All organizations always put in place strategies and objectives that would ensure that they grow and develop effectively. This paper will utilize the general systems theory in the evaluation of organizational development at the Coca Cola Company. The general systems theory focuses on the symbiotic relationship existing between the organization and the external environment. It is worth noting that organizations takes materials and other significant things, such as labor from the external environment, it transforms them, and then gives them back to the external environment in another form. Corporate culture entails the collective behavior of individuals who are a part of the organization. It takes into consideration values, attitudes, norms, the working language, habits, and beliefs of individuals. Management change is also a significant aspect within organizations and should be effectively managed in order to promote the success of the organization. The several barriers to change may include habits, rebellion and apathy. Therefore, the management needs to put in place effective principles of change and introduce change within organizations in a gradual manner.
This essay applies the general systems theory in the explication of various aspects of organizational development at the Coca Cola Company.
Evaluation of Definitions and Theories
Nelson, Ishikawa, & Geaneotes (2009) assert that the Coca Cola Company is one of the largest non-alcoholic beverage manufacturers and retailers all over the globe. It takes materials and labor from its external environment and gives them back in an improved form that promotes consumption among individuals. The systems theory would effectively apply to the company because of its emphasis on a symbiotic relationship between the company and the external environment. The theory asserts that any organization has the ability to relate with its external environment effectively by effectively sharing the available resources. The systems theory asserts that companies, such as the Coca Cola Company, are only able to succeed and establish a brand identity all over the globe in cases where they relate to their external environment in an ethical manner. Therefore, this theory effectively applies to the company because of the high relationships that exist between it and the external environment, hence, a high level of performance.
Corporate culture refers to the manner in which members of the organization are required to behave. It entails values, attitudes, working language, symbols, habits, beliefs, visions and norms that organizations require their members to exhibit uniformly. Thus, the new members joining the organization are always oriented and taught the corporate culture in order to promote the continuous prosperity. This is also common at the Coca Cola Company, which ensures that its members effectively understand what is required of them and other significant codes of conduct required by the organization. This is what promotes success at the Coca Cola Company. The key corporate culture models include the Hofstede model and Deal and Kennedy model.
The Hofstede model of corporate culture emphasizes that cultural differences among individuals would significantly determine their behavior within the organization. According to Bergfeldt, Beier, & Ljungros (2008), this model holds that cultural differences among individuals involve their differences in mental processes, social action,and thinking. Hofstede also relates culture to regional and ethnic groups, organizations, society, family, profession and subcultural groups. The five dimensions of national culture identified by Hofstede include power distance, avoidance of uncertainty, masculinity vs. femininity, individualism vs. collectivism, and long-term vs. short-term orientation. The power distance dimension focuses on the differences in power between the bosses and subordinates. Subordinates try to reduce the gap in power, but bosses would always want to enlarge it. The avoidance of uncertainty deals with the preparation of the organization to unpredictable events. Masculinity vs. femininity investigates whether a society is dominated by men or women in terms of cultural values. Individual vs. collectivity determines the levels of accountability among people. It states the collectivity would be more profitable to the organization compared to individualism. Long-term vs. short-term orientation explains the society’s establishment of virtues. Long-term orientation deals with the society’s search for key virtues, while the short-term orientation involves the establishment of the actual truth.
The Deal and Kennedy model defines corporate culture as the way things are done within the organization. Deal and Kennedy came up with a model of culture based on four types of organizations. The Deal and Kennedy four cultures include work hard, play hard culture, tough- process culture, guy macho culture, and bet-the- company culture. Bushe & Marshak (2009) reiterate that the work hard, play hard culture has immediate feedback and low risk. It may lead to stress and high-speed action due to the amount of work done. The tough-guy macho culture has rapid feedback, and it is highly risky. It may also lead to stress due to the high risk and the fear of losing the desired reward. The process culture involves slow feedback and low risk. Therefore, it brings about lower levels of stress, comfort and security.
Corporate culture differs from one organization to another. For instance, at the Coca Cola Company, corporate culture plays an instrumental role in promoting performance. Firstly, it ensures that all employees work with a common vision and mission. The mission is always stated to the employees in order to reflect the goals of the organization. The vision guides them as they work, hence, leading to a high level of performance. Secondly, corporate culture promotes the coordination of efforts from all departments in the organization, hence, boosting the performance. It enables individuals within the organization to develop a common feeling, hence the drive to move together towards achievement. Thirdly, corporate culture promotes effective communication, hence, excellent performance within the entire organization. Communication ensures that orders are appropriately issued and implemented by employees for effective performance. Lastly, the organization is also able to relate effectively with the external environment, hence, attracting the support that plays an instrumental role in boosting its performance. According to Nelson, Ishikawa, & Geaneotes (2009), the Coca Cola Company reinforces its corporate culture by taking part in social responsibility and environmental preservation projects.
