Leading Organizational Learning Through Authentic Dialogue

Leading Organizational Learning Through Authentic Dialogue


Question:

Discuss about the Leading Organizational Learning Through Authentic Dialogue.

Answer:

The company that has been chosen in this assignment to portray the international organizational behavior is Hyflux Limited. They are a renowned global leader that has been providing sustaining solutions concerning the affairs that deals with energy as well as water. Coming back to the point of communication barriers, one can note that there are few factors that come to play in order to establish an effective communicational flow within any organization. Nonetheless, effective communication is considered as the key ingredient of any enterprise to attain success and earn competitive edge in its respective market whereas the barriers can be selective perception, filtering, language, information overload and defensiveness (Harzing & Feely, 2008).
Selective perception is a common barrier which occurs due to different perceptions of the individual involved. It is filtering the messages unconsciously by the individual to fit his/ her desired requirements. It affects the perceptions thereby forming assumptions. Filtering refers to the twisting of the information or suppressing it in order to control the behavior of the specific individual. It is further noted that organizations prefer giving significance to any particular language that creates unknown barriers for the employees who are not conversant with culminating in language barriers. Information overload portrays a kind of imbalance phase in the individual (Schilling & Kluge, 2009).
It happens when the individual is internally loaded to saturation with information and there are still more information to be processed that require his/ her time. This often happens when an employee can be strangulated with several meeting timings on a specific day and bogged down with other professional demands. Defensiveness can also be another barrier to effective organizational communication because while the employee becomes defensive, he/ she assume and take a stand on a specific point that hinders effective communication (Mazutis & Slawinski, 2008).
These barriers can also occur in Hyflux Ltd if there is any discrepancy in its internal matters and clauses. Especially with the instance where the message transmitted by the sender is differently decoded by the receiver calls for an integrated and well formed organizational behavior. This might be considered as an example of the selective perception. This sort of perceptual barrier can occur between two employees who possess contending psyche, hierarchical personnel with his/ her subordinate, between two individuals belonging to cross cultural fields and others (Richmond et al., 2012).
Culture signifies values, traditions of one’s society as well as the customs that the individuals dwell in. there are so many countries all around the globe possessing differing cultures, ethnicities, beliefs, traditions and values. Whenever work cultures are to be analyzed there are certain parameters employed according to Geert Hofstede, a scientist. These parameters are rather looked upon as dimensions of the national culture that affects the job behaviors of the workers, their attitudes, inspiration, negotiating skills and so on. The five dimensions to be considered in this study are individualism versus collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity versus femininity and long term orientation opined Ardichvili, (2008).
In case of individualistic cultures, the individuals give more significance to their own identities rather than collectivity thinking. Individualistic culture stresses on the autonomy exerted by the individual and signifies his/ her independence as well as self reliance attitudes. On the other hand, collectivist culture refers to bonds that the individuals show thereby forming groups. In collectivism the employees are tightly held through the strong bonds where the group’s identity becomes the identity of the respective group members (Pasquier et al., 2007).


