Customer Inserts Instructor's Name Here Organizational Climate Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Organizational Climate vs. Organizational Culture

Compare and Contrast Situational Awareness with Situational Understanding

Compare and Contrast Operational Art with Operational Design.

Organizational Climate vs. Organizational Culture

Organizational climate is easier to influence as compared to organizational culture. Describing each in turn - organizational culture and organizational climate are related but disparate concepts. Culture is the set of pervading values, traditions and beliefs that embody most of the members of the organization, whereas the climate tends to describe elements in an organization that are more easily measured. These elements include: innovation, leadership, flexibility and overall employee contentment.

We can see that organizational culture is more deep rooted and is a shared set of norms and values that are expressed through symbols and rituals. These could be factors such as an organizational culture that supports that people sit in late and complete their work, whereas another organization's culture as passed on from seniors might be such that everyone leaves on time. Other aspects could include a greater sense of camaraderie among employees and peers, whereas another has a more formal setup with barely any interaction beyond the scope of work.

The instances explained above indicate a phenomenon that is deep-rooted in the psyche of those who are working for the organization and defines how things are taken for granted. And it is these 'taken-for-granted' things that become a part of the work ethos and are institutionalized so that any change is hard to get by.

Now consider organizational climate. This is more like the top-layer or the crust of the organization which involves elements that are obvious and those that can easily be influenced by the management. For instance the climate for innovation can be built by incentivizing out-of-the-box, workable ideas. Or if leadership is a problem, the top management can evaluate employees on the basis of the skills they possess in the area and then train them further to encourage effective leadership within the company.

Considering the two aspects we can see that while culture is entrenched, climate can be controlled better. That is not to say that culture cannot be changed, but to imply that it takes more time, more patience and can be more difficult relative to changing the climate.

The argument or the choice of one over the other makes it necessary to chose culture over climate. Climate is important, but culture is what determines shared goals and values and in turn sets the stage for how work is done in a company. There are two main reasons for this; the first is that culture determines how employees perceive themselves and their work in the context of the overall organization. If the culture does not match their personal values, there is a high likelihood that they will not be able to perform to their true potential even if the management is encouraging the climate of teamwork or of leadership.

The second reason for considering culture important is that culture manifests itself through rituals and symbols that sustain as well as express it. This is not the case as far as the climate goes, and this easy adaptability feature also indicates that the climate might not last for a long time, or might last as long as the management pushes it. Left on its own the climate is likely to fade, but culture prevails despite it not being backed by managerial motive.

It goes to say, in light of the rationale provided that these two important intangible variables account to an organization's success, but while climate is important, culture is what truly determines an organization's values and ascertains what elements of the climate can exist within its domain. Therefore the thesis in light of the arguments forwarded above sustains itself, and while there might be different opinions, it holds that culture is more deep-rooted and hence preferred.

Compare and Contrast Situational Awareness with Situational Understanding

The difference between situational awareness and situational understanding is analogous to the difference between information and knowledge. While knowledge is dependent on information, information without intelligent thought put into it is useless. Similarly situational awareness without situational understanding is useless.

The contrast between awareness and understanding can be more profoundly cognized by perusing the details of each. As far as situational awareness is concerned, it is the analysis of the environment and the conscious sense of it. Awareness entails the perception of the environment and the peripherals. It takes into account how people become aware of things that surround them in order to be able to better 'understand' how they will interact with each other to bring about a meaningful picture. It also includes realizing how an individual's actions will impact the environment as well. It helps in determining the relationship between the various situational factors and how they can either be a threat or a boon for the outcome of the situation. An example can be that of a child nearing the brink of a road. The awareness criteria for the parent would be the speed at which the child moves, the amount of traffic on the road, the distance the child is away from the road, and so forth. This will help him be aware of what the situation peripherals are like and the danger they pose to his child if the child is not stopped.

As far as situational understanding is concerned, it comprehends what the situation entails by linking it to experience and learning and then making meaningful use of it. It actually is the mental process by which an individual institutionalizes the situational awareness factors and uses them for some purpose. The same case of the child moving towards the edge of the road can be used to explain understanding as the cognition that the child is in danger and his life needs to be saved springing the observing parent into action.

Going by these explanations and examples, it is now easy to relate to the importance of understanding vs. awareness. Understanding is far more important as it differentiates between intelligence and information. Anyone in this information age can be aware of what is happening around him or her, but not everyone can understand it so fully as to make use of it to make a mark on the world. Moreover, understanding is the differentiating factor between an animal and a human. An animal is aware of the threats in his or her surrounding but cannot make meaningful linkages as an understanding human can in terms of the long-term implications that the information entails with it.

Another example of the importance of situational understanding vs. situational awareness can be the case of organizations in a competitive environment. Companies that are only aware of the environmental factors that impact them cannot do much if they only sit on this information. But it should be noted here that this assimilation of information is an important first step. There are companies then which evaluate the situation and look proactively for solutions to impending problems, and in doing so understand the situation and try to act in accordance with experiential, advisory and academic learning.

Therefore, understanding is broader than awareness where awareness is information and understanding is intelligence which comes about through the assimilation and comprehension of the information. This fact is evident in how awareness and understanding are defined and how each is a corollary to the other. Therefore the thesis in light of the arguments forwarded above sustains itself, and while there might be different opinions, it holds that while understanding comes after awareness, understanding is more encompassing and analytical and hence is preferred.

Compare and Contrast Operational Art with Operational Design.

Operational art is a broad umbrella in military terminology which is used to achieve critical strategic goals. Operational design is one aspect of this, akin to art being the mother of design, color, and other elements that form an art. As far as the relative importance of each is concerned, art has more significance in military studies, as it lays down the broad framework under which operational elements such as design follow.

Therefore in essence and in business terms, art is the strategic vision of the firm while design entails the development of action plans in order to attain the goals set. Taking a look at how this is so, we need to bear in mind that art entails a broad scope of work that is practiced by the Joint Force Commanders but also by senior members of the military who want to lay out a direction for the forces. While one might think that this is intangible and immeasurable in terms of evaluating success, art, on the contrary, is the strategic focus of the military that determines to what lengths it is going to go in order to achieve their objectives and how far it can compromise on its set goals for the greater good. For example, the operational art in the U.S. Afghanistan war was to catch the Taliban; this was the…

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