Depict Your Understanding Of The Influence Of Culture, Politics And Power Upon The Behaviour Of Individuals Across A Variety Of Organisations

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Question :

Q. Depict your understanding of the influence of culture, politics and power upon the behaviour of individuals across a variety of organisations.

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Answer :


Organizational behavior is dependent upon several variables like organizational culture, structure and policies. Organizational culture and attributes are not constant and it changes according to the external and the internal factors that influence the productive outcome of the organization. The current study based on a provided scenario attempts to identify the organizational behavior within BBC in accordance with its current and previous organizational culture. In the first part of the study organizational culture within BBC and impacts of different variables along with the impact of motivation over the organizational culture of the organization have been scrutinized and evaluated. The second part of the study attempts to shed light on the factors that indicates the process of cooperating with others effectively in the organization and concepts and philosophies of organizational behavior in association with the scenario of BBC.

Part 1

Task 1

Earlier organizational culture within BBC

As provided by the Smith’s review the interior organizational culture of BBC can be understood. A glance at the scenario evidently shows that the organizational structure of BBC has gone through significant changes over the years and  the current organizational culture is not the same as the previous one.  In order to understand the effectiveness of different organizational cultures it is important to seek help from Handy’s Cultural Typology Model. This model is considered one of the benchmarks in understanding the importance of organizational culture in the increasing productivity of the organization. According to this model, organizational culture can be classified into four types and these cultures can be described as following:

Power culture

Power culture does not allow the organizational power to be equally divided among the participants of the organization. In this culture the power remains in the hands of few organizational authoritative bodies and they are the only one to undertake significant organizational decisions. This culture does not encourage the empowerment of the employees and the few people with power are considered to be privileged in the workplace. Employees are treated as subordinates, this culture is a characteristic feature of the hierarchical organizational structure, and the employees do not feel free to express their views and remarks in such culture.

Task culture

Task culture emphasizes on the culture that is based on the team performance and this culture encourages effectively working in a team rather than individual outcome. This culture believes in team formation in order to operate different organizational activities such as achieving any particular target, organizational goal or critical problem solving. In this culture employees equally contribute and they feel important part of the organization in achieving organizational success.

Person culture

Person culture emphasizes over the important of individual employees and in this culture the employees are more concerned with their individual profit rather than achieving organizational goals and profit.

Role culture

Role culture emphasizes on the delegated roles of the employees and the roles are attributed to the employees based on their educational specialization and expertise. This culture significantly allows the employees the opportunity to decide the best possible job role according to their educational qualification and area of expertise. This culture encourages the employees to undertake challenges regarding the selection of their job roles.

Before Dyke took charge of BBC the organization used to follow bureaucratic model and it is similar to what Handy called Power culture (, 2017). This culture concentrated on forming strict rules regarding the organizational behaviour and employee codes and ethics and did not prove to be much effective in achieving organizational success (Miner, 2015). The employees did not have the liberty of expressing their vies and organizational issues to the higher authority and it had significant impact over the employee performance and engagement. The innovative ideas of the employees did not gain much importance because of the organizational culture.

BBC’s people agenda has effective impact over the internal organizational culture as well. A significant shift has been noticed in the current organizational culture. Under the direction of Tony Hall HR of BBC has led to a reorganization of the organizational structure and the power culture has shifted significantly towards team culture or as per Mckinsey’s 7S model Clan Control. The hierarchy of the organization has changed into delayering of the management and it has changed the organizational culture as well (Denhardt and Catlaw, 2014). The current culture of BBC encourages team formation according to similar perspective of the employees and it aims at making BBC a more transparent workplace for the employees. In the previous culture the employees did not feel free to express their concerns but the current culture more on the management visibility, greater recognition of good work and simplification of the complex processes.

The new culture believes in working together as a team and it has effectively improved the employee engagement as well.

Impact of power and politics over the behaviour within BBC

BBC’s organizational culture has undergone significant changes after Valerie Hughes-D’Aeth joined the organization and several political changes happened there after. Scottish referendum, the general election of 2015 and  the Brexit vote (, 2017). These political changes have affected the organizational culture of BBC as the work culture was required to cope with the political changes. Such incidents had built the work pressure on the reporters and the HR manager of the organization as well. It has led to reorganizing BBC into new divisions in order to bring together the specialities like ‘nations and regions’ and ‘channels and commissioning’. The number of senior managers has decreased by 40% and it has cut down the significant cost. 

Changes in the political scenario have changed the management team and a new theme has been introduced within the organization that is associated with the organizational culture. Several new policies have been introduced such as connecting directly with the audience and the bureaucratic approach of the structure has transformed gradually to the clan control policy which indicates towards the better relationship among the employees of this organization. 

Task 2

Content and process theories of motivation

The study of motivation has classified the motivational theories into two groups which are the Content Theories and the process theories.

