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Real-Estate Company’s Cultural Analysis

Introduction

The modern-day organizational design is characterized by numerous complexities that determine the manner in which the organizations are run. Organizational factors such as organizational structure, culture, and the whole organizational theory set the parameters according to which the organization operates. Organizational design is concerned with the manner in which the organization presents itself both, internally and externally and is largely responsible for the organizational culture (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2011).

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An organization is defined as a collection of individuals who are working together with the aim of achieving commonly shared objectives (Wood & Bandura, 1989). This is achieved through the use of various resources such as financial, human resources, physical resources, and so on. There are various organizational components that indicate the manner in which the organizations are run. These components usually present the blueprint in which the organization can be described.

Organizational structure is the most common component of organizational design. It describes the parameters under which the organization operates in terms of the flow of command (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2011). One common organizational structure is the bureaucratic structure. The bureaucratic structure is also referred to as a machine structure. This is a metaphor that is used to describe the organizations which are literally run like machines. Under this type of structure, authority, and communication flow in a rigid chain of command.

Another type of organizational structure is the flat structure. The flat structure is a metaphor that is used to describe a structure that is less rigid and as such the authority is decentralized and the span of command is relatively wide. This paper will discuss the machine structure that describes the organization with a rigid chain of command. Since I am self-employed, I will discuss my client’s organizational design that is described as a machine structure due to the form of leadership style in the organization.

If used correctly, the organizational structures can be able to affect the organization’s productivity in a positive way (Berger, 1997). Managers in any organization are usually charged with the responsibility of ensuring that effective leadership styles are employed so as to steer the organization in the right direction. Organizational leaders are considered as the vision bearers and as such, they make decisions that impact the organization.

The employees are required to follow after the leadership of the organization. This helps the organization to work as a team and focus on the very mission that the organization has. Working as a team is a desirable organizational virtue as this results in such good factors as synergy (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2011). Organizations that practice an autocratic form of leadership style always face the problem of lack of creativity and hence most of their projects end up being redundant (Berger, 1997). This form of leadership also denies the junior employees the opportunity to develop their managerial skills and, as such the decisions made lack the necessary variability that makes the organization design to be wide and variable.

In a course of my job as a consultant, I have come across various clients who had different organizational designs. One of such clients is a real estate company where autocratic leadership is practiced and workers are micro-managed by the CEO. There have been complaints from the employees about poor leadership styles in the organization and as such, the organization experience high employee turnover. This leadership style is practiced and results in low productivity and employees are not motivated.

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Data collection

Since this is a company that I have previously worked with as a consultant, the main data collection method that was used was interviewing. This collection method was employed majorly because of the close contact and the level of relationship that existed between me and the various employees in the organization. The advantage of using interviewing as a data collection method is that it is a primary source that ensures that the data precise and as such, lacks ambiguity.

Various interviews were performed at different times. There were several groups of persons who were interviewed and these included the middle-level managers, junior employees, and casual employees. Former employees were also interviewed with the aim of establishing the real cause of the high employee turnover in the organization. In total, there were one hundred employees interviewed with the majority being the junior employees. They composed fifty percent of the number of employees interviewed with a total number of fifty of them being interviewed. The period of the whole interview process took two months.

The middle-level managers offered information that related to the flow of information in the organization, as well as the relevance of the organization’s culture in the real estate industry. The junior employees were interviewed in order to obtain information on the nature of leadership style and the relationship between the leadership and the employees’ performance. The former employees were interviewed in order to get an insight into the relationships between the organization leadership and the employee turnover rate.

The other data collection method that was used in this study was an observation. On several occasions, I was able to visit the organization where I observed the channels of communication between the CEO and the junior employees. During this time, several valuable observations were made that not only revealed the communication channels used, but also the communication reception and following reaction. The advantage of using this data collection method is that it is a primary source of information because it presents first-hand information.

Reference to the secondary materials was also made. The secondary materials offer the information that has been used in previous studies and also the findings that have been made on the same subject. The advantages of this source of information are that it presents what has been studied before and also offers literature on the organizational culture and design. The various secondary sources of information used are organization behavior books, academic and scholarly journals.

Internal records were also observed as a source of data. These records offered information about the operations of the organization, as well as the various management decisions that were made and documented. These records also included the memos made within the organization that, in most cases, offered executive directives to the junior employees and supervisors.

Problems experienced during data collection

The above-named data collection methods presented various problems. The main problem that was experienced while interviews were the variation in the responses from the various individuals who were interviewed. Some of the individuals interviewed did not give accurate data and thus this made the compilation of the data a bit difficult since there was a considerable variation in the information. However, this shortcoming was sufficed by other methods of data collection, such as observation.

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The use of books and scholarly journals as a secondary means of data collection also presented some challenges. Most of the journals that were referred to similar cases like the one being studied, and as such, they only offered the theoretical framework for organizational culture and design.

Data analysis

The data collected above was important for us to offer the theoretical framework, as well as a practical example of the organizational design and culture. The primary sources of data, such as observations offered relevant information with regard to the practical application of the study of organizational design. This is because observations were made on the various modes of communication, as well as the content therein. Information reception and feedback were also observed.

