Organizational culture

All posts tagged Organizational culture

Leadership and Corporate Culture

Published July 26, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair


Executives have the power to shape corporate culture and motivate ethical conduct. Most leaders consider themselves ethical. Some, however, question whether ethics is a relevant component of leadership. Boatright (2009) contends that it is just as important to embrace ethical behavior in public life as well as in private life. Most corporate moguls are under the impression that behaving ethically alone is enough to sustain them as an effective leader. In fact, studies suggest that leaders do not believe specialized skills or knowledge in ethics are necessary to produce effective results in the work place (Boatright, 2009). This is a false perception. Situations arise more often than not in a business environment where leaders cannot easily resolve issues without identifying the ethical implications. This research focuses on the role a leader plays in the development of an ethical corporate culture. It takes a closer look at the importance of ethical leaders and the various roles they serve in an organization.  In addition, this study will illustrate the relationship between ethical leaders and their stakeholders. The analysis will also examine various leadership styles, the impact they have on corporate culture, how they affect ethical-decision making, and draw from examples to support this investigation. The findings of this research will conclude that leaders, who engage in business practices without ethical rules and regulations, will eventually discover that ethical misconduct behavior can easily become an inevitable component in their future.

Ethical Leadership 2

Importance of Ethical Leadership

The most successful leaders use their power to shape corporate culture and motivate ethical conduct. Because they are in the business of making a profit, they design strategies to achieve desired outcomes. Deepak Chopra (2012) reminds us that life is riddled with challenges, obstacles, and situations that leave many individuals asking the question, “Why is this happening?” No matter what advantages an individual may possess – money, intelligence, charismatic personality, a positive disposition, or influential social connections – none of these elements offer a magic key to effective leadership (Chopra, 2012). Managing directors are continually faced with difficult challenges. How they manage these trying situations can make the difference between the prospect of success and the threat of failure (Chopra, 2012). For example, when leaders cultivate an environment of fraud and deceit, they are fertilizing the ground for failure and destruction. In order for an executive to be considered an effective leader, they must have the ability to: (a) guide a corporation to profits for the sake of the stakeholders, (b) achieve organizational goals in an ethical manner, and (c) motivate their employees to adhere to behavior that is in alignment with the organization’s code of conduct.

Consistency also plays an important role for successful executives. The most effective leaders incorporate policies that inspire high performance levels and motivate organizational behavior that goes beyond just observing regulations. When leaders establish trust with subordinates, they earn the loyalty of their staff. In return, employees trust their leaders to protect them from harm in return for their services, dedication, and loyalty. By making choices to work in partnership with their employees, leaders can help them achieve greater levels of success than perhaps even they realized were capable of achieving. Employees who respect their supervisors, feel supported and appreciated by them, are more likely to become motivated and go beyond just achieving organizational goals.


Leaders and Stakeholders

Stakeholders provide leaders another reason to cultivate an ethical culture. As a leader, it is their responsibility to make sure the company is guided towards the path of success and profit for the benefit of the stakeholders that support them. Executives, therefore, must incorporate effective strategies and hire the appropriate talent to reach desired outcomes as part of their responsibility to the employees, consumers, suppliers, and society as a whole. Ferrell et al. (2013) posit that because stakeholders have the ability to affect corporate policies it is imperative that leaders find methods to use their power to influence positive outcomes. There are five power strategies leaders utilize to achieve their goals: (a) reward power, (b) coercive power, (c) legitimate power, (d) expert power, and (e) referent power. Studies suggest these five power bases can be implemented to achieve both ethical and unethical outcomes (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2013). For example, a leader that incorporates legitimate power believes they have the right to exert their influence and that others are obligated to accept it. This kind of power is typical in hierarchical environments where leaders are assigned titles and specific positions of authority. In this type of culture, stakeholders readily acquiesce to leaders who command legitimate power. In some instances, however, leaders use this power to engage in behavior that is opposite of their belief systems. These individuals use strict protocol and the chain of command to their advantage. This is typically one way leaders can influence individuals to engage in misconduct. In this setting, it is easier to establish a climate of deceit because subordinates are hesitant to disobey orders for fear of the punishment or termination. The leaders at the well-oiled Enron machine, for example, employed all five power strategies to maintain their grand illusion.


Leadership Styles

An individual’s leadership style also plays a significant role in shaping the corporate culture and motivating ethical conduct. Glanz (2002) reports there have been many studies conducted to help determine the best leadership styles. Most conclude that effective leaders exhibit varying degrees of the following virtues: (a) courage, (b) empathy, (c) judgment, (d) impartiality, (e) enthusiasm, (f) humility, and (g) imagination (Glanz, 2002). The best leaders, however, continue to expand their knowledge, re-examine outdated business strategies, maintain smooth operations and high production levels, and motivate staff confidence. In his book, Leadership Aikido, John O’Neil (1999) introduced six concepts to achieve victorious leadership skills without harming others. These concepts were inspired by the martial arts tradition of Aikido. He ascribes the following six practices that enable leaders to assess and develop their fullest potential: (a) cultivating self-knowledge, (b) practicing the enigmatic art of planning, (c) speak the language of mastery, (d) allowing values to drive the decision-making process, (e) changing the outcome of failure to one of success, and (f) abiding by the law of unintended consequences. This method of leadership embraces the elements of aikido to help executives identify and overstep five major obstacles that impede progress: (a) failure to grow emotionally, (b) failure to make creative decisions, (c) failure to empathize, (d) failure to manage ego, and (e) failure to overcome boredom and alienation (O’Neil, 1999). Leaders that continue to develop effective leadership skills will most likely achieve higher levels of organizational success.


