What are the observable artifacts, espoused values and basic assumptions associated with Ciscos culture? Explain.
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CASE ANALYSIS - CISCO SYSTEMS What are the observable artifacts, espoused values and basic assumptions associated with Cisco's culture? Explain. An observable artifact is the physical manifestation of an organization's culture. Examples of these artifacts include acronyms, manner of dress, awards, myths and stories told about the organization, published lists of values, observable rituals and ceremonies, special parking spaces, decorations and so on (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2010, p. 65). The most obvious physical manifestation of Cisco's culture is their use of cross functional teams, councils and boards to enhance innovation and collaboration which can expedite decision making. According to CEO John Chambers, the benefits of this team oriented management systems are skill, speed, and flexibility (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2010, p. 89). According to Cisco's website their culture is one that is fun, open, innovative, collaborative, built on teamwork, inclusive, and one of giving back to the community. The website's published lists of values are collaboration, customers, employees and community (cisco.com). Espoused values are the explicitly stated values and norms that are preferred by an organization. They are generally established by the founder of a new or small company and by the top management team in a larger organization (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2010, p. 66). Cisco's culture places value on collaboration through teamwork and compensates staff based on this premise. Communication and collaboration are at the heart of Cisco's working environment. They promote flexible, cross-functional teams that work together to enhance business opportunities. A good example of this practice is given in the case study.
Employees are expected to react fast, work hard, and deliver quality work on time. Organizations with this type of culture tend to reward people who deliver results (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2010, p. 73). At Cisco, customer satisfaction is a core value. Customer satisfaction drives the entire organization. It is a central part of Cisco's culture and is tied to the bonus plan. Although market share, profitability, and goal achievement are an end product for Cisco, the means by which it gets there isn't exclusively through customer focus, productivity, and enhancing competition. Its main focus remains collaboration (cisco.com). A Hierarchy Culture has an internal focus which produces a more formalized and structure work environment and values stability and control over flexibility. This orientation leads to the development of reliable internal processes, extensive measurement, and the implementation of a variety of control mechanisms. Companies with a hierarchy culture are more likely to use total quality management programs. Effectiveness in a company with this type of culture is likely to be assessed with measures of efficiency, timeliness, and reliability of producing and delivering products and services (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2010, p. 73). I don't believe that Cisco has is a hierarchy culture. According to Kreitner & Kinicki, CEO Chambers realized that Cisco's hierarchical structure precluded it from moving quickly into new markets so it began to group executives into cross-functional teams (p.89). This leads one to believe that Cisco once had this type of culture but doesn't anymore. Its main thrust is not control and its end is not efficiency, timeliness and smooth functioning.
In 2010, Cisco spent more than 90million on employee training and development (cisco.com). > Cisco uses annual employee performance management reviews which allow employees to review their development and performance from the previous year and plan their needs for the upcoming year with management (cisco.com). > Cisco continually reviews its hiring strategy to ensure that it supports its business goals, In 2010 it piloted "Talent Connection" which is an internal tool that allows recruitment teams, managers and employees to work together to match skill sets against internal job openings. During this pilot program, nearly eighty percent of positions were filled by internal candidates. Feedback from both candidates and mangers indicated a high level of satisfaction with this new process (cisco.com). > Cisco provides competitive, performance-based pay and benefits that reward innovation, collaboration and profitability (cisco.com). All of the techniques used above have worked together to change the culture at Cisco to what it is today. Would you like to work at Cisco? There are many aspects of Cisco's culture that I find appealing such as cohesion, inclusion, employee development, commitment and collaboration however, I would have a difficult time working on so many teams and having my compensation based on collaboration. I believe that teamwork is important but having my compensation tied to collaboration and teamwork would be stressful. I have worked on many teams both in the working environment and at school. Some of them have been very effective others have been terrible. Often times, there was at least one weak team member causing the other team members to work harder and to carry more of the load. So I would have to say no to working at Cisco.
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