Carlson Resized Hotel Group, like most large organizations, uses all four arms of control identified by Knights and Wolcott (201 2); Direct control of behavior, control through rules and processes, control through culture and control through performance. Each is used to varying degree and different functional departments also vary on the control mechanisms they use depending both on the nature of their work as well as the management practices of the various department heads. Ill be analyzing in more detail the implications of the company’s use of culture to set controls through the shaping of attitudes and values across the organization as well specifically owe within the sales function how motivational techniques are used to drive results and how teams are managed through performance and the measurement of outcomes. An organization’s culture is initially formed as a result of early experiences and values of its founding fathers (George & Jan, 201 1), to help understand the culture within Carlson it is important to understand its history.
Carlson was founded in 1 938 by Curtis L. Carlson, the company has remained since its inception family owned, his granddaughter is the current chairman of the board having taken over from her mother, family members sit on the board ND take an active role in setting the company’s strategic direction as well as the day to day running of the company. The families’ wants, needs and desires are ingrained within the company DNA to such an extent that within the organization today the terms ‘family and ‘company are often interchanged.
To help articulate the company culture there is a defined purpose (appendix 1) to help all stake holders understand the values held by the company. The purpose is further supported by list of behavior that all employees should abide. Within the company this is referred to as the Carlson Credo (appendix ) as it is displayed in offices and hotels around the world, in corporate collateral and brochures as well as given to each employee on induction as a pocket card. Trice and Buyer (1984) studied the symbols through which its culture is exhibited.
They suggested that these can be divided into four categories: practices, communications, physical forms and common language. Carillon’s culture can be seen to be managed this way, for example its naming of employees as ‘Carolinian<, through the repeated telling of the company history and annual meetings, the reverence of family members when they isit the corporate offices and the awarding of 'Carlsonian of the quarter' to the employee that has upheld the companies values, its credo.
It is interesting to note that not only does the company use religious connotations, a credo, to refer to these values but they are also frequently chanted as part of company training programs or management presentations as a show of collective unity. Deal & Kennedy (1982) stated that ‘a strong culture is a powerful lever in guiding behavior’ and whilst the company culture is very strong at its centre; at the corporate head office in the USA, the further the operations are moved for the centre the harder it is to keep the culture alive.
This may be due to the shift from predominately planning activities that take place at head office vs. the commercial activity Of the operations at the hotels. Carillon’s use of its culture to shape the attitudes and values of its senior management is highly effective, selection is made on the acceptance of its culture and people not accepting the culture quickly leave the organization. This, along with the presence of the Carlson Family in the organization, helps to ensure that the corporate culture stays strong and provides broad erection to the business.
The culture also plays an important in helping the company define itself to its employees. However, outside of the senior management team an all-encompassing belief in the culture is less pervasive, and use of the culture as a management tool is less effective. An employee’s understanding of the company culture is impact by the employee’s national cultures and the location of business unit. Outside of the United States, particular in my experience in Asia, when the company’s credo is translated into local languages, like Chinese and Thai, the words often do not carry the same meaning.
Even with transliterate the credo is not easily understood. This was recognized by Halls in 2008 who noted that national cultures may share different common values creating a challenge for standardized management practices. We also seen that whilst many employees appreciate the credo their motivation is driven by other needs, such as the security that the wage brings, and the impact that the financial rewards can bring to their families.
In these instances the level of the financial reward far out weights the importance of company culture or working environment. At Carlson Resized Hotels in Asia Pacific the commercial organization broadly oversee the functions of Sales, Marketing and Revenue Optimization. All three of these functions have a direct impact on the hotels financial performance, impacting both the revenue and profit which is measure, reported and analyses on a monthly bases by head office.
Within the commercial function teams set incentives based on revenue targets, the objective of which is to provide motivation to team to strive to exceed their targets for additional personal reward. Broom in 1964 noted that people will increase their efforts when they recognize effort is linked directly to job performance and rewards, but the rewards must be valued by hose involved. Over the years we have seen within the team that whilst incentives drives enhanced performance in some employees, it by no means has the desired level of impact across the whole department.
Edwin Locke and Gary Lethal (1969) developed goal-setting theory that looked at how to set goals, in 1990 Locke and Lethal expanded on their goal-setting theory and five characteristics of successful goal setting. To motivate, goals must have; Clarity Challenge Commitment Feedback Task Complexity As a management team we have not spent enough time trying to understand why the incentives have not lead to the desired level of performance, but ether placed the blame for the failure on the individual rather than the design of the incentive and full understanding the specific motivation of the sales team member.
By taking the time to ensure that goals set follow the principles set out by Locke and Lethal with the sale team members being part of the process there is a higher chance that the incentive scheme will be successful and the overall performance will be improved. Setting correct incentive is just the first step to managing performance, these are not set and forget targets, but ones that needed to be managed through n on-going review process that monitors the performance, institutes corrective action if necessary and re-sets the targets.
On reflection at Carlson in Asia Pacific we have been guilty of managing to the number, reviewing if performance targets are being meet, rather than investigating what was causing the performance shortfall and applying correct actions. Performance is managed not just in the Commercial function but across the organization is also managed by annual performance appraisals. These are performed by the direct supervisor and reviewed by the next level manager. Gary Roberts (2003) noted that the ‘performance appraisal is one f the most complex and controversial human resource techniques’.
The performance appraisal is intended to provide an opportunity for an open discussion of performance against set objectives as well as performance against a set of behaviors and an opportunity to discuss development needs. However, criticisms ranging from their being an enormous waste of time, that appraisals assumes a false degree of measurement accuracy, to their having a destructive impact On the relationship between managers and their subordinates (Lealer, E. Et AAA. 201 2) and they are no more than a box ticking exercise. McGovern and Fertile, 2007) Within the commercial function at Carlson we also recognize these problems.
