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Organizational Culture Motivation and Group and Team working

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 3490 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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In this assignment will cover three topics: Organizational Culture, Motivation and Group and Team working. Each topic will describe one key theory and application of this principle in some detail and cover other theory briefly. Discuss a specific organizational example and identify criticisms of the theory in each part. Human behaviour in organizations is a symbol of civilization, between the modern civilization and ancient civilization, the human organizational behaviour is one of the most significant transitions. The organizational behaviour defines how individuals work in groups and the structure of groups in the organizations. With the step of human approach, increasing knowledge inclines one to further study and the work form or style does not suitable for individual gradually, working into organization is inevitable trend in the nowadays and future. Organizational Culture as a one of most important aspects in the company is functioning for upgrade the character of company.

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Molander & Winterton (1994, p.3) states that “Anyone who has spent time in a number of work organizations will have noticed how the ‘climate’ differs, the different ways in which things are done, differing levels of energy and individual freedom, and of course, different kinds of people”. And “The complex mixture of assumptions, behaviors, stories, myths, metaphors (symbols) and other ideas that fit together to define what it means to be a member of a particular society”, this view has been supported in the work of Stoner and Freeman (1999, p.181.). Culture is derived from notional context, clearly linked to strategy and determines how strategy can be implemented. In successful organization, there is a ‘strong’ culture.

In 2006, Haier is the world’s 4th largest whitewoods manufacturer and one of China top 100 IT company. In addition, Haier branches in technology research, manufacture industry, trading and financial services with 240 subsidiary companies and 30 design centers, plants and trade companies and more than 50,000 employees around the world. The global revenue was approximately 10,000 million pounds. Nevertheless 20 years ago, Haier was a small state owned company in Qingdao, China and it was losing $178,000 on annual revenues of $421,000. (Haier, 2010) During that period, it had built up its own sales network around world, export more than 160 countries. Meanwhile, Haier just product refrigerators originally, now its product range cover dozens of categories in the domestic electrical appliance market with thousands of individual products.

What makes Haier from a small unsuccessful company, which is nearly shut down to an international large-scale enterprise? It is the “Zhang’s hammer”. Zhang Ruimin the CEO of Haier Corporation, he drives and transforms Haier to a global player. Haier’s culture, style and operational approach reflect its Chinese traditions and its successes are identified with its key leaders. Haier president Yang Mianmian states her strategy of ‘one low (price), three high (value, growth and quality)’ it is also cited as a key for Haier’s continuing success. A story of Zhang Ruimin that took in a day in 1985, Zhang took a sledgehammer to a row of 76 faulty Haier fridges to the whole workforce who were lined up to watch ( a fridge cost about two years wages in that year). Zhang said:

“If we do not destroy these refrigerators, what is be shattered by the market in the future will be this enterprise.”

This hammer is a symbol of Zhang’s complete rejection of the previous company attitude that defective products could be tolerated and knocked out at a discount. This story signifies that Haier Corporation is with a strong and distinctive culture.

The international strategy of Haier seeks to offer a fast delivery and good service to local market and customers by make maximum use of local labour resources and capital. It is always changing products for the local preferences and habits (as with the wine fridge), a practice that could become costly in terms of complexity and logistics. Haier’s global branding strategy aims at standing as a local brand in different market. With the strong Haier culture, Zhang has decided to go for the difficult markets first on the basis that success in these markets would require the company to improve faster than seeking to dominate less fiercely contested markets. Haier has dominated the Chinese market, though Zhang has sought to expand the network through alliances, such as the 2002 agreement with Sanyo, this agreement helps Haier force into Japan market.

Haier’s strong culture can be seen most clearly in its internal relationships even exporting to other country. Haier built and opened a factory in South Carolina to serve the American market. At first, its methods were strange to the new employees from local labour market. However, according to a report in the Chinese People’s Daily:

…both sides have harmonious exchanges, the difference of cultural background, instead of causing estrangement between the Chinese and American workers in their work, has increased their interest in mutual understanding.

