. The attitudes of the employees, pay rates, policies and procedures, and the work ethics all contribute the organizational culture.
    Through experience I know that the attitudes of the employees and pay rates have a lot to do with the organizational culture. Many of the people on the job are less excited and tend not to work as hard when they feel that their pay rate does not fully compensate for their work. That then, is reflected through their behavior and causes a domino effect throughout the organization. Policies and procedures also help mold the organizational culture. The polices that are put in place to help create the ideal work environment and the procedures are developed to provide a blueprint. The work ethics ties it all together. If the employee has poor work ethics, then everything else trickles downhill from there.
    My experiences with organizational culture have been both good and bad. At my previous job there was a positive organizational culture because the employee morale was high. In turn, the employees performed to their highest degree. They cared about their work environment and policies and procedures were always followed. They showed a true passion for their job and it showed through their performance. My current job is almost the complete opposite. The employee morale has been damaged by the management. This too shows in their performance. I have herd employees say they feel over-worked, under-paid and unappreciated. There have been complaints about attitudes and poor performance. The director is currently working to change the organizational culture by replacing the management and requiring the management to change/replace the hourly employee.
    http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/05/what_is_organizational_culture.htm

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    1. Organizational culture is a common phrase that one encounters in the business world. The culture is not tangible. It can be best understood by studying the behavior, the attitudes, the values and belief system of the employees. It characterizes and colors our perception of the business entity. Any employee however efficient will be a misfit if he is unable to adapt himself to the work culture. Organizations are laying emphasis on culture since growth and success depends on the kind of culture prevalent in the company. Do employees feel threatened or cherished, is there a desire to work and grow, do they want to evolve as a group or go their separate ways? These questions can be answered by a careful examination of the organizational culture.
      Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/what-is-organizational-culture.html
      Organizational culture can also be understood from the dealings of an organization with the external world. Does the organization guarantee prompt delivery to the customer? Does it promise regular payments to the supplier? These questions if answered can provide valuable clues that might help understand the organizational culture. An organization which can provide an affirmative answer to the above queries is most likely a company where people stick to deadlines. Work is taken seriously and work, earn and reinvest are a part of the organizational culture. Whether this organization is one that encourages personal growth or whether the job is so demanding that people quit, would again depend on the answers to the first 2 questions
      Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/what-is-organizational-culture.html
      My observation with culture organization as a Customer Service Representative, I have noticed a lot of out of the norm behaviors. They stem from peer pressure in the work place, management, pay, and lot of other factors. But the two most important ones that play a key role in the workplace to me were following the leader and pay. Many of the employees basically all do or follow the same norm. And that is taking their time to services the customers. Many feel as if most of the customers they service have nothing but time and are waiting on a free hand, so why rush. Secondly is pay that factors into the equation. Because many of them haven't got a raise in years they feel as if they aren't been supplemented. And because they feel this way they lack in their job and don't go above and beyond to offer great customer service.

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  5. V. Stephens
    Organization culture is a concept developed by researchers to explain the values, psychology, attitudes, beliefs, and experiences of an organization. This is viewed as the shared norms and values of individuals and group within an organization. http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-organizational-culture.htm

    All employees of any group or organization contribute to the norms and values. There maybe top executives or head managers that play important roles in the decision making process of an organization, but if they have not considered their employees, the organization will not be effective. A lot must be taking into account when organizations begin to put into place their values and norms. They must considered that their employees will be coming from a variety of backgrounds and their values must be considered.

    I worked as a teacher in this organization and it was very keen on providing effective services to it's families and children. This company did not just stop at that, they took into account that in order to have productive and happy workers they had to show them (employees) that their families were just as important. Who wants to be at work taking care of or assisting other families when one is afraid or cannot take off if they have a sick family at home. That worker will not give his/her all and will not be effective. The director believed that because their employees shaped their culture, all had to be considered. She believed that if the employees were motivated and happy that they would be very productive. She knew that the morale of the employees would be very high and that their performance would be exhibited in their work.

