“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world. Indeed. It is the only thing that ever has. ” Margaret Mead In the past 25 years, the concept of organizational culture has gained wide recognition as a way to understand human systems. The culture of a group can now be defined as: A pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those robbers. (Scheme 373-374) Introduction During more than 4 years was working for 3 different non-profit organizations in the Bay Area. The known fact is that non-profits don’t state a profit as a main purpose of their operations. They declare the service of the public interests is as the most important goal. The short trait of cultural background of non-profit companies would be C]The culture of giving’. This statement describes well the California Birth Defect Monitoring Program (CPRM), the medium-sized non- profit organization where I was working for two years.
The company is located n Berkeley and many employees are graduates from US Berkeley, residing in the city. We all are familiar with democratic and radical culture of this town and the location of the company is actually affects its culture. People are very liberal, relaxed and are free in an expression of them selves. The structure of CPRM might be presented as following: CPRM Structure Board of Directors Management group Research Analysts IT Group Computer Programmers Administrative Staff There are four teams divided by specification of tasks they do and small group of managers, who supervises the performance of all groups.
Identifying the problems As many other non-profits CPRM has some organization problems. Working there I have been witnessing the increase of absenteeism and turnover, lack of communication between management group and staff, as well as within different teams. The other big problems were low level of job satisfaction and lack of motivation. People did not want to be involved in projects, try to escape challenging work. In addition, I noticed occurrence of an unhealthy competition between employees, damaging opposition between teams and high level of approval seeking behavior across all levels in company.
The next step in my research was to determine if these problems are single events or there are real organizational problems. Looking at the past history of CPRM and the observing the frequency of occurrence of negative events overall I can hypothesize that the company had increased the level of Aggressive/Defensive style as well as Passive/ Defensive style. Research In order to prove my hypotheses, I tried to create the CPRM Cultural Profile, applying the OIC measurements and some Statistical Analysis tools.
I collected the data from five coworkers and tried to analyze it, using graphics. The Figurer wows the differences in answers of each employee, including myself. The Figure 4 demonstrates an average score of all collected answers and proves the results showed in Figurer. Based on those results, I could distinguish the CPRM as an organization with Primary Constructive Cultural Style. The company had collected high scores in the Affiliated (48), Humanistic-Encouraging (46), Self- Actualization (44) and Achievement (42) positions, which are styles, fitting into Constructive oriented culture.
All the Constructive cultural norms, described in OIC, are consistent with the CPRM cultural environment. The statements such as creativity values over conformity, cooperation values over competition and quality over quantity can be exact characteristics of the company’s values. Believe the reason for that lies in the particularity of the mission of the CPRM. The most important outcome of entire company operation is scientific publications and statistical reports. Thus, the quality of data collection and statistical analysis is essential.
In order to achieve the excellence, employees require to be innovative, good team players and detail oriented. Following the OIC classification, I tend to categorize the CDMA as ‘IA Learning organizational] he organization that emphasizes improvement and system-wide approach to quality” 2. In addition, in terms of Organizational Level this company can be classified as an Inter-unit coordination type of organization. Overall, I agree with the result of OIC test. Remember John Harridan’s (the director of CPRM) famous saying was Defaming is the first priority and work is the second’.
I gave this example as an illustration of the CPRM humanistic propensity. According to OIC, in organizations with constructive style people encourage to work toward the satisfaction of whole company as well as each employee’s needs. This statement fits well into CPRM culture: the company was always very supportive to all employees in their professional development and training. I personally had about six company paid trainings. It was interesting to compare the CPRM profile to the “Typical Ideal Culture Profile”, offered by OIC. Figure 5) It looks like my company is highly over scored in the Affiliated and Competitive parts. In the contrary, in the Achievement and Perfectionist styles it has the lowest scores. In the Passive-Defensive Cluster the CPRM is far away from the ideal profile’s borders. Compare these scores I can determine that CPRM has the Passive- Defensive Style as the secondary style. This trend creates all the organizational problems had listed above. Hypothesis Collecting all written responses and talking to my former coworkers over the phone tried to find the cause of all troubles.
To my opinion, the CPRM has quite big problem in the management part. I believe that the statement, mentioned in the OIC is truly correct: The climate that we experience at work is determined, for the most part, by how well our managers are directing, developing and rewarding us. As a typical practice, the company’s top managers re people, who were employed with CPRM for many years and earned the personal trust from the Director. Sorry to say, most often these people need to advance their professional skills in order to lead the other employees.
For example, the manager of SASS programmers group was Mary J. , who started her employment with CPRM about 20 years ago as a data collector. Sure, she has a valuable experience as a data collector, but not as a leader of computer programmers. Consequently, lacking the basic understanding of the statistical programming, she was acting as the “manager by exception”, noticing of employee’s performance only when “the things went wrong”. Therefore the high score in the Competitive style appears to me as a result of the Passive-Defensive trend.
Most of the CPRM employees were putting a lot of efforts to compete in order to get approval from the leader. Conclusion The conclusion is that the CPRM needs to correct its organization climate in Aggressive/Defensive Passive/Defensive styles and create a healthier and more productive work environment. I consider the following strategic steps will help the company to achieve this goal. O Identify the weak points and problems, which more likely are a direct result of company managers’ styles. Provide effective training for management group.
D Figure out what managerial style is more appropriate to each particular professional group and specific situation. D It’s known fact that most of non-profits offer small salary for the employees. That is why the essential organizational issue for CPRM is to keep people stay with company. Considering that, CPRM needs to develop system of recognizing and awarding employees. I:] Set up meetings between working teams where they can share common problems. Knowing the problems of each other teams would e competitive, but supportive.
D Set up all staff potluck without board of directors. It will help employees to get to know each other. њ Create evaluation system of management group: surveys, face-to-face talks. I believe that management group should be more open to different opinions and be willing to learn from employees.