Analyse the influence of culture, politics and power on the behaviour of others in an organisational context.

Unit 12 Organisational Behaviour - Higher National Diploma in Business

Assignment - OB: Culture and Management Style

Learning Outcome 1: Analyse the influence of culture, politics and power on the behaviour of others in an organisational context.
Learning Outcome 2: Evaluate how to motivate individuals and teams to achieve a goal.
Learning Outcome 3: Demonstrate an understanding of how to cooperate effectively with others.
Learning Outcome 4: Apply concepts and philosophies of organisational behaviour to a given business situation.

Assignment Brief: Purpose of this assignment

The structure and culture of an organisation are key factors which contribute to motivating the workforce at all levels of the organisation. The Japanese were instrumental in developing a culture of ‘continuous improvement through teamwork` in their manufacturing industry. This culture has now been exported around the world and encapsulates the way in which structure and culture contribute to patterns of behaviour in the workplace. This unit will develop learner understanding of the behaviour of people within organisations and of the significance that organisational design has on shaping that behaviour and review their importance in the successful management and leadership of a business.

The case is about US-based consumer electronics company Apply, Inc.`s (Apple), known for its abilbity to come out with path-breaking products.

Apple was founded by Steven Paul Jobs (Jobs), Stephen Gary Wozniak (Wozniak) and Ronald Gerald Wayne (Wayne) on 1st April 1976. Wozniak, who was an electronics engineer, visualized a personal computer (PC). Since its inception, Apple had focused on innovation and ventured into those markets where it could make a significant contribution. Analysts were of the opinion that Apple skipped the traditional notions of what a corporate culture should look like in terms of organizational hierarchy. Besides, Apple was an Equal Opportunity Employer and promoted diversity within the organization. The employees came with diverse experiences and from diverse backgrounds. Employees cited corporate diversity as one of the most positive aspects of the corporate culture at Apple. Besides, Apple offered various benefits to its employees. While benefits packages varied depending on location and employment status, the common benefits included Insurance Coverage, Flexible Spending Accounts, an Employee Stock Purchase program, and Saving and Investment Plan etc.

Experts have associated the innovation at Apple with its corporate culture. The case focused in detail the corporate culture at Apple. At Apple, the work culture was driven by a passion for new products with no end to challenges and opportunities and it leads Apple became the pioneer of the "Work Hard Play Hard" ethic. The corporate culture at Apple was exemplified by its intense work ethics. Though the work environment was relaxed and casual, there was a very strong commitment to deadlines. Analysts summarised the work culture at Apple as "Fun, yet Demanding".

The employees at Apple had to run their own show and work in a challenging and creative environment. Apple adopted a style that was not too formal or hierarchical and a more results-driven approach which worked best for them. Apple also focuses on the career opportunities and employability security, compensation and benefits offered to the employees.

The Apple`s culture largely influenced by its CEO, Steve Jobs (Jobs) who had a very quirky style, some appreciated would say that it valued creative people; others felt that it was dysfunctional from a management standpoint.

Experts felt that Apple`s obsession with maintaining secrecy could hurt the company and its brand in the new milieu. They felt that the biggest challenge for Apple was to move out from under the shadow of Jobs. The performance of the company in his absence was a key concern for all stakeholders, they said.

Task 1: ‘The proliferation of definitions and explanations of culture, its anthropological origins and lack of clarity undermines its value to our understanding of organisational behaviour. It is too ambiguous a concept for the effective day-to-day management of the organisation.` Do you agree? What role do you think culture plays in the management of Apple, Inc.`?

Explain how can idea likes the organizational iceberg or the concept map of cross-cultural communication might help internationally mobile managers become effective in a new context.

Task 2: Explain what you understand by the underlying concept of motivation. Summarise the main needs and expectations to be taken into account in considering the motivation of people at work.

Task 3 : Detail fully the main factors to be considered in a review of effective teamwork.

Task 4 : Prepare a briefing paper that compares the effectiveness of different leadership styles of Apple.

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