• Unit 7: Creating a Winning Organizational Culture

    This unit will focus on organizational culture, organization design, and how they affect how groups function within the firm. The idea that "form follows function" applies to human capital strategy and organizational design principles. The unit also examines the need for formal processes to ensure that employees can progress in their careers in a way that executes the firm's strategy.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 8 hours.

    • 7.1: Organizational Culture

      Corporate culture reflects the values and organizational structure of the business. However, it also reflects the employee's relationships, beliefs, and behaviors. Corporate culture permeates the organization and goes far beyond the published values and code of conduct. If you look into companies with great reputations and those that have suffered from ethical violations, you may see similar published values and codes of conduct. The difference is how the company lives up to those stated values and brings people together to achieve common goals. Good ethics and a positive corporate culture are modeled from the top down. One thing to remember is that changing corporate culture is difficult, especially in older companies. The culture becomes embedded in the fabric of the company. This section will examine the dimensions of corporate culture and the factors that affect it.

    • 7.2: The External Environment

      Changing conditions in the external environment impact the organization. It may need to change the organizational culture accordingly to remain competitive and avoid becoming stagnant or complacent. Things like shortages of professionals to fill certain roles (such as nurses) and industry changes will pressure the firm to make changes. The corporate culture is just one part of the organization that needs to change in response to the external environment. However, it is a significant determinant of whether the company will successfully adapt to change. This resource will explore different models that can be used to analyze the external environment, including Porter's Five Forces, PESTLE, and SWOT. Regardless of the model the company uses, it will need to make changes to the culture to respond to those external forces.
    • 7.3: Organizational Design

      How a company designs the organization will affect its ability to compete and how its teams interact. The organization can structure around functions and geographical location and be centralized or decentralized. This section illustrates how a company's structure determines how well it will execute its strategy.

    • 7.4: Organizational Design Models

      Given the importance of organizational design, what choices do we have for designing the organizational structure? Researchers have found that the vertical and horizontal linkages differ depending on whether the organization uses a simple, functional, multi-divisional, or matrix structure. Some organizations favor being boundaryless; that is, an organization that tries to eliminate barriers between parts of the organization. Some newer research tends to look at the organization as a networked system. This section illustrates that when designing the organization, the firm has to consider the time and resources needed to do a job, the collaboration or information exchange patterns, and how the political culture will adapt to a new model.

    • 7.5: Agile Organizational Design

      How do you organize a business that must be extremely agile in its business environment and industry? Think of technology firms that must deal with a rapidly changing environment. How can organizations structure themselves to innovate? In a traditional structure, there is tension between the customers, stockholders, and compliance which does not correspond to how decisions are made and the information that travels among the hierarchical structures. Sometimes information is unavailable at either the operational or strategic level because it is stuck along the hierarchies. This section reviews newer theories about creating agility in an organization that enables organizations to respond quickly to threats in the external environment. Much revolves around the information flow in an organization.

    • 7.6: Mentoring and Talent Management

      In this unit, part of designing the organization is designing how to manage people's talent. Recruiting should bring in people that are compatible with the organization's culture. The organizational design complements the culture and aids in executing strategy. In today's rapidly changing business environment, the people in the organization are as much a part of its design and culture as the strategy. Beginning with recruiting, we must ensure that people are placed appropriately and that we can manage them appropriately within that culture using the organizational design. Furthermore, we need to be able to make changes to culture and design in response to the environment. This section will help us to understand that process and how it works.

    • 7.7: Developing Talent

      The firm's leadership must understand how the people of the firm constitute the human capital and resources of the firm. Leaders also must lead others through organizational changes, including organizational design changes, cultural changes, and career progression. The resources in this section focus on the value of people, and then we will move to details on mentoring and planning for succession.

    • 7.8: Structuring Career Progression

      Suppose a company wants to ensure that all its employees perform at their highest level. In that case, it needs to be accountable for ensuring that employees progress in their careers. Additionally, the firm needs to plan for future leadership in the firm. We have seen that there is competition for good talent. We have previously learned about motivation and performance management. However, the problem with finding and creating leaders in organizations persists. If that is true, what should organizations do to change their current organizational structure or culture to foster leadership and create a high-performing organization? This section will consider those questions.

    • 7.9: Succession Planning

      We have looked at organizational culture, organizational design, and human capital during this unit. We have considered research by experts that suggests that new paradigms are needed in organizational design to adapt to a volatile and complex world. As leaders, how do we form new paradigms to shape people and organizations to face the future? What changes can we make to our current models of teaching and learning to bring up new leaders? Or might there be ways to change the organization to share leadership roles? If so, how can we ensure that we have courageous leaders with accountability? What systems approaches can help us in that? This section does not provide hard answers but rather provides ideas for consideration.

    • Study Guide: Unit 7

      We recommend reviewing this Study Guide before taking the Unit 7 Assessment.

    • Unit 7 Assessment

      • Receive a grade