Culture presents a sophisticated scene that can create a set of reactions in the minds of every individual. It can be organizational or national. Let us consider an example using Barclays bank, which is a financial institution with many cultures touching on their operations such as languages, logo, goals, rules, staff dressing, mission and visions, leadership and their history (Anon, 2019 n.p). The cultural web model in the bank can bring about numerous challenges on the performance of the organization and behavior. These challenges affect technological installation, organizational size, location, staffing, environment and differing norms in communication. They also change expectations towards the management and their styles of leadership and how they appreciate their variety of cultural compositions.
Barclays bank was founded in the late 17th century, had its head offices in London and operates in over forty countries with over a hundred thousand employees. Its big size and the broad geographical regions it operates subject it to diverse cultural interactions, and this brings with it a lot of challenges. Apart from being investment banking, Barclays bank also offers services such as corporate banking, wealth management, personal banking and investment management (Anon, 2019 n.p). It is among the world's most powerful banks, and hence it enjoys corporate control over the financial stability of the world. One may be mistaken that its success in the banking industry has been attained smoothly. The truth is, Barclays bank has massive challenges that it keeps fighting with to maintain its place in the market. Some of these challenges are tabulated below;
Competition from FinTech companies FinTech companies come with new technologies every day. This interferes with traditional banking, and hence Barclays bank is finding it really difficult coping up with these changes
Uncertainty posed by Brexit The decision by Britain to leave the European Union may make Barclays bank lose some of its customers in other European countries (Anon, 2019 n.p). A possible change in government policies may also affect its operation in other European nations.
Perception Different people see Barclays bank differently. The bank has to deal with the various ways in which every group of people perceives it, and that is never easy for the bank.
The large size of Barclays bank poses another problem of effective communication. Diversity in its employees and countries of operation also create a big problem. The multinational bank also suffers terrible regulatory pressures especially with the financial crisis that touched on its securities which were conventionally backed with residential mortgages. It also got prosecuted in the UK over the LIBOR fraud, and that has made it be under rigorous scrutiny in the recent past.
The LIBOR Scandal
Selfishness, greed for higher profits coupled with lack of humility and hunger of winning at no matter the cost led Barclays bank into a scandal; whereby it manipulated the interbank of London interest rates of interbank borrowing. They had to part with a fine of not less than 290milion pounds (Anon, 2019 n.p). They were compelled to paying this fine after it was confirmed that they breached business ethics. In the long run, their quest for quick profits earned them significant losses that led to the bank being financially unstable and economically weaker (Anon, 2019). By breaching ethics, someone may wonder if it is possible to manage cultures in an organization.
Can Culture Be Managed Within Organizations?
I feel organizational cultures can be managed. First, we have to understand what 'culture' and 'organization' mean. An organization can be described as an entity with many people that are brought together for a common goal, while culture is a mental program that distinguishes one group of people from another. Cultures can be grouped as power culture, task culture, role culture, and person culture. Power culture relies on trust, communication, and empathy to be useful as it depends on a familiar source of power. Role cultures build on pillars of the organization that distinguishes hierarchy, bureaucracy, and roles in a position (Oracle.com, 2019 n.p). Task culture aims at bringing together the best resources, personnel and encourages the power of teamwork. Finally, person culture looks at individual needs and wants.
Solving organizational challenges is usually a challenge on its own. However, solutions for every problem that presents itself can be found. In the case of Barclays bank, some of the issues they need to consider when in finding solutions to the challenges they go through are power distance, individualism, masculinity and indulgence (Oracle.com, 2019 n.p). They should also avoid uncertainties and concentrate on building long term orientations.
Practical solutions can be found when Barclays bank is aware of the changes in the situation that happen in its micro and macro environment. It should be willing to own up to its mistakes and learn from them to build its reputation (Oracle.com, 2019 n.p). The bank should have their employees under constant training to catch up with the ever-changing technology. It should also be accountable for its actions. Barclays bank should ensure that its employees are well motivated and rewarded. They should be ready to provide incentives and also create friendly working conditions for their employees.
Anon, (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/1341896?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents [Accessed 15 Feb. 2019].
Oracle.com. (2019). Managing Organizational Culture. [online] Available at: https://www.oracle.com/webfolder/assets/digibook/managing-organizational-culture-teaser/index.html [Accessed 18 Feb. 2019].
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