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Scholars and professionals are increasingly attributing success realized by some companies to purposeful organizational culture. Similarly, operating entities which are experiencing downturns in business process are pointing to a poor adherence to prescribed organizational culture or the fact that some have become irrelevant in the contemporary context (Robbins and Judge, 2013). It can therefore prove to be either a building block to growth or digression into irrelevance relative to the external environment. The cultures existing within different firms are diverse and essentially serve to define an operating entity as distinct from the other. Globalization has enabled companies to operate across a variety of societal cultures. Decentralization of organizational processes has made faithfulness to a prescribed organizational culture critical to meeting strategic objectives. This is because organizational culture enables employees to distinguish their company from others operating within the same industry as well as adapt accordingly to various human cultures (Robbins and Judge, 2013). Likewise, it ensures that they conform to a definite corporate identity while also motivating them to reach out for goals that transcend individual interests. This implies that having a well-defined organizational culture enables a multinational entity to realize stability of its internal ecosystem by outlining rules by which it garners a unique competitive advantage over rivals.
Organizational culture offers a set of standards through which employees make sound judgment concerning what is done or said. It serves as a control mechanism guiding as well as shaping personnel’ attitudes and behaviors to those desirable towards meeting an entity’s envisioned bottom line (Robbins and Judge, 2013). This underscores the significance of culture though scholars as well as academicians agree that establishing a robust organizational culture is a very challenging undertaking. According to Robbins and Judge (2013), an ethical organizational culture avails opportunities for decentralized multinational corporations to conceptualize, develop, and inculcate an inclination towards high ethical standards amongst staff as well as stakeholders. This tends to work well regardless of diversity in human societal settings given that there are virtues which hold true to all. The concept calls for high risk tolerance, moderated aggressiveness, and consistent emphases on the honest and just means in the attainment of envisioned outcomes (Robbins and Judge, 2013). This form of culture allows a firm to reach out to long term objectives which ensuring that the rights of various interested parties are virtuously accommodated. Other than simply focusing on profitability and employee welfare, it also takes great care towards the way wealth creation for stockholders is attained and also making sure that the community within which it operates experiences a variety of uplifting benefits. Managers operating in organizations aligned to the ethical culture concept support subordinates to take risks and embrace innovativeness which also discouraging them from partaking in unchecked competitive practices. There is a strong emphasis on ensuring management does not simply meets goals but be very mindful on how these are achieved.
The article, “Why do managers leave their organization? Investigating the role of ethical organizational culture in managerial turnover” offers valuable insights in assessing reasons why senior staffs opt to leave an organization seeking to align with this particular concept (Kangas, Kaptein, Huhtala, Lämsä, Pihlajasaari, & Feldt, 2016). The researchers set their study in Finland with the aim of understanding why some managers chose to change jobs while others continues to work for firms that emphasize on strong loyalty to strong ethical principles. The authors posit that the ethical organizational culture nurtures a transformation of personnel attitudes and behaviors to positive ones. For instance, there are less sick-offs and associated absenteeism in companies practicing this particular culture. In accordance to the position held by Robbins and Judge (2013) staffs tend to be mindful of the way they interact with stakeholders. Ethical conduct enables a firm through its workers to disassociate from mischievous practices detrimental to consumer, community, stakeholder, and environmental well-being.
Senior managers are expected to lead by example in the organizations aim of adhering to the ethical concept relative to its adopted culture. Kangas et al. (2016), sought to investigate why entities aligned to an ethical organizational culture still suffered notable manager turnover yet such corporations seek to avail work environments and principles that positively appraise employee welfare . The consequences thereof are detrimental to continued development since it serves to breed uncertainty amongst subordinates (Kangas et al., 2016). It tends to make employee confused concerning the direction the firm could be taking as well as compelling it to experience costs associated with replacing a manager which is challenging and time consuming exercise.
The study looked to find answers using the multidimensional CEV model to questions like (Kangas et al., 2016); can an ethical organizational culture predict a manager’s inclination to change employer? What retrospective reasons do managers give upon a first job change? Push motivators for such change be result from a manager’s low perception leading to conflicts regarding the entity’s organizational culture. Pull factors that tend to compel managers to change jobs thereby leaving an ethical firm include a quest for greater career development. This is highly unlikely to be associated with the issue of a potent ethical organizational culture.