Attempts have been made to ensure that team members are given the necessary training to enable them to not only understand the objectives of the performance appraisal but also help with how to complete the task, but the effectiveness still is dependent on the ability and attention of the appraiser. Whilst they are still improvements that can be made to the process, and the output of an appraisal should not be taken as qualitative, it does help provide an insight to the team member and has a place in the total reference management process.
Whilst I have only briefly touched on two of the four methods of control identified by Knights and Wolcott (2012) these two methods are the ones that are most pervasive within our organization today. Word Count (1454) References Deal, T. E. , & Kennedy, A-A. (1982). Corporate Cultures. Handwork’s: Penguin Books. Halls, R. , 2008. From ‘business culture’ to ‘brand state’: conceptions of nation and culture in business literature on cultural difference. Culture and Organization, volume 14 (1), page 15-30. Knights, D & Wolcott, H 2012, ‘Organization, structure and design’. D Knights & H Wolcott (des), Introducing organizational behavior and management. 2nd De. Eden, Coinage Learning, Andover, pages 240-295 Lealer, E. E. , Benson, G. S. & McDermott, M. (2012) ‘Performance Management and Reward Systems’, Center for Effective Organizations, June 2012. Locke,E. A. , & Lethal, G. P. (1969). Goal setting – A technique that works’. Organizational Dynamics, Volvo. 8, Autumn, Pages 68-80 Locke, E. A. , & Lethal, G. P. (1990). A theory of goal setting and task performance. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. McGovern, G. And Fertile, E. 2007) ‘Playing tick-box games: interrelating defenses in repressions appraisal’. Human Relations, Volvo. 60, no. 9, Pages 1361-85. Reilly, Charles and Jennifer A. Chatham, 1996, “Culture as Social Control: Corporations, cults, and Commitment,” in Barry M. Stab and L. L. Cummings, des. , Research in Organizational Behavior, Volvo. 18, Greenwich, CT: JAY Press, Inc. Arena, G. And DRP. Jan, C. (201 1). “Perception of Organizational Culture and Effectiveness: A Meta Analytical Study’. Academia. Due, Wisped, The Free Encyclopedia, California AAA Roberts, G. E. (2003) ‘Employee Performance Appraisal System Participation: A Technique that works’, Public Personnel Management, Volume 32, Mol, Spring 2003. Trice, H. M. And Buyer, J. M. (1984) ‘Studying Organizational Cultures Through Rites and Ceremonials’ Academy of Management Review, Volvo 9, issue 4, pages 653-699 Broom, V. H. (1964). Work and motivation. San Francisco, CA: Josses-Bass. Appendix 1 Carlson Purpose Our purpose: At Carlson, we work with a clear and noble purpose. We seek to: Serve millions of guests and travelers in a way that positively influences their lives. Roved tens of thousands of jobs and help our employees grow and achieve their potential. Contribute to the common good through our commitment to social responsibility. Generate attractive financial returns for our shareholders and business partners. Carlson purpose [online]. [Accessed 1 February 2014]. Available from: http:// www. Carlson. Com/our-company/our-purpose. Do Appendix 2 Carlson Credo Carlson has always been driven by and rooted in a strong set Of values exemplifying the bold, entrepreneurial spirit and high quality standards embodied by our founder, Curtis L.
Carlson, who left us the Carlson Credo: Whatever you do, do with Integrity. Wherever you go, Go as Leader. Whomever you serve, Serve with Caring. Whenever you dream, Dream with your All. And never, ever give up. Carlson Credo. [Online]. [Accessed 1 February 2014]. Available from: http:// www. Carlson. Com/our-company/the-Carlson-credo. Do Provide a reflective commentary on the implications of Tony Watson article for both: 1. Your own practice as a manager 2. Your learning as a student Tony Watson sets out in article Motivation: That’s Moscow, isn’t it?
To test his hypothesis that Management Studies students ‘would not readily connect the academic ‘motivation’ material they had studied to their everyday practices as managers’ (Watson, 1996: IPPP). Whilst Watson was looking specifically at the sackings of motivation theory it is easy to extrapolate his finds to other areas of Management teaching and the impact on the Management practice of manager (students) in the workplace. In the first stage of the experiment students were asked a simple question ‘So what they know about motivation’ (Watson, 1996. IPPP).
The answers given was predominantly made up of authors’ names or theories, students did not narrate motivation as it related to everyday management practice (Watson, 1996. IPPP). This pattern of responses was partially explained by the context of academic setting, and it was recognized in this instance ‘motivation’ was Ewing treated an academic topic rather than one relating to the actions of a manager in the workplace. (Watson, 1996. IPPP). Reflecting on the responses feel that put in the same situation as a student, I too would have answered as Watson observed.
Given the environment and the framing of the question I would have looked at giving an ‘academic’ answer. Asked the same question in the work environment, as a manager my answer would have very different. To test this hypothesis I conducted a straw poll amongst my management team in the work place, asking the same question, the responses I received were all couched in everyday workplace. In this case I feel that Watson unduly discounted the impact of the context and framing of the question, and thus its impact on his study.
Reading Watson study has caused me a certain amount of angst as I reflect the way I engage with the Management teaching of this course as both a student and as a manager. Watson found that students struggled to apply management experience to their academic learning (Watson, 1996, 462) and as a student I have had the same challenges. Have been guilt of approaching my studies as an academic exercise, focusing on building theoretical knowledge rather critically analyzing the theory based on my practical experience to question their validity, and potentially ultimately formulating my own theories.