Do you think it is possible for an outsider to accurately discern about the underlying cultural values of an organization by analyzing symbols, ceremonies, dress, or other observable aspects of culture in comparison to an insider with several years of work experience?

Chapter 10: Do you think it is possible for an outsider to accurately discern about the underlying cultural values of an organization by analyzing symbols, ceremonies, dress, or other observable aspects of culture in comparison to an insider with several years of work experience? Select a percentage (10%, 70%, etc.) and explain you reasoning.

It is hard to put a percentage on this subject, but is safe to say that three-in-ten, or 30 percent, would accurately understand the underlying cultural values of an organization by observing its dress, ceremonies and other aspects. The text Daft R. ,(2016) defines culture as “the set of values, norms, guiding beliefs, and understandings that is shared by members of an organization and taught to new members as the correct way to think, feel, and behave.” (p. 386). As an outsider, it is easy to observe the way people dress or act, and make note of an organization’s ceremonies and have an initial perception of what it all means, but not until they are an insider will they note what the underlying meaning is. The easiest example of this is the military.

The military dress and act a certain way, and they are depended upon its customs and courtesies and drill and ceremonies. To an outsider, it is perceived as entertaining as an audience member would view a play. However, everything that is done is done with a purpose. Each branch of service wears its own uniform. They are distinguished to an outsider as to which branch they belong to. With each uniform there are rank insignia, ribbons, and accouterments that tell the story of who they are and what their role is with the service. Only an insider would know this information, but there are some well-read outsiders who are familiar with this hence the 30 percent number presented earlier.

With regards to the drill and ceremony and customs and courtesies, this is based in discipline and purpose. Troop formations and movements were designed to more large numbers of troops in quick and orderly fashion (Army, 2006). Movements are in ceremonies to entertain the audience and display the organization’s discipline; however that is just a byproduct of its intended purpose. Customs and courtesies are another way to identify an individual’s role. Saluting is an example of this. The subordinate member of the organizations initiates and holds the salute until a responding salute is returned. It is a way of paying respect the person’s rank or position. Again, outsiders are not necessarily attuned to the purpose of these actions.

Chapter 11: A noted organization theorist once said, “Pressure for change originates in the environment. Pressure for stability originates within the organization.” Do you agree?

Yes, pressure for change does originate in the environment. Change does not happen; there is a reason to initiate change. Change happens when there is a disruption in an organization’s environment occurs. It is the only explanation for change to follow. If a reason does not exist, then it is logical that an action, or reaction, will not take place. Some reasons for organizational change are changes in its economical environment, technological environment, socio-cultural environment, political environment, and international environment (Sutevski, 2014). An organization that does not adjust to its ever-changing environment will certainly be passed by its adapting competition and will certainly fail.

As for the second part of the question, yes, pressure for stability does originate with the organization. A stable organization must be predictable. Effective organizations are efficient and have clear communication channels. Members of the organization must have total buy and obtain and understanding of the organization’s values and goals. Dr. Roger Allen (2012) wrote, “The limitation of an organization that fails to grow beyond stability is that efficiency is more important than innovation and development. Doing things by the book and following the procedures becomes more important than the purpose and mission of the organization.” Stability does not mean just do things by the book, but also give employees the latitude to be creative with the values of the organization. In other words, organizations should be doctrine sound, not doctrine bound.

Chapter 12: If managers frequently use experience and intuition to make complex, non-programmed decisions, how do they apply evidence-based management (which seems to suggest that managers should rely on facts and data)?

All decisions are not based on the gut. Managers should use a combination of data and experience to make decisions. Daft R. , (2016) states that intuitive decision making is “experience and judgment rather than sequential logic or explicit reasoning are used to make decisions.” (p. 477). With experience, come mistakes. Managers who learn from mistakes tend not to make them again. Experience helps interprets data and how to use it. Decisions tend to come quickly to managers who have knowledge in a particular area because the experience lead to realize patterns based on the information from their memory (pp. 478-479).

There are many other situations in which intuitive decision making is useful. For example, when situations are fast paced and rapid recall is required, or when a problem is poorly structured, experience can help managers can use situational reasoning. Additional situation is when factors are hard to interpret or when managers are dealing with incomplete or conflicting information (Anonymous, 2005). There is no substitute for experience. Doing things by the book or according to data will only go so far. “There are many situations in which neither analysis nor intuition is sufficient for making a god decision, so managers use a combination of processes.” (Daft, 2016, p. 479).

Chapter 13: In a rapidly changing organization, are decisions more likely to be made using the rational or political model of organization?

(Daft R. , (2016) says a rational model of an organization as “an ideal that is not fully achievable in the real world, though managers strive to use rational processes whenever possible.” (p. 518). He goes on to state that the political model is the opposite; one where conflict is high, goals inconsistent, power and control is decentralized, and the decision making process is disorderly. In a rapidly changing environment, organizations need to make sure they are making the right decision because they may never get a second chance. Therefore, organizations may need to slow down and take a conservative approach.

In order to make an informed decision, it is necessary for power and control to be centralized. A clear chain of command is important when strategy and goals are translated throughout the organization. Next, the decision making process must be orderly and logical. Knee jerk reactions and rash decisions only lead to wasted money, resources, and time. Finally, the information must be distributed extensively, systematically, and accurately. Any confusion or misinterpretation could be catastrophic to the execution of an organization’s plan (Daft, 2016, p. 518). A deliberate approach is the mainstay when executing a rational decision. When an organization is operating in a rapidly changing environment, change must be deliberate.

What biblical implications should be included/ addressed?

The biblical implication that should be included concerns stability within an organization. Mark 3:25 states, “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” President Abraham Lincoln echoed this sentiment in an 1859 speech he made in Springfield, Illinois. His message warned about the dire future of a nation that was at odds. Two distinct cultures, with different political beliefs, were not able to work out their differences and war was inevitable.

Within an organization, stability is very important. Members must be on the same page with regards to values and goals. Once differences and personal agendas are injected into the mission, goals change and the entire organization will begin to unravel and collapse. Dissension becomes a cancer that can quickly spread across the organization and away at it from the inside. Additionally, instability will erode at the values of any group. This erosion will contribute to the destruction of the organization’s foundation and further propel the rapid ruin that all members were working towards.

How can/should a biblical worldview be applied?

A clear, concise vision is at the crux of any well run organization. Habakkuk 2:2 states, “And the Lord answered me: ‘Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.’” To maximize organizational efficiency, the vision of a plan must be explained to all its members. Articulate the vision, goals, values, and culture. Find like-minded individuals who share these attributes and work toward achieving these goals. It is acceptable to leverage creativity, as long as it does not compromise the organization’s vision because any organization’s greatest asset is the people.

 

References Allen, R. (2012, February). The Center for Organizational Design. Retrieved from The 3 Stages of Organizational Development: www.centerod.com/2012/02/3-stages-organizational-development/ Anonymous. (2005). Time Management Guide.com. Retrieved from The Power of Intuition in Decision Making: www.time-management-guide.com/intuition-decision-making.html Army, D. o. (2006, April). Drill and Ceremonies. Field Manuel 3-21.5 . Washington, DC, USA: Headquarters, Department of the Army. Daft, R. (2016). Organization theory & design (12th ed.). Boston, MA: South-Western, Cengage Learning. Sutevski, D. (2014). Sources of Organizational Change. Retrieved from Entreprenurship in a Box: www.entrepreneurshipinabox.com/9/organizational-change-source/

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