It is difficult to gauge a company's culture in a one or two-hour • You might suggest hiring a consulting company to help craft interview. At best, you might have a chance to sit privately with a curand implement appropriate systems and training to contribute toward a rent employee and ask questions. If you do, don't limit your questions to better working environment.
“What are the hours like” and “How big is your cubicle” You should • Finally, you may indeed need to look for another company that be digging a little deeper.
has a better corporate culture for you.
83 “I would also encourage people to read about companies that are • How do you think the managers within the company would dewell-respected and try to learn about some of the initiatives they under- scribe their management philosophies or roles take to maintain a strong corporate culture, and, again, share this with • Do you feel you know what is expected of you senior management.” • Do you receive feedback on your performance Are there opThere are many Web sites that can help you in your corporate portunities for development/training culture research. For example, WetFeet.com not only offers deep in- 4. Does your top management send strong messages about the formation on company's financial statistics, but also offers “inside in- company's direction or values What does your company stand for formation” from actual employees who can give the real scoop on what What won't it stand for Where is it going What makes it unique in the it's like to work on Wall Street or in a start-up. marketplace “Life is too shorthand work is too time-consuming to accept be- 5. Are you satisfied with your work environment What are you ing anything less than satisfied with our work environments,” says trying to do to change the corporate culture at your firm Lange. “We carry home too much baggage from unsatisfying work 6. Which company's corporate culture do you admire Why environments, and it is not fair to ourselves or our loved ones.” Don't settle for a work environment in which you are unhappy- VOCABULARY EXTENSION you deserve better. And in today's economy, you can afford to search when it comes to can make or break sanity scapegoat exasperated for something more.
shared searching for greener pastures gauge cubicle insights feedback traced to lack of overhaul to get the ball rolling to help craft scoop carry COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS home too much baggage from settle for 1. According to the article, what is corporate culture 1. When it comes to job satisfaction, what is most important to 2. How many American workers were expected to quit their jobs you in 2000 2. What actions can make or break a career at your company 3. According to the article, why do employees quit their jobs 3. How do you make sure that your working environment does 4. What did one company's survey find to be the key reason for not have a negative impact on anyone's sanity quitting 4. If your boss made you the scapegoat whenever he / she made a 5. What happens when senior management doesn't send strong mistake, what would you do messages about the company's directions or values 5. Which management practices exasperate you 6. What are some things one can do to try to change his / her 6. Which work values do you share with your boss company's culture 7. If you decided to search for greener pastures, what steps 7. What kind of information can you find at WetFeet.com would you take to find a new position 8. How does your company gauge its success DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 9. Do you prefer a cubicle layout or an open-floor plan 10. If someone told you he / she was considering applying for a l. How many Russian workers quit their jobs every year What is job at your company, what insights would you offer him / her the usual driving force (why do they quit) 11. How much feedback do you get from your boss on a weekly 2. Which questions did you ask before accepting your current pobasis How much feedback do you give your managees on a weekly sition basis What is the feedback usually about 3. Can you answer the following questions for your company:
• How would you describe the nature of the work environment 85 12. Complete this statement: My company's success can be traced Academy Culture: Hires young recruits interested in a long-term to…………………………………………………………………. association and a slow, steady climb up the organization. Unlike the 13. What does your company have a lack of club culture, however, employees rarely cross from one division to an14. What needs to be overhauled in your company Why other. Each person enters a specific track and gains a high level of ex15. What recent projects did you help craft or get the ball rolling pertise in that area. Job and technical mastery are the bases for reward on and advancement. Many long-established organizations such as univer16. Who gave you the real scoop on what it was like to study in sities, Coca-Cola, Ford and GM maintain strong academy cultures. Althe PMTI program though specialization provides job security, this culture may limit broad 17. How much baggage do you carry home with you from the ofindividual development and interdepartmental collaboration, but it fice works very well in a stable environment.
18. What kind of position would you settle for in the future (the Fortress Culture: Emerges in an environmental survival situaminimum) tion, in former dominant industries now retrenching for survival. Offers little job security or opportunity for professional growth while compaTypes of Company Culture nies restructure and downsize to fit the new environment. This culture is perilous for employees but also offers tremendous turnaround opportuWhich type of culture describes your firm's culture Why (specific examples) nities for individual managers with confidence and love of challenge.
Those who succeed, such as Lee laccoca (Chrysler), earn recognition Richard Daft nationally or within the industry.
Management (4th edition. 1997. P. 94).
Baseball Team Culture: Emerges in an environmental situation Corporate Culture Analysis with high-risk decision-making and fast feedback from the environEnvironmentally Adaptive versus Unadaptive Corporate Culture* ment. Decision makers quickly learn whether their choice was right or wrong. Talent, innovation, and performance are valued and rewarded.
Adaptive Corporate Unadaptive Corporate Aspect Top performers see themselves as free agents and companies scramble Cultures Cultures for their services. Performers with low batting averages are quickly 1 2 dropped from the lineup. Baseball team cultures are found in fast-paced, Visible Managers pay close atten- Managers tend to behave high-risk companies involved in areas such as movie production, advertising and software development where futures are bet on a new product Behavior tion to all their constituen- somewhat insularly, poor project. cies, especially customers, litically, and bureaucratiClub Culture: Characterized by loyalty, commitment, and fitting and initiate change when cally. As a result, they do into the group. This stable, secure environment values age and experi- needed to serve their le- not change their strategies ence and rewards seniority. As in the case of career military personnel, gitimate interests, even if it quickly to adjust to or take individuals start young and stay. Club cultures promote from within, entails taking some risks advantage of changes in and members are expected to progress slowly, proving competence at their business environeach level. Individuals tend to be generalists and may have vast experiments ence in a number of organizational functions. While many club qualities * contribute to flexibility within the organization, they can also contribute Source: Kotter, J.P., Heskett, J.L. Corporate Culture and Performance. N.Y.:
to the perception of a closed company, reluctant to change.