    She also took knew that no matter what, everyone would not be pleased or would agree with all the organizations values. In the meetings she would explain that culture was not built on one person alone nor just her beliefs but what would make the organization an effective and successful place for families to receive help. Because there are many employees with different values and coming from different backgrounds strategies had to be formed and everyone was held accountable. Therefore, everyone had to give and take.

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  6. Organization culture is the behavior of humans who are part of an organization and the meaning that people attach to their actions (Wikipedia, 2013). Organizational culture is necessary for any company size because it creates new ideas and problem solving tends to be a little easier. Culture in a large modern organization is very important. The culture of the organization controls the way employees behave amongst themselves and people outside the organization. Organization culture affects the organization’s productivity, performance, and provides guidelines on customer care and service. Organization culture includes values, policies, rules, and guidelines. The way an organization interacts with each other, clients, and stakeholders affects the organization as a whole. Working at a doctor’s office in my opinion first impressions are very important because one bad experience can affect the way a patient portrays the other staff and therefore may sometime result to a bad patient survey score. Being an administrator making sure the employee know that they are a major asset to the organization and is a great contribution in it functioning successfully. Creating an image for the employees to be loyal towards the organization and having an open door policy is very important. Stressing the importance of effective communication is essential for a positive culture within the organization. In any organization stress can be an issue for some or all employees. As an administrator creating a positive atmosphere within an organization; employees can deliver their best work performance plays a major role in the organization. In my place of employment we have a mediation room for employees that may need to take time to ease their minds. The way an organization conducts its business, treat its employees, and customer’s is so important in the advancement of the organization. Great organization culture leads to great incentives for the organization as a whole.
    Links:
    www.managementstudyguide.com
    www.wikipedia.com

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  7. Well, I have previously worked in a healthcare setting where I was a contract worker for the hospital's ER Physicians. On the daily basis I battled with trying to conform with the hospital's procedures and protocols, as they were undergoing a new transition to paper-less medical records, while still having to maintain my performance indicators with my employer (a different organization). This put me in a compromising position because I had to maintain and build professional relationships with both my employer and the hospital;both of there objectives and perspectives were totally different from each other. So, to appease to both organizations I literally found myself going beyond the call of duty and making personal sacrifices to make the adjustment. However, as a manager or administrator I would have made an assessment of the situation and would have immediately found a solution to prevent a domino effect of problems to occur, which in reality ended up happening because of poor origination and communication within the organization culture. Lack of communication ultimately lead in co-workers no trusting each other on performance capabilities, which in turn lead to employees not owning their job responsibilities, that cultivated in the job being unsatisfying, not fun or enjoyable at ALL because everyday there was negativity and gossip. The turnover rate also increased. Once I would train someone, they would quit soon after because of the chaos within both organizations. Furthermore, no administrator stepped up to make a feasible adjustment, so eventually I also ended up resigning. Both organization cultures were causing stress on me physically, mentally,and emotionally.
    http://www.therainmakergroupinc.com/human-capital-strategy-blog/bid/140906/What-Is-a-Lack-of-Communication-Doing-to-Your-Company-s-Culture

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  8. Once strategic planning and management planning are implemented, organizing to get the job done is next. Organizing is the process of establishing formal relationships among people and resources in order to reach specific goals and objectives. The process, according to Marshall (1992), is based on five organizing principles: unity of command, span of control, delegation of authority, homogeneous assignment, and flexibility. The organizing process involves five steps: determining the tasks to be accomplished, subdividing major tasks into individual activities, assigning specific activities to individuals, providing necessary resources, and designing the organizational relationships needed.
    In any organizing effort, managers must choose an appropriate structure. Organizational structure is represented primarily by an organizational chart. It specifies who is to do what and how it will be accomplished. The organizing stage provides directions for achieving the planning results. There are several aspects to organizing - time, structures, chain of command, degree of centralization, and role specification.Organizational culture is necessary for any company size because it creates new ideas and problem solving tends to be a little easier. Culture in a large modern organization is very important.

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    1. Thank you. Please include a link to a relevant Web resource to each of your posts and replies.

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