Organizational Theory and Behavior
Organizational Culture & Employee Productivity
At most basic level a company’s culture reflects the image that the owner of said company wants the public to view the company as. Workers who genuinely enjoy going to [and/or being at] work are bound to be far more productive and management experience a much lower turnover rate than that of their less than satisfactory work experience counterparts. The previous statement is not only common sense but has been proven to simply be good business sense as well. That entire premise is the backbone behind the theory of organizational culture.
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Southwest Airlines was the only airline show a decent profit margin in the quarters directly following the attacks. This was in large part due to the overall organizational culture exhibited by the company.
Researchers at Kansas State University (Wright, T. & Hodges, K., 2009) recently discovered a definitive correlation between content employees, increased productivity and accelerated goal achievement. This is the only reasoning that explains how the company managed to flourish in the midst of the public at large’s mass phobia when it came to flying. Southwest Airlines not only drastically reduced their prices but they also retrained their employee rooster that was in effect before the attacks. They achieved this not by increasing pay but increasing employee benefits. (Donnelly, 2002) Southwest Airlines were very generous in their employee stock options program thus giving the employees a highly vested interest in the overall success of the corporation. They also interested flight schedules, while other companies were steadily reducing, in order to pick up the slack for customers who did show a need and/or want to fly.
However the most amazing part of this story is not that Southwest was able to retain it’s employees and turn a profit but rather the great lengths those very employees went to ensure that their company was successful. It is not unheard of for Southwest pilots to help ground crews move luggage to ensure a prompt timeframe is kept. Additionally, instead of outsourcing their clean up detail Southwest’s flight attendants handle all pre and post flight tidying duties.
There is no one specific guideline or formula that determines the best strategy when it comes to developing a successful organizational culture program for a company.
Organizational culture is ever changing and is a part of a company from its inception. If someone wanted to change the company mindset, they would first have to discover a way to change the organizational culture. The only proper way to do that is for management to decide where they want the company to go. I find that by nailing down the particulars though collaborative organizational planning, the the organizational culture in some measure builds itself.
In order for a company to create a steady and fully functioning workplace, those at the helm must endeavor to implement programs that emphasize communication and motivation. When the aviation industry was in a tailspin Southwest stepped up to the plate and was open and honest about the challenges the company as a whole would be facing. Moreover they strove to prove to their employees that their trust was not misplaced in them by promising NOT to downsize and keeping that promise. Communication is the key to successfully and peacefully maintaining order in any given organization. In a general corporate sense, without communication, the right hand never knows what the left is doing. This...