Free The Influence Of Organizational Culture On Business Strategy In Brazil Research Paper Sample
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Organizational culture combines all activities and all relationships within the company, making the team cohesive and productive. It creates an external image of the organization, forms its image and determines the nature of the relationship with customers and partners. Culture helps to focus on the main strategic directions determined in accordance with the main purpose of the company – its mission. To have strong organizational culture is becoming a tradition of many companies, since only a strong culture can create that “socio-economic field”, which provides the highest performance and success of the company’s commitment to its employees. However, one wish is not sufficient. Organizational culture does not need to deal with less serious than any other aspect of the company. It is particularly important to correctly diagnose the organizational culture, determine the direction of its movement, analyze the factors that have the greatest impact on it and carry out the adjustment of certain elements and parameters of the culture.
Certainly, organizational culture refers to the subjective-objective category and is largely dependent on our perception, emotional evaluations, the level of intellectual maturity, education. It cannot be artificially imposed. At the same time it can and must be properly managed.
Effectiveness of the company’s activity requires a high degree of compatibility in the company’s management strategy (planning, control, communications, and human resources management) and organizational culture. Thus, in general, the organization’s strategy is focused on the goals of the organization and the organizational culture of its members is focused on their personal goals. Of course, the efficient operation of the organization requires organizational culture has been focused on the goals of the organization. However, the person never takes the rules and principles that do not meet his personal goals. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure the compliance between the objectives of the organization and personal goals of its members and this problem can be solved in only one way – the promotion of activities of the organization’s members, aimed at achieving the goals of the organization. Only then the rules and principles of activity aimed at achieving the organization’s objectives will conform to the standards and principles of activities aimed at achieving personal goals members.
Brazil was chosen for the research of the relation between organizational culture and business strategy because Brazilians are emotional, cheerful, smiling and helpful people, who live in the largest country in Latin America.
Relation between Organizational Culture and Business Strategy
Working in a different cultural environment requires managers to be aware of cultural differences between the countries and the degree of differences in their social systems. Adaptation in a country with similar cultural values, as a rule, is less painful than in a country with significant cross-cultural differences. Recognition of the diversity of cultures presupposes not only adaptation to the differences, but also their research and evaluation, and use of differences to improve the efficiency of the company. A manager, being abroad, begins to use the known national stereotypes of behavior and simplified assessment of people of other nationalities.
Thus, organizational culture is a powerful tool that provides common goals and efforts to achieve them, confirmed by the acceptance of the values and norms of behavior. That is why culture can both contribute to the implementation of the company’s plans and prevent this. Culture becomes the support for the strategy if it is congruent to the new structures, systems and people. If they are misaligned, motivation and cultural norms can destroy strategy. In addition, the development of the new strategy should take into account that to change the existing culture is very difficult, and therefore, when deciding on its implementation, it is important to understand how the new strategy of the company is compatible with the already existing values and norms. It is also necessary to assess how the adoption of the new strategy will influence organizational culture, and would not a change of culture in favor of the strategy lead to much more dire consequences than strategy adjustment or rejection of it. If the strategic objectives and culture are based on the same values and norms of behavior, the strategy is being implemented as efficiently as possible. For example, if a company decided not wasting resources, the cost leadership strategy would not only be supported from the inside, but mostly outside. Employees in this case will not experience resistance in achieving the strategic objectives.
There are two ways in which the close relationship of culture and strategy affects the workers, mobilizing them for the execution of strategic plans for the company.
1. Culture forms the inner atmosphere, informal rules and requirements for employees that increase the efficiency of their work. If culture is consistent with the strategy the additional incentives with positive impact on labor are created. Behaviors that hinder the implementation of the strategy are suppressed, as such behavior does not correspond to the conventional culture.
2. Culture, corresponded to the strategy, encourages people to work for the effective strategy implementation, and thereby increases the loyalty of the company’s employees as a whole, forms a positive attitude to the assigned work, increases the level of cooperation of employees, motivates people to the effective implementation of the strategy and contributes to the perception by workers of vision and goals of the company.
The mismatch between strategy and culture prevents employees not only to perceive the goals, but also to implement them. In the case, where the strategy requires staff to take actions that are not consistent with the values and accepted standards, this leads to misinterpretation of problems and wrong decisions. In the worst case, such a mismatch is able to mislead employees, and stop their activities, while the conflict between culture and strategy will not be resolved. In this situation, the employees and management must either adhere to the culture and traditions of the company (as well as their values and beliefs, ideally coincide with the culture) and resist new measures to implement the strategy, or focusing on new strategic priorities and participating in achieving them, abandon established system of the company’s values and along with their beliefs. Such a conflict weakens either culture or strategy, or both, and more.
If the differences between culture and strategy are not very large, the culture can be changed. But sometimes it is better to expose the adjustment strategy – if the organization has established a strong positive culture. In various companies the degree of interaction of culture and strategy can be very different. As a rule, this degree determines the strength or weakness of the culture.
As a rule, a strong organizational culture contributes to the strategy development. Culture acts as the center around which the company’s activities are concentrated. The conflict between culture and strategy appears during quickly and fairly sharp change in the external environment, in which the old strategy no longer works and there is the need to develop a new one. Thus, culture is much more inert, and therefore there is a mismatch. In such cases it is necessary to carry out activities aimed at the creation of new values and standards that will facilitate the implementation of the new strategy.
