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Corporate Structure and Culture Description: Good Sport

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Corporate Structure and Culture Description: Good Sport

Corporate Structure and Culture Description: Good Sport

Good Sport’s overall corporate structure is a rather formal and hierarchical one, with each department nearly insulated from the others in their culture. The segregation of each department in the daily activities allows each one to take on its own character, which develops into the assumptions, beliefs, and behavioral expectations that McShane & Von Glinow (2005) discuss in their definition of Organizational Culture.

This is best seen in the difference between sections one and two of the simulation. Section one deals with the Sales Department, known to have a relatively informal culture, as well as being supportive of those individuals that promote their ideas. They work in a relationship-focused business segment where they must prove the company’s focus on the customers’ needs. Because of the need for them to build relationships in order to succeed in meeting their sales goals, they tend to work at building relationships that serve their own needs while serving the needs of others. Since “the customer is king” with this group and since everyone would prefer to do business with a friend (Gitomer, 2006, inside cover), the focus for all of their activities remains on the needs of the customer, and everything they do must serve to develop their relationship with that customer. This is described in the simple term presented by Maio (1995) in the form of “WIFM,” or “what’s in it for me?” Each action considered by members of the Sales department must answer the customer’s question of “what’s in it for me?” This continues outside of their customer interaction and manifests itself in their informal out-of-office meetings, which help them develop their relationships within the department and with networking contacts, which help these relationship-driven individuals to constantly answer this question as it is presented by those with whom they interact. They also respect the opinions of corporate icons in the organization, which is based in their desire to develop personal relationships that serve their needs. Based on this understanding, it would be fruitful to be able to develop a relationship with the employees in the Sales department. Rather than relying on the promise of future support as a source of reward power (McShane & Von Glinow, 2004, p 361), which may or may not materialize in the future, another option would be to engage the peer-level manager of the Sales department and their direct reports in a manner that initiates and develops a functional relationship. At this point, the concept of referent power (McShane & Von Glinow, 2004, p362) dominates. Because this relationship-based culture is highly regarded in the Sales department, this soft technique of gaining trust and admiration from the members of the Sales department will enhance their trust in the fact that the goals of the R&D department are in line with their own. Specifically, they are interested in providing what the customer wants, and if the representative from the R&D department has demonstrated that their goal is to develop what the customer wants, the job of the Sales department is made that much easier. The WIFM concept is not limited to what they can offer to others; the members of the Sales department are interested in furthering their own agenda.

In contrast, section two deals with the Production department, which is much more formal in their relationships within the department and with outsiders. While the employees in the Production department are also respectful of their superiors, including the corporate icons revered by the Sales department, they are more interested in their creative problem solving abilities and facts related to their performance. The tendency to be swayed not by relationships but by facts and the recognition by others that their performance is vital to the success of the company leads to a much different type of discussion within this department. Rather than informal meetings that help develop interpersonal relationships, they will tend toward formal meetings that discuss the concepts of the problem at hand and how they can overcome the obstacles set before them. Based on the Production department’s desire to be included in the development of prototypes for a project, a preferable option to simply “presenting the creative challenge” would be to formally address the exclusion of the Production department and then to request their help and ideas to address potential manufacturing issues. To offer an even more significant recognition of the Production department, it would be preferable to be able to recognize the efforts of the Production department in trouble-shooting and cost saving efforts during prior to the product launch. The formal nature of the department lends itself to appreciating the recognition that they were not appropriately

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