Fundamental Of Organizational Behaviour

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Question :

Icon College of Technology and Management


GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) is a healthcare company. The Company is engaged in the creation  and discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical products, including  vaccines, over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and health related consumer products. As of August  2016 it had a market capitalisation of £81 billion, the fourth largest on the London Stock Exchange.  

Culture and Values:  

GSK aims to have a healthy, resilient, high-performing workforce and to have a positive impact on  the people and the planet. The company does this by aspiring to build a company culture guided  by its values. In addition, GSK has a range of dedicated employee health and well-being  programmes. The company is committed to environmental sustainability. Culture includes ways in which people have common understandings and relationships with each   other. The GSK work places have an open environment, where there are many opportunities for  socialising amongst colleagues. The office has an open-space layout, which is very welcoming  and allows you to have a quick chat to your co-workers from time to time. The company is very flexible with its working hours. The high solidarity of communal cultures is often demonstrated through an equitable sharing of risks and rewards among employees. At GSK there are almost 33,000 employees worldwide from several religions, beliefs and demographics. The personal characteristics of individuals within the organization affect the behaviour of individuals at work.  In GlaxoSmithKline employees are driven by the influence they  can have on people's health. Its values guide its employees day-to-day actions. Company values  like acting with integrity, operating with transparency, and demonstrating respect for people help  employees implement these principles themselves.

GSK’s core values are a patient focus, integrity, respect for people and transparency. The  company focuses on patient and consumer needs in research and ensures that patient and  consumer safety is paramount, through dedicated product quality control and reliable supply. GSK’s day-to-day working culture is built on the foundation of mutual respect and actively seeking, valuing and drawing on the differing knowledge, perspectives, experience and styles in its global community of employees. The company strives to create an atmosphere of transparency which means being honest about what it does, and is open to challenges and discussions on continuous improvement.

Task 1:

1.1  The concept of culture and structure are different. There can be many kinds of organisational structures, such as hierarchical, functional, geographical  and  matrix.  Charles Handy has discussed  four  kinds  of  organisational  cultures. Compare and contrast  the structures and cultures of the GSK with any other similar organisation.

1.2  Explain how the relationship between  the organisation’s structure and culture can impact on the performance of GSK.

1.3 Discuss  how individual  employees  behaviour  at work might be influenced by different (personal, demographic, psychological and environmental)  factors at GSK

-  To achieve M1, you will have made effective judgement in your comparison and contrast of the structures and cultures of the two proposed types of organisations.    

Task 2 :

2.1 Some leadership theory discusses three main leadership styles. Compare the effectiveness of the different leadership styles at GSK with any other similar organisation.

2.2 Explain how organisation theory supports and explains the management practices  at GSK.  

2.3 Use a range of theories and other sources of information to evaluate three different approaches to management at GSK and any other similar organisation.

-  To achieve M2, you will have applied relevant theories and techniques  in comparing the effectiveness of different leadership styles at GSK with any other similar organisation.  

-  To achieve D1 conclusions on the evaluation of three different approaches to management at GSK and any other similar organisation will have been arrived at through a synthesis of ideas and these conclusions will have been justified.  

Task 3 :

3.1 Discuss  the impact  that different leadership styles may have on motivation at GSK during periods of change.

3.2 Compare  the application of any two different motivational theories in the workplace at GSK.

3.3 Evaluate  the usefulness of any motivation  theories for managers, including the limitations of these theories at GSK.

-  To achieve M3,  the arguments should be clearly written,  coherent and with a  logical discussion on the impact of different leadership styles may have on motivation at GSK during periods of change.  

-  To achieve  D2, you will have  planned and  demonstrated  your  evaluation of the usefulness of any motivation theories for managers, including the limitations of these theories at GSK.

Task 4:

4.1 Use theories to explain the nature of groups and group behavior at GSK.

4.2 There are  a  ranges of factors (e.g. individual skills,  team size,  status, cohesiveness, roles, diversity, leadership and communication) that affects effective teamwork. Discuss any four factors that may promote or inhibit the development of effective teamwork at GSK.

4.3 Evaluate the impact of technology on team functioning at GSK.  

-  To achieve D3 you will have applied convergent and lateral thinking  in your discussion of the factors that may promote or inhibit the development of effective teamwork in GSK.

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Answer :

Task 1 

LO1 Understanding the relationship between organisational structure and culture 

Organisational structure means the process of task allocation, supervision and coordination within an organisation. Organisational structure can be defined as the viewing glass through which one person can see the environment of an organisation. On the other side, organisational culture is a shared assumption, related to organisational values, beliefs and the process of governing. 

