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Cultural Change at Texaco: Organizational Culture

Organizational culture has been known to be an operational concept of differentiating one organization or a firm from another. The same conception can be used to initiate the ethical culture capable of solving unethical issues arising in the organization. These rules ought to be part of the agreement where potential employees can view before making a decision to join. As an integral part of the organizational culture, incorporating ethics would be a major way of avoiding conflicts between individual values and work practices. It involves systematical analysis and alignment of all unprincipled behaviors. Standardized ethical culture is not possible because most organizations have unique ethical problems.

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Ethically we can describe the initial Texaco culture as weak. The standards and guidelines were not followed or they were non existent. A process called “enculturization” enlightens employees on the cultural ethics and these were not evident at Texaco since most members of the management team were part and parcel of the racial discrimination that existed. The cultural change efforts at Texaco seem to have originated from management after the lawsuit. Leaders are an integral part of a firm and they can enforce changes of enhance strict measures over the employees as per the existing law. The manager of Texaco had to develop a leadership reputation by being visible on ethical issues. Ethically a morally upright leader ought to be seen demonstrating some principled traits such as integrity (Trevino and Nelson, 2004).

The targeted cultural system was one that would build back a better organization’s reputation or restore the already tainted one by enhancing equality among employees. One reputable change effort that can be noted at Texaco is the leadership style. The manager’s leadership style is ethical. He emphasizes on the importance of morality by communicating openly or regularly and integrating a rewarding system. He also acts through actions which was evident when he offered equal opportunities for leadership as per qualifications and in addition by having an independent body assigned to assist in enhancement of ethics.

The targeted system aimed at eliminating the unethical leadership or any hypothetical leader who existed. This was followed by the enhancement of balanced changes especially on leadership positions. The management’s incentive on cultural change effort had the required impact and was thus effective since they projected long-term benefits. The manager based his executive ethical leadership explicitly on values, fairness and societal concern.

Initially the system was totally misaligned since the focus was not on performance and protecting of employees as the key assets. A well aligned system focuses on all key points to maintain organization’s reputation as opposed to financial needs only. It aligns or articulates goals, identifies the performance metrics and rewards individual over and above enhancing growth and stability of a firm (Trevino and Nelson, 2004). This seemed to have been the new focus at Texaco after its near collapse. A manager has to work as per some existing code of conduct for the system to be considered aligned.

The missing part of the ethical change efforts at Texaco included the incorporation of informal style of enhancing change. Ethics are enforced through socialization and not setting up a number of rules to be followed. As Trevino and Nelson put it (2004), a leader will have a hard time to change the way people think but it will be easy and possible to change their behaviors. Mentoring is an informal training that would have been utilized to change the employee’s thinking. According to Trevino and Nelson (2004), “When effectively socialized, employees behave in ways that are consistent with cultural expectations.” Sometimes people will behave without reacting to personal believes but out of expectations or in accordance to the context. This seems to be the exact situation at Texaco even after the reforms were evident since employees were reacting to internalized cultural expectations.

Lastly the whole procedure gives the impression that it was well calculated for implementation and hence it would take quite a short while to put into practice the changes. The existence of an independent body and availability of resources indicate that the management opposed the informal style of leadership and the informal cultural change of “this is how we do things here” which seem to change every now and then and take ages for employees to understand it.

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Trevino, L. K., & Nelson K. A. (2004) Managing Business Ethics, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Inc.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 8). Cultural Change at Texaco: Organizational Culture.

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StudyCorgi. "Cultural Change at Texaco: Organizational Culture." November 8, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Cultural Change at Texaco: Organizational Culture." November 8, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Cultural Change at Texaco: Organizational Culture'. 8 November.

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