The business organization cannot achieve its objectives without aligning its culture and the strategy. Organization strategy is a long-term plan or a course of action that the business organization uses to gain competitive advantage by defining a path to get from where the organization is to where it wants to be. According to Elkin (2007) it is a process of positioning the business organization in an environment where it can achieve competitive advantage. The business organization can achieve its strategies without aligning it with the organization culture. The organization culture is therefore a very important factor that helps the company in implementing its strategies. Desponded and Webster (1989), described organization culture as a set of tacitly acknowledged rules and procedures which provides guidance to the conduct of workers. Other researchers such as Johnson et al, (2008) described it as a basic assumptions and beliefs that are shared among the employees of the organization. The shared values, beliefs and assumptions play a significant role in ensuring that the organization achieves both its long term and short-term plans.
Background of the Organization
Nicholas is a distributor of industrial suppliers. He involves in the distribution of fasteners, bearings, abrasives and cleaning supplies in Chicago. These products are used to maintain company machineries and equipments in different factories. These products are mainly used when repairing and altering the engines of machines (Blanchard, 2007). This organization has its head office in Chicago and it has different employees including CEO called Roger Dufour and vice sales representative, Mr. John Klein. There are other employees such as drivers, marketers and even logistic officers.
Analysis of Culture of Nicholas Distributors
Corporate culture is very important in improving the organization performance. It helps the different teams and individual persons to realize their strategy and personal capability. The chief executive officer has seen the need to incorporate new culture in sales department (Hughes and Beatty, 2005). This is because culture drives performance through different channels namely shared purpose and values, organization messages and reinforcement and actions and behaviors. It is vital to have alignment between company core values, the messages it passes to its workers and the kind of behaviors the organization expects from the employees (Higgs and Rowland, 2003). The employees of the organization are expected to behave in a certain manner to drive the organization performance. The executives must also send unifying messages to followers to build strong teamwork that can help the organization achieve its goals.
Align values, messages, and Behaviors
The CEO of Nicholas distributors ensure that the organization has shared deep purpose and vision that is understood by all. The organization ensures that all the employees understand what it wants to do to better the organization performance. According to the information in this case study, the CEO explains what he wants other members to do by sharing such information to them before implementation (Huczynski & Buchanan, 2007). This is a very important step the CEO of Nicholas distributors has been doing to ensure that there is shared vision in the organization. This is observed when he tells other employees that, So we need you to rebuild our sales department to fit our new strategy. Through this the organization establishes its values such as consumer focus, loyalty, innovation and clarify the behaviors they want to build in the organization in future.
The CEO of this organization does not only depend on the use of posters to communicate his messages but sometimes speak directly to employees they want he wants things done. At Nicholas customers had the option of an order for different products by telephone, web or fax but they are only allowed to deal with inside sales agents occasionally (Kipp, 2005). The company ensures that inside sales agents spend most of their time communicating to customers on the telephone when coordinating the placement and delivery of orders. Furthermore, the CEO also uses the correct catalyst to implant the values and behaviors in the entire organization. In this case the CEO walks and interacts with the employees directly. The leaders such as CEO also act as a role model of other employees by displaying the right behavior which others can copy while executing their roles.
Nicholas rewards the employees and other key leaders that demonstrate the right behavior and those who perform well in the organization. This encourages leaders and other employees to act as a role model to others and through this the organization achieves its goals. Based on my analysis, Nicholas has a shared purpose that goes beyond achieving its goals because it mainly focuses on the needs of customers. Its main focus is to ensure that the customers receives high quality services by responding to their needs immediately either through mail or telephone. Nicholas achieves this by employing inside sales agents that responds to customers while in office. To increase the quality of service to customers, Nicholas increased the use of information technology in the distribution of industrial supplies which consolidated the whole industry.
