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Air Force Organizational Culture

Healthy Air Force Organizational Culture: Leadership Cultivation

  • Management practices ensuring a proper organizational culture
  • Leadership is the key to a healthy environment
  • Influence on the adoption of culture
  • Proper reaction to emerging critical situations
  • Setting examples by behavior during crises
  • Transmittance of the vision to officers

The initiative’s success intended to support a healthy Air Force organizational culture is significantly dependent on principal management practices’ effectiveness. One of the most vital parts of the plan implementation in this regard is leadership. Its importance is defined by the impact it has on the adoption of new cultural elements such as values and beliefs (Schein, 2010). Its management should be performed through setting examples of reacting to critical situations and behaving during crises (Schein, 2010). In this way, it will be possible to efficiently transmit the vision to new officers by ensuring employees’ compliance with it.

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Healthy Air Force Organizational Culture: Appraisal Scheme

  • Appraisal scheme connected to strong leadership
  • Improvement of officers’ performance through rewards
  • Link between Air Force’s vision and duties
  • Classification of outcomes (successful or insufficient)
  • Rewarding outstanding results of employees’ activity
  • Using failed initiatives as examples to avoid

Another aspect of the initiative deriving from the establishment of strong leadership is an appraisal scheme allowing to improve officers’ performance through appropriate rewards. Moreover, this solution will be beneficial for demonstrating the link between Air Force’s vision and employees’ duties contributing to its fulfillment (Schein, 2010). The principal idea for management is dividing achieved goals regarding their results or, in other words, creating a system classifying the achievements as successful or insufficient for the objectives. The former will be rewarded accordingly, and the latter will be used as examples of outcomes to avoid in the future.

Healthy Air Force Organizational Culture: Training of Officers

  • Organization of cultural training for officers
  • Facilitate the adoption of new rules
  • Promotion of behavioral patterns at work
  • Need to instill values in employees
  • Monitoring the initiative’s outcomes through observations
  • Efficiently complementing leadership and appraisal plans

The following approach to establishing an effective organizational culture is corresponding training of officers. Considering the need to facilitate the adoption of new rules under this initiative, management programs intended to promote proper behavioral patterns would be beneficially complemented by additional efforts to instill essential values connected to service. Their outcomes will be monitored through observations as per the theory of culture levels, according to which behavior is congruent with such artifacts as norms and goals (Schein, 2010). In this way, employees’ cultural education within the scope of the Air Force’s leadership and actions are to be appraised or punished.

Healthy Air Force Organizational Culture: Effective Communication Strategy

  • Coordinating actions of employees and supervisors
  • Officers’ motivation for the plan implementation
  • Lack of conflicts and other obstacles
  • Considering the nature of human relationships
  • A safe, comfortable, and productive environment
  • Communication strategy covering the specified aspects

The methods of creating a culture for the Air Force should be underpinned by employees’ motivation to follow them. To address this task, the managers should coordinate officers and supervisors’ actions to ensure the lack of conflicts or obstacles to transmitting the information. The theoretical underpinning of reasonability of measures in this direction is connected to the nature of human relationships. According to it, people tend to relate to one another only if their group’s environment is safe, comfortable, and productive (Schein, 2010). Therefore, the development of a communication strategy considering this principle while eliminating the existing issues will be advantageous.

Healthy Air Force Organizational Culture: Continuous Performance Assessment

  • Tracing performance in the long run
  • Continuous evaluation and reporting to managers
  • Compliance with rules instead of short-term benefits
  • Leadership behavior within the extended time frame
  • Influence of organizational values and norms
  • Conducting regular activity assessments of officers

It is vital not only to reward or punish employees but also to keep track of their performance in the long run. For this, the outcomes of decisions should be continuously evaluated and reported to managers. This approach will increase their awareness of the necessity to comply with rules instead of receiving benefits for single achievements. Moreover, leadership behavior as the principal objective cannot be revealed through the assessment of short-term successes. As follows from the theory, a rapid change of organizational culture implies the continuous influence of values and norms (Schein, 2010). Hence, conducting regular activity assessments can adequately address this task.