The Decision-Making Process

The decision-making process also plays an integral role in how leaders influence corporate culture and motivate ethical conduct. Hanh (2012) posits that because leaders can get into difficult situations, they must have the ability to handle strong emotions in the workplace in order to maintain effective relationships. To achieve this they must keep communication open and become cognizant to avoid the creation of a negative or repressive work culture. The most successful leaders incorporate practices that help manage strong emotions and become educated on how to utilize these strategies in good times before strong emotions arise. This strategy offers leaders the ability to respond in a more skillful fashion and incorporate effective methods during a crisis (Hanh, 2012). For example, Hanh’s Plum Village organization has developed a culture that incorporates three positive influences of power to guide their code of conduct. They are love, understanding, and letting go. The leaders at Plum Village posit that these three influences of power help in the decision-making process because they are used as effective tools that focus on the release of suffering. Their strategies of operation are designed in a way that does not incorporate punishment or destruction. In addition, they conduct their business practices in a manner that protects the environment and all living things.

Leaders that incorporate ethical choices and learn corporate social responsibility operate a business free of worry and fear concerning their future because their business practices support the stakeholders and the environment rather than exploiting or depleting them. Leaders that possess the ability to listen to their own pain and to that of others are capable of finding solutions for transformation. The most successful leaders learn that ethical leadership can help them realize their goals with the support of their stakeholders. In short, leaders that continue to learn to take care of themselves first, have better knowledge of how to take care of others. This is one effective strategy that ethical leaders use to establish a culture that embraces harmony and respect; one that encourages employees to feel pride and joy.



Organizations like Plum Village that focus on creating a culture of happiness have produced a community that stakeholders are motivated to invest in. Hanh (2012) posits they have created a model that does not focus solely on profit. They also cultivate a climate to create joy and happiness (Hanh, 2012). Businesses should not have to sacrifice happiness to achieve high levels of profit. Organizations that are destructive, engage in fraud, and operate without regard for stakeholders do not enjoy longevity. Leaders in this arena cultivate an atmosphere of discontent and anxiety. Executives on the other hand, who focus on cultivating a climate that motivates ethical conduct without compromising their ability to profit, are more likely to succeed and maintain the confidence and support of their stakeholders. For a workplace to function successfully and harmoniously there must be a code of behavior that everyone is willing to accept. The most effective method of making sure this is accomplished is for leaders to make it a part of their organization’s culture. The most successful do so by setting an example and participating in a leadership style that reflects ethical behavior. They must also include strategies to incorporate supportive speech and engage in actions that bring content and cheerfulness to themselves, their organization, and the community at large. The findings of this research conclude that leaders who engage in ethical misconduct and cultivate a culture of deceit will achieve disastrous results like Enron unless they embrace effective leadership skills that have the power to shape a corporate culture that supports and motivates ethical conduct.



Boatright, J. (2009). Ethics and the Conduct of Business (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Chopra, D. (2012). Spiritual Solutions. New York, NY: Random House, Inc.

Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell. (2013). Business ethics and social responsibility (9th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Glanz, J. (2002). Finding your leadership style. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

Hanh, T. (2012). Work: How to find joy and meaning in each hour of the day. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press.

O’Neil, J. (1999). Leadership Aikido. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press.

Job Replacement Management

Published June 28, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

Unemployed Americans attend a National C

Human issues are at the core of every business enterprise. The most successful leaders embrace these challenges as opportunities to improve themselves and their organizations. Additionally, executives want to support their most significant assets – their personnel – but often experience difficulty implementing the right people in the most effective positions. Furthermore, organizational leaders do not always offer adequate support to their staff members. This makes it difficult for employees to perform their duties efficiently and enthusiastically. Jackson and Mathis (2011) deduced that some of the biggest staffing problems executives face are (a) attracting and retaining key employees; (b) adjusting benefits because of inflation; (c) training and developing staff members for future job needs; (d) planning the replacement of retirees; (e) dealing with expanded use of technology; (f) complying with changes in Federal, State, and local laws; and (g) how all these conflicting issues are managed and contribute to organizational culture and performance (Jackson & Mathis, 2011). This research is an analysis of the many job replacement issues managers face when filling key positions in their organization. To offer as an example of a case study, it is organized by the premise that a staff member’s promotion to a higher managerial level within the organization creates a vacancy.  As an experiment, it examines the significant task of recruiting a replacement staff member for the vacating position. The experiment is based on the personal experiences of the author of this research, as an alumnus of Capitol-EMI Records, drawing from strategies implemented during the personal departure process in pursuit of other career opportunities. This project provides a closer analysis of the employee hiring process and reveals that the most effective leaders attract high level performers by implementing the following components: (a) an analysis and the design of a detailed job description; (b) the development of efficient recruiting plans devised with strategies from successfully tested and proven methods; (c) providing training programs that introduce the organization’s culture including education on policies, rules, and regulations; and (d) the design of programs to evaluate staff member performances using proficient models in the testing and interview process. In addition, once the candidate was selected for the position, an evaluation of the new recruit’s performance levels was conducted from various methods, including observation of their behavior in the new position. The findings of this research conclude that the most effective management teams work in partnership with employees by implementing strategies and effective training programs to find, invest, and retain the best possible candidates that will help them achieve long term economic goals.


Employee Staffing

Talent Management

The best operational supervisors create systems to recruit high level performers as well as devise efficient strategies to help manage their talent. Berger (2008) suggested that leaders implement talent management programs. This is one effective method used by many organizations to help them with the assessment process as well as measure staff member performance levels. In addition, the management systems should be designed to evaluate personnel outcomes and produce efficient methods that serve to motivate workers by helping them tap into their highest potential. Berger contended that this model creates an effective formula that can help establish a means to identify employee talent so that Human Resource (HR) units and their leaders can attract top level performers. This framework is also used as a devise to develop more effective compensation plans (Berger, 2008). The case study of this research is centered on an employee vacancy and the process of finding a qualified, suitable replacement for the position. The first step was to begin developing a well devised recruiting plan with the end goal of attracting a top level recruit who has the potential to evolve into a highly valued asset for the organization.


