After the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima during the World War II, Japan was is a dire state. However, they overcame the setback and are now one of the most advanced countries in the world. Their work culture helped them to over the shock they faced and this culture is now being adopted by my multinational companies as well as developed nations to achieve new heights. Japanese strongly believe in “permanent employment”. A management trainee, who successfully survives the probationary period, is generally retained by that organization for his entire career unless there is some serious breach of code of conduct by him.
Moreover, Japanese hire people as generalists instead of hiring them as specialists. The new recruitments are then given training over a period of time to help them specialize in certain fields. They also have an uncommon system of rewarding and promoting employees. They try to provide uniform increment and promotions to the employees to maintain healthy relationship and avoid jealousy among the team members. However, the individual performances are also rewarded at different stages of the career and those not performing are forced to retire at an early age (Japanese Management Culture, n.d. ).
Multinational organizations like General Electronics (GE) also have a distinctive culture which every employee of the company is well equipped with and expected to follow as long as he is associated with the organization. They consider their culture as one of their innovations. Their culture is supposed to be the unifying force for many of their offices around the globe and emphasizes “high-integrity business practices as well as work / life balance”. For them, learning is much more than the activity that goes on in a classroom.
Those associated with GE come together to accept the change and develop the skills required to change the environment for better (GE Culture: Workplace, Community Outreach, Leadership Development, n. d. ). They have developed their culture to a place to create, develop and bring big ideas to life. Smaller organizations like ZenSar Technologies also have a culture of their own. It is based on their “5-F framework”, where 5F stands for fast actions in their work, friendly relationship with workers, customers & vendors, flexible rules and environment to meet the changes in the business world, fun at the work and focused to meet its objectives.
To ensure that these cultures are followed by the employees, the firm follows a unit-wise reward system as well as excellence awards to keep them motivated. Based upon the customer feed back, they give reward to the best unit of their organization. Similar concept is followed to give other awards like employee of the year award, best delivery person of the year, best sales manager of the year, ubharta sitara award (given to the new recruitment) and outstanding manager of the year (The 5F culture at Zensar, n. d. ).
According to Smiricich’s research (1983a, cited in British Journal of Management, Vol.9, 1998) cultural management can be classified into three groups. One group says that culture can be managed as it is variable. Members of this group believe that culture is an organizational variable and thus can be changed. A significant aspect of cultural research by them has been the management’s attempts to control and change the culture. Bate, 1994; Bowman and Faulkner, 1997; Brown, 1995; Dawson, 1994; Silverweig and Allen, 1976 are some useful references to cultural change models. Another group believes that culture cannot be managed directly.
They stress on the point that culture is not something that organization has but it is something which organization is. Thus Martin (1985, cited in British Journal of Management, Vol. 9, 1998) says that the culture can be manipulated under certain specific happenings, like change in leadership, during serious financial or some other crisis, during formation, merger, or take-over or other similar instances. They stress on the point that culture is a variable that can be managed indirectly. The third group rejects the view that culture can be managed or it can be manipulated.
They emphasizes that the culture cannot be altered consciously but natural changes will take place frequently. Researchers like Ackroyd & Crowdy, 1990; Anthony, 1990; Knights & Willmont, 1987; Ogbonna, 1993; Legge, 1994; Willmont, 1993 have given the results of their researches which supports their view. They stress on the ides that the efforts to make any such change sink into the idea of changing behavior. As such, analysis of cultural change will yield different result depending on the level of culture examined. Examples of such researches are Anthiny, 1990; and Ogbona & Wilkinson 1990.