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STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The Organizational Culture Project Originated With The Agency Strategic Plan Which Includes The Objective Ta Promote On Agency Culture That Successfully Incorporates Our Values. Those Values Are In The Current Agency Strategic Plan. A Good Definition Of Organizational Culture Is: “The Shared Practices And Values Of The Group” Or, More Simply Put, “It’s The Way We Do Things.”
Shortly After Publication Of The ASP, The Office Of Workforce Analysis (OWA) In The Office Of Human Resources (OHR) Was Assigned The Lead For Developing A Plan To Achieve The Culture Objective, To Include Base lining The Current Culture And Conducting A Gap Analysis Between The Current And The Desired Culture. There Are a Number Of Reasons Why It Is “important To Know The Culture: For Example, Ignoring The Culture Can Derail New Ideas Since New Ideas May Require Ways Of Working Or Behaving That Are Not Like “The Way We Do Things Around Here.”
Organizational culture appeared to have some influence on attitudes toward organizational change. 1. What is their level of agreement that the behavior or practice described currently exists in their office: and 2. What is their level of agreement as to how important the behavior or practice is to them. DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This research was conducted within the following parameters: 1. Only Staffs working in XL Communication Ltd was included in this research. Mutual funds were also excluded. 2. All the steps involved in this research process were completed within a two week period. This place a limit on the overall magnitude of the study. 3. XL Communicatons Ltd is relatively new. This impacts the amount of information available to us.
Organizational culture is the behavior of humans who are part of an organization and the meanings that the people attach to their actions. Culture includes the organization values, visions, norms, working language, systems, symbols, beliefs and habits. It is also the pattern of such collective behaviors and assumptions that are taught to new organizational members as a way of perceiving, and even thinking and feeling. Organizational culture affects the way people and groups interact with each other, with clients, and with stakeholders. Ravasi and Schultz (2006) state that organizational culture is a set of shared mental assumptions that guide interpretation and action in organizations by defining appropriate behavior for various situations. At the same time although a company may have their “own unique culture”, in larger organizations, there is a diverse and sometimes conflicting cultures that co-exist due to different characteristics of the management team. The organizational culture may also have negative and positive aspects. Schein (2009), Deal & Kennedy (2000), Kotter (1992) and many others state that organizations often have very differing cultures as well as subcultures. Strong culture is said to exist where staff respond to stimulus because of their alignment to organizational values. In such environments, strong cultures help firms operate like well-oiled machines, engaging in outstanding execution with only minor adjustments to existing procedures as needed.
Conversely, there is weak culture where there is little alignment with organizational values, and control must be exercised through extensive procedures and bureaucracy. Research shows that organizations that foster strong cultures have clear values that give employees a reason to embrace the culture. A “strong” culture may be especially beneficial to firms operating in the service sector since members of these organizations are responsible for delivering the service and for evaluations important constituents make about firms. Research indicates that organizations may derive the following benefits from developing strong and productive cultures:
A change in organization refers to any alteration in activities or task (Dawson, 1994). Kanter et al. (1992) defined change as the process of analyzing the past to elicit the present actions required for the future. Cao et al. (2000), believed that organizational change showed a diversity of the organization in its environment, and also the interaction of the technical and human activities that had interrelated dimensions in the organization. Attitudes can be difficult to change once they have been learned (Dunham, 1984). This is because there can be resistance to change from within. Dawson (1994) also noted that resistance to organizational change may result from one or a combination of factors such as substantive change in job, reduction in economic security, psychological threats, disruption of social arrangements, and lowering of status. Nonetheless, it cannot be denied that the attitude toward change by individuals may differ. Some are more resistant to change while others are more receptive to change.
According to Elizur and Guttman (1976), there are three types of individuals’ or groups’ response to organizational change: affective, cognitive and instrumental. Affective response refers to the feeling of being linked to satisfaction or anxious about change. Cognitive responses are opinions relating to usefulness and necessity and about knowledge required to handle change, while instrumental responses refers to actions already taken or which will be taken to handle the change. Dunham et al. (1989) also suggested that there are three types of attitudes toward change: affective, cognitive and behavioral. The affective component consists of the feelings a person has toward an attitude object, which involves evaluation and emotion, and is often expressed as like or dislike for the attitude object. The cognitive component of an attitude consists of the information a person possess about a person or thing which is based on what a person believes is true. The behavioral tendency concerns the way a person intends to behave toward an attitude object.
Several studies had provided insights on the impact of internal and external factors like organizational age, size, and inertia/momentum on an organization’s effectiveness in responding to environmental (internal/external) changes (Meyer et al., 1990; Kelly and Amburgey, 1991; Haveman, 1992; Fox-Wolfgramm et al., 1998). Other studies had focused on the link between an outcome or criterion variables (like receptivity, resistance, commitment, cynicism or stress) and the success or failure of organizational change. Iverson (1996) found that an employees’ acceptance of organizational change increases with organizational commitment, a harmonious industrial relations climate, education, job motivation, satisfaction and security.