The characteristic of a weak culture is the presence of many subcultures, and consequently – the differences, and sometimes significant, in values and norms of company’s divisions. Therefore, the response to the strategy on the part of units can be different. In the context of a weak culture, many employees believe the company is just a place of work, and the work performed is no more than a source of livelihood. Therefore, a weak culture generally does not interfere with the strategy implementation, but at the same time, does not contribute to it.
Thus, managers and specialists, who develop company’s strategy, are recommended to consider what organizational culture has been developed in the company, as it corresponds to the proposed strategy, and how strongly the culture can influence the adoption and implementation of the strategy in the company. Having this information can prevent the wrong decisions in time, adjust the strategy or indicate the need for intra-organizational changes before adoption of the new strategy.
Organizational Culture in Brazil
Brazil is known throughout the world as a country of football and samba, fabulously beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro and impenetrable jungle, and of course, the most spectacular carnivals. It is rightly called a land of contrasts: lush tropical forests coexist with majestic mountains, wild jungle with multimillion megacities, beautiful beaches and great rivers with desert plateaus, roaring waterfalls with cozy quiet ocean bays. The country’s culture was strongly influenced by the Portuguese, African and Asian traditions, making Brazil stands out among the other countries of the continent. The first European set foot on the land of Brazil, was not Spanish, but Portuguese. Brazilian national character can be described as follows: sentimental, warm-heartedness, poetry, delicacy.
Despite some severity in the design of offices, Brazilians try to make the workspace homely. Almost always there is a small “sitting area” – upholstered furniture and low table. Special role in the life of the office belongs to coffee. Any large and medium-sized office has a girl, responsible for making coffee every 2 hours, pouring it into small disposable cups, putting on a tray and with the tray in her hands getting employees who drink coffee, not looking up from work.
The workflow is divided into many small operations, each of which is allocated with the place, time and performer. People normally work without haste and without setting themselves sprint terms. The involvement in the process is important as the result. Even a little work is regarded as a significant contribution to the common task. There is no total control and variation in the performance of tasks is possible. While setting deadlines a relatively small delay will be treated with understanding.
Brazilians are overly talkative and actively use gestures and facial expressions to express their point of view. Emotional state manner of speaking serves as a means to convince the interlocutor in their sincerity. By long speeches they try to gain the trust, then to build long-term business relationship. Very often feelings prevail over facts, hiding the bad news, reasonable skepticism may be welcome.
In Brazil, respect is the most powerful component, a positive effect on the sense of employee duty to the organization. This is due to the specifics of the Brazilian “tricks” which, in fact, has a selfish nature. Brazil respects authority. Continuous supervision and control is evaluated by subordinate positively. Managers prefer to consider them generous people taking responsibility for decisions themselves. Preferences of subordinates in terms of style of decision-making manager are polarized between authoritarian and paternalistic style of rule and majority rule. There is an ideological support of subordinate participation in the governance process.
Brazil has a high level of individualism. It is characterized by the priority of the employee’s privacy (cost-free time), emotional independence from the company; managers aspire to leadership and diversity and assess their position, putting in the first place their independence; individual solutions are more attractive than group ones; individual initiative is encouraged by society; and people feel the need for personal friendships.
Organizational Culture and Business Strategy in Brazil
Brazil can be considered as country of informal behavior. Meetings of business people are somewhat chaotic. Participants often interrupt each other in discussions and change agenda. Brazilians like to please people and embellish the truth. Fear of losing their jobs leads to a reluctance to express their own opinion, if it does not coincide with the opinion of the authorities. Too often decisions are made without a thorough analysis, which leads to a lack of long-term plans. Although at business meetings Brazilians dress formally, they are negotiating in an informal setting. Brazilians tend to become better acquainted, so the negotiation process is usually preceded by conversations on abstract themes.
The model of work organization of “inverted pyramid”, which is used on the Brazilian Ford factory, when teams of workers control their segments and have the right to make changes and improvements to operations, leaving some space for independence and initiative, is in good agreement with the local style of work.
Therefore, Brazilian companies have strong organizational culture, presented by principles inextricably linked to employment. As a rule, there is a clearly articulated mission and standards of behavior are not changed by changing the company’s management. The presence of a strong leader, a commitment to the established tradition and genuine concern for the well-being of customers, employees and shareholders contributes to the development of culture. The conflict in this case between strategy and a strong culture arises from the rapid change of the environment.
The strategy and organizational culture are largely interrelated and influence each other. Organizational culture can both promote and hinder the implementation of the strategy, and, in turn, the adoption of the new strategy can change the organizational culture. The most desirable is a situation, in which the strategy and culture complement each other. Activities that change the organizational culture for greater coherence with the strategy of the company are permissible. But it is extremely important to remember that not every strategy worth to change favorable culture of the organization, as the consequences of such changes can have much more negative than positive effect on innovation. However, adaptive culture is the most optimal in a rapidly changing environment.
Brazilian companies have strong organizational culture, which is one of the most important factors determining the competitiveness of the organizations in terms of their capabilities to quickly adapt to the changes and new development strategies.
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