Organizational Theory and Behavior Thesis

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Organizational Culture:

Management, Gender Differences and Navigation of the Public Sector

The success of a business depends largely on the tenor set by its

ownership, management and personnel in concert with the goals of its

mission and the administrative nature of its operation. This shapes what

is known as a company's Organizational Culture. Such is the general tone

in which communication, production and innovation are fostered, either to

the achievement or failure of desired outcomes. A positive organizational

culture is one which thrives on the strength of a shared motivation, an

evident team effectiveness and a core of leaders that is qualified and

respected. These conditions make a company both a functional business and

a potentially rewarding place to work. For its employees, the opportunity

to work in an environment where learning new things is essential to the

process of conducting day-to-day business is often a significant driving

force. These conditions describe what is referred to as the organizational

culture, a somewhat abstract but omnipresent concept defining the behavior,

expectations and experiences of all who operate within and come into

engagement with an organization. The research conducted here reveals that

organizational culture is impacted by a broad array of factors, including

the orientation of management, the accommodation of diversity such as

gender differences and the reflection of positive rather than negativeDownload full Download Microsoft Word File
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aspects of the general culture.

Indeed, we find that first and foremost, managerial orientation will

play a substantial part in defining this culture. To this point, "the

managerial function finds its only outlet through the members of the

organization (body corporate). Whilst the other functions bring into play

material and machines the managerial function operates only on the

personnel." (Shafritz, 48) Without question, this is a defining aspect of

TOPIC: Thesis on Organizational Theory and Behavior Assignment

an organization's culture, with the managerial orientation impacting the

experience of personnel, directing the activities of teams and guiding the

organization through its own ups and downs. Moreover, the manager is the

channel through which the administrative goals and visions are passed to

the rest of the organization, meaning that in this position is vested a

significant degree of influence with regard to the realization of a desired

organizational culture.

One of the keys to a positive orientation in the managerial role is

the capacity to delegate responsibility and simultaneously establish a

consistency in the company. Indeed, this consistency is a key outcome of a

positive organizational culture, with roles, goals and procedural norms

defined to a degree that reduces confusion, frustration or disagreement.

Again, this is something which begins at the managerial level, where, the

Shafritz text finds, "the object of division of work is to produce more and

better work with the same effort. The worker always on the same part, the

manager concerned always with the same matters, acquire an ability,

sureness and accuracy which increase their output." (Shafritz, 48)

Creating an environment where these conditions are present will contribute

significantly to the sense of personnel that they are part of a functional

entity that values their respective contributions and uses them to a

consistent and organized end.

Still, it is important to observe in the context of this discussion

that the features defining organizational culture extend well beyond the

simple importance of conducting responsibilities and defining roles. The

human elements of organizational culture are most central, with issues such

as diversity, multi-cultural communication and Gender Differences impacting

the makeup of a company and, in turn, the capacity of the company to

accommodate and treat with sensitivity all comprising this makeup will be a

defining part of organizational culture. For the purposes of this

discussion, we consider gender accommodation as a determinant of

organizational culture. Accordingly, we consider the observations provided

by Stivers (2002), who recognizes that "while much gender-oriented research

has documented perceived differences in male and female behavior as well as

men's and women's expectations about how each sex will behave in particular

situations, relatively little thought has been given to what difference

these differences may: what they imply for women's careers and

organizational experiences versus those of men." (Stivers, 24) This is a

factor which does significantly impact organizational culture, as the

degree to which gender realities are accommodated or disregarded will play

heavily into the experience of both men and women in the workplace.

Here, we are introduced to the distinct challenges of managing

diversity in the workplace, both relating to women and to the general

premise of contending with distinguishing cultural features and ideals.

Fitting these within the context of an overarching company culture can be

challenging, contributing to the need for such a culture that is welcoming

and comfortable for all. The concept of the glass-ceiling, which still

persists today, is one that challenges workplace administrators to find

ways to bridge gaps created by gender expectations, social inequalities and

the presence of sexual harassment. These are all symptoms of the glass

ceiling which either institutionally detain women from opportunities equal

to those of their male counterparts or which actively intimidate women from

pursuit of advancement. In all of these is the culprit of gender role

expectation in an imbalanced context. Even today, we find that social and

cultural expectations are often inextricable from that which we perceive to

be particularly male or particularly female in quality or characteristic.

As Stivers claims on the subject, "both men and women professionals in

organizations seek to deny the existence of sexual harassment.

Nevertheless, her research suggested that such incidents are widespread and

that most go unreported, frequently because women are apt to blame

themselves when men at work make overtures." (Stivers, 25)

Where this occurs, there is clearly a dual cultural conflict for the

organization which correlates both to a company-wide culture of denial and,

worse, to a culture which inherently allows the type of treatment that

renders the workplace hostile and discomforting for women. We may trace

such a cultural problem to the failure of administration and management to

encourage a positive culture, to establish a way of diminishing or removing

this negative presence from the company and to accommodate the needs of

those who have experienced unwanted sexual or gender based harassment with


Still, in many ways the conditions of women in the context of

organizational culture and directly tied to a broader cultural reality.

Indeed, patriarchy in the workplace is a prime function of patriarchy in a

larger society, with the historical inaccessibility of the business or

working worlds to women today being manifested as a more muted but

certainly still-present expectation of a power-scheme which fundamentally

disadvantages women.

Gender objectification and social expectations of that which it means

to be a woman are both elements of this imbalance, with this business

framework operating on the basis of an intent to subjugate the ascendancy

of women. The result is a negative organizational culture situation in

which women must often abide social gender stereotypes and behavioral or

aesthetic expectations simply to be accepted into and to succeed within a

business world that has essentially been guarded as a man's realm. The

glass ceiling, in this case, is reinforced by the divided interest of

women. Where it appears that men are socially valued in an intertwined

sexual and professional way, for women, the expectations of femininity seem

to undermine this relationship.

This perspective has in many regards been encouraged by a historical

tendency away from female leadership in the business context. In fact, it

must be acknowledged that, due to literally centuries of imbalance, we are

as yet a nation still dominated by the power of men. This is especially in

the corporate world, where though women have made significant inroads, they

are as yet underrepresented and under-supported. The discussion here,

which touches upon gender expectations and the impact of sexual roles, is

indicative of the challenges still faced by women in the workplace, which

is in many ways governed by the emotionally aggressive proclivities of the

male engagement strategy.

This is demonstrative of the relationship between organizational

culture and organizational crisis. The text by Van Mart (1998) also

contributes to this discussion by providing us with a discussion of

negative organizational culture in the context of the public sector. This

is a useful point of reference because it recognizes the correlation

between negative organizational culture and a culture of general failure.

One of the key reasons for the general public perception that government

employees and government agencies are less-productive is the pervading

cultural sense of all 'politicians' as being corrupt, self-interested or

disingenuous. The conflation of the grandstanding career-politician with

the wage-earning public servant is often responsible for the public

suspicion of government agencies as a whole. There may be the belief that

even if a specific public agency or confronted employee is not responsible

directly for misappropriation, it serves as a channel for the

misappropriation of officials higher up on the chain.

From the perspective of a public manager, this is suggestive of the

difficulty of exacting cultural control over large public agencies. As

opposed to the singular or industry-based… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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