The impact of culture is very important when it comes to attempting and achieving personal goals and business goals. Organizational cultures are the characteristics that are based on morals, values, traditions and personnel behavior. Values are very important because people act out upon his or her values, and values channel behavior. Saying and doing the right thing are two different things and if managers are trying to set the culture they have to set the example. Physical manifestations such as ethical codes or written rules are some ways the organization reflects its values.
General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Haliburton Company, Corporate Express, ACH Foods and Whole Foods are corporations that strive to be ethically oriented. Drive for success is dictated by management and decision making by the leaders inside the company. We will discuss ways many organizations have different cultures and beliefs on how they plan on managing their corporation with hopes to not have hostility or conflict. General Electric Company We will examine both General Electric (GE) company workplace efforts and compare those to Corporate Express Canada (CEC).
One method used to better communication practices are the employee surveys at GE; the GE Employee Opinion Survey and the Engagement Survey (Ge. com, 2007). The combination of both “enables the Company to continually evolve and improve its [sic] engagement and relationship with employees. ” CEC uses monthly manager meetings and annual country meetings to accomplish effective communication within the corporation (Cexp. ca, 2008). Diversity is given a front seat at GE. GE recruits from the military and has individual support forums (2007) for the Women, African American, Asian Pacific, and Hispanic employees within GE.
CEC does not reflect the diverse culture that GE represents. CEC show upper management to be predominately male whereas GE has a vast demographic culture. Technology dependent working cultures have evolved to the point where a company is required to take notice. “Within this new era, GE strives to provide comprehensive systems for immersing recruits in the GE culture from day one—and then providing them with multiple sources of two-way communications to encourage an open dialogue”(Ge. com, 2006 p 80 para. 1). Both companies seem to embrace technology to increase the environment of their employees.
GE has many mission statements (MS), although not named as such. One type of MS is referred to as a Citizenship report. In this report we will show many programs that are crucial to the role employees play in the culture at GE and how to support those roles. The citizenship report on GEs website states, “GE depends upon the imaginations, intelligence and curiosity of its employees to drive the growth of our businesses, and strengthen our leadership position in the marketplace. ” Much like CEC mission statements are used to accomplish best practices.
The way that GE company adheres to ethical standards and behaviors is witnessed through continued efforts to be “green,” involve the employees to be involved in leadership training programs(2008) and overall compliance to the company, environment and themselves. In the 2003 Citizenship report this is the leading line, “Being a good citizen has always been an important part of our corporate history and how we run your company” (2003). GE and CEC have some similarities and some differences both reflecting their overall vision for the company.
Lockheed Martin A company’s culture influences the ethical values and Lockheed Martin is no exception when it comes to succeeding with diversity. According to Bob Stevens the Chairman, President and CEO of Lockheed (2008), he knows that success depends on effectively bringing together a wide range of perspectives, skills and experiences to customers. Communication is a start to getting things done and keeping a closer to unity with employees. Employee surveys are used to track the level of performance in the work environment.
General Electric also gives surveys and the only difference between them and Lockheed is that they go by different names. Lockheed Martin uses The Diversity Maturity Model (DMM) to measure employee’s thoughts and perceptions to a better work environment. We all have heard the slogan “We never forget who we are working for. ” Well, that is exactly what Lockheed’s mission is based on, “What’s good for people is good for business” (2008). Many companies are customer based and like General Electric they also “depend upon the imaginations, intelligence and curiosity of its employees” (2008) to serve customers better.
Diversity is accepted and welcomed at Lockheed Martin because they rely heavily on teamwork. Ethical standards and behaviors are given to all from top executive leadership positions to every level at the corporation. They have values they rely on to respect each person’s individuality. Do what is right, Respect others, Perform with excellence. Creating the right culture is not easy but there are programs that help alleviate conflicts. For example, Lockheed uses the internet base software programs that give training on ethics and legal compliances.
This type of training can address different topics such as sexual harassment and with technology has helped many companies in giving training where there is no time for seminars. Corporate Express Canada Corporate Express Canada (CEC) has been voted in the top 50 employers of Canada for the last 3 years in a row. Having this prestige makes CEC a very reputable company and one that employees are proud to work for. The mission statement for CEC, is to become the number one office supply company in Canada by putting the customer at the heart of everything we do (cexp. ca).
