Organizational Cultures


During the year 1999 Hilton and Stakis plc integrated together to form one group. This involved an integration of 80 Hilton hotels and 54 Stakis hotels in the UK. Hilton and Stakis had different organizational cultures from each other. Hilton was characterized as professional systematic and process-led. On the other hand Stakis was characterized by its company personality , engendering customer loyalty by being accessible and intuitive ,making service mistakes but overcoming them with a friendly smile.

Organizational Cultures

Although all organizations have cultures, some have stronger, more deeply rooted cultures than others. Initially, a strong culture was conceptualized as a similar set of beliefs, values, assumptions, or practices shared by the majority of the organization. The emphasis was on the degree of consistency of beliefs, values, assumptions, and practice across organizational members and the number of consistent beliefs, values, assumptions, and practices. Many early proponents of organizational culture began to assume that a strong, pervasive culture was beneficial to all organizations because it brought motivation, commitment, identity, solidarity, and sameness, which, in turn, facilitated internal integration and coordination. however, a strong culture might be more important in some organizations than others. “A strong culture could also be a means of manipulation and co-optation” (Perrow 1979). “It further contributes to a displacement of goals or subgoal formation, meaning that behavioural norms and ways of doing things become so important that they begin to overshadow the original purpose of the organization” (Merton 1957; March and Simon 1958).

Culture was initially seen as a means of enhancing internal integration and coordination, but the open system view of an organizations recognizes that culture also plays an important role in adaptation to the environment. The traditional view of a strong culture could be contrary to the ability of organizations to adapt and change. Culture is seen as important for facilitating innovation, acceptance of new ideas and perspectives, and needed organizational change in an organizations culture.

Schein (1992) says that “a strong organizational culture has generally been viewed as a conservative force”. In contrast to a view that a strong organizational culture may not be able to function perfectly for contemporary business organizations that need to be change-oriented, he argues that just because an organization has a strong organizational culture that is fairly stable does not mean that the organization will be resistant to change. It is possible for the a strong culture to be change - oriented, even though strong organizational cultures in the past typically were not. He suggests that the modern organizational culture should be strong but limited, making a differentiation between fundamental assumptions that are vital to survival of the organization and success from everything else that is merely relevant (desirable but not mandatory). Today's organizations, characterized by a environment that changes rapidly and a diverse internal workforce, need a strong organizational culture but one that is less pervasive in terms of having particular norms and behavioural patterns than may have existed in the past. This view was supported by Collins and Porras (1994) in their study (Built to Last) of companies that had strong and lasting performance.

National Cultures

As researchers have found, the influences of national cultures shape strong values among its members. The result is a sharing of values, preferences,

and behaviours of population groups that differ widely between countries. It is frequently also the case between different subgroups within a country, that there are differences so keep in mind that the term “national culture” can be misleading. It could only refer to a part of the people in a given country.

National culture is a very important part of any organization. National culture has a profound impact on the organizational culture of an organization as well. The national cultures of the different locations of the Hilton group will inadvertently affect the organizational culture of the Hilton group plc.

The steps taken by Hilton group plc to ensure a strong organizational culture could mean that it could lead to too much competition where one employee would get in the way of the other employee as there is no specified role or boundaries. Also the Hilton group plc seems to pay too much attention to local customers catering mainly to the local population forgetting that the major customers at any hotel are foreigners this could lead to customers new to the brand feeling that the service is inadequate. Also the brand has different services at different locations this could lead to loyal customers expecting but not receiving the same service at all locations. The strategies employed by Hilton group plc such as mystery guest provide an excellent way for workers to self evaluate themselves and find ways to improve services to a guest also the equilibrium programme is an excellent endeavour by the group where it tries to return to the live of customers a little of what life has taken out of them. But this could also have a negative impact as Hilton group assumes customers needs based on individual characteristics such as reason for stay or profession whereas in reality personal needs may differ based on a variety of factors. Also a decentralized work culture may lead to some people working more and others working less. This in turn may lead to the fact that some people or even managers that work more feel that others are not working as hard and may lead to a fall in overall productivity or bickering.


