Changing Organisational Culture In Schlumberger Report Samples
Changing Organisational Culture in Schlumberger
In the scope of this paper, the solution for changing the organizational culture would be offered for the Schlumberger – the globally- leading supplier of integrated project management, technology, and information solutions to customers, engaged into the work in the gas and oil industry. 120,00 people of 140 nationalities worldwide are employed by Schlumberger. This business entity operates in 85 countries and provides the widest set of services from investigation through production (Schlumberger 2015).
First of all, it is essential to refer to the role of organisational culture and its major essence for the business entity. Clegg et al (2011) have referred to the fact that there is an interrelation between the organization’s culture and its performance and thus, there is a need of creating the common frame of understanding this interrelation. It was assumed by the scholars that in the case if the top management of the organisation is able to reach the harmony in behaviors and expectations, which are related to the organisational culture, the organizational performance may be enhanced (Clegg et al 2011).
There is a set of debates among the scholars, concerning the feasibility and even more, the desirability for changing the organizational cultures, while applying the means of the managerial interventions into the practice.
Those scholars, who follow the anthropological approach, are tending to consider the organization as the representation of its cultural competencies. Such approach may be referred as a root metaphor, which cannot be changed by interventions of any type. Other experts, who mainly refer to less orthodox view, have represented the complicity of organizational cultures’ changing. This trend may be explained by the set of the following reasons: resource commitments, time and the ethical considerations, which have emerged from the attempts of the managers or changing the beliefs of the employees as well as their values.
It is possible to make a claim, that form the practical perspective, the most alternative approach is considering the culture as some specific feature of the organization, which is variable and may be managed and manipulated, even while taking in consideration some rates of difficulties for achieving the specific objectives within the organization. The proponents of such approach consider that the managers should be responsible for reviewing the organizational culture and if needed - making the set of the appropriate adjustments for suiting the growing organizational complexity and managing the circumstances of changing environment.
It is possible to identify two major approaches towards changing an organisation culture: the bottom up and the top down. In the case of choosing the top down approach (which is referred by some scholars as ‘culture engineering approach’ ) (Cameron and Quinn 2006), it is implied that the top management of each company or business entity has skills and competencies in the area of the desired values, behavior and the norms, which are needed or the organizational activity for achieving the success.
It is essential to take into account the fact that the top management of the business entity has the ability and is provided with the right of creating the culture, changing it and maintening. In majority of cases, the practical implementation of this type of change is done through the set of interventions into the human resources – for instance, organisation development, re-organisations, training, communication strategies, management by objectives, recruitment of like-minded individuals, reward management and performance management etc.
Even while taking into account the fact that there is a set of positive features of such approach (while referring to the practical examples of world’s leading organizations), there is a set of critical references to this approach. For instance, it is considered to be strong in rhetoric, but at the same time, weak in the terms of its practical use. More than that, such approach is too manipulative and managerialist for understating the resistance among the employees. Additional emphasis should be put on the set of the questions, posed by the scholars to the effectiveness of the approach. For instance, in the practical use, it was observed that the vicious circles of dysfunctional behavior might be caused among the employees by such change management. In addition, the changes, which were reported in major part of the investigations on planned cultural change, may be referred as largely behavioral, while insignificant evidence of attitudinal commitment is provided.
In contrast, the major purpose of the bottom up approach implies bringing the culture change in an interactive and participative manner. this approach implies that one or the set of sections or plot units becomes the major focus of the cultural change within the organisation. In majority of cases, several stages are needed for the practical implementation of the change in the organisational culture of the business entity. At each of the stages, the major role of the human resource management as well as the top management of the organisation is represented in supporting and reinforcing the process of change through appropriate intervention into its human resource.
In the timeframe of the initial stages of change, the considerable efforts and timeframe may be needed by the managers for training the staff and gaining the skills, which are considered as valuable and desired within the new culture. At the same time, progressively attention is directed on allocating the correct and professional employees through transfers and recruitment. Afterwards, policies, systems, structures and the systems of performance appraisal are installed for the new culture stabilization within the organization.