This mission supports the culture as all employee’s are looking for the fastest, safest, and most effective ways to do their jobs and keep customers happy. Communication is very effective through the use of presidential conference calls and meetings quarterly, manager meetings monthly and cross country meetings annually. CEC has invested in innovated communication tools, such as Salesforce. com (cexp. ca), so that all levels of management, marketing, sales and customer service can communicate customer issues, information and call history. As mentioned above the inside teams uses salesforce.com to communicate as well as a system called Alpha.
The atmosphere is professional. Sales reps and managers when on the road are still required to wear a suit and tie, in side the office is more casual attire as well as the language which can be used. Like Canada, CEC is made up of a very diverse set of employees. Upper management is still considered to be male heavy within the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. CEC has invested a large amount of money in technology. The warehouses use a pick to light system or a pick to voice system.
Both of these systems make order accuracy very high as well as making the warehouses efficient with their number of employees. This alpha system allows all employees to see inventory, pricing and cost. These 3 types of technology have helped CEC become very effective at delivering the product to their customers in a timely, costly and efficient manner. Communication, diversity, professionalism, and technology all play a vital role in allowing CEC to reach their mission as well as maintain their reputation as being a top employer.
The objective is to define within Halliburton Company the Mission Statement’s Role in Supporting the Culture, Ethical Standards and Behavior, Organizational Diversity and Customs, and the Technology Impact on the Internal Culture. Halliburton has a very succinct mission statement, “Creating mutually beneficial business relationships through innovation and creativity that deliver value to our company and our customers. ” (www. Halliburton. com, 2008, para. 5). Halliburton’s business strategy is to promote diversity internally and among its suppliers.
This mutual benefit to both Halliburton and it customers contributes to its success in a competitive environment. Halliburton’s culture is thrives on using innovation through mergers and acquisitions. According to World Oil 2006, Enventure Global Technology, a subsidiary of Halliburton, acquired Triad Pipe and Steel Company. The acquisition of Enventure gave Halliburton leverage in supplying specialized oil tubing, which translated as added value to their customers. Halliburton has been under fire over the last two decades for substandard ethic practices.
KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton came under criticism from the media for questionable ethic violations with their billing. In 2005 Halliburton overhauled their billing process to “clean-up” billing discrepancies. The findings were that “KBR agreed to fix internal systems to ensure that the cost and pricing data it provided to the government were accurate and complete. ” (Gold, 2005) Halliburton accepted the criticism of their ethics and took measured steps to cultivate an ethical environment.
Diversity at Halliburton case be seen within the organization and customs of the organization. Halliburton is diverse not in only within the workforce but also in business. Halliburton is involved in oil engineering, development and production. Halliburton has a division dedicated solely to engineering electrical and nuclear development as well as a division which feeds thousands of military personnel every day. The vastness of Halliburton’s diversity in business makes it a very competitive and lucrative company. Technology has had a impact on the culture at Halliburton.
The external factors of a global business environment have enabled Halliburton to compete using technology. Internal factors such as streamlining business practices and aligning support structures has allowed Halliburton to be efficient and competitive in all their businesses. Nike vs. Corporate Express Both of these companies are customers based, they succeed by bringing their customer a quality product and or service. The understanding of diversity and connection to the customer is essential with both companies.
Nike uses star athletes to promote their products while Corporate Express Canada uses star business such as Royal Bank of Canada, Edward Jones and Canadian Government to name a few, to demonstrate their reputation is important. Both companies put mission statements and employee satisfaction together. Brand recognition brings quality employees to Nike, just as being voted in the top 50 employers of Canada brings quality to Corporate Express. Diversity, quality, employee responsibility and the customer focus are the reasons why Nike and Corporate Express focuses and cultures are similar.
Nike The comparison of Nike Corporation to Halliburton Company starts with the unique innovation of technology. Each corporation supports culture, ethics in diversity by understanding the impact of Technology influenced by employees. The greatest asset to any company outside of its unique product is the employee. Diversity and inclusion by employees must drive the creativity and innovation that will inspire Nike to reach its full potential. Gina A. Warren says “Diversity and Inclusion is fundamental to Nike’s performance.
