How can Pfizer achieve competitive advantage through organizational behaviour

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How Pfizer can accomplish competitory advantage through organisational behavior and organisational development patterns?

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Pfizer has a history as a pioneering company in the medical specialty concern since 1849. The local company had been created by Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhardt in Brooklyn, NY. Pfizer Inc. ( PFE ) over the century has evolved into a planetary pharmaceutical company with central offices based in New York, USA and assorted subordinates spread all over the universe. The company specializes in detecting, developing, fabrication and selling of taking prescription medical specialties for worlds and animate beings. Pfizer today self-praises of its well known consumer trade names and prides itself in being “ advanced ” in supplying value added merchandises and bettering the quality of people ‘s lives around the Earth.

As stated in its mission, and vision and value statements Pfizer purposes to go “ the universe ‘s most valued company ” to its stakeholders and stockholders. The company aims to give its resources to the pursuit of “ longer, healthier, happier lives through invention in pharmaceutical, consumer and carnal wellness merchandises. ” ( Pfizer Official Website 2006 ) . Based on this mission, the company has developed a set of values and organisational civilization, which include “ unity, regard for people, client focal point, community, invention, teamwork, public presentation, leading and quality. ” ( Pfizer Official Website 2006 ) .

Pfizer ‘s vision and values non merely forms the footing for its corporate civilization but besides its direction manner. The direction has established a public presentation ethos civilization and competitory spirit embraced at all degrees of the organisation. This civilization is embedded that it has become the company ‘s doctrine and ends for all sorts of strategic activities. It has become portion of a extremely systematic attack to integrating particularly when Pfizer endeavours to take over or unify with other entities.

Two premier illustrations of integrating are Pharmacia and Warner-Lambert in which Pfizer has wholly incorporated its civilization to the merged organisations to the extent of pass overing out the new civilization. Pfizer ‘s dominant corporate behavior originates from the company ‘s centralized and democratic top direction headed by CEO Henry McKinnell. Consequently, Pfizer, in the yesteryear and even today, despite many alterations still retains its values and civilization in every facet of its operations as will be apparent in the undermentioned treatment.


Organizational behavior patterns

Organizational behavior patterns tend to impact members within the organisation in the manner they interact with each other, with the direction and the external environment. In modern organisations, directors and executives frequently use organisational behavior as an advantage for incorporating alteration procedures. Harmonizing to Denison ( 2000 ) , directors use organisational civilization to make a natural and societal environment to associate single behaviors with organisational activities. It is therefore the Centre for bring oning alteration processes. This hypothesis is consistent with Geert Hofstede ‘s theory ( 2003 ) on civilization and mental scheduling. Hofstede theorizes that people act in a universal, corporate and single mode. Their heads manifest and promote them to keep values such as symbolism, heroes, and rites etc.

Culture is a procedure of developing a scheme to polish the mental scheduling of corporate persons. Cultural dimensions help to alter behaviors, state of affairss and single attitudes ( Hofstede 2003 ) . The procedure starts with the familial scheduling and bit by bit develops to integrate superficial corporate behavior. The transportation of corporate mental scheduling has been passed on from coevals to coevals. It is a uninterrupted acquisition procedure for persons. In footings of concern organisations there are certain schemes and steps for imitating mental scheduling so that such steps invoke matching specific behaviors. Pfizer has integrated this construct. ( Sims 2002 ) .

Harmonizing to Sims ( 2002 ) , Pfizer follows a process-based organisational design and construction scheme. It incorporates these whenever it needs to invest new groups into the organisation. This procedure emphasizes on sidelong relationship edifice. Persons in a group are to work in a common unit managed by a centralised power. Each group forms a functional key to the organisation ‘s construction. At Pfizer, these groups or units are called sections or divisions. Each of these centralised power or executives are the linking points that enable the organisation to interact with its functional sections, and outside the house ( Reilly 2001 ) .

Pfizer ‘s procedure based organisational construction is focused on rapid growing by directing resources to function internal and external clients. The procedures within the organisation are governed by clear public presentation ends and benchmarks ( Sims 2002 ) .