The Free Press, 1992. P. 51.
87 The end of the table Questions you should be able to answer fluently at an interview:
1 2 1. Why is corporate culture important at your company How Expressed Managers care deeply Managers care mainly does it impact the company's success Values about customers, stock- about themselves, their 2. Why are symbols important What stories, heroes, slogans and holders, and employees. immediate work group, or ceremonies have symbolic value at your company They also strongly value some product (or technol3. Do the values of your company fit the needs of the external people and processes that ogy) associated with that environment and of the employees Is the existing culture right for your can create useful change work group. They value company (e.g. leadership initiatives the orderly and risk4. How are you trying to change the corporate culture in a posiup and down the manage- reducing management tive direction ment hierarchy) process much more highly 5. Are there any culture clashes within your company right now than leadership initiatives How does the culture of your department / section / unit differ from the overall corporate culture – How would you describe your firm Give specific examples.
6. Do your competitors have a similar corporate culture 7. How would you describe the corporate culture of your PMTI Your Company Culture program 8. What do you use to assess the corporate culture of other comAnswer yes or no. Provide a specific example for each answer.
panies Do people dress formally 9. How does your national culture influence the corporate culDoes everyone have lunch in the same place ture Is there a high turnover of staff Focus: How would you rate your company's corporate culDo people use first names ture Are people consulted about policies affecting them Rate each statement on a scale of 1 – 5.
Is there a good relationship with management 1 = Strongly DISAGREE. 2 = Disagree. 3 = Neutral/Mixed. 4 = Do people socialize out of work = Agree. 5 = Strongly AGREE.
Are decisions made quickly 1. Virtually all managers and most employees can describe the Are people forward-looking company's values, purpose and customer importance. _ Are people (employees) aware of the market for your product or 2. There is clarity among organization members about how their service jobs contribute to organizational goals. _ Is everyone involved in the quality process 3. It is very seldom that a manager will act in a way contrary to Do people work as a team the company's espoused values.
Do people keep strict times 4. Warmth and support of other employees is a valued norm, Do people make jokes even across departments.
– In your opinion, do these things matter Does the right combi5. The company and its managers value what's best for the comnation make employees more productive and the company more sucpany over the long term more than short-term results.
cessful Which and why 6. Leaders make it a point to develop and mentor others.
89 7. Recruiting is taken very seriously, with multiple interviews in Concept:
an effort to find traits that fit the culture. – Why is this plan worth pursuing (first to introduce this product 8. Recruits are given negative as well as positive information in Russia, customer demand being generated from market research, about the company so they can freely choose whether to join. etc.) What is so attention-grabbing about this plan What is your edge 9. Employees are expected to acquire real knowledge and mas- – What is the nature of the business: type / industry, state of operation, tery – not political alliances- before they can be promoted. goals reached and the results (sold x amount of...) 10. Company values emphasize what the company must do well – What is the business status (start-up, takeover, expansion, cash to succeed in a changing environment. flow shortage, etc.) What stage is your plan in (research & develop11. Conformity to a company mission and values is more impor- ment, prototype, operational) How long has the business been operating tant than conformity to procedures and dress. (or been in development) 12. You have heard stories about the company's leaders or heroes – What will be the form of organization (sole proprietorship, who helped make the company great. partnership, limited partnership, non-profit / charity / NGO, corpora13. Ceremonies and special events are used to recognize and re- tion, etc.) ward individuals who contribute to the company in significant ways. – Where will the business be located Total: _ – What is advantageous about this location What type of venture Compute your total score. (new idea) is this (merchandising, manufacturing, distribution, service) If your total score is 52 or above, your organization has a strong Product / Service:
culture. – What products / services will it offer A score from 26 to 51 suggests a culture of medium strength, – Why are they unique which is positive for the organization. – Do they solve a significant problem A score of 25 or below indicates a weak culture, which is proba- – Do they address a major opportunity bly not helping the company adapt to the external environment or meet Market:
the needs of organization members. – Who and what is the target market *What are the pros and cons of a strong culture – What percent of the available market will you obtain **Does a strong culture mean that everyone has to be alike – What is your plan and strategy for entering the market Where Source: Richard Daft. Management, 4th edition, 1997. p. 100. and how will you sell your product (your own outlets, other outlets) – Who is the competition Executive Summary – What are their strengths and weaknesses Most important section.
– What is their market share Must entice reader / listener to want to know more about what makes the venture worthy of support. Manufacturing / Operations Prepare it after you have prepared the rest of your plan. What are the processes involved in producing your product and Objective: getting into the marketplace What areas of specialization and technol– To get the reader to keep on reading. ogy have you pioneered in the production of the product Do you plan – To highlight the most significant points of each section clearly to subcontract or license manufacturing/operations Under what arand concisely. rangement and why is this advantageous – To demonstrate clarity of management objectives.
– To show opportunity.
91 Management Management and Ownership – Who is going to manage the business Objective:
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