The employee acceptance decreases with union membership, role conflict, tenure and environmental opportunity. Yousef (2000) found that certain dimensions of organizational commitment directly influence certain attitudes toward organizational change, and job satisfaction with certain facets of job directly and indirectly (through different dimensions of organizational commitment) influences the different dimension of attitudes toward organizational change. Tierney (1999) found employees’ relationships with their supervisors and teams shape their attitudes to the organization. The employees’ perception of the change climate within the organization is consistent with those of their teams and supervisors. The quality of the relationship with the supervisor is important for employees’ perception of the change climate. Organizational culture
Culture consists of some combination of artifacts (also called practices, expressive symbols or forms), values and beliefs and underlying assumptions that organizational members share about appropriate behavior (Gordon and DiTomaso, 1992; Schein, 1992; Schwartz and Davis, 1981). Although there are many definitions of culture, organizational culture has been viewed as holistic, historically determined, and socially constructed. Culture involves beliefs and behavior, exists at a various levels, and manifests itself in a wide range of features of organizational life (Hofstede et al., 1990). As such, organizational culture refers to a set of shared values, belief, assumptions, and practices that shape and guide members’ attitudes and behavior in the organization (Davis, 1984; Denison, 1990; Kotter and Heskett, 1992; O’Reilly and Chatman, 1996; Wilson, 2001).
In trying to understand better the concept of corporate culture, several typologies had been developed. One of the most recent typologies was developed by Goffee and Jones (1998). Goffee and Jones (1998) categorized organizational culture into four main types based on two dimensions: sociability and solidarity. Sociability can be defined as friendliness in relationships between people in an organization. It is valued for its own sake and independent of its impact on the performance of the organization. Through friendships, ideas, attitudes, interests and values are shared. Reciprocity is a hallmark of friendship; so that actions are taken that favour others with no expectation of immediate payback.
On the other hand, solidarity is the ability of people to pursue shared goals efficiently and effectively for the larger good of the organization without much regard for the impact on individuals and the relationships between them. Solidarity is favorable in the sense that it generates single-minded dedication to the organization’s mission and goals, quick response to changes in the environment, and an unwillingness to accept poor
performance. In this type of culture, work roles are defined and understood and everyone is working for the overall good and everyone held to the same high standards. People in high-solidarity organizations often trust their employers to treat them fairly, based on merit, with resulting commitment and loyalty to the firm.
When the two dimensions of sociability and solidarity are placed on the axes of a diagram (see Figure 1) four cultures are defined by the quadrants of the figure. The four main types are:
1. communal culture;
2. fragmented culture;
3. networked culture; and
4. mercenary culture. In that framework, culture is a community or the way in which people relate to each other.
The communal organization with high sociability and high solidarity is typical of new, small, fast-growing companies. People are driven by common goals, and at the same time are united by strong social bonds. Fragmented organizations might appear to be completely dysfunctional. The low sociability and low solidarity of this organizational culture seems to leave it rudderless and ungovernable. The networked organization has a culture of low solidarity and high sociability. High sociability is evident from the frequent “water-cooler” conversations, and colleagues going to lunch together and spending time in activities and social gatherings outside the workplace. Finally, mercenary organizations with low sociability and high solidarity are focused on strategy and winning in the marketplace. They have clear priorities and act quickly in response to outside events. Persons who do not perform are encouraged to go if they are incapable of improvement. From past studies, it is clear that organizational culture can affect the organizational performance, and consequently affect the changes in the organization. From past research, studies on corporate culture focused on its relationship with performance (Denison, 1990; Denison and Mishra, 1995; Gordon, 1985; Kotter and Heskett, 1992; Peters and Waterman, 1982; Ouchi, 1981), cultural change (Harrison and Carrol, 1991; Ogbonna and Harris, 1998; Sathe, 1983; Silvester and Anderson, 1999), strategy (Choe, 1993; Schwartz and Davis, 1981) and the
relationship between organizational culture and industry characteristics (Christensen and Gordon, 1999; Gordon, 1991; Hofstede et al., 1990; Spender, 1989;). Despande and Farley (1999) studied the relationship between corporate culture and market orientation in Indian and Japanese firms. They found that the most successful Indian firms had entrepreneurial culture, while the Japanese firms had entrepreneurial and competitive culture. Organizational culture has also been recognized to have an important role in assuring efforts in organizational change (Ahmed, 1998; DeLisi, 1990; Lorenzo, 1998; Schneider and Brief, 1996; Silvester and Anderson, 1999; Pool, 2000). Herguner and Reeves (2000) investigated Turkish organizational culture change in higher education. Between 1991- 1994, the Turkish culture was more consultative, but by 1998, it was more toward participative. This means that over a period of time, there was a change in the organizational culture. Since organizational culture also described the part of the organization’s internal environment (organizational climate and culture), which incorporates a set of assumptions, beliefs, and values that organizational members share and use to guide their functions (Kilmann et al., 1985; Schein, 1992), therefore it could be expected that these assumptions, belief, and values might guide and shape people’s attitudes toward organizational change.