Pfizer ‘s procedure based organisational construction non merely helps in increased efficiency but besides cut down complex work procedures. By cut downing excess work procedures and beds of direction, the members of the squads can concentrate on public presentation as a whole. The squads become the cardinal characteristic in the organisational end accomplishment procedure such as strategic planning, mark scene, public presentation degrees, control and execution of eventuality programs should the organisation face a alteration in the environment. Persons, in such organisations, tend to be self-motivated and responsible for their ain end accomplishment, which merely enhances public presentation harmonizing to Sims ( 2002 ) .

There are certain advantages and disadvantages of following procedure based construction. As seen at Pfizer, the direction addition by concentrating its resources to accomplish client satisfaction, better efficiency, adapt to environmental alteration and cut down departmental segregation by stressing on employee engagement ( Sims 2002 ) .

On the other manus, disadvantages include riddance of in-between direction, changeless alteration in control schemes, demand of new accomplishments and cognition by direction, longer decision-making period and sometime uneffective procedure designation ( Sims 2002 ) .

As theorized by Sims one can non presume that organisational behavioral scheduling is the perfect solution for dynamic organisations like Pfizer. At times, there are reverses that may move adversely on the organisation and its direction. Nevertheless, for Pfizer the expression has worked good in the past, as it has been successful in integrating Pharmacia and Warner-Lambert ‘s civilization into its ain.

Recruitment and choice patterns

However, Pfizer ‘s scheme would non ever work in the long term. It will necessitate to integrate new schemes. Dynamic concern environment in the pharmaceutical concern environment demands organisations within the industry to germinate and expect alteration to accommodate to it. The first moving ridge of needed alteration at Pfizer has already surfaced ( Barrett 2005 ) since the company has been sing new challenges in the signifier of run outing patents, demand for new medical specialties, and new diseases. It needs to better on its organisational behavior patterns to estimate future challenges. One country that Pfizer has antecedently been concentrating on and should still concentrate on is to originate alteration in its enlisting patterns.

Pfizer has assorted recruitment plans but the most outstanding pattern that reflects the above organisational civilization is initiation of entry-level recruits. Pfizer agenda campus enlisting at taking colleges and universities throughout the United States to engage the best-qualified employees ( Pfizer functionary web site 2006 ).

The purpose is to invest immature recruits with academic and some professional makings. This is because immature alumnuss readily adapt to Pfizer ‘s dominant corporate civilization. Even more early on pupils are encouraged to take the chance to intern and invest through co-op plans while they are still analyzing. This gives plentifulness of room for the direction to cultivate full-time employees where it sees their endowment suit the demands of the organisation.

Within the organisation, the company believes in rotational development plans to let employees to familiarise with the company and its concern civilization ( Pfizer Official Website 2006 ) . Teams are formed ; civilizations are established and absorbed through this procedure. However, this attack is non merely selective but it besides cultivates employees to go submissive to the centralised determination devising system.

Alternatively, the research worker is of the position that streamlined enlisting procedures help invest dynamic endowments, which would assist the workers to germinate with the organisation. Harmonizing to Alan Price ( 2003 ) , enlisting should be a cost effectual method so that it achieves its intent. Interviewing and choice methods adopted by any company should be designed with the end to accomplish the intent of enrolling the best and qualified campaigners. Pfizer ‘s basic method of enlisting at the entry degree from colleges no uncertainty give the company the benefit of modeling campaigners in conformity to its civilization but it does non vouch the candidates’ making for the occupation.

Alternatively, Pfizer ‘s direction should see alternate methods of enlisting and choice patterns that would let them to screen persons for their endowments every bit good as cognitive abilities. Including psychological trials like Myers and Briggs type stock list in choice interviews would assist to test campaigners with dynamic personalities, partisans, squad participants, and originative minds. No uncertainty, McKinnell ‘s democratic squad doctrine has greatly contributed to the success of Pfizer but future challenges require squad members to be advanced, originative, and adaptable to alter. They should besides be equipped with the ability to act upon others to make the same. Such qualities can non be cultured but are normally built-in in persons with experience. Bringing in new endowments from exterior would assist the passage of Pfizer from a twentieth century to the twenty-first century company.

