WEEK FOUR: Organizational Culture
Richard Purvis started the Jordan Shoe Company in Boulder Colorado. The company is known for its great specialty tennis shoes at moderate prices. The company designs and creates fun shoes for young children, mostly girls. Catering to the age group of 1-12 years, the shoes are popular in Colorado. The shoes have been growing in popularity and Richard is thinking of expanding into other states. Business has grown steadily in the last seven years and the company’s future looks bright. If Richard expands the company he would have to set up two plants in other states and will have to reorganize the Colorado plant.
The staff has always gotten along well because Richard has been able to keep things on an even keel with his personality and concern for their each employee’s personal welfare. Richard would have to find someone to take his place to run the plant in Colorado. He wants to set in place a structure that will continue to grow the business while ensuring quality, reputation, and the happiness of its employees are maintained.
Purvis has set up his factory with a horizontal collaborative structure. He has four departments; design, the production department, sales and marketing, and administration. Each department has a manager that acts as a team head. Purvis meets weekly with all the heads together and individually off and on during the week.
Purvis currently employs a plant manager who heads the production department, which has 12 factory workers, two salesmen one of whom is the team head that also handles the marketing aspect of the business. The administrative head is the general manager, and there are two office workers and a bookkeeper. Finally, the design team has three employees one of whom is the head designer who leads the team.
The cost of expansion could be done effectively if the current profit level remains stable and that can only be done if the Colorado plant continues to run smoothly.
The current vision for the company is: to produce the best children’s specialty shoes.
The mission is: to produce quality, stylish shoes that are known for their durability, style, and contemporary kid fashion. The “kid” must be in every shoe.
Purvis believes strongly that his employees must be free to create the best shoes possible. He wants them to work together happily and with a commitment to the development of the vision. He also wants them to continue to work together as they do now and to encourage creativity among them all and not just with the design department. He wants to empower them but the shoes have to be completed and shipped promptly.
Learning Activity #1
Tasks for this activity are as follows:
- Using the case scenario from week 3 (above) identify the existing culture for Purvis’ company and identify the desired future culture.
- Complete the OCAI assessment (http://www.ocai-online.com/) for Purvis’ company. Use information from the case scenario to identify the two cultures. Then, assess both the current cultural state and identify gaps between current and desires cultures. (Hint make sure to remember the purpose of the business and how to keep a competitive edge in making your selection)
Learning Activity #2
Explain how structure and culture interface to make the organization work toward the accomplishment of the vision and mission. How is it going to work in the case of Purvis? Give examples of what Purvis can do to make sure everything flows together. Include in your answer the ideas of artifacts, espoused beliefs, basic underlying beliefs and assumptions (external adaptation issues, assumptions about managing internal integration and deeper cultural assumptions).