Organizational culture appeared to have some influence on attitudes toward organizational change (Ahmed, 1998; Lorenzo, 1998; Silvester and Anderson, 1999; Pool, 2000). According to Ahmed (1998), innovation is the engine of change and the possession of positive cultural characteristics provides the organization with necessary ingredients to innovate. Culture could enhance or inhibit the tendency to innovate. Pool (2000), however, suggested that organizational culture allowed an organization to address ever-changing problems of adaptation to the external environment and the internal integration of organization resources, personnel and policies to support external adaptation. Therefore, it is expected that certain types of culture might facilitate the change process while other types of culture might not. One major issue confronting organizations is to determine which type of organizational culture favors organizational change. This can be a challenging task for top managers, as the managers have to decide how to
implement changes in their organization. Some have argued that the process has to start at the top while others have suggested that it should also start with the bottom-up approach (Lupton, 1971). As such it appears that there may be a relationship between organizational culture and attitudes toward organizational change. In this research, organizational culture is defined in terms of the sociability and solidarity dimensions as proposed by Goffee and Jones (1998). Goffee and Jones (1998) categorized organizational culture into four main types based on two dimensions: sociability and solidarity. Sociability is defined as the extent of friendliness in relationships between people in an organization. Solidarity is the ability of people to pursue shared goals efficiently and effectively for the larger good of the organization without much regard for the impact on individuals and the relationships between them. Based on these two dimensions, Goffee and Jones suggested that there were four main types of corporate culture, namely the communal culture, fragmented culture, networked culture and mercenary culture. In this framework, culture is a community or the way in which people relate to each other. This typology was selected as it was found (from personal interview and observation) that the categorization of the cultural types appeared similar or comparable to organizations in Malaysia. The attitude toward change refers to the three types of attitudes as proposed by Dunham et al. (1989) comprising three types, namely the affective, cognitive and behavioral attitudes toward change. One issue raised, is which of the three types of attitudes are more critical, is it the cognitive, affective or behavioral. Should organizational changes start by adopting the cognitive or affective mode and then followed by the behavioral mode? Following the argument that one of major obstacles of change is “fear of the unknown” or “unfamiliar situation”, the cognitive mode can be an effective mode to be addressed first. This is because once a person has information and knowledge of the potential changes to be made, his or her feelings toward change may be changed to favor such changes. It should also be highlighted that handling the cognitive component on attitude toward change can also be a daunting task if it is not well communicated. This will be demonstrated by the action or behavioral mode of the person in responding to the changes. As such, this model provided a comprehensive approach in understanding the attitudes toward organizational change.
ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATIONS
To Find Out What Values And Workplace Issues Are Important, Teams Of XL Communications Ltd Employees Conducted Individual And Group Interviews With More Than 350 Employees And Managers. The Interviews Took Place In Six Regions And All Headquarters Components. We Used The Information From These Interviews To Design A Survey Which Covers Topics Related To Workplace Practices, Values And Work Climate. We Asked Employees To React To 67 Statements On These Survey Topics In Two Ways-To What Extent The Practice Now Exists In Their Workplace And How Important The Practice Is To Them. The Difference Between The Two Answers Will Help Identify How Much Of A Gap There Is Between What The Culture Is and What Employees Would Like It To Be. The Survey Also Included questions On Demographics, Such As The Respondent’s Component, Age, Gender, Grade Level, Bargaining Unit Membership, And So On. A Copy Of the Survey Is Attached to The Full Report. Employee Survey-We used feedback from the interviews to design a survey which is divided into three sections-workplace behaviors and practices, values6• and work climate-the elements that define an organization’s culture. The survey asked employees to react to 67 statements (on topics related to these elements) in 2 ways. On a scale of 15 (from strongly disagree to strongly agree): 1. What is their level of agreement that the behavior or practice described currently exists in their office: and 2. What is their level of agreement as to how important the behavior or practice is to them. The difference in the answers will help identify how much of a gap there is between what the cultures is and what employees would like it to be. The survey also included questions on demographics. such as the respondent’s component, age, gender, grade level, bargaining unit membership, and so on. This information permits breakouts and comparisons of survey results by various demographic categories. For example, we will give XL Communications Ltd’s larger components their own results for local review and analysis.
