Explored here will be a former employer, whose culture and method of communication in the workplace made it difficult for the organization to work together as a whole. Many organizations struggle with this particular issue, because they are not aware of what they can do to make much-needed changes that will allow for better communication in the workplace. The company in question was domineering in a sense, in that it did not allow for a good mixing of the cultures of the people who worked there. There was some mixing, because that is inevitable when there are a number of people who have different cultural beliefs all working in one spot. However, there was far less mixing and understanding than could have been seen and then could have been expected. This made it very difficult for people to do their jobs properly, because a significant number of them felt as though they were not successful at blending into the organization and being accepted.
The lack of acceptance in an organization is a big part of a behavioral analysis, since there is an unspoken "rule" that acceptance is important and necessary when it comes to whether an organization sees success. People need to be able to work well together, and they need to get along and understand one another, in order for an organization to do well. That is not to say that companies cannot survive without this, but only that it is something over which many companies have been troubled and have struggled, because they have found that people who do not mesh well together culturally are also not able to mesh well together from a work standpoint. That is, of course, a serious problem for any company that wants to be successful. In order for a company to do well in reaching its goals, it needs the proper culture and method of communication, along with motivation and other factors that keep it moving forward as one unit.
Type of Culture
There are three types of culture -- pluralism, dualism, or salad bowl (Sopow, 2007). The former employer had and seemed to encourage the salad bowl style of culture. One would think that would not be a problem, but it did not allow people in the organization to really work together. Everyone had their differences, and those differences seemed to be what each person clung to. There were many similarities, as well, but those were not as pronounced. Because of the salad bowl way in which the company culture was handled, it appeared as though the company simply consisted of a number of different people, all doing their own thing in their own way. That was fine for routine, daily tasks, but it was very difficult when there was any need to work within a group. People were so different and they had not been encouraged to see their similarities or to get to know one another, and that made things very confusing when they suddenly had to find common ground so they could get something done.
Unless people have some familiarity with one another across cultural boundaries, working together in a group in any kind of successful way can be very difficult (Barney, 1986; Black, 2003). It would have been much easier if the owner of the company would have worked to build an organization in which people felt valued for who they were and were also encouraged to learn about and embrace the differences of their coworkers. That would have made working in teams a great deal less stressful and confusing, because there would have been much more harmony within the company. Unfortunately, the owner did not see the value in doing that, and nothing had changed by the time the company became a former employer, instead of a current one. The company has still not made any effort to change, and is still stagnating in its field. Until and unless the company focuses on moving forward in a way that encourages people to work together properly, little success will be seen.
Modes of Communication
The way an organization communicates can be a big indicator of whether it is negative or positive where organizational behavior is concerned (Papa, 2008). Verbal and written communication both have their place, however, and both are important. The key is knowing when to use one or the other in order to make sure there is a level of formality, but that it does not become so formal that nothing can get done because it is not possible to get past the "paperwork" stage of a request or decision. That was slowly happening to the former employer, in that more and more requests and ideas were required to be emailed or provided in writing, instead of simply providing them verbally. The company's official position on that was that it was necessary to have a written record of everything, in case there were questions or concerns at a later date. However, many of the times that written communication was required, verbal communication would have been more than sufficient. This frustrated the people who worked for the company, and kept them from communicating as much as they should.
When people are frustrated because communication has been made difficult for them, they often just stop communicating (Sopow, 2007). That is a problem, of course, because much of the communication that would have taken place, and that was necessary to the successful running of the organization, then does not take place at all. That is unfortunate, and also makes moving forward very difficult for the organization. In short, there is little that can be done about the issue, because one has to follow the rules of the company. That, in turn, can be much more stressful for the people who work there, and can even cause them to leave and seek employment elsewhere. Too much required written communication means too much stress and too much formality. It also takes longer to get anything done, and that can put a company behind its competitors (Jex & Britt, 2008).
Nature of Authority
The nature of authority in an organization is another area that is very important. Those who work for the organization must be aware of who is in charge, but there are different ways for a person to be in charge of something, as well. The most common difference is in transactional vs. transformational leadership (O'Donovan, 2006). The former is much more strongly focused on a boss who tells people what to do and expects them to do it, while the latter is much more focused on a person who is in charge but who is also a team player who likes to work with others for a common goal. If that type of leadership is offered, a person is much more likely to be receptive to it, because that person feels as though he or she is included and can make a difference, instead of just being ordered to handle something. The way a person is spoken to by a leader, and how much that person feels the leader is invested in the outcome, can both make a significant difference. These are issues that should be carefully considered, because they strongly affect how an organization operates.
The former employer discussed here was very much a transactional leader. The entire goal of the company seemed to be for the employer to tell everyone what they were supposed to do, and then sit back and wait for them to do it. Naturally, that harmed morale because people resented being ordered around by someone who did not appear to be doing any work at all. It was likely that the boss was actually doing a lot of work, but the lack of teamwork that was presented made things difficult because people felt as though they were being ordered to do something that others would not, and they did not see their value to the organization. A leader who is more focused on teamwork is better able to help people see that they have worth and value when it comes to what they do for the organization, and that can help keep everyone working toward a common goal.
The way in which people are motivated is very important. There are two main types of motivation, and these are intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external). People can be motivated by things that matter to them on the inside, or they can be motivated by something that is offered to them on the outside (Barney, 1986). Often, there is more than one way to motivate a person. The former employer was mostly interested in motivating people through money, which was a good way to motivate a lot of employees. However, not everyone is motivated that way, and the boss was not good at thinking outside of the box and realizing that there could be other ways in which a person might be interested in being motivated. Some people wanted time…