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Organisational Culture of Bremerton

Autor:   •  April 11, 2015  •  Essay  •  1,284 Words (6 Pages)  •  560 Views

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OB Case Study Analysis

1. Describe the organisational culture of Bremerton

The organizational culture of Bremerton in broad terms, conformed to a classic Model O-I organization. These organisations are limited learning systems with win-lose dynamics, individuals and subgroups that learn to protect themselves first and their organizations second, groups that form alliances with other groups to enhance their own positions, and individuals and groups that withhold or distort information for their own interests. In Model O-I organizations the role of politics is threefold:

(1) to enhance an individual's status and power; (2) to make an individual's goals the

organization's goals; and (3) to reduce an individual's risks and vulnerabilities caused

by a particular theory-in-use. Dysfunctional politics, in short, is the result of the uses

of power and interpersonal maneuvering made possible by the learning limitations of

Model O-I organizations. Bremerton executives had honest disagreements about what

businesses their company should be in, how best to structure and take advantage of

new technology, who was best qualified to lead the implementation effort, and so forth.

However, these discussions were sufficiently data-free that no rational discussion or

judgments about the relative merits of conflicting points of view were possible.

Further confusion stemmed from the fact that at least five managers at each of four

levels below the CEO believed that he should control one or more of the following:

strategy, development projects, development processes, resources. Unfortunately,

most disagreements, and the consequent political maneuverings, remained

undiscussed, though both the disagreements and the maneuverings were

widely known throughout the company. However, even with regard to issues that did

surface, few mechanisms existed to resolve them in a timely and productive manner.

We found that at each level of management—Executive, Marketing, Operations,

Development—the highest-ranking individual frequently withdrew from even discussing,

much less resolving, key conflicts among his subordinates. Thus, Bremerton represents a classic case of a Model O-I organization. The privately held values and goals of Bremerton executives were more salient and powerful to them than the publicly espoused goals of the organization and, to a more significant degree than the public goals, determined their consequent behaviors. The theories-in-use for these executives constituted a kind of "road map" of their own obstacles and risks. Because they were private, they could not be surfaced and managed in productive, and accountable, ways. Rather, the individuals' unconscious management of these risks became unproductively political.


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