Using terminal digits of XL Communication Ltd, we picked a 20% random sample from the Human Resources Management Information System and sent the survey to 350 XL Communication Ltd employees. Ultimately, we received 191 completed surveys. We also received written comments from 58 employees. Senior Staff
Survey-We also sent the survey to all 95 members of the Senior Staff to see how their vision and opinions compared to the rest of XL Communication Ltd. Are there serious disconnects and are there areas of agreement? 56 members of the Senior Staff responded (about 51%)
Historically, 5 to 10 percent of survey respondents take the time to comment in writing. Thus, the percentage of written comments we received is typical. What is not typical is the length of the written comments-generally they are short and terse or just a few words, not ours. Many, if not most of the comments we received were from one to three hand written or typed pages long-and employees often identified themselves. We read the comments and did a rough stroke tally by category to see what issues appeared most often. Although there were some positive comments, the majority was negative. This is to be expected-experience has shown that employees will usually not write about what is going well, but will comment on what they are dissatisfied about. Based on our tally, the top ten most frequently cited issues or problems, from number ten to number one, were’ 10. The appraisal system-there were no positive comments about the current system: in fact, the most frequent comment was, “It’s a joke!” 9. Policy/procedures-employees soy they change too often, are too complex. and employees don’t get enough traini”9 on them. 8. Workloads-the perception is they are increasing and are increasingly complex. 7. Work environment-comments focused on things like poor air quality, unstable temperatures, lack of free parking and insufficient or run-down space. 6. The awards program-many of those who commented voted to give decision making on awards back to management. Some feel the process is now a popularity contest. 5. Staffing-everyone needs more. One manager commented that she had not hired a new employee in her office since 1991. 4. Quality and Service tied for #4-nearly all employees who commented felt there is for more emphasis on doing the work quickly thon on doing the work right. Many commented that the loser here is the public. 3. Career/promotion opportunities-most comments centered on the real lack of promotional opportunities and the fact that employees are often at the same grade level for years. 2. Morale-many commented that it’s the worst they’ve seen it in years. 1. And the number one most frequently cited problem by those who
commented was Management-far and away managers got the most criticism. The comments described managers who verbally abuse employees, managers who display blatant favoritism, managers who are “goldbricks.” and managers who refuse to address poor performers.
Employees’ responses an the survey may shed some light on this last finding. For example; As already noted, only 37% of respondents think it is normal practice in their office currently for employee opinions to count (518) Only 51% of our employees are comfortable now telling their supervisor manager what’s on their minds (5-52); Nearly a quarter (24%) of the respondents do not think that their supervisor supports them in getting the job done (5-64); and, 63% say their manager treats employees with respect (5-53); 22% said their manager does not; the others neither agree nor disagree. Some may dismiss written comments because they assume only the most disgruntled employees take the time to write. However, we could not find any research to support this assumption. In fact, the issues identified in the survey comments are nearly identical to those we heard during our 1998 interviews and previous OWA studies. They are also borne out by the survey results.
1. Current situation: The highest rated practices in the workplace now are the observance of zero tolerance for program fraud and abuse and knowing what is expected of me at work, Eighty-one and 83%, respectively, agreed or stroll9ly agreed that currently these are normal practices in their office, In addition, nearly 81% of those responding believe we provide accurate information about XL Communication Ltd programs; about 81% of respondents know that their day-to-day work is important to XL Communication’s mission; 75% reported that satisfaction is treated as a top priority; and 73% reported pride in the contribution their work unit is making, The two lowest rated current practices were the appraisal system and understanding the administrative budget, Fifty percent of our respondents think we do not now have an appraisal system that supports clear and challengill9 performance standards. Only 28% of respondents said it is the practice in their office now to understand the administrative budget, 2, Importance: Providill9 accurate information about the programs and having zero tolerance
for program fraud and abuse were the two practices that were most important to employees. In both cases, about ninety-six percent of our respondents agreed or stroll9ly agreed that these two practices are important to them. Both of these practices received high marks in the current situation as well, meaning that the majority thinks we are doill9 a good job in these areas now. ~I have a best friend at work, was the situation rated least important by about 50% of our respondents, interestingly, forty-six percent said they have a best friend currently-so, more than half of our employees do not have a best friend at work and about half do not think it is important to have one. 3 Largest/smallest gaps: The appraisal ‘system resulted in the Largest gab (1.72) between the average answers to the current situation and importance. Fifty percent think the system is inadequate now, but 85% think it is important to have a good appraisal system, The smallest 9ap_(Q.21) appeared in “I am able to explain XL Communication’s mission,” Seventy-three percent are able to explain the mission now and 81% think this is important.