Change is an inevitable aspect in all organizations. Organizations have to embrace change, as it arises in order to adapt to the changing technologies, beliefs, social needs and expectations of society. Change is vital because it plays an instrumental role in leading to effective achievement of goals and objectives within the organization. Management needs to put in place effective measures that would ensure change is accepted. The Coca Cola Company values change and adheres to the key models of planned change. The key models and theories of managing change in organizations include Kurt Lewin’s model, action research model, neoclassical organizational change model and the systems theory.
Kurt Lewin’s model of managing change provides three significant steps that must be adhered to by managers when introducing change. The first step is unfreezing. Unfreezing involves the reduction of the forces that support status quo. This level involves encouraging people to embrace change in a gradual manner. The second step is change. This is where the actual change is brought, and there is a shift in the behavior of individuals. The last step is refreezing, and it involves rewarding appropriate new behaviors in the organization.
The action research model entails a combination of the changing individual attitudes and behaviors. The model focuses on forcing change to happen by identifying and stating the need for change among subordinates. The changes that are required are then deliberated upon and gradually introduced in the organization. Then change is evaluated for its efficiency. Training may be utilized to support the change and motivate employees in the organization.
Another key model of managing change is the neoclassical organizational change model. This involves change brought about by authoritarian structures in the organization. Bergfeldt, Beier, & Ljungros (2008) affirm that the theory emphasizes on the significance of individual needs and respect for people. It states that change must be introduced in a friendly manner, as this would boost motivation and lead to high levels of productivity. Therefore, executives have the responsibility of developing a friendly environment that would encourage change and innovativeness.
The systems theory of change asserts that all components of the organizations are interconnected and mutually dependent on each other. Therefore, the different systems would adapt to changes in other areas in order to bring about a new level of equilibrium. This theory emphasizes on the complex nature of the organization and states that it may be difficult to establish the manner in which different systems influence each other in bringing about the organizational change. Change must be managed by determining the relationship between the different systems.
The common barriers to organizational change include habits, rebellion and apathy. Habits cause resistance to change because individuals want to stick to what they are used to doing. They may feel that change would lead to a reduction in the freedom with which they used to work, hence, leading to resistance. Rebellion is another key barrier to change. Employees may just decide to be rebellious, especially in cases where management is weak. They would put in place the terms and conditions they need to work with because of their rebellious attitudes. Rebellion makes it difficult to manage change, as people cannot embrace it. Lastly, apathy is also a barrier to change management. This arises where the benefits of the planned change have not been stated to employees. In cases where they discover that the change would not benefit them, they would automatically resist any bit of change.
Therefore, resistance to change at the Coca Cola Company would be managed through the education of individuals on the significance of change. Bushe & Marshak (2009) affirm that employees must be educated about the change and the importance of its existence within the organization. They should be educated on the need for change in line with the changing attitudes, beliefs and technologies. Resistance to change would also be managed through ensuring that employees participate in the process of change. They should be involved in the process of introducing change within the organization. Their contributions must be significantly taken into consideration, as this would make them feel part of the change. More so, employee’s resistance to change would be managed through employee’s assurance of security. Most employees are always worried that change would lead to insecurity in terms of their jobs and benefits. Thus, the Coca Cola Company must put all these measures into consideration in order to avert resistance to the change.
In conclusion, the Coca Cola Company is one of the largest manufacturers and retailers of non-alcoholic drinks. The systems approach of organizational development applies to it significantly because of its continuous relationships with the external environment. Corporate culture entails the collective behavior of individuals who are the part of the organization. It takes into consideration values, attitudes, norms, the working language, habits and beliefs of individuals. Management change is also a significant aspect within organizations and should be effectively managed in order to promote the success of the organization. The several barriers to change may include habits, rebellion and apathy. Therefore, management needs to put in place effective principles of change and introduce change within organizations in a gradual manner. The Coca Cola Company would effectively manage resistance to change through education, assurance of security and involvement and participation of employees in bringing about organizational change.