The Recruiting Process

The initial step of the job replacement process begins with the design and development of efficient recruitment strategies that can also serve to evaluate staff member performance levels. Arthur (2012) purported an effective recruiting strategy should include: (a) details and clarity of the organization’s goals, values, and mission statement; (b) programs that inspire, attract, and retain high level performers; (c) a detailed analysis and description of the position; (d) expectations and opportunities for advancement; and (e) effective compensation plans and benefit packages to reflect an organization that values and appreciates their staff members (Arthur, 2012). These components were included in the recruiting process for the experimental case study of this research. This strategy placed everyone involved in the recruitment process in a better position to assess the possibility of an organizational fit.

The employer’s role is to seek out and attract the best possible candidates for the vacating position. Hayes and Ninemeier (2001) suggested applying some of the following proven effective recruitment strategies to attract high level potentials: (a) consider employees to promote from within the organization, (b) reward current employees for referrals, (c) recruit former employees, (d) create eye catching employment ads, (e) consider recruiting current and past clients or customers, (f) provide recruitment packages with special services, (g) seek and contact local employment agencies, (h) add an employment section on the company website, and (i) participate in community recruitment events and programs (Hayes & Ninemeier, 2001). These approaches were used as effective strategies for the case study of this research.  This methodology was designed to attract a wide array of potential candidates to choose from to help in the decision making process.

Following Guidelines

In addition, it is imperative that these systems are designed and developed to remain within the legal parameters of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and the Privacy Act of 1974. For example, in order to conduct a thorough background check of possible candidates it is required that each applicant sign a release form to authorize the organization to conduct one. Without such an agreement, the company risks time-consuming litigation by gathering confidential information without legal authority. Dessler (2011) cited that additional methods and guidelines should be devised to create authentic testing conditions for the employer to extract accurate employee information. This system will allow the test taker to respond in a genuine fashion rather than replying with what they perceive is the correct response the test giver wants to hear (Dessler, 2011). To extract the most authentic information for the case study of this experiment, interview questions were also focused on the candidate’s perception of codes of conduct and ethics. The evaluation process was based on transparency and alleviated the possibility of the candidate submitting false information from the onset. This plan was designed to avoid violations and falls within the legal framework of the law which ultimately serves to protect all parties involved.


Recruiting Top Level Performer Strategies

Job Analysis

Leaders are also encouraged to engage in strategies that will tap into an individual’s passions in order to motivate and inspire performances that drive the organization’s success. Hayes and Ninemeier suggested that to attract the best candidate, employers must also do their part to create an organization that employees want to work for (Hayes & Ninemeier, 2001). To recruit a high level performer for this case study, methods to attract valuable staff members who are loyal and offer long term commitment are developed. In order to provide the best job description, the first task in the recruiting process is to conduct a thorough analysis of the position that needs to be filled. This examination includes the determination of duties as well as the characteristics required and methods that will be utilized from the individual who fills the spot, such as their level of education and the nature of their professional work experiences.

For this experiment, the job title of the vacancy was classified as the Promotion Coordinator for the West Coast Division of EMI America Records. An analysis of the position helped provide a detailed job description. A close examination of this role revealed many forms of communication, including telephonically in real time as well as via electronic correspondence and traditional forms of communication like inter- and outer-departmental memos, emails, faxes, and so on. In addition, the post requires receipt and distribution of all promotional material within and outside of the organization and, on occasion, at an international level. The job also entails heavy interaction with top level record industry executives, including attorneys, managers, celebrity recording artists, producers, and other prominent players of the music industry. In short, this occupation requires the ability to discern proper and improper behavior with dignitaries at this level. The job analysis also reveals a requirement on occasion, of long hours, participation in after hour corporate events, concerts, movie screenings, and other events related to the organization. Short travel excursions are also part of the responsibilities included for this position. These were important elements that helped with the development of an accurate detailed job description required as part of the recruitment process to identify expectations and qualifications for the position being filled.


Job Description

The primary focus for the job replacement task presented in this research is to attract a top level candidate and extract accurate information from potential hires. Axulay (2012) contended that employee development needs to be measured, calculated, and strategic as a deliberate procedure (Axulay, 2012). Creating an effective and detailed job description is an important element in the recruitment process.  This should include information on the jobholder’s duties, the method in which to perform their tasks, and provide details on the conditions that the individual will perform under. The job analysis stage served to gather substantial information to help in the development of this next phase: developing the job description. This stage provides the applicant details on such things as job title, tasks, and performance expectations. It also serves to screen applicants by determining information like level of education, abilities, skills, and aptitude to perform the job effectively. For this experiment, the job description includes information on the organization’s expectations of the candidate and outlines the responsibilities for the position. They include: (a) the management of all incoming calls, correspondence, and promotional material; (b) the collection, coordination, and distribution of products and radio tracking data to the applicable recipients; (c) the coordination of scheduling, travel, corporate events, and meetings for applicable staff members, including the VP and other top level executives; (d) the management and coordination of artist events in collaboration with other departments internally including marketing and publicity, as well as externally with radio stations, concert arenas, and other venues; (e) the receipt, distribution, and management of promotional material to applicable recipients;(f) the management and coordination of promotion related events on a local and national level; and (g) the management, organization and coordination of events for regional staff members. This job description provided detailed information that was significant for the candidate and helped the applicant determine whether the position was acceptable.

job interview

The Testing and Interview Process

Successful leadership strategies include a recruiting plan that implements efficient tests as part of the interview process. Wigdor (1989) postulated that methods of testing should include an analysis of skill levels, knowledge, and capabilities that are developed from a predetermined set of conditions and guidelines specific to the position being filled. This procedure helps determine whether the applicant is qualified. It is also designed within the guidelines and regulations provided by the EEOC, ADA and other applicable civil laws to avoid violation of discrimination and privacy issues (Wigdor, 1989). In short, employee testing provides an effective way to collect accurate information directly from the potential candidate.

