Kenan Flagler in action


It is good to read and try to understand the various business aspect as a MBA applicant and most importantly, as an aspiring Entreprenuer. Recently, I read the article where Professor Daniel Cable of Kenan Flagler Business School joined the team of researchers to find out the organization style of various theater companies. You can read the full article at http://www.bnet.com/blog/business-research/the-surprising-effect-of-company-culture-on-innovation/492. Dr. Cable is one of the renowned professors in the domain of Organization Behavior. He has several publications to his credit, the most well-known of them being “Change to Strange: Creating a Great Organization by Building a Strange Workforce (Wharton School Publishing, 2007)”.

I tried analyzing the three styles of prevalent organization cultures in my own way:

  • communal culture: Personally, I feel that it is very hard to define and more difficult to implement. The reason is communal means everyone grows in harmony but then a firm is not a state because even a state requires certain guidelines and rules. And when these terms come, it is not necessary that one rule may be same for everyone. Said that, I will completely agree that being in a friendly and open culture help in innovation and in turn, the firm.
  • hierarchical culture: The most prominent one that I see around. Let me tell you, it sucks and it sucks big time. Reason is the person who hates and criticizes one’s position is often found to be part of the same system when he joins the herd. On number of occasions, I have seen how drastically it has failed. Honestly, we Indians, in general, love it but i hate it. It is a fact. Here, there is a time limit to every position. Earlier government firms only used to have these rules. but one would surprisingly find the same culture in private firms. Stay 5 years to get position X, 10 years for Y and 25 to be a Director and so on.
  • “market pricing” or “star” culture:  Here staff are compensated according to the economic value of their contributions. Now, this is the most lovable culture at the Wall Street. Well, I would also like to have the same but at the same time, I cannot agree to the term “economic value” completely. The reason is there are nature of jobs that cannot give economical value such as the case in the software development. but yes, the nature of work and clear parameters of quality of delivery of applications can be of immense economic value in the long term. So, one needs to set very clear and transparent parameters to judge the “Economic Value” of the employees’ contributions.

Personally, I feel the last culture is a win-win situation for both the firm and the employee, provided the criteria are defined clearly and made transparent across the organizations. Additionally, one should not forget the collaborative environment that could make wonders because gone are those days when Thomas Elva Edison used to define the course of innovation; this is an era of Google where groups come together to innovate.

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