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Whether Organisational Culture Can Be Managed

4202 words - 17 pages

IntroductionThe main aim of every organisation is increase demand for the goods and services it offers. To achieve this goal, organisations employ certain ethics that control their attitudes, beliefs, experiences and values. This ethical characteristic of an organisation is known as its 'organisational culture'. In their book Strategic Management, Hill and Jones (2001) define organisational culture as the specific collection of values and norms that are shared by people and groups in an organisation, and that control the way they interact with each other and with stakeholders outside the organisation. In their opinion, it also includes beliefs and ideas about what kind of goals members of an ...view middle of the document...

According to Linstead et al. (2004:67), this is a 'rich' approach to looking at culture, as it involves analysing its manifestation at every level of the organisation and considering both formal and informal processes. In contrast, the 'strong' or 'applicable' approach views culture simply in terms of commitment to organisational goals and as something to be manipulated to improve organisational performance.The main aim of this paper is to use relevant concepts, theories and models to analyse the organisational culture of the Saudi Aramco Oil Company, and also to discuss the possibility of managing organisational culture using examples from the organisation.BackgroundOwned by the government of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Aramco Oil Company remains the biggest oil company in the world. With its headquarters in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Aramco Oil Company has the largest oil reserves in the world, as it owns more than 100 oil and gas fields in Saudi Arabia. It also runs the largest single hydrocarbon network in the world called the Master Gas System. The Saudi Aramco Oil Company was established on May 29th 1933 as Aramco (meaning Arabian American Oil Company). It existed with this name until 1988, when the name was changed to the Saudi Arabian Oil Company or simply Saudi Aramco after the American shares were fully purchased by the Saudi Arabian government in 1980. Saudi Aramco celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2008.Saudi Aramco now operates independently as it performs its critical tasks and contracts secondary jobs to other companies within the region. A noticeable portion of the workforce of Saudi Aramco is made up of geologists, geophysicists and geologists. The section of the company with the largest number of employees is the drilling section. A large number of petroleum engineers are employed to handle the tasks of drilling new oil wells and maintaining old ones. All drilled oil is refined and distributed around the country by Saudi Aramco, as well as being exported. Saudi Aramco has a large number of tankers that ship gas and both crude and refined oil to different countries around the world. To handle the shipping of oil worldwide, Saudi Aramco has created a fully owned subsidiary marine company known as Vela International Marine Limited. To optimise the processes of drilling, refining and transporting its products, Saudi Aramco has employed over 500 scientists and engineers that specialise in different aspects of the hydrocarbon industry (Saudi Aramco 75th Anniversary, 2008).Figure 1 below is a representation of the Saudi Aramco organogram:Figure 1: Saudi Aramco Organisational Structure.The organogram above shows that Saudi Aramco has a single president and six separate operational Business Line hierarchies. The six separate Business Line hierarchies are controlled by Senior Vice Presidents, each with six identical vertical levels in operation: finance, exploration and production, engineering, industrial relations, and refining,...

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