There are a variety of testing strategies that employers can apply. Falcone (2008) postulated that to yield the best results from potential employees, leaders should determine the following information from potential applicants: (a) the motivation the candidate is applying for the position, (b) whether the individual is willing to commit to career management or merely seeking to fill a temporary position while they wait for other opportunities, (c) whether the individual applying for a salary increase using this as an opportunity for self-promotion, (d) whether the individual is willing to assume additional responsibilities, (e) how well the individual handles emotions like stress and constructive criticism, and (f) verify the individual’s work ethic (Falcone, 2008). For the experiment of this case study, the individual’s motivation in applying for the position played a significant role in the screening process for the vacant position. This method was designed to be used as another means to help assess whether the applicant was a viable candidate.


The Job Evaluation Process

The end goal for this experiment is to attract the best possible contender to fill the employee position and incorporate efficient methods to evaluate staff member performances. Welcoming a new employee into an organization is not a simple process. For this case study, HR managers worked as partners to help devise models to make the new hire’s orientation a smooth experience.  This strategy helped the new recruit’s transition feel comfortable more quickly. Keefe and Sander (2011) purported that to receive an accurate appraisal, supervisors must find ways to keep their staff motivated to perform at high production levels.  Doing so helps employers justify employee promotion and salary increases. It also provides a method to assess employees who fall short of organizational goals and sets up the ground work for the possibility of further training or, in worst case scenarios, dismissal procedures (Keefe & Sandler, 2004). For this research project, an evaluation system was devised to examine the following work performance related issues: (a) the level of accuracy and attention to details reflected in the new hire’s productivity, (b) the quality of their work, (c) their work habits, (d) the development of their interpersonal and teamwork skills, (e) the amount of time it takes for them to complete their tasks and whether they are able to achieve their goals, and (f) their overall work attitude.  The appraisal program was designed to combine a variety of methods to measure the new recruit’s outcomes and included supervision from the departing employee as part of the evaluation process. For example, by incorporating a graphic rating system it served to measure the new hire’s skills and aptitude levels. In addition, the integration of a ranking system helped identify how the new recruit compares to other employee performance levels. Implementation of the critical incident method was another strategy included.  This method served to create a paper trail for specific recorded work related behavior issues. The combination of these components comprised the design of the assessment process for this experiment. The integration of these appraisal methods were developed to yield the best outcomes for the evaluation process.


Developing an Effective Compensation Plan

Another significant aspect of devising strategic job management strategies is that it plays an important role in the development of effective compensation plans. Effectual incentive plans reward employees for outstanding performances in achieving their goals and completing assigned tasks. Kohn (1999) asserted that rewards increase the probability of individuals achieving higher performance levels. To reward employees, HR managers resort to a variety of incentive programs and award systems to compensate employees for exemplary achievements. This includes employee wages, commissions, bonuses, and other means of compensation like travel rewards, gift certificates, leased automobiles, and other similar perks (Kohn, 1999). For this case study, HR units classified this position under a predetermined grade level established by the board of directors. This particular position was categorized above the hourly wage staff level and identified as a managerial level. At this grade, the organization implements a direct payment system that includes a salary based on performance achievements. Because the position includes participation in after hour events, other indirect payment plans are included, such as (a) an expense account, (b) employer paid health insurance; (c) vacation, holiday and sick time; and (d) a retirement or IRA plan. These components comprised the salary and benefit compensation package that were devised for the case study of this project. By creating a generous compensation plan, employers communicate that in return for an employee’s services and loyalty, leaders are willing to show their appreciation and gratitude.  In addition, it serves as a motivator for employees to offer higher performance levels and in return they are more likely to remain with the organization on a long term basis.


Training and Development

Another significant component to recruiting and retaining top level employees is designing and developing effective methods to train and educate staff members.  Successful executives recognize the significance that training plays during the staffing process. They comprehend that the purpose for educating and training employees is to permit them to absorb the information and transform their behavior. Rosenberg and Stolovitch (2011) explained that in order to do this, leaders must develop training programs that include: the expansion of cognitive (mental), psychomotor (physical), and effective (emotional) knowledge and skills (Rosenberg & Stolovitch, 2011). For the case study of this research, activities and learning plans were designed to incorporate practical tools and technology that helped yield the most effective outcomes for the new jobholder.

A lack of motivation is usually at the core of why employees are not engaged in high performance levels. Kolb (1990) asserted that managers must develop and implement training programs that can also help determine the employees who are performing at substandard levels. This will help identify whether low performance levels are due to skill deficiencies or personal trait issues (Kolb, 1990). In this case study, once the new recruit completed the training process, the evaluation system devised helped detect whether the new employee was performing and meeting organizational expectations. The training process also included observation from the individual vacating the position of the new recruit performing their duties. This was achieved without making the new applicant feel intimated or uncomfortable. When this was accomplished effectively, the new recruit was thankful for the supervision and guidance at that early stage.

Equally important is that a new hire is trained and educated in the organizational culture.It is essential a new jobholder comprehends the company’s vision as well as the acceptable parameters with which to operate. Lawson (2002) pointed out that although employees are the most valuable resource, most companies do not support this premise because the orientation process consists of ineffective programs that offer little opportunity for interaction. In addition, new recruits are inundated with learning new procedures, data, and exposure to a plethora of unfamiliar faces, all at what seems like lightning speed (Lawson, 2002). Being able to perform their duties with confidence and security is the end goal, so the observation process is meticulously devised in way that is pleasant and nonintrusive. These were strategies developed for this research project to encourage the new employee to participate enthusiastically; help them feel comfortable to contribute innovative ideas; motivate them to sustain higher levels of energy; and inspire the jobholder to engage in superior levels of productivity.



Job replacement management requires the design and development of effective strategies. McCoy (2012) proposed that because leaders are dependent on employees to fulfill organizational goals, employers need to focus their energy on attracting staff members that will deliver outstanding levels in attitude, ability, and performance. In addition, leaders want to attract and maintain a motivated and passionate team of personnel and therefore apply formulas that will help employees to tap into their highest levels of human potential (McCoy, 2012). The research gathered for this case study deduced that the most efficient employers establish an effective job recruiting strategy that includes the design, development, and implementation of proven employee recruiting techniques, maintenance plans, and training programs to help managers and HR units with the difficult task of finding and retaining effective employees that will perform at top levels. The findings of this research concluded that employers who invest in their staff members, support and reward them, as well as help them develop career goals, will most likely inspire their employees to work at higher levels, remain loyal to their organizations, and achieve top levels of productivity.