It’s what makes us better. It’s what makes us smarter. It helps our business grow and helps us connect with consumers. ”(Nike Co. 2008) Nike has searched for people who not only are athletes but leaders and examples of excellence. This example of physical assets can only be measured by the success of this organization and the emerging talents that are now associated with Nike. The consumers that flock to the brand of shoes, apparel and equipment at alarming rates indicate Nike has tapped into creative ideas and concepts.
Nike has a long list of customers and offer memberships to the organization through retail shops like NikeTown, Footlocker, Finish Line and Champs. These retailers are considered production partners or suppliers of Nike brand and product. So not only are employees of Nike considered physical assets, but the retailers who profit from the sales in store, online or through catalogs now fall into the mix. The developers of Nike brand must consider input from employees, customers and retailers/suppliers who help distribute the brand worldwide.
The greatest and most beneficial input comes from the celebrity star power that has transformed Nike into a powerhouse. The technology that has been researched and developed by Nike through biomechanics and physiology has paid off in large part through two icons, Jordan and Tiger. Other athletes like Derek Jeter, LeBron James, Mia Hamm, Michele Wie, Maria Sharapova, Roger Federer have almost single handedly pulled Nike to the forefront of athletic wear in their prospective sports.
These athletes did not start the buzz, but only kept the vibe going. Bo Jackson with the “Bo knows” or “Just Do It” campaigns launched a new era Nike promotion that still has effect. Nike understands that along with the responsibility of being a sponsor worldwide for these athletes, they must contribute to global charity, fundraisers and organizations that promote hope. This only strengthens the position that Nike is a global leader in performance, technology, quality products and sponsorship of athletes with sales in more than 160 countries.
Whole Foods Whole Foods has created an organizational custom that is based on the holistic idea that nature is composed of food chain, human beings, and Mother Earth. Whole Foods has constituted relationship with different cultures, and its organizational diversity is expressed freely through its employees. Whole Foods has three factors holistically organized as a system which include natural food, people, and our planet. Food and service are a primary concern that creates values for whole Foods’ customers.
Customers are able to buy fresh food without any preservatives, artificial additives, and colorings. Besides customers, Whole Foods’ employees are considered the resource of its success. Whole Foods’ ethical standards and behavior are based on respect, quality with a competitive price. Whole Foods organizational policies are linked locally and globally for being recognizable as an international organization of success through its organizational behavior related to people in general. To guarantee satisfaction from customers, Whole Food hires the best people possible.
During the process of hiring, trainees are evaluated by Whole Foods’ employees, and after four weeks the team management decides if trainees deserve to be hired. In the article What It Means to Work Here states: “The first signature experience – team-based hiring – is similar to the orientation experience at Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market. Potential hires are informed that each department in each store (meat, vegetables, bakery, and so on) comprises a small, decentralized entrepreneurial team whose members have complete control over who joins the group.
After a four-week trial period, team members vote on whether a new hire stays or goes; the trainee needs two-thirds of the team’s support in order to join the staff permanently. This signature experience is in line with Whole Foods’ profit-sharing program. 13 times a year, the company calculates the performance of each team; members of the teams that do well receive up to $2 per hour extra in their paychecks. That bonus pay is explicitly linked to group rather than individual performance, so team members choose their [sic] trainees carefully – they want workers, not buddies.
This entry into the company undoubtedly weeds out lone wolves and conveys a strong message about the firm’s core values of collaboration and decentralization. Whole Foods has appeared on Fortune’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work for nine years in a row” (Erickson, Gratton, Lynda, & Harvard Business Review, 2007, para. 4). Whole Food has shown flexibility by promoting teamwork. Whole Food team reaches flexibility because of the high level of diversity. Whole Food hires people with different characteristics, such as disabled people and foreigners; diversity promotes commitment and loyalty from Whole Food’ employees.
In the article At Whole Foods, a Welcome Sign for Immigrants Seeking Jobs states: “Representatives of Whole Foods Market, the chain that specializes in natural and organic foods, and the social services group Camba designed the course jointly after Camba proposed it in 2004…All the trainees in the Whole Foods class were immigrants and refugees, from Latin American and Caribbean countries as well as from Asia and Africa. Ms. Reilly said financing for the program, now at $75,000 a year, comes from city and state grants earmarked for efforts that aid these groups (Fried, 2007, para. 4 & 10”).
