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Organizational Cultural Inventory Paper

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Essay title: Organizational Cultural Inventory Paper

OCI Paper

I applied the Organizational Cultural Inventory (OCI) with the intention that it is a fictional company, J Enterprises. It will be assumed that it is one of the largest financial services companies in the world. The main emphasis of the responses comes from the department in which I work. However, the results could be indicative of the entire company.

The OCI Circumplex showed that the company has a culture with moderately strong Oppositional and Humanistic-Encouraging styles. It also significantly displays Avoidance and Self-Actualizing styles. The two least prominent styles are Perfectionistic and Approval. At first glance, the organization may seem to be working against itself, since the styles are on opposite sides of the circumplex. This is not really the case though.

This organization prides itself on being detail oriented. Because of this, members are encouraged to point out mistakes when mistakes are found. That is a characteristic of an Oppositional style. However, this company focuses on a “Don’t Ask Who, Ask Why” ideology. For example, when an error is discovered in the processing of a transaction, a person is expected to find out why it occurred more than who committed the error. In addition, that person feels comfortable communicating the issue to coworkers of all levels. This reflects a Humanistic-Encouraging style.

Even though this organization scored in the moderate range for Avoidance, by evaluating further, it has a specifically high characteristic that causes this. The main trait that exemplifies Avoidance is pushing decisions upwards. For example, when an associate researches and feels that a transaction needs to be adjusted, it takes two additional levels to make the final decision. Outside of this particular characteristic, this company scores low for an Avoidance style.

The Self-Actualizing style is fairly straightforward. The company encourages employees to further themselves and have a wide variety of experiences. One example of this is having a required 40 hours of training and learning classes each year for every employee. Also, a generous school reimbursement program promotes higher education for anyone who is interested.

There are several Organizational Behavior factors that help shape the norms and expectations within this organization. Although work stress and leadership are among the contributing factors, I will focus on values and attitudes, strategy, and communication.

First of all, values and attitudes are significant factors. The company has a strong terminal value of supporting a long-term investment philosophy. Two of the instrumental values used to achieve this are being courageous, and exercising self-discipline. One instance that showed both of these values was during the late 1990s. At that time, investments in technology companies, and the technology sector of the financial markets had been increasing at a high rate of return. This organization did not spend disproportionate resources creating or maintaining products to “chase” the returns on technology investments. That would be considered contrary to the company value of long-term investing. This showed both courage and self-discipline.

A strong strategy is another factor that is prevalent in this organization. One of the strategies, directed towards institutional investors, is to position the company as the total retirement provider. This concept is a part of everyday dealings with the clients. For example, when there are discussions with a company about that client’s main retirement plan, the presentation is made to service other retirement vehicles that the company may have. However, this organization does not seek to provide non-retirement services, such as payroll, to their clients. This well defines strategy is important within the company.

The other organizational behavior factor that is important at the company is communication. This is shown in all three types of organizational communication: downward, upward, and lateral. This company values downward communication, particularly in the form of status updates on individual performance, and organizational progress. An example of this is the weekly team briefings, and monthly team meetings where there is an update on team, department, and company objectives for the year and longer time horizons. Upward communication is also common. This is shown in Skip Level meetings, required of all employees once a year. These are a time when one meets with the supervisor of your supervisor, thereby skipping one level of management. The third type of communication, lateral, is seen, although it could be developed. For instance, there are many project teams in the organization. However, only 17 percent of these projects involve employees at the company’s

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