This week’s critical thinking assignment, It’s My Party and I’ll Do What I want To, examines the use of organizational strategic power and politics by detailing the events occurring at two of Shoenman and Associates’ traditional annual events. The first event, the company’s annual Christmas party requires compulsory participation by all employees (Rosen, 1988). It transpires after hours the Friday before Christmas (Rosen, 1988). It excludes spousal participation, and takes place outside the work environment at a bar (Rosen, 1988). The second event is a formal breakfast. It occurs the week before Christmas during working hours (Conrad & Poole, 2012). However, the setting is much different from that of the Christmas party. The chosen venue is an extravagant hotel, where even the wait staff dresses in black tie formal attire (Conrad & Poole, 2012). Although the two different company events involve group gatherings of the same company and its employees, this case study provides readers the ability to compare and contrast the two events to gain insight in to the use of power and politics within Shoenman and Associates organization.
Behavior and Organizational Culture
Organizational culture as defined by Kreitner (2008) “is the collection of shared (stated or implied) beliefs, values, rituals, stories, myths, and specialized language that foster a feeling of community among members” (pg. 184). As a ritual, the Christmas party offers employees the opportunity to remove themselves from the confines of the work environment. It takes place in a laid back and informal environment, which allows employees and management to intermingle as equals, free of class and/or positional status (Rosen, 1988). The display of camaraderie around the bar after dinner, with joking and laughing occurring at all professional levels is symbolic of the culture the company is attempting to convey. The craftily written skits provide further insight in to the symbolisms of the company. First, employees write and perform the skits, which poke fun at the internal workings of the company, from the fast-paced atmosphere to the boss’s failed marriages. Although, the company still exerts power over these skits with an approval process that suppresses those ideas that do not fit the company’s perception of its culture, employees receive the opportunity to express their feelings regarding the working environment without the fear of reprisal.
In contrast, the company breakfast the following week presents a gravely different picture of the company’s culture. It takes place in a very formal environment, one that many employees only dream of experiencing (Conrad & Poole, 2012). The event is a ceremonial ritual, where employees listen and bosses speak. There is no camaraderie and hierarchal roles are clear. The company symbolizes the importance of hard work, loyalty, and dedication by ceremoniously recognizing retiring employees with special gifts and accenting the company’s...