Management and Leadership
In nowadays business environment, it is highly important for enterprises, regardless of their area of work, to be able to maintain a healthy organizational culture. The importance of an organization’s culture is given by the contemporary business tendencies. Among the most pressing ones we can mention globalization and the rapid environment changes. Organizations need to be able to respond to these changes in an efficacious manner in order to be able to survive.
An organization’s capacity to adapt to the challenges met in the environment in which it functions depends on several factors. The health of the organization’s culture is one of the most important elements in this regard. The culture of an organization is represented by all the beliefs and the values which stand at the core of its functioning. Depending on these values and beliefs, an organization will establish its mission, as well as the specific manner in which it will attempt to achieve its goals. “Once goals are defined, it is necessary to address the type of culture that is necessary to advance these goals and objectives and ensure the successful implementation of the necessary changes.”(Baker, 2002).
The people who are in charge of creating and maintaining a healthy organizational culture within an enterprise are the ones in positions of power. Here a differentiation should be done between the managers and the leaders. While both statuses allow those having them to exercise power upon others, it must be underlined that a manager is not always a leader and that it takes more than being a manager in order to be a leader.
In the specific case of the , the differentiation can be made as it follows: the CEO, the Vice President of Sales, the National Sales Manager for the East Coast are part of the management segment. The leadership segment includes the regional manager and the strategic account manager.
The roles played by the management team differ from the ones played by the leaders of the organization. While all the people mentioned above are in charge of the proper functioning of the organization, the manner in which they are to perform their tasks is different.
There are numerous definitions of organizational culture which “give primacy to the cognitive components, such as the assumptions, the beliefs and the values. Others expand the concept to include behaviors and artifacts, leading to a common distinction between the visible and the hidden levels of organizational culture.” (Baker, 2002)
The role of both managers and leaders is to support and enhance all the levels of the organizational culture in order to keep it healthy. but, while the managers have to always direct the actions of the organization employees in a direction which is in harmony with the organization’s beliefs, the leaders must personify those values, setting an example.
On the one hand, the leaders must explain to the people working for and within the organization what the organization values are. On the other hand, the managers must make sure that they properly coordinate people. At , both leaders and managers try not only to explain the core values of the company and the norms of behavior, but they also make efforts to educate people in that spirit.
And since education is not sufficient, the company employees are being helped to adapt their own beliefs and manners of acting to the ones considered to suit the company best in achieving its mission.
Communication plays an essential part from this point-of-view. Both at vertical and horizontal level, the company tries to leave a permanently open circuit of information. People are encouraged to ask whatever they wish regarding issues which concern the company. At the same time, managers stimulate them to provide continuous feedback concerning the company policies and strategies, as well as their own thoughts and feelings regarding these aspects.
A healthy organizational culture is a strong one. The strength of any organizational culture depends upon the “number of consistent beliefs, values, assumptions and practices and their consistency among the members of the organization” (Baker, 2002). From this point-of-view, it can be stated that the managers play an important part in stimulating the practice of these particular beliefs among the employees, while the leaders are also responsible for the creation / adoption of new values and beliefs and the coordination of their integration.
A healthy organizational culture is important because it allows the embers of an organization to have their actions coordinated. Both managers and leaders conceive strategies which are meant to help the organization reach its goals. The challenge that they face is represented the fact that they need to make synergy possible between the required actions and the existing values and beliefs.
Furthermore, the managers and leaders at Milwaukee Electric Tools face deeper challenges in their task of properly managing the company. A strong organizational culture proved to be helpful at the beginning of the company’s development. In time, the competition and the changing structure of the business environment forced the organization to react to these changes.
In order to maintain its profits, the company had to adapt. In this case, the health of the organizational culture was to be understood in terms of capacities to embrace and properly implement change. “Leaders must be able to assess how well the culture is performing and when and how it needs to be changed. Assessing and improving organizational culture, as well as determining when major cultural transformations are necessary is critical to ” (Baker, 2002).
Management is a strategic tool from this point-of-view. “The functions of management are basic types of managerial work, which managers perform so as to accomplish the organizational goals” (http://www.bashedu.ru/konkurs/ibatullina/eng/function.htm).Four management functions have been identified in time. These are represented by the processes of planning, organizing, motivating and controlling. All of them play an important part in the creation of a healthy organizational culture as well as in its preservation.
Planning refers to the process of establishing short-term and long-term goals and objectives for the company. In addition, it implies establishing the strategies and the resources which are to be used in the course of action. All of the factors which have been mentioned above are set depending on the set of values and beliefs of the organization. It is crucial for them to be in harmony, otherwise the company risks an internal crisis and other further damage.