1.1 Comparing and contrasting different organisational structures and cultures

Organisational structure is the form that refers the process of employee’s representation and formation within an organisation. These structures can be different based on the organisations. In this respect, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a famous healthcare organisation that manufactures and markets the pharmaceuticals company follows a hierarchical structure. In hierarchical company, employees of an organisation are ranked based on the levels and each level is higher than the other (Sandman et al. 2012, p.520). Moreover, in each level of the step, multiple employees can come under one person. GSK follows the flat hierarchical model that provides the executive's power from top to down. Some of the employees like the equality and they prefer to approach top managers. 

The flat hierarchy provides better communication with simple and faster decision making. It also provides better decision-making process to the employees and managers. On the other side, AstraZeneca, another pharmaceutical company in the UK follows the matrix organisational structure where the relationship sets as a grid. Matrix structure provides efficient information exchange that provides motivation to the employees. However, it also provides disadvantage related to the internal complexity and maintaining of internal conflict. 

Charles Handy’s organisational cultures are mainly four types, power, task culture, person culture and role culture. GSK follows the task culture and person culture within the organisation in most of the cases. Andrew Witty sliced the organisation and he parted some of the groups in order to boost the work culture. The organisational follows day-to-day working culture and transparency in work. In this regard of task culture, team members have to contribute to work in innovative way (Spyriadis et al. 2013, p.80). On the contrary, AstraZeneca follows the Power culture within the organisation. CEO Pascal Soriot is the head of the organisation and authorised people only can take the decision.

1.2 Explaining the relationship between an organisation’s structure and culture that can impact on the performance of the business 

GlaxoSmithKline is having healthy, high-performing teams in the workforce that aims to provide better care on this planet. The organisational structure of the organisation is hierarchical; however, they follow flat hierarchical structure within the organisation. This structure gives the power to the executives to rule top and down. However, some of the employees prefer to follow the top management and they believe in equality. In this case, the hierarchical structure provides GSK to have the authority and responsibility to manage the teams in the clear and well-defined way. This structure provides the opportunity to motivate people with developing the expertise. As stated by Pettigrew (2014, p.26), organisational culture is related to the general understanding of the relationship of the employees with integrity. GSK provides open environment to the employees and they can socialise with other employees with flexible working hours. In this scenario, it is to mention that GSK has more than 33,000 employees worldwide from different background, however, they believe in the operating the work in transparent way that can demonstrate the work focusing transparency.

As opined by Koppelaar et al. (2013, p.535), these structure and workplace values and culture provide impact on the mind on the work of the employees. They focus on the patient’s health through their research works. Their works mainly occur on ensuring the patient’s safety with enabling the quality of the products and reliability of supply. Their values and culture emphasises on the standard medicine to the consumers and their integrity at the workplace come through realistic commitment with following basic principles. The employees follow regulation, laws and ethics showing respect to the other colleagues creating atmosphere of trust. They ensure zero bullying at workplace with transparency in honest and fair work. 

1.3 Discussing the factors that can influence individual behaviour at work 

In workplace, employees’ behaviour can be affected by a number of reasons; these can be personal, demographic, psychological and environmental factors (Van der Velden, 2012, p.235),. These are some of the internal factors of the organisations and some of the external factors. In GSK, more than 33,000 employees are working and they come from different background.

Personal factors: Personal factors of the employees in GSK are related to the biographical characteristics. These characteristics are related to the age, gender, religion, marital status, ability, intelligence and experience. On the other side, learned characteristics are related to the personality, perception, attitudes and values of the employees. In GSK, the employees come from different race, religion and cast, they might come from separate characteristics for the inherited or personal records. 

Environmental factors: In this regard, a socio-culture factor of an employee is related to the relationship to the family, friends, colleagues and subordinates. Moreover, political factors are related to the individual behaviour, whereas, legal environment is related to the rules and laws of the organisation GSK.

Demographical factors: Demographical factors are related to the physical facilities at the environment related to the heat, light, ventilation, office furnishing and a number of people. More than that, the demographical significance of the place is related to this. Demographical factors provide motivation to the employees. 

Psychological factors: Attitude of an employee is related to the GSK’s employees individual’s positive and negative feeling. Perception is the viewpoint of an employee that an employee interprets the circumstances. Moreover, the personality of an employee is a dynamic concept with values of the employees (Dingemans and Dochtermann, 2014, p.36).