Impact of Structure and Culture on an Organization
High tech companies Oracle, Apple, Google, and Facebook have varying degrees of organically functioning organizations. How the organization opts to structure teams and the degree to which it fosters cross-team collaboration plays a significant role in employee satisfaction. A review of Oracle’s history and structure from the perspective of a current employee offer insight to the internal challenges a company must address both ethically and legally and the impact on job performance and turnover of employees.
Setting standard behavior expectations in the workplace is important for all levels of management. A “culture of respect, trust and honest communication” can make or break the ability of a company to establish and maintain ethical business operations (Long, 2013). When joining Oracle in the 1990’s, many employees were greeted with the public reputation of its sales force. Teams functioned under a boundary less structure, not limited by structure or management and highly flexible and responsive (Robbins, Decenzo & Coulter, 2013). Sales would risk any relationship to meet their quota which had been doubled from the previous year and ethics took a backseat.
Over the last 11 years, the company has begun to tighten their belt. Teams were periodically cleaned up, and lack of organizational control and formal structure would permit them to again expand their teams with complete disregard. Spending budgets were eventually cut, but mostly at the corporate level as Sales kick-offs became virtual and were no longer the synonymous ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’ week long parties. Business practices previously based on the degradation of the competition were no longer supporting success and the pressure for production at the business unit level came into focus. As with unit production, focus on the business unit in an organic structure promised little formalization (Robbins, Decenzo & Coulter, 2013) and business these units began to struggle with the lack of formal processes and rules. They responded by developing their own processes and organizational cultures, making it impossible to view the state of the organization at the global level.
Lack of formalization at the corporate level turned into a degraded quality of product and customer service, company credibility was severely impacted. With the embedded culture focused on competitiveness, the lack of control and communication typical of the disadvantages of the boundary less organizational structure became highly visible (Robbins, Decenzo & Coulter, 2013). Competing tech companies took advantage of these weaknesses and boldly marketed the negative aspect impacting Oracle’s success further.
This mid-level management perspective at the business unit level was also highly visible at the individual contributor level. It was common for a sales rep to overpromise the customer on product functionality or service, and then leave the...