Organizational civilization and concern scheme integrating

In a well-established and structured organisation like Pfizer, the organization’s best patterns are in its corporate scheme. Harmonizing to Denison ‘s ( 2000 ) research the writer reveals that organisational civilization is alone and it helps the organisation to accomplish competitory advantage. Denison bases his research on Hofstede ‘s civilization survey, which focuses on four chiseled values. These are individuality, power distance, uncertainness turning away and maleness. By concentrating on the dimensions of these values through direction patterns, organisations can accomplish competitory advantage over rivals.

At Pfizer, the direction is already cognizant of the fact that the company needs to hold a systematic attack to incorporate new and acquired concern entities. The end is to associate together the different civilizations of the units that would go portion of Pfizer with least opposition. To carry through this intent, the direction needs to set up nucleus values and schemes to integrate both entities. Harmonizing to Carey and Ogden ( 2004 ) , these are achieved through the undermentioned enterprises:

  • “ Establish and put to death against an upside vision
  • Make the new pharmaceutical company/business
  • Build enthusiasm among external stakeholders and in the market
  • Identify and gaining control appropriate short-run synergisms
  • Build enthusiasm among employees
  • Keep the current concern running swimmingly ”

Similarly, when an organisation goes through alteration, it besides needs to take the systematic attack to be able to turn to issues that present to the direction. The attack should utilize communicating, direction and civilization cultivation schemes to act upon the cognitive position of the members ( Denison 2000 ) . In this respect Schein ‘s good known theoretical account of degrees in organisational civilization helps one to understand that should an organisation uses civilization and behavior patterns to act upon new direction and employees, it should split the attack to three degrees. First, it should turn to the basic implicit in premises that persons tend to be unconscious.

They have taken-for-granted beliefs, perceptual experiences, ideas and feelings, which influence their values and actions. Hence, they will believe, act and execute as they have been taught in the old work environment. Second, Schein ( qt. Denison 2000 ) believes that every person has espoused values derived from personal perceptual experiences and values. These form the footing for their justifications for schemes, ends and doctrines. Last, artifacts are the seeable construction and procedures, which these members will follow in the class of their engagement in the organisation. Any alteration will hold to be influenced at the basic implicit in degree ( Denison 2000 ) .

At Pfizer, alteration is changeless yet the top-down, centralised decision-making construction leaves small room for the lower degree staff to go influenced in their natural work environment. Consequently, any sort of corporate scheme is frequently met with opposition or consequence in redundancy. At the clip of the amalgamation with Warner-Lambert, Pfizer has been repetitive on its corporate civilization incorporating small Warner-Lambert civilization, which has resulted in the surrender of its directors.

The Warner-Lambert illustration therefore indicates that Pfizer ‘s dominant civilization does non normally have positive consequences ( Carey and Ogden 2004 ) . When an organisation trades at a planetary degree, and reaches the phase of amalgamations and acquisitions, so it should contemplate barriers through alteration, civilization and diverseness. Business schemes would hold to be integrated into the best patterns in order to accomplish maximal aims.

To get down with, Pfizer needs to reconsider its centralised determination devising construction. As Pfizer expands its organisation to include diversified concern units, it needs to hold more rapid decision-making construction to be able to put to death alteration schemes and programs. In the medical specialty industry, this is imperative as it means that the organisation is adaptable to alter and at par with the competition ( Hosek and Cecchine 2001 ) . Decentralized decision-making and controls is besides consistent with organisational end accomplishments depending on the authorization allocated to the determination shapers. Optimizing determination rights in organisation nevertheless, require certain change in human resource direction:

1. Training and development

Specialized cognition is needed for directors to do cost effectual determinations. They need to cognize how to leave cognition through communicating to all degrees before programs or schemes can be efficaciously implemented. Consequently, determination shapers need to be trained, motivated and technically specialized before they can endeavor to cultivate those working with them ( Hosek and Cecchine 2001 ) .

2. Wagess and wage

Clear ends need to be established. They need to be linked with public presentation and uninterrupted betterment procedures. Remuneration plans should be established and developed so that they are meaningful to the employees. It is of import to observe that this wage should besides be consistent with the predominating organizational civilization. For illustration at Pfizer the values outlined in its vision and values should be incorporated at all degrees of the wagess and wage procedure so that the employees are clear as to what the direction is looking for when they evaluate them. Incentives should be focussed on efficiency, quality, criterions and costs.