While taking in consideration the fact that the greater opportunities for involvement of the employees into the process of culture change are provided by the bottom approach, additional emphasis should be put on the fact that there is a need of investigating the following concern in details before launching the change. This is the critical concern in the role of the dialogue between employer and employee concerning the cultural issues. In such case, the dialogue may be referred as a critical tool for identification of the norms and values of the desired culture. Afterwards, such information is used for planning and practical implementation of the culture change programmes.
After conducting literature review, it is possible to make a claim that significant quantity of studies has been dedicated to the role of communication in organisational effectiveness enhancement. Even while taking into account the fact that some of the investigators have attributed the use of communication as a vehicle for top management values spreading (Schabracq 2009),insignificant attention was paid to the role of relationships between employer and employee for the change of culture .
managing of the conflict situations within the team may be referred as an essential and effective tool for the stable democratic values’ promotion since it deals with the conflicts in labor management and contributes the following trend emergence : empowerment of those, who have the lack of power over others. In such manner, the harmony is created within the teams even in the cases when there is no overt conflict situations. It fosters communicational as well as assists the groups in terms of facing the crises and generating solutions to the set of problems.
Using the conflict management as the tool for the cultural change, has got the set of potential strengths for mitigating the undesirable effects, implied by the traditional approaches. In the concerns, related to the cultural engineering approach, one of the serious issues is the right of the top management of the business entity for forcing down the system of value to the throats of the employees when they are not ready or do not want to swallow it.
On the other hand, there is one more concern, related to the organizational change and its practical implementation - the lack of commitment and support from corporate management. This trend, in turn, invariably leads to the skepticism of the employees concerning its effectiveness without specific managerial support. In both situations, it is possible to consider the consensus as the powerful antidote due to the fact that it is firmly based on the strong belief in the competence and participative communication of each party in the process of communication for making a distinct contribution.
Discussion of potential solutions to the problem
In the scope of this section, it is essential to refer to the fact that there are some problems within the company, which are concerned with the organizational culture – the way of thinking within the organization and among its stakeholders. The change of organisational culture may be also referred as the organisational mental make-up. This process implies not only the set of changes within the strategy or structure of the approach towards decision making for gaining the success - in the case when organizational culture becomes a blocking process the need the change of culture emerges.
In the Schlumberger the organizational culture has become a problem due to the set of the following trends’ emergence:
members’ external orientation is demanded by the goals of the organisation, while the internal orientation is the major characteristic of the organisational culture;
there is a need for transparency for being accountable to function in a democratic manner, but the tradition for involving the family members into organisational activity makes such transparency cloudy;
in the case when the productivity is mainly directed towards the major goals’ achievement, there is a high probability that such direction may be hindered by the trend, forced by the organizational culture – making the interventions into the labor activities of the employees as well as directing the major part of the of the energy to each other rather than accumulating it for effective work;
In the scope of the Schlumberger organisation, the ideology implies one-sided fixation. In accordance with such approach, some employees consider the personal needs satisfaction as forbidden activity.
It is essential to refer to the fact that organisational culture cannot be referred as the result of some particular decision. It is the outcome of a durable process, where the beliefs, attitude and behaviors of individuals are shaped in a gradual manner (Schein 2010). It is possible to compare the organizational culture to the coping mechanisms - once effective in some particular situation, but at the same time, unconscious familiar, internalized, and hardly noticeable for the top management or Schlumberger’s stakeholders. Thus, the process of changing the organisational culture cannot be considered as an easy one.
For the ‘change manager’’- an individual, responsible for issuing tehn changes into the organizational culture, the following issues are implied by this process:
combining the modest aims with the wide ambitions;
understanding the core aspects of organizational culture in Schlumberger
being flexible in strategic approach.
There are the following options for solving the problem, related to the needs of organisational culture changes:
First of all the culture of the organization should be properly investigated before issuing the change because generally accepted or widely used patterns do not meet the needs of all organisations in the same manner.