Unhealthy Air Force Organizational Culture: Managers’ Failure to Support Values

  • Values are applicable to all employees
  • Unacceptability of their violation by managers
  • Unhealthy practice resulting in organizational problems
  • Decrease in the motivation of other officers
  • Collaboration in this regard is required
  • Shared norms in contrast to their division

Establishing core values is a priority for the developers of a new organizational culture. However, the guidance they provide should be applicable to the employees at all levels, not only officers. Therefore, the lack of respect for the created norms and their possible violation by managers might decrease others’ motivation to comply with them. From this perspective, the change will be impossible without the collaboration of all actors in this regard (Schein, 2010). These considerations allow concluding on an unhealthy nature of Air Force management, which adopts the practice of distinguishing people by their duties in terms of shared values.

Unhealthy Air Force Organizational Culture: Establishing Unfriendly Competition

  • Unfriendly competition deriving from managers’ policies
  • Leading to an inappropriate organizational culture
  • Direct and indirect exacerbation of the problem
  • Comparing officers in terms of outcomes
  • Excessively highlighting the significance of assessments
  • Finding a balance for the issue’s compensation

Another problem resulting in creating an unfavorable environment from the viewpoint of practices is the possibility of unfriendly competition among officers. It can be promoted both directly or indirectly, and the reasons for this problem’s exacerbation should be appropriately addressed. Thus, for example, the former can be presented by managers’ policies constantly reminding officers about their activity’s results by comparing them. In turn, the latter is expressed by emphasizing the importance of their assessment outcomes for future service and promotion (Schein, 2010). Hence, excessively highlighting the significance of the circumstances given above can be attributed to unhealthy and unbalanced relations.

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Unhealthy Air Force Organizational Culture: Prioritizing Rewards

  • Emphasizing benefits as a precondition of problems
  • Absence of regulations regarding employees’ motivation
  • Neglect of duties when focusing on rewards
  • Officers’ sole orientation on personal advantages
  • Lack of motivation to perform additional tasks
  • Inability to envision strategic organizational objectives

The previously described challenge is connected to another problem because it serves as its precondition. The absence of regulations regarding the scope of information provided by managers might result in the practice of prioritizing rewards over critical outcomes of the officers’ service. Since motivation is essential for their successful work, it is easier to ensure it though monetary benefits or other types of encouragement (Schein, 2010). Nevertheless, this position might lead to the employees’ inability to envision the organization’s strategic objectives and their orientation on personal advantages. Therefore, this aspect of the Air Force’s operations should be approached with caution.

Unhealthy Air Force Organizational Culture: Unfair Acknowledgement

  • Need for fair acknowledgment of achievements
  • Risks for cooperation with the management
  • Emphasizing the roles of team members
  • Avoid appraising only leaders in operations
  • Adverse effects on the implementation of practices
  • Impossibility to establish a healthy environment

Recognition of achievements is important for the service, whereas their acknowledgment should be fair. Otherwise, the willingness of unappreciated officers to cooperate with the organization’s managers will be decreased. For example, when rewarding a team, it is necessary to emphasize all of its members’ roles in the performed operations rather than appraising only its leaders (Schein, 2010). The violation of this principle can adversely affect the healthy practices proposed for implementation. Thus, the establishment of effective communication, promotion of norms and values, or leadership cultivation will be complicated by the lack of attention to all participants’ needs in the organizational activity.