Usually, immigrants face difficulty when they get in a foreign country, because of a language and culture barrier. Whole Foods gives new opportunities that create alliance between Whole Foods and its loyal employees. Whole Foods ethical standards are based on partnerships with some foundations like Camba. Whole Foods foundations are able to help people globally too. Whole Planet Foundation was created in 2005, and helps overcoming poverty in rural communities all over the world. Whole Food helps its community locally by donating five percent of its annual net profits to local charities.
Whole Food’s win-win concept is built from its policy to guarantee a happier and satisfied local community. In order to ensure satisfaction, Whole Foods Market’s quality standards team maintain a high selecting hiring with extensive training that is evaluates not just by its managers, but by Whole Foods’ employees too. Whole Foods’ policy is to create positive productivity to achieve financial success through satisfaction where values, norms, and knowledge are integrated into action.
ACH Food Companies vs. General Electric ACH Food Companies, Inc. is one of the leading providers of edible oils and specialty grocery products to consumers as well as commercial and industrial businesses within the United States. Communication throughout the organization flows through shared department portals, company newsletters, “Letters from the President”, meetings and training. Employee surveys are not conducts such as at General Electric; however employee performance appraisals serve a similar function. The company’s mission statement supports the culture of growth for the company and its employees.
Similar to General Electric’s citizen’s report statement, ACH also refers to leadership. “ACH is committed to the strategic growth of our core brands, the growth of our people and to be an industry leader” (ACH, 2008). Diversity is supported and encouraged through recruitment for domestic and foreign business positions as well as through diversity policies and training. ACH supports their diversity in their dress policy. Everyone at ACH dresses in business casual. Employees are allowed to express themselves through their attire as long as the appearance is professional.
In conclusion, the organizational cultures represented in the various companies are comparable in numerous ways and have maintained ethical standards, diversity, and similar visions in mission statements. The way an employee perceives management and is varied however, each of the companies discussed within this paper are an expression of companies adhering to best practices. Whether the organization is 130 years old like GE or established in the last generation the goal is still the same.
Many organizations have different cultures and beliefs on how they plan on managing their corporation with hopes to not have hostility or conflict and the differences within these seven companies are evident that more than one approach works. References: ACH. com. (2008). The Company Overview. Retrieved June 9, 2008, from http://www. achfood. com/company_overview. html Cexp. ca (2008). Corporate Express Canada web site. Retrieved June 20, 2008 from: http://www. corporateexpress. ca/en/index. asp Erickson, Gratton(2007). Harvard Business Review, Lynda, Tamara. What It Means to Work Here .
Retrieved June 19th, 2008, from: EBSCOhost database. Enventure Global Technology acquired Triad Pipe & Steel Company, a leading supplier of specialty oil country tubular goods and provider of outsourced supply chain services. (Nov 2006). World Oil, 227, 11. p. 148 (1). Retrieved June 20, 2008, from General OneFile via Gale: http://find. galegroup. com/ips/start. do? prodId=IPS Fried, J, 2007. At Whole Foods, a Welcome Sign for Immigrants Seeking Jobs. Retrieved June 19th, 2008, from: EBSCOhost database. Gold, Russell (2005, January 6). Halliburton Revamps Control System; Overhaul Aims to Satisfy U. S.
Military’s Concerns Over Iraq Support Contract. Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition), p. A. 5. Retrieved May 25, 2008, from: ABI/INFORM Global database. Ge. com (2008) Our company retrieved June 18, 2008 from: http://www. ge. com/company/citizenship/employees/index. html Ge. com (2007) Citizenship-employees retrieved June 18, 2008 from: http://www. ge. com/company/citizenship/downloads/pdf/chapters/employees_cit07. pdf Ge. com (2006) Citizenship report retrieved June 19, 2008 from: http://www. ge. com/company/citizenship/downloads/pdf/GE_2006_citizen_06rep. pdf Ge. com (2003) General Electric 2003 Annual report retrieved June 20, 2008