Initially, the American workers were against to volunteer for overtime to complete the day’s target work, but the Haier culture motivated them accept the ‘strange’ work system from China and even prepare for the next day’s work at Independent Day. Haier seems spread its culture to America.

Nowadays, Haier represent as a super brand from China manage to establish and consolidate its position as global brand. As CEO Zhang said:

Another challenge unique to China is we have started our brand development late. So we have to catch up in a very short period of time. I will give you an analogy: It’s like constructing a 10 story building. Our foreign competitors have already finished all the way up to the ninth floor. The Chinese market is their tenth floor. Once they have moved successfully into the China market, they will be finished with building this high-rise. But in China, we have only built the first floor. There are still nine floors to go.

The story recently carried out in the Essentials of organizational behavior by Mullins (2008 cited in Lecture note University of Birmingham Organizational behavior course, 2009). Haier makes culture as a tool of upgrade and powerful company. The aspects of culture can be national, organizational, or interest group, relatively enduring values, beliefs, customs, traditions, and practices commonly shared by a discrete group-defines boundaries between organizations. It also can be transmitted from one generation to the next-conveys a sense of stability and identity. Culture is something larger than individual self-interest, provides standards and control mechanisms. Innovation and risk, attention to detail, outcome orientation, people orientation, team orientation and stability perceived as organization culture separate the high strength employee and low strength employee. The country’s origin effect appears on most global companies that rooted in national business system of their home country. Hofstede’s analysis has brought up cultural differences in such areas as power distance and uncertainty avoidance, such nationalities as American, British, German/European and Japanese emphasis different approaches to business. Cultures interact with such elements as national business systems, corporate control, management development and human resources management such as COKE, TOYOTA, and UBS.

The Business organisation and management lecture given by Dr Peter Foss in November 2009 has shown the definition of motivation is “The willingness to exert high levels of effort toward organisational goals, conditioned by the effort’s ability to satisfy some individual need”. Many factors can influence motivation for example, needs or expectations, behaviour or action, desired goal, frustration or fulfilment and feedback. These make a cycle system, the need or expectations leads to behaviour or action then a desired goal will be set, during the process the blockage will result in frustration, on the contrary get through the blockage will contribute to fulfilment, finally some feedback to needs or expectation. Two differing perspectives are the content theories and process theories. The content theories emphasis “what” and process theories accentuate “how”.

The content theories identify our needs and strengths; provide the elements of motivation (Spicer, 2010). The Maslow Hierarchy of needs construct by 5 stages, from lowest to highest each stage has its own expectation after reach it, then will move to the next stage. We satisfy needs in the order given: physiological, safety, social, esteem and self-actualisation. After turn to next unsatisfied need, the satisfied need will not be a motivator any more. Meanwhile, lacks of satisfaction will effects physical and mental health. The innate desire to scale hierarchy and self-actualisation stimulates the desire for more. The Hongwu Emperor is one example to interpret this theory.

Hongwu Emperor named Zhu Yuanzhang found Ming Dynasty in China, who is an outstanding military scientist and politician. He was born in Pei County in 1328 and he was the youngest of four brothers. His family was difficult to supply basic needs for them and in 1344, the broken dam of Huang River destroyed this poor family, only Zhu Yuanzhang survived. In order to dispense the terrible life condition, Zhu Yuanzhang joined a local rebel group to fight Mongol army. With a strong survivable desire, physical talent and natural leadership ability, Zhu Yuanzhang became a leader in one branch of Red Turban. The Red Turban was mixed brief by Buddhism and Zoroastrianism, the major force against Yuan Dynasty. In the 1356 Zhu Yuanzhang took control of a major city of China, Yingtian (now called Nanjing), he started operate his own policy and built his power prepared for separate from Red Turban in the future. Benefited by Zhu Yuanzhang’s splendid talent, he won the largest naval battle, after won and from now on, Zhu Yuanzhang started collecting treasure and jewellery from the people under his rule and built his own palace in Yingtian. He took the rest of China and destroyed Yuan Dynasty in 1366. In the year 1368, Zhu Yuanzhang proclaimed himself Hongwu Emperor. (Buzzle, 2010) From this story, Zhu Yuanzhang followed Maslow Hierarchy of Needs, transfer from physiological to safety when he joined the rebel group, after took control of Yingtian, and he sought for affiliation. When Zhu Yuanzhang proclaimed himself Hongwu Emperor the stage from esteem to self-actualisation.