Implementation plan for the chosen solution
While taking into account the fact that the organisational culture may be compared to the personality of organization, the body of this personality is the organisational structure, its nervous system is the communication channels, while, the soul is the way of interaction among the employees, the values and beliefs of personnel. That is why ,in the process of restructuring the organization for achieving one particular goal, usually fails or even more gets stuck due to the set of the objective and obvious reasons – there is no option of changing the personality. That is why the major focus should be put on the organizational culture, its precise analysis and investigation when some changes are needed.
In order to understand the major cultural aspects of the Schlumberger organisation, it is essential to refer to the effective method of its assessment - such as Hofstede’s ‘onion’. The following aspects are to be analyzed in accordance with this method in order to reveal the weak points within the organizational structure and develop the strategies for their corrections:
the exterior layers of the organizational culture are represented by the following symbols ( dress code of the employees, building, ‘ corporative language” they speak, collective behavior the cars they drive, etc.);
on the deeper layer, the following issues are to be identified: noticing ‘anti-heroes’ and ‘heroes’ in the organization;
afterwards, analysis of the rituals is to be conducted (the way of greeting each other; whether there is a tradition of eating together; the way of meeting’s organisation; practices and traditions of birthdays and other personal parties’ celebrations etc.)
the onion’s inner nucleus refers to the real values and beliefs within the organization (Pate 2010)
One more option for the organizational culture changing in an effective manner is to enhance the flexibility into the change strategy. It is obvious that each business entity needs the properly-developed and adapted strategy, implying the change options for its organizational culture, and Schlumberger is not an exception. More than that, there is a need for the tailor-made approaches for making the decision concerning the effective tools to be used for each particular individual or team.
For this purpose, the following factors should be taken into account by the change manager:
existing energy should be used for each particular variant of the successful strategy;
additional emphasis should be put to keeping in mind the fact that that it is possible to gain the support only in the case of involving people and providing them with an option of analyzing themselves, investigating their problems and looking for the most appropriate and effective solution for it.
it is essential to take into account the needs and interests of the persons who are to be motivated for the change;
the change manager should investigate the option of the individuals, who are involved into the team in order to gain the additional information about the needs, interests, ideas, values, thoughts and emotions of the team members. Afterwards, one is responsible for brainstorming the set of solutions, which have the potential of covering the maximal quantity of the similar and different interests.
Justification of issuing the change
into organisational culture of the Schlumberger
The decision about the need of issuing the change into organizational culture of the Schlumberger is mainly grounded on the following facts and trends. First of all, as soon as the organization loses the healthy culture or needs some change in the type of the organisational culture, the change process may be referred as a daunting one in terms of its practical implementation. It is possible to make a claim that the cultural change is essential in terms of the employee turnover as well as making an impact on the behavior of the employees. The expected outcomes of the change imply the set of improvements for the organisation, refocusing its objectives as well as rescaling the organization for better customer services provision. As a result, the set of other specific organizational goals may be achieved - such as gaining the competitive advantage, enhancement of the client base etc.
One of the major purposes of this intervention and change is reaching the organizational culture, which may be used for tracing the identities and choices of the employees a ell as use them as the basis for its further enhancement (Clegg et al 2011)
Cameron KS, Quinn RE 2006, Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture. John Wiley & Sons, Inc
Clegg SR, Kornberger M, Pitsis T 2011, Managing and Organizations: An Introduction to Theory and Practice SAGE
Hornstein H 2008, Using a change management approach to implement IT programs <http://iveybusinessjournal.com/topics/strategy/using-a-change-management-approach-to-implement-it-programs#.VMkS89KsUds>
Patel T 2007, Stereotypes of Intercultural Management. Eburon Uitgeverij B.V
Schabracq MJ 2009, Changing Organizational Culture: The Change Agent's Guidebook. John Wiley and Sons
Schein EH 2010, Organizational Culture and Leadership. John Wiley & Sons
Schlumberger official web site 2015, About Schlumberger. <http://www.slb.com/about.aspx >
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