The process of organizing “consists in translating the planned steps into reality. At this stage it is necessary to assign tasks, to set deadlines, allocate resources, to decide what structures are yet to be created and to whom additional responsibilities should be delegated, etc.” (http://www.bashedu.ru/konkurs/ibatullina/eng/function.htm).The organizing process is closely connected to the “present” situation of the environment in which the organization functions. From this point-of-view, it can be stated that organizing helps an organization adapt to the environment and its requirements. This performance is also achieved through changes of already existing norms and beliefs or the adoption of new ones.
Another management function which has a deep impact upon the creation and maintenance of a healthy organizational culture is represented by motivation. It can be stated that the importance of this particular function is fundamental. The elements which the organizational culture consists of are represented by beliefs, values, norms and patterns of behaviour. But these are not abstract entities. They are factors which are understood, assumed and then applied on a daily basis by the people who work for and within the organization.
The organizational culture is visible within a company’s mission statement and vision statement. But one must not take for granted the fact that people will automatically adopt their organizations values and beliefs. Sometimes, it may occur for people to identify themselves to just some of the company beliefs. There are situations when the beliefs of the employees enter a dissonance process regarding the ones of the organization that they work for due to the fact that one of the parties has undergone changes. Motivation represents a key resource under these circumstances.
There are various motivation techniques. Their purpose is to give employees the necessary drive in order to perform their tasks at the best possible level. The organizational culture and the motivation process go hand in hand. One can not adopt daily behaviour norms unless he has a reason to do it. That reason often consists in him or her knowing and understanding why things must be done that particular way.
Understanding and assuming the company values and beliefs is actually being well motivated. Therefore, it can be stated that an efficient motivation process is of crucial importance for the creation and the maintenance of a healthy organizational culture. This theory also applies to periods of change, when motivation helps people embrace change, therefore contributing to the development of the organizational culture, which, at its turn, helps the organization function properly, providing further stimulating factors for its employees and so on and so forth.
Another management function that plays an important part in the creation of a strong and healthy organizational culture, as well as in its preservation is represented by the process of controlling. “The most important issues which have to be addressed here are precise monitoring (diagnosis) of current results and their comparison with what has been planned. Effective managerial control must always be followed by feedback for correcting initial plans ” (http://www.bashedu.ru/konkurs/ibatullina/eng/function.htm).
The observation of the way in which people within an organization behave is of extreme importance. But leaders and managers obtain feedback not just from observations, but directly from people. This provides them with a better understanding of the relation between the actions performed by the individuals and the beliefs which guide their behaviour. An efficacious control upon these factors implies the contribution to the creation and maintenance of a healthy organizational culture.
There are various strategies that an organization can choose to implement in order to make sure it preserves a healthy organizational culture. Among them we can mention the adoption of various principles, such as the following: a proactive perspective upon business, attempting to influence the environment, not merely adapt to it, being pragmatic and not idealistic. (Schein, 1992). In addition, an organization should be oriented towards the future, attempting to foresee changes and be prepared to properly react to them. Considering the frequency and diversity of changes, it is also important for organizations to be “relationship oriented and not task oriented” (Schein, 1992).
Another strategy that an organization could take into consideration with the same purpose is represented by the implementation of a 360 degrees communication process. This implies the organization being open to information from both the internal and the external environment. Continuous feedback, coming from all the stakeholders as well as the factors which have the potential to influence the organization’s actions is a key resource for the creation and the maintenance of a healthy organizational culture.
All in all, it can be stated that the importance of a strong organizational culture is big, while the importance of a healthy one is crucial. While a strong organizational culture helps a company obtain profits, a healthy one gives it the capacity to adapt to both internal and external changes. The people in charge of the organizational culture management are represented by the managers and the leaders.
In the case of Milwaukee Electric Tools, the management segment is represented by the vice president in charge of sales, by the national sales manager as well as by the CEO. As far as the segment of leadership is concerned, the regional manager (always in contact with the local events) and the strategic account manager are to be mentioned as key figures within it.
All of them attempt to conceive strategies and implementation techniques which are meant to create and support a healthy organizational culture. In their task, they are supported by the four functions of management. These are represented by the processes of planning, organizing, motivation and controlling. Among them, motivation appears to have a special importance.
The strategies that an organization can adopt in order to make sure it benefits from a healthy culture include a proactive, task-oriented perspective upon business and the business environment and the use of communication as a strategic resource for both short-term and long-term profits. Under the circumstances in which competition has become fierce and the access to technology is no longer the differentiating factor, the management of human resources gains a huge importance. Consequently, the management of the organization’s culture itself becomes a must.
Baker, Kathryn (2002), Organizational Culture, 19 May, 2007, <
Four Management Functions, 19 May, 2007, http://www.bashedu.ru/konkurs/ibatullina/eng/function.htm
Schein, Edgar, H (1992), Organizational Culture and Leadership, San Francisco: