Evaluating GE's Organizational Culture

2352 Words Jan 13th, 2008 10 Pages
Organizational Culture � PAGE �10�

Reading an Organization's Culture: General Electric (GE)


Every business has its own set of values and beliefs that make up an organizational culture that is unique to each specific business. "_Organizational Culture_ is a complex set of basic underlying assumptions and deeply held beliefs shared by all members of the group that operate at a preconscious level and drive in important ways the behavior of individuals in the organizational context" (Strategy Glossary, 2006). GE's organizational culture is considered one of high ethical standard in the corporate world. According to The Age of Ethics (2007) "_GE now has one of the best ethics compliance programs in existence_, says Larry
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Robbins, S. (2005) describes six variables that are routinely evident in customer-responsive cultures like GE.

Type of Employees: "outgoing and friendly"

Low Formalization: "freedom to meet changing customer-service requirements"

Extension of Low Formalization: widespread use of empowerment i.e. decision discretion to do what is necessary to please the customer.

Good Listening Skills: "listen to and understand messages sent by the customer"

Role Clarity: "Service employees act as _boundary spanners_ between the organization and its customers"

Organizational Citizenship Behavior: employees are conscience of customers needs and go above and beyond the call of duty to satisfy a customer's needs

GE has been able to build such a strong and loyal customer base by meeting each of the six variables described by Robbins. Variable one, type of employee, is met through GE's efforts to provide a diverse work environment. In fact, GE was named among the top 40 best companies for diversity by Black Enterprise Magazine (Employees, 2007). Variables two and three, low formalization and extension of low formalization, is met through GE's efforts to provide employees the freedom to become closer to their customers while finding new operational efficiencies and ways to work toward customer service (Leadership, 2007). Variable four, good listening skills, is
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