Arthur, D. (2012). Recruiting, interviewing, selecting & orienting new employees. New York, NY: AMACOM.

Axulay, H. (2012). Employee development on a shoestring. Danvers, MA: ASTD Press.

Berger, L. (2008). The compensation handbook. New York, NY, USA: McGraw-Hill.

Dessler, G. (2011). A framework for human resource management (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Falcone, P. (2008). 96 great interview questions to ask before you hire. New York, NY: AMACOM.

Hayes, D., & Ninemeier, J. (2001). 50 one-minute tips for recruiting employees. Seattle, WA, USA: Crisp Publications, Inc.

Jackson, J., & Mathis, R. (2011). Human Resource Management (13th ed.). Mason, OH, USA: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Keefe, J., & Sandler, C. (2004). Performance appraisal phrase book. Avon, MA, USA: F&W Publications Company.

Kohn, A. (1999). Punished by rewards. New York, NY, USA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Kolb, R. (1990, October 2). Focus on employees’ positive contributions demanding that workers perform tasks outside of their “comfort zones” is counterproductive. Milwaukee Journal. Milwaukee, WI, USA. Retrieved May 22, 2013, from

Lawson, K. (2002). New employee orientation training. Danvers, MA: ASTD Press.

McCoy, T. (2012). Compensation and motivation. CreateSpace Independent Publishing.

Rosenberg, M., & Stolovitch, H. (2011). Telling ain’t training (2nd ed.). Danvers, MA: ASTD Press.

Wigdor, A. (1989, August 21). Employment tests can be useful. Chicago Tribune. Chicago, IL, USA. Retrieved 15 2013, May , from

Why Become a Learning Organization?

Published April 10, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair


In today’s global economy a profitable company must become a learning organization if they want to experience sustainability. As the world becomes more complex and businesses become more interconnected organizational leaders must encourage an environment that embraces group learning practices. Organizations that excel will be the institutions that discover how to inspire commitment and the capacity to learn from personnel at all levels.  In the early forming and norming stages of an organization for example, everyone is learning how to work together, figuring out what systems succeed, which do not, and develop adaptations for more effective performance.  In addition, modern brain imaging techniques, previously unavailable prior to the year 2000, reveal that it is almost impossible to retain new information unless it is emotionally relevant. For example, stress and fear create environments that encourage learning disabilities. Leaders who use fear and intimidation in their organization are likely to constrict the learning process (Reason, 2010).


Organizational cultures where individuals can learn together and expand their capacity to create desired outcomes; where innovative and expansive patterns of reasoning are nurtured tend to experience more success. Now that the economies and businesses have become more global, cost and performance pressures are unyielding. Time required for assessment and reflection is becoming scarcer and the production of financial capital seems to happen at the expense of social and natural capital (Senge, 2006). Take for example the recent debacle in the pharmaceutical industry where thousands of people have been afflicted from a deadly fungus because of the organization’s failure to learn how to conduct safe business practices. As a result they performed inadequately due to pressures from large profits and consumer demands. Organizations that fail to assess and make adjustments to rapid growth and expansion can in severe cases like this, place the public in harm’s way. Consumer fatalities are an extreme consequence for any organization to work through. It reflects a company that requires changes not only from an organizational level, but from individuals as well.


The truth is that people are constantly discovering how to learn together. In fact, the entire global business community is discovering how to learn together and is evolving into a learning community.  In the long run, an organization’s ability to learn faster than the competition will likely be the key component to their profitability and sustainability. Many of us for example, have been a part of a great team or group of people that functioned together in an extraordinary way, whether in a sporting event, an organizational environment, or in a theatrical arena. There was trust, recognition in each other’s strengths and compensation for each another’s weaknesses. Everyone worked together for a common goal that was larger than individual goals. A cohesive union was created that produced extraordinary results. The team perhaps did not begin with a great start, but experienced greatness because people learned how to work together to produce extraordinary results. This is the experience of a successful learning organization and the driving engine that motivates and inspires individuals to become a part of one.



Reason, C. (2010). Leading a learning organization. Bloomington, IN : Solution Tree Press.

Senge, P. (2006). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York, NY: Doubleday Publishing.

Organizational Behavioral: A Personal Analysis

Published December 30, 2012 by Mayrbear's Lair


People in all their rich diversity comprise the rudimentary building blocks of organizations.  Each individual deserves to be valued at work and content in their occupation and accomplishments.  The study of human behavior in organizations is referred to as organizational behavior (OB).  It is the academic discipline devoted to understanding the individual and group behavior, interpersonal processes and organizational dynamics (Schermerhorn, et al., 2005).  The subject of OB offers many insights into managing individuals and teams for high performance in today’s marketplace.  The focus of this analysis concentrates on the organizational behavior from personal experience at former places of employment.  An analysis of various behavioral components at the workplace will ascertain the positive and negative influences of the organizations.


New Beginnings

Joseph Campbell (1991) is known to have said, “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so that we can embrace the life that is waiting for us” (p. 18).  That phrase became a prophecy to my own life.  I relocated to Los Angeles after college to find security and employment in the entertainment industry where I began building a career in corporate America.  After nearly a decade of service, I left the organizational structure of the music industry, putting aside personal career aspirations, to launch a business with two other partners; one of which included my former spouse, a professional magiciann.  The business was focused on building a production company to advance his career as a performing artist.


