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14.

A small group of managers at Falcon Computer met regularly on Wednesday


mornings to develop a statement capturing what they considered to be the
Falcon culture Their discussions were wide -ranging, covering what they
thought their firms culture was, what it should be, and how to create it. They
were probably influenced by other firms in their environment, since they were
located in the Silicon Valley area of California.
Falcon Computer was a new firm, having been created just eight months earlier.
Since the corporation was still in the start-up phase, managers decided that it

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would be timely to create and instill the type of culture they thought would be
most appropriate for their organization. After several weeks of brainstorming,
writing, debating, and rewriting, the management group eventually produced a
document called Falcon Values which described the culture of the company as
they saw it. The organisational culture statement covered such topics as treatment
of customers, relations among work colleagues, preferred style of social
communication, the decision-making process, and the nature of the working
environment.

Peter Richards read over the Falcon values statements shortly after he was hired as a
software trainer. After observing managerial and employee behaviours at Falcon for a few
weeks, he was struck by the wide discrepancy between the values expressed in the
document and what he observed as actual practice within the organization. For example,
the Falcon values document contained statements such as this: Quality: Attention to
detail is our trademark; our goal is to do it right the first time. We intend to deliver defectfree products and services to our customers on the date promised. However, Richards had
already seen shipping reports showing that a number of defective computers were being
shipped to customers and his personal experience supported his worst fears. When he
borrowed four brand-new Falcon computers from the shipping room for use in a training
class, he found that only two of them started up correctly without additional technical
work on his part.

Another example of the difference between the Falcon values document and actual
practice concerned this statement on communication: Managing by personal
communication is part of the Falcon way. We value and encourage open, direct,
person-to-person communication as part of our daily routine.

Executives bragged about how they arranged their chairs in a circle to show equality and
to facilitate open communications whenever they met to discuss the Falcon values
document. Richards had heard the open communication buzzword a lot since coming to
Falcon, but he hadnt seen much evidence of such communication. As a matter of fact, all
other meetings used a more traditional layout, with top executives at the front of the room.
Richard believed that the real organisational culture that was developing a Falcon was
characterised by secrecy and communications that followed the formal chain of command.
Even the Falcon values document, Richard was told, had been created in secret.
Richards soon became disillusioned. He confided in a co-worker one afternoon that the
Falcon values document was so at variance with what people saw every day that very few
of them took it seriously. Employees quickly learned what was truly emphasized in the
organisation-hierarchy, secrecy and expediency and focused on those realities instead,
ignoring many of the concepts incorporated in the values document. Despite his
frustration, Richards stayed with Falcon until it field for bankruptcy two years later. Next
time, he thought to himself as he cleaned out his desk, Ill pay more attention to what is

actually going on, and less to what top management says is true. Furthermore, he
thought to himself, I guess you just cant create values.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION


Qs.1) What is more important, the statements in a corporate culture document or
actual managerial behaviour?
Ans.1) Here it is not easy to say which is more important either the statement in
corporate culture document or actual managerial behavior. Because organizational
culture increases the behavioral consistency of the employees and the behavior of
the employees in an organization represent the picture of the organizational culture.
In todays workplace, the role of culture in influencing employees behaviour
appears to be increasingly important. And at the same time, employees actual
behavior is also important which in turn depicts that organization is having a good
culture and proper implementation process of the culture is being followed. So here
incorporation of the culture in employees behavior is more important. Because
once the corporate culture document is ready the behavior of employees depends
upon whether it is properly implemented or not.
Since Falcon Computer was a new firm so creation of the document called
Falcon Values which described the culture of the company was fine but they
hadnt decided as to how the statement in the Falcon Values document would be
implemented in actual practice. And thus there emerged differences in the
statement in the Falcon Values document and the actual practices of the managers
and the employees. There should be proper communication and implementation
(ex Telling Stories - Ford motor, Nike etc. Rituals Wal-Mart, IBM, Ericsson,
PriceWaterhouse-Coopers etc. and many more...) of the organizational culture so
that the statement mentioned in the corporate culture document is congruent with
the actual behaviour of the employees.
Qs.2) Why did the Falcon executives act as they did?
Ans.2) The Falcon executives acted as they did because they wanted to maintain
their supremacy in the organization by virtue of the positions held but at the same
time also wanted to create and maintain such an organizational culture that every
employee in the organization could identify with. Through the Falcon Values
document, the executives did want to develop their own organization specific
culture but they also wanted to make sure that their positions in the organization
hierarchy were maintained. While the executives wanted to create and thereby
project a common culture in the organization, the reality was that hierarchy,

secrecy and expediency was truly emphasized in the organization ignoring many of
the concepts incorporated in the values document.
Qs.3) Why didnt employees like Richards blow the whistle on Falcon, challenging
the inconsistency between values and behavior?
Ans.3) The Employees did not like Richards Whistle Blow because they were
themselves very much part and parcel of Falcons Organizational culture.
-When the culture was planned and implemented in the organization, probably top
management didnt include all the employees but when they implemented it, it
affected each and every employee of the organization. All the employees became a
part of it and became habituated in that culture, they adopted the culture and even
made some internal changes (in their value system). So blowing the whistle and
changing the culture was like pulling them out of their comfort zone.
-Blowing whistle is the previous stage of change. As we know changes are always
prevented in an Organization (sometimes because of financial loss, sometimes
because of fear of unknown, some times because of selective information
processing etc). Also, the employees didnt like the whistle blow as a predecessor
of Organizational Change.
-And here as the employees were also practicing the wrong culture, they didnt
want the whistle to blow.
Qs.4) How can executives go about changing the old values that govern an
organization?
Ans.4) It is very hard to change the old values or culture. So, first of all, it should
be observed that whether the value is good or not. The question Is the value
causing any problem to the goodwill of the organization? should be asked. If so,
then first of all, the higher authorities should be made to understand that with time,
some old values might become obsolete which in turn necessitates the changing of
the values for the betterment of the organization. Then the needed amendment
should be made in the culture, as the culture is imbibed by the employees of the
8organization. So, first of all, the higher executives should bring in the change and
then they should also ask the employees to do the same & thereby help them to
change their organizational culture. In this way the executives can go about
changing the old values that govern an organization.