  • Content theories

Content theories focus more on the factors that are already present in an individual or employee and the ability to direct, energize, stop or sustain any behavior. These theories focus more on the individual needs and the areas that require motivation. These areas of motivation are considered to be the motivational factors for the people. This particular ideology has been applied by behavioral theorists like Abraham Maslow, Frederick Herzberg, Clayton P Alderfer and David C. McClelland (Bellamy et al, 2016).

 As per the Content Theories the individual needs of the employees are required to be identified and it suggests that meaningful rewards often prove to be helpful in satisfying the needs of the employees. It believes in providing appropriate rewards in order to optimize the performance of the employees.

  • Process theories

Process theories emphasize on the process that needs to be analyzed and evaluated in order to motivate the individuals. The predominant process theories are:

  1. Reinforcement and goal setting theories:

These theories emphasize on energizing the employee behavior in order to increase their performance and employee engagement. As per the work of B.F Skinner employee behavior is influenced by its consequences and the theory refers to the consequences as operants.

  1. Expectancy and equity theories

Expectancy model focuses on the likeliness that is associated with performance and its outcome (Barrick et al, 2013). According to this theory, individual behavior is more important as every individual decides the possibility of accomplishing a job.

Process theories also includes behavioural model and Organizational Behaviour modification researches emphasizes on the scientific approach of the behavioural model(Pinder, 2014). OBM has contributed positively in understanding the organizational behaviour of the employees.

Impact of motivational techniques in improving the effectiveness in the teams within BBC

The Big conversation of 2003 significantly identified the problems that the employees had been facing in the organization (, 2017). Many employees complained against the harassment and the bullying of the management teams. The previous organizational culture within BBC did not encourage the employees to speak out their problems. As per the discussions it is evident that in spite of having good leaders but the number of leaders was not enough to manage the employees of the organization as BBC is a large organization. It is important to motivate the employees in order to achieve expected outcome from the employees (Lazaroiu, 2015). 

The bureaucratic structure of the organization does not effectively encourage the level of team work in the organization. The management of the teamwork was lacking and it significantly affected the team performance in the organization. 

Both of the Content and Process theories facilitates the process of employee engagement and loyalty as well. It is important to motivate the employees according to their motivational needs. Motivating the employees prove helpful in achieving the organizational goal. BBC has introduced a new scheme that highlights the necessity of working together and team culture has significantly improved the organizational outcome.

There are different ways of motivating the employees apart from the financial benefits and incentives. Recognition of individual performance often boosts the confidence and they feel motivated to perform better. Motivation functions as the driving force that is essential in boosting the team performance. In order to improve the team  performance BBC has undertaken necessary steps and policies like encouraging diversity in the team in one of them.

Improved levels of motivation to achieve organizational goals

Organizational success majorly depends on the employee engagement and employee performance. If the employees of BBC are motivated in a right direction, the organizational productivity can be increased. The motivated employees can perform better and if they feel their importance as an effective employee in achieving organizational, success then it can ensure organizational success as well (Soltani et al, 2014). Motivation functions as one of the most important instruments in achieving employee satisfaction and satisfied employees are the primary components of organizational success.

Employee engagement is important in achieving organizational goals and motivation significantly increases employee engagement. Better management visibility, recognition of good work and coherence among the team has improved the working environment of BBC to a great extent. Employee engagement indicates the dedication of the employees towards work and it ensures productive outcome in an organizational context.

Part 2

Task 3

Different types of teams within BBC and its importance

Team performance is more important thanindividual performance and it effectively increases the positive performance outcome of any organization. It is important for the management team to encourage clan culture or team culture in an organization in order to encourage the employees to respect each other’s values and treat each other as members of a family. 

BBC has reinforced team culture into the organization and diversity has become the key objective of the organization. There are several teams existing in the organization who have their departmental goals that they aim to achieve (Hoch and Kozlowski,  2014). The key objective of diversity is reflected in the team management of BBC and it is also indicated through its strategies, organizational policies, programming and workforce. Over the last few years, BBC has encouraged diverse workforce in the organization and it has significantly increased the productivity of the organization.  The teamwork has been associated with several new policies that have been implemented in the organization in order to make a better working culture and environment. BBC is encouraging technologically advanced workforce in order to create digital teams across the globe.

In the organizational operations BBC has several teams who have their individual departmental goals that they aim to achieve. There are functional team, project team, outdoor team and problem solving team as well (Mueller, 2014). The virtual team is primarily the digital team that endorses BBC’s policy to encourage cultural diversity in their workforce. 

Effective team according to Tuckman and Jensen’s model of team development

Bruce Tuckman’s theory of group development is considered to be the most effective one in facilitating the process of building a team. According to this model there are few stages that are necessary in order to establish a new team (Katzenbach and Smith,  2015). This model has proved to be an important one in developing and forming new teams as it discusses team building as a gradual process and also describes several group activities that are helpful in building a team.

