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What is work culture?

company's culture is its personality and tells the employees how to do their work. It takes its signals from leaders and underlies motivation, morale, creativity, and marketplace success.

The personality of a company

Work culture is the distinctive personality of the organization that determines how members act, how energetically they contribute to teamwork, problem solving, innovation, customer service, productivity, and quality. It is the culture that makes it safe (or not safe) for a person, division or the whole company to raise issues and solve problems, to act on new opportunities, or to move in new, creative directions. A company's culture is often at the root of difficult people-related problems such as motivation, morale, absenteeism, communications, teamwork, retention, injuries, and insurance claims.

Behavior depends upon culture

Like ethnic cultures, work culture tells the employees how to behave, what to do, and what not to do. It is the context that gives meaning to what people do. If you want to understand why people act in a certain way at work, examine their work culture.

Observing the culture

By observing the way people act in the work environment, one can easily tell how the culture is constructed If people are open, motivated and engaged, you know that is the nature of the company's culture. In contrast if people are defensive, irresponsible, and passive, you also understand the company's culture.

What is a healthy work culture?

More involvement in decisions that affect each worker A feeling of safetymore openness and trust. Better communication and more information. Better teamwork and more cooperation. More focus on getting work done and less on who is doing it, or making comparisons. Clearer tasks, responsibilities, and boundaries, so employee can be personally responsible Looking forward to coming to work.

Introductions to a new work culture

Through part-time or other work experiences we have before joining a company, we have a rough idea of work expectations and culture (also through the interview process, observing coworkers interacting, etc) Once we are hired, it doesn't take more than a few days, or a few weeks at most, for us to know what to do, and what not to do, and the type of interactions that are accepted within that culture.

Looking to the boss

People watch their supervisors for cues about how to behave. Leaders who are open and engaged will encourage this from their workers. Each worksite establishes unwritten expectations. Despite written policies this is why some companies have employees who are engaged, responsible, pleasant, and highly productive. Conversely, other companies have employees who are closed, unengaged, irresponsible, unpleasant, and unproductive. The signals about these expectations come largely from the companys culture, which is established by the companys leadershipthe boss sets the tone!

Disability and work culture

Work cultures that openly communicate about daily problems are more likely to find positive ways to solve accommodation issues. Co-workers and supervisors that feel valued are more likely to value others, including those with disabilities. Sofinding a supportive work culture is very important to our students success!

Healthy organizational cultures

Organizations should strive for what is considered a "healthy" organizational culture in order to increase productivity, growth, efficiency and reduce counterproductive behavior and turnover of employees. A variety of characteristics describe a healthy culture, including:

Acceptance and appreciation for diversity Regard for and fair treatment of each employee as well as respect for each employees contribution to the company Employee pride and enthusiasm for the organization and the work performed Equal opportunity for each employee to realize their full potential within the company Strong communication with all employees regarding policies and company issues

Strong company leaders with a strong sense of direction and purpose Ability to compete in industry innovation and customer service, as well as price Lower than average turnover rates (perpetuated by a healthy culture) Investment in learning, training, and employee knowledge

Survival of small firms - reasons

Limited economies of scale in some industries such as agriculture Being ones own boss may accept a smaller profit for the social prestige of working for themselves or to retain control of the business Immobility in factor markets both geographical and/or occupational such as in cottage industries Goodwill for personalized services To continue providing specialist services or products Subcontracting such as in construction industry Niche marketing Nearness to market/customer

Business Growth

Financing Growth

Financing Growth
To grow a firm needs to be able to expand plant, equipment, buildings, human resources, etc. To do this it needs to acquire finance There are two basic sources:

Internal Sources
Private funds personal savings Profits retained profit ploughed back into the business. This assumes the business is successful Internal sources tend to mean growth is slower

Firms like Marks and Spencer have been around for many years, their growth has been primarily internal but has taken time.

External Sources
Loans from banks and financial institutions Venture Capital specialist groups who provide capital may take over ownership of the firm, build it up then sell it on at a profit in a few years Leasing allows a degree of flexibility in finance arrangements EU/Government Grants

Sudden growth can mean a sharp increase in demand or be the result of it! The firm may try to cater for this growth but not be able to meet demand Investment may be made in new capacity which incurs extra cost but customers may not pay at the same rate leading to cash flow problems and possible insolvency

External Growth

Mergers and takeovers

Reasons for mergers and takeovers
Economies of scale Growth Market domination/monopoly power Increased market valuation Stability/ reduce uncertainty Diversification Asset stripping Other reasons opportunity, empire building, broadening geographical base etc.

Types of integration
Horizontal integration
A firm takes over firms in the same industry and at a similar/same stage of production Eliminates competition Mergers of two car manufacturers

Types of integration
Vertical integration
Where firms in the same industry but different stages of production merge Occurs when a firm expands backwards towards its source of supply or forwards towards its market To ensure consistent supply of inputs and control over the sale of its products A car manufacturer merge with a car component parts producer - vertical backwards integration, or takes over a chain of retail showrooms vertical forward integration

Types of integration
Lateral growth
Occurs when a firm diversifies into a completely different industry or product market Also known as a conglomerate growth To gain economies of scale, risk spreading, increase market share May lack expertise away from the core business Car manufacturer takes over a leisure industry firm operating cinemas and theme parks

Conglomerate Growth

Conglomerate Growth the acquisition of firms in different production areas from its core market Kingfisher own Comet, B&Q, Woolworths, MVC and Screwfix

Many people may not have recognised Kingfisher plc as a business but are likely to have heard of the branded businesses they own. Sponsorship of Dame Ellen MacArthurs sailing exploits have helped raise the groups profile.

Internal Growth

Internal Growth

Internal growth can come from:

Innovation new product development, new processes, new systems, etc. which can improve the efficiency of the firm

Competitive Advantage the means by which a firm

is able to make itself stand out from its rivals innovation could be one source of competitive advantage

Others might include:

After sales service Quality Price Cost advantages Brand image Environmental consciousness

Managing Growth

Managing Growth
Businesses are human organisations humans are difficult to manage! Larger organisations may suffer from diseconomies of scale Larger organisations may necessitate changing roles for the managers/leader/owners There may be a divorce between ownership (the shareholders) and control (the Board)