The secondary data was useful as it allowed to present the relationship between the theoretical framework of organizational design, as well as the practical application of the same. These data sources included textbooks that explained the various organizational behavior components, as well as several related case studies, did previously.

The data analysis used was a rather simple one as the available data was compiled manually and inferences were made on the information presented. The various interview responses were analyzed and the data analysis method that was used was the modal method. The similar responses that were obtained were tallied and the response that appeared several times was used to make a conclusion. The sources of secondary data were used to indicate the similarities between the sources of related information that have been analyzed previously, as well as various inferences made and provided the ground for the subsequent recommendations.

Findings from the data collected

The modern-day organizational environment is composed of numerous factors that determine how the organization runs its business. A closer look at the organization under study reveals that the leadership style that is used in this organization is autocratic leadership with the CEO being at the helm of every decision that is made. Of all the fifty junior employees interviewed, forty-five of them indicated that the CEO runs the organization like a “machine”. This is a metaphor that is used to describe an organization where all decisions are made by one person and the command flows downwards from managers to employees.

Many of the employees said that often the CEO made several non-courteous remarks. Sometimes, the CEO sent an e-mail saying to everyone, “Do it my way or go apply to be a greeter at Walmart.” This is a clear indication that the organization is run like a machine. A close examination of the company records revealed that the CEO’s compensation plan included bonuses that were pegged on the financial performance of the company. This made her offer strict terms to the employees including paying poor salaries and ensuring that they work with tight and dictated schedules. This ensured that the company’s profit margins are kept high so as to ensure that the CEO gets as much yearend bonus as possible.

Interviews conducted with the former employees of this company indicated that the autocratic leadership used in this company was largely responsible for the high rate of employee turnover. Most of the terms were dictated by the management and the views of the employees were not considered at all. This kind of leadership always presents a problem to the management since there is always a crisis between the management and the employees. This crisis means that the employees are never given the chance to air their views, as well as make decisions.

The secondary data sources are used to offer information on how complex organizations ought to be managed so as to ensure efficient and effective operations. According to Wood and Bandura (1989), organizational culture should be directed towards ensuring that the human factors are given priority when managing the organization. This is because human beings possess some attributes, such as learning skills that enable them to adjust to the organizational environment (Wood & Bandura, 1989). The social cognitive theory of organizational management states that people in an organization usually learn from the environment that they are subjected to and develop characteristics that are related to the environment that they are subjected to.

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Summary and conclusions

From the various data collected and analyzed, it was concluded that the organization’s management practiced a strict bureaucratic structure. This structure had the CEO at the helm of leadership with all the directives, and decisions made by her were transmitted directly to the junior employees. The employees were afraid of the CEO, and most of them lacked the confidence to confront the situation either through the trade unions or address the problem directly to the CEO. The CEO once sent an e-mail to employees telling them to perform their roles the way she dictated or go to look for employment elsewhere.

Most employees were intimidated and did not have the confidence to look for employment elsewhere. This made them continue to work under this form of leadership and this gave the CEO the freedom to continue her autocratic leadership style. Most of the employees also left the organization majorly because of the poor relationship between the management and the employees with the employees leaving the organization to look for jobs elsewhere.

According to the middle-level managers, the CEO did not give a chance for them to make decisions and constant micro-management for whom the CEO characterized their daily work. The CEO’s main goal was to impress the board of directors. She also targeted to increase her yearly bonuses as spelled in her compensation plan. The organizational culture of this company is therefore defined by the CEO’s role as the sole source of authority. As such, employees of this company have continued working in such an environment and this has negatively impacted the productivity of the employees with the majority of them failing to feel like part of the organization.

The above-named organization represents a strict bureaucratic organization where the management is always the sole source of decisions. This has, as a result, caused the fall of motivational levels of the employees, and consequently, a decline in their productivity. The CEO ought to understand the concept of organizational culture as well as the relationship between the organizational culture and productivity levels. The span of control should be broadened to enable the employees to make independent decisions without the need of consulting the management. The above organization culture ought to be improved so as to improve the view of the employees on the management as well as reduce the rate of employee turnover.

The strict machine-like design as seen above fails to offer proper leadership to the organization, and organizations that practice such leadership styles experience numerous problems, such as high employee turnover rate and low productivity. Organizations’ managements should therefore ensure that the leadership styles they employ in their organizations are in the best interest of the internal and external stakeholders of the organization.

References

Berger, A. (1997). Continuous Improvements and Kaizen: Standardization and Organizational Designs. Journal of Intergrated Manufacturing Systems , Vol. 8 (No. 2), 110-117.

Hellriegel, D., & Slocum, J. W. (2011). Organizational Behaviour. Michigan: Cengage Learning.

Wood, R. E., & Bandura, A. (1989). Social cognitive theory of organizational management. Academy of Management Review , 361-384.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Real-Estate Company’s Cultural Analysis." April 30, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/real-estate-companys-cultural-analysis/.

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