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    This write-up examines the actual culture Essay

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    How espoused, actual culture fuel employee morale A description of CN’s HRM practices in relation to the culture-in-practice Major HRM practices are: These have been selected, as they are the core activities at the heart of HRM in CN. Main HRM practices that shape organizational culture in CN 1. R&S: The methods are in figure (ii) above. Right from this stage, prospective employees are exposed to the culture-in-practice (also referred to as actual culture). In some cases, employees have been disappointed at the quality of recruitment methods.

    Several complaints from employees about unfulfilled promises made during selection interviews e. g. official cars, which didn’t materialize after employment. This has created an environment of suspicion and mistrust amongst staff. Sadly, the HR function is not taken seriously in CN. In addition bureaucratic controls in medical tests – which is compulsory prior to employment – often leaves employees exhausted. 2. T&D: In Nigeria, the industrial training fund (ITF) was established to encourage training in businesses.

    Hence a large percentage of training expenditure is refunded to companies. Despite this, CN refuses to tap into this opportunity, by providing relevant professional training. Rather, the policy in place is that bosses must approve training for employees based on TNAs carried out during appraisal sessions. In a culture, where politics plays a major role in relationships, this leads to inequity and demotivation. 3. R&C: Despite espousing PRP, in practice pay is based on what your boss thinks of you. This is largely due to the functional organizational structure in place.

    Line managers simply have too much power, and your career is virtually in the hands of your boss. Most manager conform to theory x, believing it is their sole duty to motivate and provide direction to subordinates. What then is HRM for? 4. Conflict Resolution: This is meant connoted in 2 threads. First, the management of tension between trade unions (in this case the food, beverage union) and the employer (CN). Second, the way squabbles; problems and disputes are handled amongst employees. HR should provide the basis for conflict resolutions.

    Some firms have Industrial relations advisors for such roles. But it appears that culture plays a part even in such issues. E. g. An employee sent a death threat to a manager, and the policy is to dismiss such an employee. However, he was let alone, because the manager begged HR not to dismiss him, for fear that it may boomerang. Why didn’t HR act in line with laid down procedures. Definitely practices such as this send wrong signals. With the result that, many staff bottle up their pressures, knowing that HR is ineffective in this regard.

    Espoused Culture Vs Culture-in-practice: Drawbacks Indeed wide variations exist between the cultures. (3) a. Integrity: During employee “town hall” meetings, staff are encouraged to speak their minds about issues, which have a negative impact on their work. However, despites managements constant integrity song, staff are actually castigated by others for opening up cans of worms. Company directors with hold finance for legitimate business purposes, but are known to quickly change their official cars and indulge in other expensive company pecks.

    In its 2003 annual report, it reported the adoption of a 360-degree feedback mechanism, but this was only adopted in October 2005! b. The diversity of the national culture as outlined earlier, is certainly not harnessed to the company’s advantage. What this has resulted in, is the upward progress of averagely performing staff simply because he/she is from the dominant tribe. This is in violation of the espoused “fair career management practices”.

    The fact that 85% of the workforce is from one ethnic group implies that the company is really not getting the best in terms of a varied selection of talent.c. Reality Shock (4): Most employees high expectations of working for CN are dashed when faced with the reality of what is on ground. The shock is a killjoy that dampens high spirits and has led to staff resigning almost immediately. d. e. Despite the espousal of employee involvement schemes, several company initiatives are launched without recourse to employees’ suggestions. One interesting thing is that despite the above differences, some of the subcultures in CN display strong cohesive features.

    The sales department for example, is a team that is admired by other teams, for the fact that it is seen as a place to work hard and have fun. More importantly, the power distance level is low, unlike what obtains in the larger company. In addition, the team head is seen as a boss who is there for his people, hence he commands a lot of commitment and high performance from subordinates. Despite the success of this team, there are some elements of groupthink in its’ operations, such as the recent resistance to the deployment of a new sales software. Indeed, culture is too complex to fully comprehend.

    Conclusions/Recommendations Recently, Cadbury Schweppes launched a global change program. Entitled Sharpening the culture, it aims to identify lapses in the espoused and actual cultures of its’ operating companies. However, it appears that CN does not realise the value of effective change management. HR does not also know that it is the primary cultural change agent in the company. Obviously, CN is still in the early growth stage (5) If cultural change is to have any meaningful impact, CN must:  Involve employees in the formulation of what requires change and how this is to be achieved.

    In other words, involve employees in business strategy in order to set the basis for a win-win agreement. This important aspect is often overlooked. Communicate effectively i. e. ensure that all stakeholders fully understand the implication of change initiatives. The success of this lies mainly in the use of multiple sources of communication eg. E-mail, company publications, presentations, speeches etc. Practice transformational leadership by example, where leaders practice espoused beliefs rather than communicate alone.

    Get the unfreezing strategy right, before moving to the actual change phase and do not move till it is done.  Realise that organisational development is key to sustaining change and achieving its’ full benefits.  The retraining of HR staff in modern HRM techniques and methodologies will equip the company with competent change agents. Finally, CN’s management should realise that change is the only phenomenon that will provide the impetus for a sustainable competitive advantage. If it wants to remain in business, it must embrace change whole-heartedly.

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