Organizational Development Toolkit Introduction: When it comes to the effectiveness and efficiency of an organization, researches leave no avenue unexplored that may eventually lead to solid proof that links success with a variable that is under the control of organizations and which may essentially lead to the development of a methodology that can help organizations reach their maximum potential. Organizational culture has long been linked with the performance of an organization and has been purported to be one of the most potent ways for an organization to achieve their best. Most people agree that it pays for organizations to spend time and revenue on developing a certain corporate culture because it essentially means a better performing and happier workforce that is knowledgeable about the ‘ropes’ of the organization and know how things work in their particular organization due to the fact that they having gone through the process of the cementing of their organizations culture.
According to researchers such as Schein (1985), it seems that a defined corporate culture is an important source that conveys to employees information about what their organization expects of them, and employees who know what is expected of them tend to perform much better( Gilsdorf 1998). Marcoulides & Heck Model of Organizational Culture and Performance: There had been a lack of concrete evidence that linked performance levels of employees in an organization and the corporate culture of that organization.
One of the biggest reasons for this is that people and thus organizations are ever changing. Since people are ever changing, so is their behavior and therefore it has been impossible to pin point exact aspects of organizational culture that are both beneficial for an organization and also valid in a large number of contexts. For any organization “The level of operational success is said to be determined by the behavioral nature of the organization –individual’s roles, interpersonal relations, group dynamics and how they all react when brought together”(DeBorde, 2006).
Marcoulides and Heck, in the year 1993, presented a model that showed the effect that organizational culture has on the performance levels of that organization. The authors used the LISREL paradigm to evaluate and test this model which essentially investigates the complex inter relation among variables such as organizational structure, organizational values, worker attitudes and goals, organizational climate, task organization and organizational performance.
A research was carried out for this purpose in which 392 participants were selected at random from within 26 different organizations. These participants took part in a structured interview which was followed up with a questionnaire that every participant had to fill in. This questionnaire included questions such as "Please indicate the extent to which supervisors and subordinates tend to work cooperatively in your organization. "(Marcoulides & Heck 1993).
These questions had responses ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Similarly, data about the indicators of organizational productivity were also collected from the organizational records. ( Marcoulides & Heck 1993). The results of the study showed that there are certain factors of the organizational culture that managers can manipulate because some of the variables that were researched during the study were directly under the control of the management. These factors included management actions such as recruitment procedures, employee retention, decision-making processes and over-all attitude towards employees. Hence the study provided a model which will help organizations improve their performance by managing, manipulating and planning strategic aspects of its culture. This model is perfect for medium to large sized organization where the management can do a similar research into the behavior and performance pattern of its employees.
It should also be kept in mind that this is a structural model and “Structural models should only be used when they are guided by strong substantive theory and when psychometrically sound data are gathered to test a model”( Marcoulides & Heck 1993) Shared Vision: An Organizational developmental tool: For an organization success can be measured in many more ways than just one.
There can be organizations who are taking money home by the truck loads but if the workforce of the organization is not focused and aware of the nature of the vision that the organization has or the potential scope of the vision, then success can be very short lived. Apart form having monetary success, what most organizations want now is a substantial investment in the development a system of dynamic coherence where the organizations vision is clear to everyone and where it is the single most important thing on every ones agenda. According to Hoe (2007), there is a strong link between a shared vision and organizational performance.
A research carried out by Calantone et al. in 2002 found that sharing a common vision has a huge impact on an organization’s innovativeness which in turn affects the organizational performance as measured by growth in sales, profits, employment and net worth. Not only that, a shared vision provides an organization and its employees with a clear picture of how things stand; what needs to be continued and what needs to go, which practices need to be induced and which need to be cut out if the organization wants to achieve its goals and aims. Due to this, the development of Shared Vision can be used as a tool by the mangers to induce learning development and innovation within the organization.
According to Hoe (2007) “Shared vision is essential in organizational learning as it provides a general guide on the knowledge needs”. This implies that sharing a common aim provides people with the essential information about what type of knowledge acquisition is required and it also helps the people in charge create a set of standardized activities that create sort of a path towards the achievement of that shared vision. Having said that, it is also important to understand that for this purpose, the management at most organizations should look to develop a system of values, beliefs and visions that all members of the organization share that gives them a “clear and common picture of a desired future state” of the organization (Hoe, 2007).
This is a vision that is generated, internalized and shared by the members of the organization which gives them the information about the expected position that their organization will take in the future. According to the author, having a shared vision is a factor that greatly influences “knowledge acquisition and knowledge dissemination activities”. Most researches have uncovered that essentially all employees who feel a certain level of organizational commitment are generally better performers and the way that the managers convey information to their staff has extreme influence over the image that these employees form about their organization(Gilsdorf, 1998). Due to this it can rightly be said that communication within the workplace and the way that knowledge and learning is disseminated within an organization makes up a very large part of the employees perceived image of the organization that they work for and effects their commitment to their work.
Making a connection between workplace communications, knowledge dissemination and having a shared vision is important at this point because all shared beliefs and visions sprout from the basic image that the employees have about their people that they work for and it highly affects their loyalty to that work and those people.
And only if an employee feels a part of the organization, can he or she truly understand and share in the communal vision that the organization has strived to build. This tool can be effective for an organization no matter what size it is. The managers can use this tool to pinpoint the exact strategy that will get them where they want and it is a way to ensure that not only everyone knows what is desired of them but every employee feels a part of that desire.
However, as I pointed out before and as a lot of research suggests, there is an important link between the workplace communication, employee perception of the organization and the employees commitment towards the organization, therefore it is crucial that managers and other top-level executives understand that a ‘shared vision’ cannot be force fed to the employees. It has to be cultivated by the means of expert communications and inter personal skills that make the employee feel as if they are not working for a larger than life entity that is their boss but for themselves.
If the management is able to understand this issue and proceeds to act in a way which is acceptable and liked by the employees, they can easily instate in each and every person a level of loyalty towards their organization, which in its turn will play a very large part in allowing these employees to look upon the vision of the organization as their own vision. Using this tool in the right way can result in high performance levels and help organizations achieve what they want to and also ensure that the employees are also satisfied with what they wanted and what they got. References Calantone, R.J. , Cavusgil, S.T.
and Zhao, Y. (2002), Learning orientation, firm innovation capability, and firm performance, Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 31 No. 6, pp. 515-24. DeBorde, Meredy. (2006). Do Your Organizational Dynamics Determine Your Operational Success? . The O&PO Edge. Retrieved form: www. oandp. com/articles/2006-02_03.asp. On 1st April 2010. Gilsdorf W. Jeanette, 1998, Organizational Rules on Communicating: How Employees Are- and Are Not- Learning the Ropes.
The Journal of Business Communication, Vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 173-201. Hoe, Siu Loon. (2007). Shared vision: a development tool for organizational learning. Development and learning in Organizations. Vol. 21, No. 4. pp 12-13. Marcoulides. George A. & Ronald H. Heck. (1993). Organizational culture and performance: proposing and testing a model. Organization Science. Vol. 4, No. 2. pp 209-225. Schein, E. H. (1985). Organizational culture and leadership: A dynamic view. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.