He was an established professional magician in the secondary markets of his field.  Our goal was to expand our interests and achieve a similar level of success in the mainstream and primary markets.  With many failed attempts at achieving our goals and building the organizational success we envisioned, that partnership met a revolting demise due to continual interpersonal conflicts resulting from the self-serving bias that modeled his behavior.  After fourteen years of service, the climate drastically changed.  In his need for power and achievement, he ultimately chose the path of a coward and deserted us, riding off into the sunsets of Australia with a younger replica of myself to begin a new voyage.  I had been replaced by a new life-wife and faced organizational inertia from the dissolution of the union.  I came to accept that the life I had invested in and planned on was concluding.  I was about to embark on my own new journey.  One that I did not know was waiting for me.

My former partner possesses similar personality traits to Steve Jobs that include: (a) tunnel vision drive, (b) displays unhealthy levels of self-worship, and (c) suffers from extreme characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder.  Like Jobs, he uses his power to aggressively injure, dominate, manipulate and intimidate others (Baack, 2012).  The primary difference however, is that he is a master manipulator that applies impression management leadership strategies based on deception and a distorted and fragmented misrepresentation of the truth.  Jobs in contrast actually achieved a level of merit and success that shaped the global marketplace.


Attila the Hun

He did not receive a high school diploma but instead studied his own choices of texts including books like The Silva Mind Control Method (Silva, 1977) which is based on mind expansion and manipulation techniques; and The Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun which postulates how greatness can be achieved through an extreme personality (Roberts, 1985).  That personality began to rear its ugly head revealing an unscrupulous, scheming Machiavellian persona that left those close to him feeling defeated and worthless as individuals on many levels.

In addition, he was reared in an estranged dysfunctional family environment.  He did not have a mentor or many other honorable and trusted individuals for guidance and wisdom.  In other words, he had no one to answer to.  This created a climate of unlimited power which tends to encourage unethical choices with justification for his destructive behavior and ultimately abandoning the organizational culture we invested many years we painstakingly labored to build.

I was the primary focus of blame for his not having achieved the level of success he felt entitled to.  In truth, it was his coercive power that blocked his career progression in spite of his casting blame for failures in mine and everyone else’s direction.  To prove his political intelligence, he flaunted several much younger female replacement partners that left me feeling humiliated.  After a failed affair ended with one secret lover, he insisted the next one he “connected with” was an organizational fit and a long term solution to his problems.  He purported this individual was the missing link and the key component to his achieving the success he was destined to.


As a leader, his choices reflected a severe imbalance in moral compass and an extreme deficiency in organizational citizenship.  He jumped ship, leaving me alone with our four year old trying to ascertain my options and establish role clarity (while I silently worked to avoid a psychological melt down).  I was in an extreme crisis situation that required urgent action while I searched methods for effective stress management.  After several attempts to take root in various states with family, I eventually settled in Southern Arizona where I grew up.  I still had friends and family that resided there who could offer emotional support and comfort.


Shortly after settling into a new apartment, I was put in contact with a childhood comrade who was now the co-founder of a local mortgage company.  Following the advice of my mother, I inquired about staff position openings at his firm.  My experience and extensive training were in the entertainment industry.  I was clueless about the mortgage and loan industry, but desperate to find employment to provide for my family.  Our mothers were still best friends therefore through informal family communication systems he was privy to my achievements in Arizona and Los Angeles, as well as aware of my current predicament.

In the meantime I was psychologically broken, financially desperate and left unaided to raise my beautiful little girl.  The first step I reluctantly took was to enroll my youngster in a preschool.  The next step was to seek government aid for medical, nutrition and financial assistance with day care services while I secured employment.  The divorce proceedings took the crisis to new levels of stress that severely impacted my emotional intelligence.  I lacked self-esteem and had a low self-concept based on the cognitive components of a failed life; partnership; and business enterprise.  I felt lost and lacked focus in self-monitoring.  I mentally retreated from the world and only found solace caring for my child.  I completely removed myself psychologically from the world of adults to immerse myself in the world of my child from her viewpoint, out of the comfort and safety of our new home environment.


I waited forty years for the privilege of motherhood.  The internal struggle I faced in joining a new organizational structure was abandoning my child to join the work force full time.  She arrived ten years into what I believed was a secure marriage.  On the contrary, I was not able to decode the nonverbal cues that indicated my former partner’s double life.  I was processing austere levels of betrayal.  Harmony within a group reflects the sharing and exchange of personal resources among the members in order to attain an equal distribution of them (Earley, 1997).  There was no room for harmony in my situation. Without a sense of identity I began to experience role ambiguity.  The life I endeavored to build was upheaved.  I was forced to abandon the world I created as an entrepreneur and a stay-at-home mother to enter the nine-to-five workforce of corporate America, in an unfamiliar industry, from a personal place of low-self-esteem that deeply affected my social skills.  I had a lot on my plate.

I was not in a healthy state of mind and was reluctant to interact, let alone converse with people.  I was humiliated, ashamed and did not have a positive story to share.  I was in crisis mode, coping alone and searching for tools to help make the transition less turbulent.  The stress levels increased every day I dropped my little one off with strangers full time at the day care center.  Furthermore, the staff was not trained nor did they possess the skills to interact or effectively connect with a four-year-old with advanced levels of intelligence.

My child is a rare bird with an independent spirit and a dominant personality that could read and tell time.  Rather than most children her age that threw temper tantrums and screamed as a means of communication, my daughter verbally articulates her views.  This quality presents challenges to adults whose primitive methods of discipline resort to yelling which reflects a lack of skills in supporting children with advanced intellect.  In short, the situation was a nightmare.  I was to be separated from my child nine hours daily while I operated in an entry level position within an organizational structure I had no passion for, in spite of my gratitude for employment.

Nonetheless, as a responsible individual, once I found employment, I reported dutifully daily, externally portraying an emotionally balanced woman while silently processing extreme levels of grief.  I was in silent rage working through tremendous levels of tension implementing whatever methods I could to manage the stress.  A voice in my head offered comfort, “Just because it is like this today, does not mean it will be like this in a week, a month, or a year.”  It offered short term serenity that enabled me to trudge through each day keeping focus on the bigger picture and the workload I was assigned in the new organizational environment.