Engagement and Enablement of Staff
Nicholas distributors do not only motivate employees but it also ensures that they have the tools to execute their work well without any form of frustration. The workers also do not have any significant blocks in their way that can enable them to perform their work effectively. At Nicholas the employees are well paid to ensure they are motivated, on their work. Inside sales agents are paid ten percent of their salaries as bonuses. The main purpose of this was to increase their work morale and ensure they work very hard to achieve the organization objectives. Furthermore Nicholas provides information technology, Lories and other logistics necessary for the distribution of industrial suppliers. The company also has good communication equipments such as telephone, websites and internets to allow them communicate to customers across the globe. It also has ordering systems and inventory management software and infrastructure which enhance its distribution mechanism thus meeting the needs of customers. Nicholas distributor also has client service representatives who understands unique need of customers and sought. It therefore does not use customers purchasing managers to initiate orders but uses CSRs who ensure that the correct assortment of industrial supplies are ordered and delivered to the correct customer. For that matter, Nicholas Company has the correct tools that it requires to offer satisfactory distribution services to its customers. It is different from other companies that still use customers purchasing managers. This increases its distribution efficiency and speed because it delivers its products at the right time to customers. CSRs also have right training that help the customers get right combination of parts to customers. From that point the it shows that Nicholas has the right tools that enable it achieve its goals.
At Nicholas, all the employees are engaged in providing specific service to customers. CSRs involve in assorting different parts of industrial supplies while inside sale agents are also engaged in communicating with customers. CEO and VP provide leadership and management of the organization. There are no frustrated employees in this organization. They are well paid and also receive bonuses to increase their work moral. The employees of Nicholas are hearing consistent messages from the CEO and other managers. Middle and lower level managers such as supervisors greatly support the executives. They play their role well in their department and this increase the performance and customer handling.
Challenge the Unwritten rules
Nicholas has very successful leaders like its CEO and VP who are have the courage to use unwritten regulations and standards embedded in the culture of their organization and understands that the main problem that hinders the organization change lies within it. They do not only depend on the written rules but they also use unknown values and beliefs that can foster good performance. For example, Nicholas Company introduced the use of information, technology, and delivery software without following the written rules. The break from these ties ensures that this company embrace changes which can make it compete effectively. Its leadership also helped the company to change from traditional company to modern company by using current technology such as internet to communicate to customers through website. The CEO and VP have a modern mindset which depends on the use of current technology to increase work efficiency but to reduce operation cost (Goffee and Jones, 2000). Nicholas also introduced technology focused ordering system which can ease ordering. This is only possible when it can use unwritten regulations and standards embedded in its culture. Furthermore Nicholas has leadership that can develop programs that can increase team collaborations. In Nicholas Company there is proper communication network which allows employees to communicate with each other. The executives such as CEO and directors can also communicate directly with other employees. Good communication system which Nicholas has developed ensures there is collaboration between employees and other teams.
Embrace Diversity to drive change
Nicholas is a very important company that embraces a diverse workforce which is able to bring different values (Lynch, 2009). It employees people from different backgrounds with different cultures and values. Nicholas when it wants to enter the new market, it employs workers who understand the culture and practices of those areas. Furthermore, it also recruits employs with the same qualities in the domestic market. Its employees must be diverse in age, experience, educational, gender and culture so that they can get a workforce that understands the need of every customer. Nicholas employs CSRs and inside sale representatives of different ages, education, gender and experience (Doz and Thanheiser, 2000). This helps it to have a workforce that can bring different perspectives which broaden the horizon and catalyze changes. The organization diversity in Nicholas allows it to have workers that understand the importance of new technology. It, therefore, influenced the company to use different inventory management systems which fulfills the needs of every customer.
Create a network culture to foster innovation
It is important to create a networking culture which ensures that different departments collaborate with each other (Gill, 2001). Based on my analysis Nicholas company has broken itself from command and control culture where the executives are the main decision makers. These practices ensure that Nicholas Company attracts new top talents and make it capitalize on diverse skills of workers. In Nicholas Company, all workers are allowed to participate in decision making and the information and opinion of every worker are welcomed by the organization. This increase innovativeness and creativity of every worker (Johnson and Whittington 2008). This freedom and opportunity that workers in Nicholas Company encourage each one of them to contribute significantly towards decision making thus motivate them to achieve the organizational objectives.
The leaders in Nicholas organization inspire other workers as the CEO was seen encouraging other workers to focus on marketing and the need of customers (Burt, 2000). They are not fond of ordering but inspire them to work ex...
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