However, the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs theory limited by live condition and level of knowledge. According to the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid, the Physiological is the most common need and Self-actualiation is the smallest. It is not suitable for the modern world any more, with the upgrade level of human civilization. Self-actualization cannot stay at the top of Maslow Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid any more, physiological does not the basic need for most people.

Theory X Type

Theory Y Type

People dislike work and want to

avoid it

Work is interesting, need it for growth

Force is needed to get the right


People will direct themselves to goal

People are mostly motivated by


Desire to fulfill one’s potential is motivating

Most people have little creativity

Creativity is available, but widely under used

Source: Foss, 2009

The McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y show two opposite views of individual. Managers would more support Theory Y, the mental motivators are more effective than substance motivators. The employee with Theory Y mostly will be the top of their own territory, but Theory X cannot. David McClelland learned that employee motivated by the six basic human needs: achievement, power, affiliation, independence, self-esteem and security. (Bratton, Sawchuk, Forshaw, Callinan, Corbett, 2010)

The Process theories of motivation focus on the choice of motivator that effect in the period of work. How much effort the worker paid in the specific work depends on the motivator. The three process theories of motivation are equity theory, expectancy theory and goal-setting theory. ( Bratton, Sawchuk, Forshaw, Callinan, Corbett, 2010)


Self : Outcomes(100)


Other: Outcomes(100)














The Equity Theory is defined by ratio of an individual’s inputs and outcomes to explain how people utilize the resources and energy to distribute fairness. The balance or imbalance direct influence the satisfaction and motivation of employees. Inequitable reward leads to dissatisfaction, lower output and departure. Equitable reward contributes to continue same level of output. More than Equitable Reward conduces to harder work, discounted reward, higher motivation. Conspicuously, the best way to manage the motivation of employees is a positive reward system. (Bratton, Sawchuk, Forshaw, Callinan, Corbett, 2010)

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Expectancy theory based on the expectation for the output of employees. Moreover, satisfy the equation: Force of motivation (F) = V (direction) Ã- I (probability) Ã- E (expectation), motivation is the product of direction, probability and expectation. The effort affect the performance, performance influence reward, finally the reward decide how much output and expectation. The satisfactions of personal goal approach contribute to a higher passion of employee to the work or research. (Bratton, Sawchuk, Forshaw, Callinan, Corbett, 2010)

Goal-Setting theory is the process of motivate employees using goal setting method. A challenging goals lead to higher level of performance, but this hinge on the worker’s ability, otherwise, will damage the motivation and confidence if the goals cannot be reached. Specific goals conduce to higher value of work than oversimplified goals. An energetic employee in goal setting can improve performance by increasing commitment. Individual’s belief of being capable of performing a task assisted by setting goals increases performance. (Bratton, Sawchuk, Forshaw, Callinan, Corbett, 2010)

The next topic I chose is Group and Team Working. Group and team are two different conceptions. The Group is two or more people work together, face to face communication and have a common target. Nevertheless, the Team is a group of two or more people who influence and care each other, are acting as one “people” for common objectives and perceive themselves as a responsible entity with an organisation. (Bratton, Sawchuk, Forshaw, Callinan, Corbett, 2010) Developing from Groups into Teams is one of the managers of organization need to think over.