The Mortgage and Loan Experience

The co-founder of the mortgage company I found employment with, is a man I grew up with that goes by the name Billy A.  Our mothers had been best friends over fifty years.  P. Christopher Early (1997) in his book Face, Harmony and Social Structure, posits that, “Organizational members are influenced by the dominant norms and espoused values within a given organization and these norms and values are instilled through the socialization processes” (p. 176).  We grew up socializing and playing together from the time we were in elementary school.  In addition, we participated in group activities throughout our entire youth through our membership at the local Greek Orthodox Church.  Throughout our youth we worked together in various leadership roles within our church youth groups.  We developed an organizational relationship that fit early in life.  He welcomed me to his corporate family and seemed genuinely happy to assist when I contacted him looking for work.  He put me in touch with a woman at his firm designated to hire new employees.  She requested that I report to the office the next day.

The mortgage company was located in a beautiful neighborhood at an upscale professional office building.  It was an organization with tastefully conceived observable artifacts in an environment of cultural pluralism in so much that it was a small mortgage group within a larger society of the mortgage and loan industry.  It enjoyed success as a regional operation.  The leaders were content with the corporation’s achievements at that level with no desire to seek recognition and success on a national platform.  Intrapersonal domination and negation transitions affect interpersonal domination and negation when one psychological structure interacts with at least another and all parties attempt to minimize displeasures of the other’s unwanted influences (Carr & Hancock, 2006).  I did the best to minimize the influences of my emotional condition.  At this juncture, the climate created upon my arrival was pleasant and accommodating towards my efforts to transit into the change and acquisition phase of joining a new organizational structure.  Pleasantries were exchanged and conversations were kept to a minimum to avoid emotional triggers.


Integration in a New Industry

I was immediately placed in an entry level, support staff position which consisted of filing, organizing, typing documents, answering phones scheduling appointments and other standard office procedures including making copies, brewing coffee and greeting guests.  At that time, the organization’s modes of communication were verbal via company telephone, intercom lines, individual cell phones and face to face meetings.  In addition messages were transmitted in written form via email, interdepartmental memos, a company newsletter, and when the occasion dictated, we engaged in formal communication as well.

As a career move I felt defeated having to start over in an industry I had no experience in, at a time when I chose to commit to motherhood – a full time job by itself.  Strong organizational commitment entails: (a) a strong belief in and the acceptance of the organization’s goals and values; (b) a willingness to exert considerable effort on behalf of the organization; and (c) a strong desire to maintain membership in the organization (Hiriyappa, 2009).  Although I was grateful for the opportunity to earn an income, I had no passion for the mortgage and loan industry.  I was lost and deeply injured trying to recover from the guilt of abandoning the child I waited so long to bear.  I was in an emotional place of torment working on self-reinforcement.  I wept silently asking what I had done to find myself in this new situation at this special time in life.  The voice reminded me, “Be patient, this is how it is today, tomorrow will be different.”  That was the motivational device I focused on to get me through that period.

Times of crisis and upheaval are tools that help us discover what we are really made of.  In his book The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, Deepak Chopra (2004) focuses on the coincidences that occur in our lives.  He calls these coincidences synchrodestiny and postulates that coincidences are messages; clues that we need to follow and pay attention to closely.  If we live our life with a better appreciation of coincidences and become sensitive to the underlying meaning of these events, we can achieve the spontaneous fulfillment of our deepest desires (Chopra, 2004).  I focused on the initiating structure and transactional leadership in the new organization, but was uninspired and unable to visualize a long-term future there.  I was merely going through the motions in an attempt to evaluate my life, formulate a plan, and redefine myself.  I was so unbalanced I was unable to observe the actions and paralanguage of my colleagues at the time.  In the broader scope of things, I came to acknowledge that this challenge presented an opportunity that taught me to adapt and sharpen my survivalist skills.


One of the first acquaintances I made there was with a mature woman named Flo.  She was the Executive Administrator for the two founders and deeply committed to the organization in this hierarchal arena.  In fact because of role overload, she displayed a level of dedication beyond a normal employee.  She was the first person to arrive every day and usually one of the last to leave.  She was in her view, committed to pick up the slack of other employees whom she believed displayed levels of social loafing.

She was honest, trustworthy and hard working.  Her attitude however, did not reflect the good nature of her work.  Sensing my kind and introverted disposition, she took me in her confidence; revealed her assessments on the organizational structure through informal communication skills and conjectured her insights on the organizational politics shortly after my arrival.  She was opinionated, judgmental and spent most of our break time together complaining and engaged in negative feedback about other employees.  As a close friend of the organization’s founder I quickly found myself in an awkward situation.  I courteously engaged in active listening to the hardest working individual in the organization who had a beef to pick with everyone, including my childhood friend Bill.  I remained neutral and honored her work ethic.  I showed empathy allowing her a safe place to vent, keeping what she shared in strict confidence.


Making an Organizational Fit

Billy is a leader that embraces employee empowerment, distributive justice and a style that reflected level 5 leadership skills (Baack, 2012).  He encouraged group cohesiveness, incorporated motivational techniques to inspire the staff, and guided the driving forces of influence in the organization.  The loan officers that rented office space were his colleagues and friends with established relationships built on trust.  He conducted daily and weekly meetings with staff members and loan officers going over goals, scheduling, and strategies that helped inspire individuals to build new leads and business relationships.  In addition, he was respected, had a strong family life, and displayed a high moral compass.  He embraced the component of valence by rewarding his staff with annual holiday parties, picnics, and company events for socializing and showed appreciation to personnel and clients equally.

The office support staff of administrators and loan processors identified the subculture within the organization.  The administrators consisted of the integral team that greeted clients, maintained the client database, and set-up and organized the filing systems.  The loan processors handled the extensive documentation that came through for the variety of loan transactions.

