Organizational Culture Profile and Clan Culture

It is imperative that every organization tracks and monitors its performance and looks for areas calling for changes which will result in streamlining the overall organizational cycle. Based on the current culture profile, the organization’s dominant characteristics seem to be more or less aligned in terms of the existing and the preferred score. The organization is very formal in nature where formal proceedings are fundamental in governing the workers’ actions. The difference in the existing and the preferred score between people’s tendency to share and take risks is not significant. The leadership criterion within the organization is more or less in the range of the preferred score, although more mentoring or guidance exhibited by seniors is desirable to enhance leadership.

The management style exhibits a high degree of competitiveness driven by the need to comply with high demands and achievements. As the organization is involved in the educational industry, specifically in admissions, the market rules are to be followed so that the end-result, in terms of profitability is achieved. The workers are under pressure to achieve high financial objectives of an educational institution by the need to enroll as many students as possible. There is a considerable discrepancy between the existing and the preferred score (50 – 15) in terms of management demands. However the drastic change in a hierarchical structure and a shift from tight management control to more a more relaxed working environment is not recommended as it might lead to lower admission rates and thus declining profit.

The next area of the organization that requires thorough analysis is the glue that holds the organization together. Based on the organizational culture profile, currently, there is a yawning gap between the desired and the existing levels of clan and adhocracy culture within the organization. The current level of loyalty and mutual trust among the workers is alarmingly low. This may be explained by the strict management style that pushes the employees to concentrate solely on goal-achievement and leaves no room for employee interaction and teamwork. Another alarming indicator is the overwhelming dominance of formal rules and policies which seriously inhibit the freedom and initiative from the employees.

The area within the organization where a change needs to be initiated, and where it will be most beneficial, is the organizational glue that currently shows low levels of adhocracy and clan culture. The low levels of mutual trust and teamwork may be accounted for by the existing organization’s leadership style. Currently, the management style in the organization demonstrates low levels of employee involvement and participation in the organization’s processes. If the Power Distance Dimension, proposed by Hofstede (1983) is applied to the management and leadership of the organization, it will demonstrate that the decisions are most likely taken by the leaders who keep the initiative whereas the employees are discouraged from participating in the decision-making process as their input is likely to be ignored.

This Power Distance Dimension is characteristic of the U.S. management style (Hofstede, 1983). The experience from countries such as Denmark, Sweden or Israel may be used as a benchmark for adjusting the Power Distance Model. Hofstede (1983) states that the employees in above mentioned countries “do not have to wait unless the boss takes the initiative to let them participate; the employees, as groups or individuals, make take up initiatives to the management (p. 87). Based on the experience of other countries, the current Power Distribution Model in the organization may be adjusted to allow more freedom and encourage initiative from the employees.

The desired increase needs to be achieved in the adhocracy and clan quadrant to allow the organization to achieve higher levels of teamwork and involvement. The dramatic disparity may be seen in the clan quadrant, and the organization will certainly benefit by enhancing the clan culture. However, given the discrepancy between the existing and the desired level of clan culture, the shift from hierarchy to clan culture needs to be gradual and transitional so that the organization may develop a thorough understanding of what it might lose and gain as a result of the transition. The “means – does not mean” analysis may be advised in order to assess the potential benefits that the organization will reap having made a shift to clan culture (Cameron & Robert, 2006). The analysis application yields the following preliminary results:

Clan culture increase in the organization means:

  • Increased employee participation and involvement;
  • Increased levels of mutual trust and loyalty, currently (existing 5 – preferred 50);
  • Enhanced teamwork and more consensus among the employees;
  • Initiative encouraged from workers.

Clan culture increase does not mean:

  • Drop in the rigidity of standards;
  • Easing formal rules and policies.

As it may be seen from the preliminary analysis, the shift to clan culture will not resolve all of the problem areas as highlighted in the culture profile but it will certainly lead to positive changes in the overall organizational culture bringing the employees closer together and promoting more of a family culture where the employees will be more willing to share, take initiative, and engage in mutual dialogue. The disparity between the existing and the desired level of formal rules and policies may be reduced re-assessing the procedures and policies according to which the organization operates. It is worth noting that the easing of formal rules and policies may only be implemented after the successful shift to clan culture which will make the management more lenient and responsive to the changes proposed by staff.

Reference List

Cameron, K., & Robert, Q. (2006). Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture. San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass.

Hofstede, G. (1983). The cultural relativity of organizational practices and theories. Journal of International Business Studies, 14(2), 75-89. Web.