Teams consist of different individuals with different goals and aspirations. These individuals may be

1) Creators: Dream things up

2) Mobilizers: Bring pople in

3)Organizers: Plan tasks out

4)Discerners: See through things

5)Peacemakers: Work things out

6)Pluggers: Keep on working

7)Promoters: Talk things up

8)Strategizers: Think moves ahead

9)Relaters: Love on folks

10)Motivators: Spur folks on

11)Managers: Keep things flowing

12)Servers: Help folks out

13)Specializers: Can do things (have special skills, subject matter experts)

14)Analyzers: Figure things out or 15)Inspectors: Check things out

Team leaders have various responsibilities and must be skilled in various areas. The first task any team leader faces it to put together a suitable team. Later on he must assess the various skills of the team members and delegate jobs based on their skills and behavior. Other roles a team leader must perform include is facilitating communication between team members, help with all aspects of the job and perform any other task needed as it arises. In the Hilton group there is decentralized organizational structure which means that leaders have authority to take decisions. This means it I simpler for leader to communicate their visions and ideals as well as that of the group in a more personal way to members of its team. Another advantage of leaders is that the Hilton group allows for innovation and respects the ideas and views of others so these leaders can tailor make rules and ideals based on the team and national culture as the needs of people vary based on various factors such as region etc. team leaders also have a profound understanding of the ideals and views of the Hilton group. The simplicity of these service goals helps leaders develop service and ideas that increase productivity while sticking to the company's vision. Another advantage for the Hilton group is the fact that both leaders and other workers go through the same initiation and training process which deals to a better understanding and bonding with each other. On the other side this could also cause problems such as the workers seeing the leaders as peers and therefore not obeying the leaders.


It was initially thought of that every team goes through five stages in its development. Each stage contains hurdles to the individuals who want to work together as a team. When the members learn to solve and overcome these problems as a team then they build relationships and come together. Building relationships is an extremely integral part of any team. This can be done by social activities work related activities or workshops.

Tuckman's Stages

Bruce tuckman reviewed about fifty different studies of group development (including Bales' model) in the mid-sixties and integrated their similarities into one of the most frequently cited models on group development (Tuckman, 1965). The model describes four linear stages (forming, storming, norming, and performing) that a group usually goes through in its sequence of decision making. The fifth stage (adjourning) was added in the year 1977 when a new set of studies were reviewed (Tuckman & Jensen, 1977).


Group members learn about each other and the task at hand. Indicators of this stage might include: Unclear objectives, Uninvolvement, Uncommitted members, Confusion, Low morale, Hidden feelings, Poor listening, etc.


As group members continue to work, they will engage each other in arguments about the structure of the group which often are significantly emotional and illustrate a struggle for status in the group. These activities mark the storming phase: Lack of cohesion, Subjectivity, Hidden agendas, Conflicts, Confrontation, Volatility, Resentment, anger, Inconsistency, Failure.


Group members establish implicit or explicit rules about how they will achieve their goal. They address the types of communication that will or will not help with the task. Indicators include: Questioning performance, Reviewing/clarify objective, Changing/confirming roles, Opening risky issues, Assertiveness, Listening, Testing new ground, Identifying strengths and weaknesses.


Groups reach a conclusion and implement the solution to their issue. Indicators include: Creativity, Initiative, Flexibility, Open relationships, Pride, Concern for people, Learning, Confidence, High morale, Success, etc.


As the group project ends, the group disbands in the adjournment phase. This phase was added when Tuckman and Jensen's updated their original review of the literature in 1977.


Motivation is the willingness to exert high levels of effort toward organizational goals, conditioned by the effort's ability to satisfy some individual needs (Robbins, 168). For some human resource managers, team motivation is a good way to increase productivity in an organization. When people are motivated, they have a reason to put more effort into what they are doing. Motivation is a crucial management tool in lifting the team's work force's ability.

There are various different ways to motivate people in a team. Leaders can motivate their team members as individuals, groups, or the team as a whole. Motivation takes forms like offering rewards, improving working conditions, or employee recognition.

Group-based reward systems have been raised as an issue in work management areas. Most people prefer group-based reward systems to an individual based reward system. Bob Harrington, opposed the individual reward system. He says that, individual reward systems create unnecessary competition and reduce cooperation between members of a team. It also reduces creativity because employees will only do what is necessary to get rewarded. Moreover, Harrington said team-based incentives influence individuals to work well together and cooperate with one another. No longer are employees and management measured purely against financial information. Instead, outstanding performance is based on a combination of items that measure the strategic objectives of the corporation.