Unhealthy Air Force Organizational Culture: Hiring for Cultural Considerations

  • Excessive focus on culture when hiring employees
  • Suitability to values instead of experience
  • Improper guidance in the recruitment process
  • Combination of expertise and culture is critical
  • Risk to form insufficiently qualified teams

Another circumstance contributing to the formation of inappropriate organizational practices is hiring new officers for cultural considerations. In other words, it implies prioritizing prospective candidates’ suitability for the identified values and norms over their experience and other factors (Schein, 2010). It is clear that culture fit is important, but this aspect should not be the most important condition in the recruitment process. From this point of view, the combination of one’s expertise in the field alongside the appropriateness in terms of their suitability for the organization would be a more beneficial approach. Otherwise, the managers risk to face the need to rule the teams, which are insufficiently qualified for Air Force operations.

The Impact of Leadership Cultivation and Appraisal Schemes

  • Introduction of key requirements for leaders
  • Facilitating the promotion of officers
  • Increasing the understanding of duties and qualities
  • Appraising for improving the operations’ outcomes
  • Reinforcing knowledge of appropriateness of actions
  • Connecting organizational values and performed tasks

The influence of the healthy organizational practices proposed for Air Force service implementation explains their reasonability. Thus, for example, the introduction of basic requirements for becoming a leader is supposed to facilitate the process of any other changes in the future. Moreover, it will contribute to the officers’ understanding of the expertise and characteristics, allowing them to be considered as such. This initiative will be especially beneficial when complemented by appraisal schemes. They will reinforce employees’ knowledge regarding their actions’ appropriateness and connect the organization’s vision and corresponding duties.

The Impact of Training and Communication Strategies

  • Increase in adaptability through additional training
  • Acquiring the habit to follow rules
  • Independent decisions in the changing environment
  • Ability of employees to readjust actions
  • Correspondence with new instructions during operations
  • Communication strategies reinforcing safety and productivity

The effects of training on the introduction of a variety of healthy organizational practices include the increase in officers’ adaptability vital for most operations and the development of a habit to follow emerging rules. The former’s necessity is explained by the fact that the service is connected to the need to make independent decisions in a rapidly changing environment under the conditions of limited time. In turn, the latter confirms the employees’ ability to readjust actions in accordance with new instructions. Alongside the communication strategies contributing to safety and productivity, training will allow people to coordinate their actions.

The Impact of Performance Assessment Worsened by Unfair Acknowledgement

  • Conflicting effects of performance assessment and unfairness
  • The former allows tracing indicators and reporting
  • Managers receive comprehensive information for analysis
  • The latter decreases motivation of personnel for promotion
  • Leaders have more benefits than other employees
  • Need to eliminate the specified risks related to acknowledgment

The two conflicting practices, performance assessment and unfair acknowledgment, might result in worsening the organizational culture despite the former’s benefits. On the one hand, evaluation is the key to Air Force operations’ success, allowing to trace corresponding indicators and thereby providing managers with comprehensive data regarding officers’ behavior. On the other hand, the unfairness of acknowledgment of their achievement deriving from the emphasis on leaders’ role decreases others’ motivation for promotion. Therefore, the performance assessment will be beneficial only if the specified risks are mitigated.

Unsupported Values, Unfriendly Competition, Rewards’ Prioritizing, and Recruitment

  • Neglect of values when not supported by everyone
  • Competition explained by the lack of guidance
  • Unclear or improper priorities developed by managers
  • The emphasis on benefits instead of operations
  • Cultural beliefs replacing the employees’ expertise
  • Need to eliminate the risks to create a favorable culture

The other obstacles to establishing a healthy organizational culture include the lack of managers’ support for values, unfriendly competition, prioritizing of rewards by officers, and improper recruitment practices. Their combination disrupts the functioning of the Air Force management in ensuring proper work of all employees. The refusal to follow the shared norms leads to their neglect by others, and this factor exacerbates unhealthy competition resulting from inappropriate priorities. These challenges are complemented by excessive attention to candidates’ cultural beliefs in the recruitment process and, therefore, should be eliminated from the moment of employment.

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Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational culture and leadership (4th ed.). Jossey-Bass.

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