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    Flat and Hierarchical structures Essay

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    They exist outside everyday awareness and are the most inaccessible to consciousness. From the research point of view, artefacts are the most accessible elements of culture. Even though artefacts are easy to obtain they don’t necessarily represent the core culture of an organisation. However this system provides a guide to organisation culture. One of the main interests in organisational culture has been that this concept if applied correctly can enhance the performance of organisations. Supported by the success of the Japanese industry in the 1980’s, which emphasised the importance of a strong company culture.

    It is generally assumed that getting organisation culture ‘right’ has widespread implications both for corporate success and human resource management, by achieving widespread commitment for all staff to share the common goals and strategies. I believe that it is clear that organisation culture is likely to affect the success of business proven by the Japanese economy in the 1980’s & 90’s. Western companies now try to adopt the same Task culture as the Japanese, however for existing companies this sort of change can be a very long and complex process.

    Now look at how these two organisations fit into these structures and cultures:  Police Force  Versace The police force essentially has a hierarchical structure and is very bureaucratic they are centralised and have mechanistic managerial styles. This organisation is divided down in to regions and is overall designed this way to ensure the same law and order is applied throughout the United Kingdom. I believe in this case that the structure of an organisation influences the culture adopted by the employees.

    The police force has thousands of employees and has to be structured in this way to avoid confusion and double standards. This structure creates a role culture within the police and branches off with sub-cultures, where divisions are responsible for a project or case and are left to investigate using there own initiative, this is task culture. The police also fall into Schein’s model of Artefacts where they on certain levels or rank will dress the same in order to share in the same values and beliefs, also to be distinguishable to the public.

    The police have a sub-culture within the service to take more days off sick than the national average; this could be as a result of the structure and overall culture of the organisation, in my opinion to cut this sub-culture the police need to re look at uniting there employees to share in a common goals through reinforcing values and beliefs. Versace before his death was the head of his own brand of designer fashion retail goods. This family firm succeeded in having a flat structure that was organic and decentralised this allowed for quick and flexible change to a highly fickle fashion market.

    In this case it is clear that the culture of the organisation heavily influences the structure that it has adopted. The culture implied by Versace was a combination of power culture and person culture, because of his insistence and influence on the end product. As a result of his earlier drive and vision for his company the brand Versace lives on, still prestigious and marketable. When looking at both of these organisations it is clear that there are no right or wrong methods to management or structures & cultures, but I believe when in business the styles you adopt can relate to the industries and sectors you enter.

    This however does not mean they are organisations in the same sector have to be homogeneous; Organisations clearly could save a lot of money and resources if they can find effective and efficient structures and cultures. BUSINESS ETHICS Business ethics involves the leaning right from wrong and doing the right thing. The right thing is not always as easy as it sounds and not always in the best interest of business. Ethical dilemmas are not as straightforward “Should Bill steel from Rob? ” and “Was it moral to lie to the boss?

    ” Ethics are based on a moral principle, at a given time in a given situation. Some ethical decisions are based on a legal framework often transmitted by law, regulation or rules. Values that guide us in how we ought to behave are considered moral values, values like respect, honesty, fairness, responsibilities etc. When applied to business these are called moral ethical principles. The concept of ethics has become to mean many things, but generally it’s coming to know right from wrong in the workplace and doing what’s right.

    Making ethical decisions that effect product/services and relationships with stakeholders. Business ethics has really become prominent since the social responsibility movements of the 1960’s. In that decade, social awareness movements raised expectations of businesses to use their massive influence to address problems like poverty, crime, environmental protection, equal rights and improving education. An increasing number of people asserted this because the businesses were making a profit from using our county’s resources, and now owed it to help improve society.

    The recent changes to culture of companies have been influenced by ethics with a need to show a good image to the public, the term “stockholder” was changed to “stakeholder” which includes everyone who has an interest in the company, from employees to general public. Human resource management was given greater influence to treat employees more fairly and respectfully. Formally there are two types of ethical practise. * Compliance based approach * Integrity-based approach Compliance based approach is where the company has to act within the letter of the law.

    If companies breach the compliance of law and regulation there are repercussions and discipline. For example in November 2002 BPB a UK plaster board company was fined 87million pounds for an organised cartel of price fixing with other EU plaster board manufactures. The EU fair trading commission, who seek to protect the interests of the customer, brought the case. Integrity-based approach this approach is broader and promotes ethical behaviour through the beliefs of a company today ethics are found in the workplace in codes of ethics, codes of conduct and polices and procedures.

    Ethical decisions are based on the cultural influences of business. For example the co-op banks marketing campaign says they do not do business with those that needlessly pollute the environment. Also there was a famous example of contentious ethical value when Nike plc employed children to make footballs for the world cup in 1998. At first it sounds terrible exploitation of children but the real questions that should be asked are; what is the social structure of the country? What age are children expected to work? Are they getting a fair wage in relation to the cost of living in that country?

    As an investigation into this assignment I have fully understood that this subject is a philosophy a social science. There are no real right from wrongs only the base to make informed decisions about the surroundings and environment we are faced with. I have grasped the basic principles of structures and cultures; I also believe that the key to running a organisation well, is having the right mix through a shared belief system expressed in a mission statement. I also can understand how culture can influence the ethical principles of an organisation.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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