The Team had always better than the Group that is why a group of the world best football players cannot 100% defeats a professional team with unknown players. The task and process approach of transfer group into team have a great deal of aspects: different culture if the members of the group have different nationality or culture background, choose a leader from the group, environment, motivation, resources and power or ability. There may also have plenty of uncertain and complex difficulties. Affiliation and achievement of individual needs of group members, the communicate channels, openness to each other and decision making are foundations of a team.

Nowadays, team working is competitiveness, with a high competitive market race, organization required to upgrade its efficiency of work and emphasize the importance of the spirit of team working. Especially when face a large-scale project, the individual cannot finish it by itself, at this point, the age of individualism was end, an outstanding team seems be the main stream of world development. The performance of a team depends on the classification of work team, lower-level teams just make things like self-managed work team similar with a single group, middle-level teams monitor thing like project team but not perfect, the senior-level teams plans and runs things, they drive the project to be real by their steps. (Bratton, Sawchuk, Forshaw, Callinan, Corbett, 2010)

To be a high performing team required a common purpose, clear defined goals, psychological, role clarity, mature communication, productive conflict resolution and accountable interdependence. Establish sense of urgency, select members for skill and skill potential, pay attention to first meetings and actions, set clear rules for each member, challenge group frequently, set and seize on a few quick performance oriented tasks, spend lots of time together and use positive feedback. The other important rule is insure psychological safety: equal voice, contribution; everyone participates; attack issues not people; privacy in team discussion. (Foss, 2009) The leader is the core of a team who manage the direction of team approach with an overall consideration. The leader should familiar with the ability and virtue of each member and makes them act best in the suitable position, stimulates the potential of them, strengthens the communication between the team and makes the members feel their importance in the team. The members of team are indispensible for the team, should have the consciousness of team working. Finishing the job of themselves is the responsibility in a team, in additional, the members of team should trust each other.

The barriers to team effectiveness like social loafing, risky shift, decision-making, groupthink and common knowledge. A pernicious conflict in the team, especially between the leader and co-leader, this will dissociate the team. In the team, the 1+1 probably not larger than 2. In the 2004 NBA final, the Laker has Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, Gary Payton and the coach Phil Jackson versus the Pistons. Everyone believed the NBA most powerful team in the last 20 years would defeat the team without one superstar easily. However, the result was the Pistons defeat the Lakers with score 4 to 1. Actually, Shaquille, Kobe, Karl and Gary they are great basketball players no matter in the league or history, but they are not a team, just a famous group. Kobe and Shaquille not get along well for the team leader, Karl and Gary desire for a champion ring, a team with domestic trouble and foreign invasion cannot call a “team”.

The three topics are from the module organizational behaviour and sociology of work. An abundant knowledge of organizational behaviour helps handle the relationship between employees and managers in the organization and have the positive function to the company development. The first topic is organizational culture, and the first part is the definition about organizational culture. Next using the Haier cooperation as the application organizational example, during the application part connects with the theory of organizational culture. The final part is described the key theory and principles, in addition, the criticisms of the theory and principles in this part either. The second topic is motivation. The first part is explain what motivation is and provides The Maslow Hierarchy of needs theory as the main theory. Using the Hongwu Emperor as the example to explain the maslow hierarchy of needs theory. The following is the criticisms and personal opinion against the maslow hierarchy of needs theory. Finally part is the other key principles and theory. The last topic is group and team working. The first part is same with the other two parts explain the definition of group and team working. Next depict the differences between group and team. The Laker from NBA is the organization to show how to manage a team and the barriers to team effectiveness. The Organizational culture, Motivation and Group and team working are important aspects to an organization. The knowledge of organizational behaviour is art of human relationship in the organization, it is the mental spirit of an organization. A successful management of organizational behaviour not only build a concordant relationship during the employees and managers but also clear the barriers to organization upgrade and performance.


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