When the organization was flourishing, several members from upper management participated in programs to build their leadership skills and raise their levels of self-confidence within the corporate arena.  In addition, the co-founders were members and graduates of The CORE, one of the most elite Real Estate coaching programs in the nation.  This level of commitment to the institution was a key component in shaping the organization’s enacted and espoused values.  The extrinsic motives of the founders encouraged a strong commitment to the organization that was reflected in the intrapersonal relationships among staff members.  Flo was the only discontent staff member that I was aware of who eventually revealed she was also dealing with glass ceiling issues.

Things began to change quickly and drastically for me in the organization when my four year old contracted Pink Eye from the preschool within a few weeks of my employment.  By this time, I had been trained on the company’s IT server collecting data on the foreclosure activity in Tucson and the surrounding area.  Bill has four children and therefore a supportive commander that understands parental requirements, the need to deal with sick children, and on occasion, participate in school events.  I explained my child was under doctor orders to remain under quarantine for a week.  He was supportive and understood I had no choice but to remain at home during the healing process.  However, staying at home meant that I was unable to collect an income – or did it?


Virtually a New World

I had established a virtual office environment from my former production company with Berry.  I still had a home office equipped with state of the art computer technology, a high speed internet connection, and professional desktop publishing software.  I contacted my boss and asked if I could tap into his IT server from my home office to continue my task collecting data on the foreclosure project.  That was one of the wisest suggestions I made because I contracted the Pink Eye virus as well and was out sick for an additional week.  In the meantime, I continued to work as a telecommuter.

During that time, I was assigned to conceptualize a flyer for our foreclosure services.  My completion of this task revealed an expert power in graphic design and desktop publishing capabilities.  I created top notch professional advertising for the company’s needs that knocked the socks off the entire staff.  The organization realized the money they normally invested in professional advertising agencies would become a thing of the past now with a professional level graphic designer on the team. In fact, Bill was so impressed with my services he decided my telecommuting was more productive for the company.


People are what make the difference in a successful organization.  Problems can be avoided with the right frame of mind and strategic planning.  My little girl getting sick was the key component that allowed our organization to embark on the virtual team experience.  I proved that as an employee I was more valuable in a virtual environment setting where I could provide effective and superior products as well as participate as a full time parent for my child.  The new arrangement worked out so well, that by the time my daughter was enrolled in kindergarten I was able to volunteer weekly as a helping mom at her school.

The solution we adapted was instrumental in my own personal healing process.  I discovered a means to embrace this new organizational environment and incorporate my creative training and skills.  It made me feel valued and gave me a sense of accomplishment.  In addition, I was able to continue to fulfill my duties as a stay-at-home mom, which in my view was always the priority.  I was now beginning to thrive.

I was elevated to the position of Director of Marketing within a few years of my employment at the organization and remained there for about seven years.  Unfortunately the company became another victim of the mortgage and loan crisis of 2008.  By 2009 the organization was in the process of filing bankruptcy and I was once again facing unemployment.  I quickly found a solution because of the high levels of academic success I helped my daughter achieve, and was hired as a private learning coach.  Sadly, due to an internal organizational upheaval, that occupation turned out to be short term.

In the meantime from my established virtual office I began providing social media and marketing services as an independent contractor.  Bill in the interim created a new private lending business and continues in his efforts to support us by hiring my services.  The work load is not at the same level as when I was employed full time at the mortgage company, but we are optimistic and working hard to build our businesses.


The Seeds of Success

We exist in a culture that expresses a desire to achieve high levels of success because it makes us feel special.  It is a philosophy that conditions us to look outside ourselves for validation and is identified as object referral (Chopra, 2012).  However, when we silence the mind to find solutions, we can begin to discover that everything we desire, we have within us the power to achieve.  Each challenging situation presents new opportunities to redefine priorities, explore other options and find creative solutions.  The perceived setback I experienced in the dissolution of my marriage was actually an opportunity for me to remove myself from a toxic relationship and begin a journey to find and plant the seeds of my own desires with no limits to what I can have.



An analysis of the organizational structure and of various behavioral components at my former places of employment has been instrumental in my ascertaining both the positive and negative influences of the organizational experiences that continue to shape my life and career path.  Unlimited potential can be acquired with an understanding of the true nature of reality, a willingness to recognize the interrelatedness, and inseparability of all things.  Then aided by specific techniques and strategies a world opens up with good luck and opportunities that popped up every once in a while, that begin to occur more frequently.  This is the synchrodestiny Deepak Chopra refers to.  It gives us the ability to make real decisions instead of blind guesses.  It allows us to see meaning in the world, understand the connectedness of all things and gives us the confidence to choose the kind of life we want to live.

We gain the ability to transform our lives according to what we put attention on, how we focus our intentions, and by tuning in to the environment; each dancing to the rhythm of the cosmos.  The intelligence of the spiritual province is what organizes energy soup into knowable entities.  It is what binds quantum particles into atoms, atoms into molecules, and molecules into structures (Chopra, 2004).  It is the blind faith that knowingly guides us to where we need to go to emerge into the wonderful individuals we are destined to become.  In conclusion, challenges, once we are willing to embrace them, present the seeds of success that open us to the lavish banquet of life that unfolds before us in all its magnificence.


Personal note: I will be taking a brief winter break. Look for new posts in mid January of 2013.
Warm wishes to everyone for a Happy New Year!


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Campbell, J. (1991). A Joseph Campbell reader: Reflections on the art of living. (D. Osbon, Ed., p. 18). New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishing.

Carr, A., & Hancock, P. (2006). Space and time and organization change. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing, Ltd.

Chopra, D. (2004). The spontaneous fulfillment of desire. New York, NY: Harmony Books.

Chopra, D. (Composer). (2012). The seeds of success. [D. Chopra, Performer] On 21 day meditation challenge: Creating abundance [Audio Sound Recording]. San Diego, CA, USA: D. Chopra.

Earley, P. C. (1997). Face, harmony and social structure. (p. 176). New York NY: Oxford University Press.

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