Diversity & Global Issues in
• How does a little company headquartered in Bentonville
Arkansas become one of the largest retailers in the world
with more than $288 billion in sales? (Wal-Mart)
• How does a company selling a commodity product grow from
$122 million in sales to more than $5 billion in slightly more
than a decade? (Starbucks)
• How does a small company with the cards stacked against it
and whose original business plan was written on a napkin
grow into a key player in its market? (Southwest)
• How does a company with a dominant market position (more
than 42% market share) fall from grace over a period of 20
years? (General Motors)
The Answer is Corporate Culture:
The Invisible Asset (Or Liability!)
CORPORATE CULTURAL ENIGMAS
What is corporate culture?
Corporate culture is a
manifestation of the informally
sanctioned corporate attitude.
It is often referred to as
“Organizational DNA” or the
It is a fundamental contributor to
the success or failure of corporate
• A leader’s vision, policies, and actions
• Influential individuals or work groups
• Policies & Procedures (Careless, lax, or unclear)
• People management philosophy (ignoring
• Employee work-ethic (hire for attitude; train for
• Organizational policies (no gifts from suppliers,
casual Fridays, etc.)
CULTURE CAN EVOLVE FROM..
Elements of Organizational Culture
It’s here we
VALUE DRIVERS FOR COMPANIES & STAFF
When surveyed, here were the results for what are
the most important value drivers within U.S.
Corporate Culture: 48%
Strategic Planning: 41%
Operating Plan: 33%
Brand Marketing: 20%
Personality of a Company: values, beliefs, assumptions, principles & myths
• employees highly skilled & high retention
• good promotion activity
• stable environment
Baseball Team Culture:
• employees are “free” agents
• fast paced & high risk environment
• important to “fit” in
• promote from within & value seniority
• usually undergoes re-organization
• employees question stability
• continuous improvement striving towards goals & objectives
Competitive Culture (Sun Tzu “Art of War”)
• philosophy of people
• unity & focus
ADVANTAGES OF A FUNCTIONAL ORGANIZATION
• Employees are grouped by their knowledge and skills, which helps achieve the highest degree of performance.
• Their roles and responsibilities are fixed, which facilitates easy accountability for the work.
• The hierarchy is very clear and employees don’t have to report to multiple supervisors. Each employee reports to his or her
functional manager, which reduces the number of communication channels.
• Employees feel secure, and therefore, they perform well without fear.
• Since there is a sense of job security, employees tend to be loyal to the organization.
• Employees have a clear career growth path.
• Cooperation and communication are excellent within the department.
• Often experiences a positive Culture
Advantage of a Divisional Organizational
• Accountability. This approach makes it much easier to assign responsibility for actions and results. In particular, a division is run by
its own management group, which looks out for the best interests of the division.
• Culture. You can use this structure to create a culture at the divisional level that most closely meets the needs of the local market.
For example, a retail division could have a culture specifically designed to increase the level of service to customers.
• Local decisions. The divisional structure allows decision-making to be shifted downward in the organization, which may improve the
company's ability to respond to local market conditions.
• Multiple offerings. When a company has a large number of product offerings, or different markets that it services, and they are not
similar, it makes more sense to adopt the divisional structure.
Long-term concerns are predictability, efficiency,
Members value standardized goods and services
Managers view their roles as being good
coordinators, organizers, and enforcers of written
rules and standards
Tasks, responsibilities, authority, rules, and
processes are clearly defined
CLAN CULTURE: ATTRIBUTES
Members understand that contributions to the
organization exceed contractual agreements
A clan culture achieves unity with a long and
thorough socialization process
Members share feelings of pride in membership,
as well as feelings of personal ownership of a
business, a product, or an idea
Peer pressure to adhere to important norms is
Teamwork, participation, and consensus
There is a commitment to experimentation, innovation,
and being on the leading edge
This culture does not just quickly react to changes in
the environment—it creates change
Effectiveness depends on providing new and unique
products and rapid growth
Individual initiative, flexibility, and freedom foster
growth and are encouraged and well rewarded
MARKET CULTURE: ATTRIBUTES
Contractual relationship between individual and
Independence and individuality are valued and members
are encouraged to pursue their own financial goals
Does not exert much social pressure on an
Superiors’ interactions with subordinates largely consist
of negotiating performance–reward agreements and/or
evaluating requests for resource allocations
Has a weak socialization process
HOW DO YOU MEASURE AN
Workplace Survey (see slide #15 for sample questions)
• Employee Satisfaction – specific (i.e. benefits, policy)
• Climate Survey – more general in nature
• Company culture must be the centerpiece during on-boarding
process. Can instill values & beliefs
Employee Adjustment Meetings
• Company’s should meet with employees who just completed their
probation period. Why? You can find out a great deal of
information from this employee
Examine Turnover Rate
• Reviewing turnover rate allows you to see why employees are
leaving. Was it the culture? Management? Pay rate? Benefits?