This model is effective because it recognizes the fact that no group has the capability to start off as a structured and organized team and the functional development of the teams has been identified and evaluated in the model. This model is helpful in understanding the process through which a highly effective and functional team is formed.

Tuckman has significantly described working with a team of social psychologists and the team had studied the behaviour of a small group. As per the study there are four stages which help in the development of a highly functional team. 

First stage is associated with orientation and in this process the members of a group often face conflicts among each other (Albdour and Altarawneh,  2014). These conflicts are gradually resolved and leads to a more socially cohesive phase. Then in the next stage the groups are settled to a functional stage in which the members are more focused on role relatedness. The four stages are widely known as forming, storming, norming and performing.


This is the initial stage in which the members have not started behaving like a cohesive force and their individual traits are prominent. In this stage the members are concerned about their role in the group and attempts to find their place in the group (He et al, 2014). This stage requires team building techniques from the part of the leader and this builds the foundation of a highly performative team.


In this stage the members have started to see themselves as significant part of the group and are concerned with their position in the team (Albdour and Altarawneh,  2014) . This stage is important as in this stage the members often tend to challenge each other and the team leader as well. This stage requires effective leadership skills of the team leader in order to resolve the conflict among the members of the group.


This is the phase where the team members begin the process of coming together as a coherent force. They develop processes and along with that establish ground rules and also decide the roles of the group members. This phase significantly grows the togetherness among the members.


This is the final stage of team development and in this stage, the members focus more on the task rather than the individual performance. In this stage performance is delivered through people who are effectively working together.

This model evidently helps in understanding the complex process of forming a team. The team culture of BBC therefore requires focusing on the team building model in order to increase the effectiveness of the subsequent teams working within the organization.

Task 4

Improvement of team performance and productivity within BBC

Effective team work depends majorly upon the leadership of the management and it helps the teams to be productive. The performance and productivity within BBC can be increased through the Path-Goal strategy. Path- goal is a leadership theory that was developed by Robert House. This theory concentrates the attention on the leadership attributes of an effective leader and a leader’s role in building a high performance team.

As evident from the Smith’s review the previous organizational culture and management of the organization  has not been helpful in building an effective and productive team. Despite of potential leadership skills the number of leaders in the organization was not ample to handle the employee management effectively (Albdour and Altarawneh,2014). As per the Path- goal theory the leader’s behaviour has an important role in increasing the satisfaction, motivation and the satisfaction of the subordinates. As per the revised version of the theory a leader’s behaviour and attitude is responsible for the abilities of the subordinates and it is the responsibility of a leader to complement the abilities of the subordinates and also compensate the deficiencies of the employees.

The theory identifies several types of leaders and their attributes in the leadership. The directive path goal clarifying leader clarifies the followers regarding the expectation from the follower and also tells him or her the way of performing the delegated task.

The achievement oriented leader on the other hand leader behaviour on the other hand refers to situations that is set by the leaders and also sets challenging goals for the followers. 

There are other leadership behaviours as well like the participative leader who consults and follows the suggestions of the subordinates and considers themselves equally important in achieving the organizational objective (Katzenbach and Smith,  2015). The supportive leadership behaviour indicates towards the satisfaction of the subordinates and  the leader considers their needs and preferences as well.

This theory emphasizes on the leader’s flexibility and changing their leadership style accordingly. This model can prove to helpful in solving the leadership issues that BBC had in the previous years. The current organizational structure of BBC is similar to a flat structure and it has delayered the management process which is helpful for the employees as employee importance has gained subsequently with the structural change.

Main barriers to effective performance within BBC

In the light of the scenario, it is evident that the previous organizational structure did not promote team performance which subsequently lowered the employee engagement within the organization. The primary barriers to effective performance of this organization can be summed up as following:

Poor communication

The previous organizational structure did not promote the process of communication among the higher authority and the subordinates within the organization and it created a gap between the subordinates and the higher authority. The problems of the employees therefore, did not come in to light and it resulted as less effective performance of the employees.

Disparity in goals

The organizational goal was not clear to the employees and the management failed to develop a coherent team that can perform with a same vision in their mind. It has adversely affected the organizational performance.

Lack of managerial involvement

The management system of BBC was not effective enough to control and understand the requirements of the employees and it failed to motivate the employees as well (, 2017). Therefore, lack of proper management is another reason behind the lack of performance of the organization. Management is an important part of the organizational process as there are various people from different ethnicity and cultural background are working in BBC. In order to motivate them to work in a coherent fashion it is important to have an effective management team.


In the light of the above study, it can be concluded that organizational behavior is dependent upon the organizational structure and the working culture that the organization follows. Employee management and employee motivation are essential in increasing the employee engagement and it ensures long term organizational success.