Organizational culture – powerful effect on organizational behaviors
Châu Nguyễn Thái My – S3325069
In every agency, professional behaviors of employees are one of the key factors determining the company’s success. Jacobs et al. (2012) claimed that numerous of studies have proved the link between organizational culture and organizational behaviors.
To learn more about this interesting topic in a real case, I had an interview with Nguyen Ngoc Tuong Vi, the client service executive of BUZZ Communication to find out how influential the organizational culture is on its employees’ behaviors. This article will briefly report the impact of cultural rituals and symbols organizational performances, based on real stories that Ms.Vi shared in the interview.
Proof of life: Tuong Vi and Me
Profile of Nguyen Ngoc Tuong Vi
I accidentally knew Ms.Vi through a friend in a meeting 2 months ago. At the very first conversation, I was so happily surprised to find out that Vi is a former student of RMIT Vietnam. She graduated Bachelor of Commerce with distinction in 2011. More important, she was the president of ‘I love Environment’ Club for 1 year. After graduating, Vi applied and became an account executive for BUZZ Communication. Surprisingly, Vi is the same age with me, but she graduated 2 years earlier, and has worked in the industry for 1 year already! Since we come from the same background of education, and share some common interests in the communication field, and she is working at my dreaming position after graduating, so I was not hesitate to get acquaintance to learn a lot from Vi.
Nguyen Ngoc Tuong Vi, Buzz Communication client service executive
Profile of BUZZ Communication Agency
BUZZ Communication, current workplace of Vi, is a three-year old local full service below the line agency with the top reputation in the industry. Regardless of young experience and small-scale in human resources and facilities, BUZZ Communication is the runner-up after Square Communication in the honor list of the best BTL agencies in Ho Chi Minh City. BUZZ’s motto is ‘I Can Do It!’. The most loyal client of BUZZ is Samsung, which accounts for almost 60% of the company revenue. The general director of BUZZ Communication, Mr.Nguyen Quoc Khanh, has 10 years of experience working in the industry. He is a perfectionist, very friendly and open-minded. BUZZ is most famous for its strategic planning, and its primary objective is to become the best in quality, not quantity.
How come a small agency like BUZZ became a runner up in the honor list in 3 years time?
According to Vi, the success is built on the good leadership and management, the clear-set objectives, the unity of all members, and also the creativity of BUZZ in strategic planning. Vi especially loves the culture of BUZZ, which she calls ‘coaching culture’, and hopes to grow up with the company in the long future. Vi really enjoys working with a board of directors who are all perfectionists, dare to promise and fulfill the best final product for the clients.
Stories beyond the success
Vi shared a small story which is a good example for entering and adapting to an organizational culture. That was the first few weeks of her working for the company as a newbie. She was first very happy with all friendly and willing-to-teach seniors at the workplace. As a fresh graduated student, she was not aware of distinguishing between interpersonal relationships and serious work. Thus she was quiet shocked and upset during that period when the board of directors got mad at her for not completing the work well. “You know, I was extremely surprised when everyone was normally friendly, and cheerful but once we get to work they all suddenly became somebody else amazingly serious.”, said Vi.
Vi also shared another story about working with perfectionists. Once in an event, she was complained for not buying a fabulous small lock for the money box. She did not think that such a tiny thing like the lock was that important for the event until her boss told her so. “Working with perfectionists is sometimes stressful and depressed, but we actually learn a lot from them and greatly improve our professional behaviors.”, Vi added in. Vi told me when she first came to the company, there were 4 account executives quit because of high pressure and not get used to the culture of the agency. Vi, after all, still ‘survived’ and enthusiastically enjoyed her work at BUZZ.
Vi said that BUZZ has the coaching culture, but I’m not so clear what it is. Vi explained that it means everyone, including the directors, willingly supporting each other to get a work done. Then I realized it would be the task culture that I learnt from the lecture. Vi added in, all departments celebrate a small party right after every event in order to take a rest and to review what the strengths and the weaknesses of the event were so that they can also learn from those. “You know, not many agencies can have all members party-ing like this right after the event, so I am proud of it.”, said Vi. More interestingly, she excitedly told me that all departments regularly travel together, and it is actually like a second family to her at the workplace where everyone has lunch and takes a short rest together at the office. This immediately link me to the ‘rituals’, presenting the key values of a company. Besides, Vi said that food is always available in the fridge and they are allowed to eat snacks during their working time. Moreover, Mr.Khanh really knows how to motivate creativity so he intentionally buys a lot of magazines for the office so that all employees can obtain information at any free time. Vi also highlights her favor of a small but special working office full of magazines and gives her a sense of family. This exactly sounds like symbols to me, as the full-of-food fridge and the office are unique furnishings that make BUZZ mos memorable for Vi.
For future client managers
To conclude, organizational culture plays an important role in motivating good performances amongst employees. Indeed, working environments in general, and rituals in specific, somehow increase the ‘creative output’ (Elsbach & Hargadon 2006). Through the interview with Vi, I can feel her great appreciation for BUZZ Communication, as well as her passion and enjoyment working for such a motivating workplace. There is no doubt that the task culture (or coaching culture according to Vi) has a strong influence on Vi’s working attitudes and behaviors.
Beyond the article, great client managers in the industry today should be flexible, either change themselves to fit in the culture of their working agency, or change the agency to match their preference of a suitable organizational culture. Also, they should train themselves to be able to work under high pressure as the communication industry is really dynamic. Importantly, if they work in a small-scale agency, they should be aware that the positions within the organization may be not similar to theories in text books. Client service managers can be involved in both creative side and financial sides at once, so they should prepare to work cross-functionally.
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‘OrgCulture’ 2012, course notes for COMM2384 Client Management, RMIT University, Vietnam, viewed 3 January 2013, Blackboard@RMIT.
Nguyen, N T V 2012, interview, 28 December.
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Jacobs, R, Mannion, R, Davies, H T O, Harrison, S, Konteh, F & Walshe, K 2012, ‘The relationship between organizational culture and performance in acute
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