Competitor poaching? You can make changes accordingly.
CULTURAL SURVEY QUESTIONS?
1. How happy are you at work?
2. Would you refer someone to work here?
3. Do you believe in our Brand?
4. Do you know our Mission Statement?
5. Do you have a clear understanding of your career path?
6. Can you rate your work/life balance?
7. Does the company communicate enough to employees?
8. Do you feel valued at work?
9. If you were to be given the chance, would you reapply for your
current position? (a personal favorite of mine)
10. Do you know who our CEO is?
11. Have you ever met the head of your department?
12. Hypothetically, if you were to resign, what would be your primary
13. Do you believe that we are an employer of choice?
14. If you could change one aspect of work-life here, what would it be?
ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURAL PARADOX
BLAME CULTURE vs. LEARNING CULTURE
Amazon has the ability to make you
feel like you are part of something
special. Your contributions make a
difference. You partner with
employees all over the globe. So,
why do I want to leave? So said quite
a few Amazon employees. Let’s Look!
AMAZON: CULTURAL PARADOX
Fact: Net sales of 136b in 2016
Fact: Net Income of 2.3b in 2016
Fact: Year over year growth = 27%
Fact: Most popular online store in the U.S. in 2016
Fact: Employs more than 341k employees
Fact: Facilities in more than 18 different states
Fact: Ranked 2.7/5.0 for Work/Life Balance
Fact: 3.1/5.0 ranking on Glassdoor
Fact: Average length of time employee stays = 1 year
Fact: FACE Website – employees air their grievances
Fact: Amazon currently has 23 cases before the EEOC
ranging from sexual harassment,
Only One Question Remains: WHY?
AMAZON: CULTURAL PARADOX
“Working at Amazon can be described as purposeful Darwinism”
- Former HR Executive
“Where overachievers come to feel bad about themselves”
- Former Operations Mgr.
“Wow I am so excited about performance review, said nobody
ever” - Current employee
“It is not unusual to see people crying at their desk. The most
frequent called number is to our EAP”
- Current employee
What does Amazon lack?
AMAZON: CULTURAL PARADOX
WHAT DOES AMAZON LACK?
1. Lack of Communication
• Absolutely no “Information Richness” – poor channels of
communication and a lack of actual meaning in their communication
has lead to low morale and turnover.
2. Hands-Off Leadership
• We have heard of Laissez Faire…but Amazon is so far removed from
micro-managing, in a recent survey employees stated they spoke
with their manager on work-related items on average 2x a week.
• GUYS – THIS CANNOT HAPPEN!!!
3. Too Fractionalized
• No cross-functionality
• No partnering departments
Result: Poorly viewed Corporate Culture and high Turnover
“Don’t be discouraged by organizational politics”
“Politics is how interests and influence play out in an
institution” - Benjamin Franklin
Defined as: activities employee’s engage in to increase
their power & use it to achieve their goals or
overcome resistance or opposition
Formal Individual Power
• stems from a person’s position in company hierarchy
Informal Individual Power
• stems from personal characteristics
UNION vs. NON-UNION CULTURE
• Terms & conditions of employment and wages are addressed in
the collective bargaining agreement
• Collective bargaining agreement articles over handbook
• Represented by union & shop steward
• Conflicts resolved thru mediation & arbitration
• Collective Bargaining Agreement voted on by union members
• Terms & conditions of employment are derived per company
• Wages are at management discretion
• Usually subject to higher increases & bonuses
• Employees do not vote on handbook
STUDENT RESPONSE QUESTION
Union Culture Question: How do you think a union can affect a
ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE QUESTION
STUDENT RESPONSE QUESTION
Given what we have read, learned and coupled with your experience,
as the workplace becomes more global, there is a statement,
“Ethnocentric companies, employ Xenophobic employees”.
1. IS THERE TRUTH TO THIS COMMENT?
Inc. Corporate Culture
• CORPORATE CULTURE ADHERENCE
POLICY REVIEW – Read and