Wagess should non merely be material but should besides include immaterial 1s every bit good. Esteem edifice, feelings of achievements, group unity and consistence in upholding organisational values should be recognized consequently.

3. Appraisals

Having said that, it is imperative for Pfizer to besides establish its assessment system on the determination efficiency, public presentation results and accomplishments. Rewards become meaningless if they are non linked with civilization. Employees should be encouraged to find their public presentation with organisational ends, productiveness and ownership. It is at this point that they are evaluated whether they have assimilated the organisational civilization patterns or non. Without the feeling of belonging, group civilization or ownership persons tend to execute less expeditiously and disassociate themselves from the overall organisational accomplishment. Consequently, a comprehensive assessment system should be established based on civilization.

4. Employee dealingss

Pfizer believes in doing persons accountable for their ain success. However, non every new individual can absorb this duty. There is a great demand for a general integrating architecture that would let the organisation to absorb new recruits to point them to the maps of concern units at Pfizer. Consequently, developing processs for employee dealingss is critical for effectual passage and alteration direction.

5. Guidance and redundancy

Organization cultivation of civilization is non a erstwhile procedure. It can non be a erstwhile plan developed to suit the company for all times. Alternatively, direction demand to develop and orient it to the demands of each clip the organisation goes through alteration. Some facets need to be consistent while the others may be customized and made redundant to employees at every degree. At all times ends should be consistent, to reenforce them in their daily activities. Employees should be cognizant of the organisational values, nucleus beliefs and criterions at all times.

6. Corporate duty and stakeholder theory

Finally yet significantly, the company should hold a consistent value system that promotes corporate societal duty. CSR should non be limited to stockholders as indicated by Pfizer but should besides be integrated at the stakeholder’s degree excessively to guarantee, they believe and pattern.


Pfizer has been and go on to be an model company in the pharmaceutical industry. With its advanced attack to concern, ever-expanding schemes and consistent thrust for quality and standardisation, the company has come a long manner. It is one of the top companies in its class yet one must observe that organisations need to continuously germinate to stay at the top. Dynamicism is critical at all degrees of alteration to prolong effectual organisational development. As it is, Pfizer has already experienced the demand to continuously research for new medical specialties to be able to prolong its income. Research and developing new merchandises in the medical specialty universe is a slow procedure that requires forbearance and invention. An organisation demand to expect alteration, and the demands originating out of alteration to be able to maintain abreast with the competition. For this ground, it is imperative that the company develop its civilization and schemes to reflect the same.


Given the challenges that Pfizer faces today and in the close hereafter, it is imperative that the organisation re-evaluate its current corporate civilization, environment and schemes. These demands to be integrated so that it allows the company to measure its ends, aims, and processes in footings of the new environment demands. Pfizer needs to germinate and accommodate to these challenges by organizing an organic organisation and set uping dynamic civilization within so that persons can clearly tie in concern aims with their functions within the organisation to be able to execute as expected out of them. They need to experience the ownership, motive and belonging to a common unit.


Barrett, A. Feb 2005, “ Pfizer ‘s Funk ”Business Week.

Carey, D. C. and Ogden, D. 2004,The Human Side of M & A ; A: How CEOs Leverage the Most Important Asset in Deal Making.New York: Oxford University Press, p 55.

Cartwright, S. and Cooper, C. 2000,The Handbook of Organizational Culture. London: John Wiley & A ; Sons.

Denison, D. 2000,Organizational Culture: Can it be a Key Lever for Driving Organizational Change?International Institute for Management Development.

Hofstede, G. 2003,Culture ‘s Consequences: Comparing Valuess, Behaviours, Institutions and Organizations Across Nations. SAGE Publications ; 2nd edition

Hosek, S. D. and Cecchine, G. 2001,Reorganizing the Military Health System: Should There Be a Joint Command?RAND Research.

Pfizer Official Website:

Monetary value, A. 2003,Human Resource Management in a Business Context, 2nd edition. Thomson Learning.

Reilly, C. 2001, “ Merger passion! ”Buying Magazine Online.

Sims, R. R. 2002,Pull offing Organizational Behaviour. Westport, CT: Quorum Books. p290.

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