Some people are extremely successful when they work on their own. People, who are raised in an individualistic culture, might not benefit from working in a group. So, individual incentive systems do play an important role in increasing a work force's productivity as long as the employers know how to use this reinforcement system properly. If organizations set a standard to measure individual achievement and reward that individual on what he (she) perform, then, the individual incentive system might work as well as the team-based one. Moreover, managers need to realize that team-based incentive systems might cause Social Loafing effect in the work force - the tendency for individuals to expend less effort when working collectively than when working individually.

The Hilton group has a good approach to team development as it provides a lot of opportunities for both individuals and groups to express ideas and also lets them take most decisions on their own and this helps motivate people in the team to add their own personal touch and therefore have a more personal relationship with the customers.


· Alvesson, Mats, and Per Olof Berg. 1992. Corporate Culture and Organizational Symbolism:

* An Overview. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter & Co.

* Caldwell, Bruce. 1994. Missteps, Miscues: Business Reengineering Failures Have Cost

* Corporations Billions, and Spending is Still on the Rise. Information Week (June 20):50-60.

· Cameron, Kim S., and Robert E. Quinn. 1999. Diagnosing and Changing Organizational

* Culture: Based on the Competing Values Framework. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley

* Publishing Co.

* Christensen, Clayton M. 1997. The Innovator's Dilemma. Boston: Harvard Business School

* Press.

· Collins, James C. and Jerry I. Porras. 1994. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary

* Companies. New York: HarperBusiness.

* CSC Index. 1994. State of Reengineering Report (North America and Europe). Cambridge,

* MA: CSC Index.

· Deal, Terrence E., and Allan A. Kennedy. 1982. Corporate Cultures: The Rites and Rituals of

* Corporate Life. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.

* Denison, Daniel R., Robert Hooijberg, and Robert E. Quinn. 1995. Paradox and Performance:

· Toward a Theory of Behavioral Complexity in Managerial Leadership. Organizational

* Science 6(5):524-540.

* Denison, Daniel R. 1990. Corporate Culture and Organizational Effectiveness. New York:

* John Wiley & Sons.

* Ch 11 Organizational Culture 06.08.02.doc 12 2.20.02

* Durkheim, Emile. 1964. Suicide. New York: Free Press.

* Geertz, Clifford. 1973. The Interpretation of Cultures. New York: Basic Books.

* Goss, Tracy, Richard Pascale, and Anthony Athos. 1993. The Reinvention Roller Coaster:

* Risking the Present for a Powerful Future. Harvard Business Review 71(6):97-108.

· Handy, Charles. 1995 (copyright 1978). Gods of Management: The Changing Work of

* Organizations. New York: Oxford University Press.

* House, Robert J., William K. Spangler, and James Woycke. 1991. Personality and Charisma in

· the U.S. Presidency: A psychological theory of leader effectiveness. Administrative Science

* Quarterly 36:364-96.

· Jordan, G. B., L. D. Streit, and J. S. Binkley. 1999. A Framework for Assessing the Effectiveness

* of Research Organizations. Los Alamos, NM: Sandia National Laboratories.

* Kotter, John, and James L. Heskett. 1992. Corporate Culture and Performance. New York:

* The Free Press.

* March, James G., and Herbert A. Simon. 1958. Organizations. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

* Mead, George H. 1934. Mind, Self, and Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

* Merton, Robert K. 1957 (copyright 1949). Social Theory and Social Structure. Glencoe, IL:

* Free Press.

* Ouchi, William G. 1981. Theory Z: How American Business Can Meet the Japanese Challenge.

* Reading MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.

· Pascale, Richard, and Anthony Athos. 1982. The Art of Japanese Management: Applications for

* American Executives. New York: Simon & Schuster.

* Perrow, Charles. 1979 (copyright 1972). Complex Organizations: A Critical Essay. Second

* Edition. Glencoe, IL: Scott, Foresman.

· Peters, Tom, and Robert Waterman. 1982. In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's

* Best Run Companies. New York: Harper and Row.

* Schein, Edgar H. 1980 (copyright 1965). Organizational Psychology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ:

* Prentice Hall.

* Schein, Edgar H. 1985. Organizational Culture and Leadership: A Dynamic View. San

* Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

* Schein, Edgar H. 1992 (copyright 1985). Organizational Culture and Leadership. San

· Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Please be aware that the free essay that you were just reading was not written by us. This essay, and all of the others available to view on the website, were provided to us by students in exchange for services that we offer. This relationship helps our students to get an even better deal while also contributing to the biggest free essay resource in the UK!