The work by Kangas et al. (2016), supports expressions of an ethical organizational culture as posited by Robbins and Judge (2013). Research findings indicated that such a culture tends to keep managers committed to working with a firm while unethical entities witness high levels of staff turnover at managerial levels. For instance, among the management personnel interviewed, it was evident that they opted to leave employers based on the understanding that keeping to an ethical organizational culture decreased notably in a two year period (Kangas et al., 2016). In predicting whether managers would seek to gain employment elsewhere in future, congruency among the senior management and supervisors within large organizations emerged as a major determinant. Low congruency led to a perceived violation of the psychological contract between a manager and the entity. It also emerged that an organization’s inability to sanction unethical tendencies led to manger turnover. The same was witnessed in situations where managers found that discussions on ethical or unethical issues were insufficient (Kangas et al., 2016). The researchers offered positive and insightful recommendations to firms seeking to strongly alight to the ethical organizational culture concept. They suggested that top management should take the initiative to lead by example by allowing discussions concerning ethical issues to be aired freely while ensuring rewards as well as appropriate sanctioning for ethical or unethical behaviors is executed efficiently. Similarly, it is upon the leadership to work towards a workplace environment that enables managers to uphold ethical guidelines thereby motivating them to remain therein.
“The Associations between ethical organizational culture, burnout, and engagement: A multilevel study” essentially concurs with Robbins and Judge (2013) viewpoints concerning the concept (Huhtala, Tolvanen, Mauno, & Feldt, 2015). The authors clarify that conforming to a virtuous organizational environment avails a myriad of benefits that serve to distinguish its performance in comparison with competitors. The research study undertaken investigate a single public sector entity with 245 diverse work units working together to ensure quality service delivery to communities (Huhtala et al., 2015). Though an organization defined its organizational culture to guide operations in its various divisions, the manner with which the work groups align to prescribed values and standards may differ. In measuring the several units’ adherence to the governing organizational culture, the researchers employed the corporate ethical virtues scale as well as eight sub dimensions. Using a multilevel modeling approach, they assessed how staffs are individual impacted by the full adoption of principles relative to the concept at the divisional as well as aggregate level of the entity (Huhtala et al., 2015). This allowed for an analysis of psychological well-being of personnel as a result of how each perceives the corporation’s loyalty to the ethical organizational culture.
The results emanating from this particular research endeavor highlighted that work engagement and burnout in a given work unit tends to be experienced by employees at varying degrees relative to personal values (Huhtala et al., 2015). Similarly, the study showed that the ethical organizational culture concept is a socially constructed aspect that may vary from one unit to the other. For employees working within the same division, the results indicated that there was a mutual essence in the perceived nature of work engagement and burnout. From a theoretical standpoint, these findings indicated that within a work unit, the shared experiences or collective moods regarding to understanding of the way the entity employs the concept were similar. The practical value of the study was that in a large corporation bearing distinctive organizational elements, the CEV scale can be employed to assess how personnel in a work sector perceive a manager’s adherence to the prescribed culture and persona as a role model (Huhtala et al., 2015). This is critical towards generating a work environment that eliminates the risk of unfruitful work engagement and burnout. Organizations can therefore employ the CEV scale as a tool for assessing whether a manager or supervisor needs more training, mentorship, and coaching to appropriately progress the notion of an ethical institutional culture down to the work unit level.
The adverse effects related to unethical business practices are immense. They include lawsuits, customer boycotts, government sanctions, and fines. Even in entities boasting devotion to this concept tend to have instances of laxity in the manner it is observed. The two articles have offered valuable insights that managers are a key component to the successful adoption of the ethical organizational culture concept throughout an organization. Firms which strive to follow the concept objectively are able to retain the best managers committed to its long term goals. Similarly, such managers are able to eliminate negative aspects associated with improper implementation of the concept thereby championing for a work environment in their units which eliminates inappropriate work engagements and burnout.
Huhtala, M., Tolvanen, A., Mauno, S., & Feldt, T. (2015). The associations between ethical organizational culture, burnout, and engagement: A multilevel study. Journal of Business and Psychology, 30(2), 399-414.
Kangas, M., Kaptein, M., Huhtala, M., Lämsä, A. M., Pihlajasaari, P., & Feldt, T. (2016). Why Do Managers Leave Their Organization? Investigating the Role of Ethical Organizational Culture in Managerial Turnover. Journal of Business Ethics, 1-17.
Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. (2013). Organizational behavior. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.