Power distance is another dimension that signifies the level to which a specific society allows the uneven dissemination of power to take place. Thus the societies that incorporate high power distance dimension are considered to be less egalitarian in nature. It is seen individuals pertaining to high power distance society pay more respect and power to the persons that are in the hierarchical or powerful positions such as the teachers, bank managers and so on. Further, the individuals holding powerful designations and positions in the society are also expected to show their power while at the other hand, the subordinates are expected to show respect by making gestures such as bowing, standing up every time the powerful designated person walks in the room and others. Especially the subordinate employees are not allowed to question the conduct or any decision of their hierarchical managers in higher power distance societies (Bowditch et al., 2007).
Uncertainty avoidance alludes to how much individuals feel undermined by vague, unsafe, or unstructured circumstances. Societies reflecting high uncertainty avoidance lean toward unsurprising circumstances and possess low resistance for uncertainty. Representatives of these societies expect an unmistakable arrangement of guidelines and clearness in desires. Along these lines, more prominent level of making methodology to manage issues and working out expected practices in manuals are cultivated. For example, the organizations prone to high uncertainty avoidance introduces too many tests and fixed guidelines while they interview employees (Hartnell et al., 2011).
Masculinity culture refers to the male dominated culture that puts thrust on gender inequality thereby signifying men to be more competitive, achievable and materialistic than women. On the contrary, femininity culture refers to maintaining cordial rapports, embracing the idea to value “quality of life”, and so on. Long term orientation focuses on the balance maintained by the society with its past traditions, present circumstances and future culture (Farh et al., 2007).
Singapore comprises multi-ethnic culture. It is around 77% of the Chinese, 6% of the Indians and 15 % Malay that forms the Singaporean culture. While compared with Australia, Singapore scores are as follows:
Dimensions
Singapore
Australia
Individualism
20
90
Power Distance
74
36
Masculinity
48
61
Uncertainty Avoidance
8
51
Long Term Orientation
72
21
Singapore is seen to score 74 under the power distance dimension mainly because it possesses a Confucian background that is due to the presence of Chinese opined De Mooji & Hofstede, (2010). Therefore taking a gander at the table, Hyflux Ltd. might cultivate low power distance so that effective communication exists within organizational behavior. Further the low score in individualism portrays the group functionality which can be retained within Hyflux thereby empowering the groups of the employees to work and take effective decisions cumulatively. Singapore shows more feminine edge than Australia which can be retained by Hyflux.
The score is little lower than 50 which signifies both the urge to compete, attain and taste success as well as showing humility and modesty is considered significant. Further the score of Singapore in uncertainty avoidance is very low compared to Australia. Something that is to happen in the future cannot be controlled. However, Hyflux can cultivate little more uncertainty avoidance which might affect positively its organizational behavior. Singapore got a score of 72 in long term orientation portraying cultural beliefs to provide aid to the longer term speculation like determination, indomitable effort and others thereby resulting in success. Hence, Hyflux is required to retain this (Hofstede, 2010).
Charismatic leadership is all about exhibiting charm and the trait to persuade. Nonetheless, charismatic leaders are always observed to follow their strong convictions thereby showing commitment in their method of working. Charismatic leaders always strive to form a better status quo. They are distinguished due to their clarified vision thereby displaying excessive dedication and skill in their fields (Avolio & Yammarino, 2013).
There are certain character traits of the charismatic leadership. The elements are communication, strong conviction, out of ordinary, change agent and environment sensitivity. It is stated that the charismatic leadership displays effective communication that help to instigate the employees through rugged situations (Rowold & Heinitz, 2007).
The leaders know well how to make their things done by handling the situations with the knowledge to communicate well. Nonetheless, this leadership calls for good oratory situations as well as instances concerning one on one conversation. Bertha Cheung is one such example from Hyflux who is presently the head of communications and guest relations. She has displayed avid diligence towards her job profile at a very young age thereby getting promoted in the position of Vice president in the month of January, 2016 just after serving the enterprise for only 8 months. She is a multitasker as is seen to manage her role also as the head of consumer marketing under ELO Water (Bowditch et al., 2007).
Strong conviction is another element that is found in these leaders. In spite of possessing a powerful and dynamic personality these leaders tend to show maturity and certain character substance through their strong convictions. Hyflux’s Group president Ms. Olivia Lum highlighted the company’s progress chart through few key points. 2QFY07 earnings of the company has maximized to 113% that is S$5.2 million upon the revenue earned as S$38.8 million. The company has shown strong conviction and the indomitable spirit to excel in the fields that it has been playing. According to the statements of Ms. Lum, the balance sheet of the enterprise appears to be healthy thus opening up new areas to explore for the company such as its oil recycling plants in Saudi Arabia (Erez et al., 2008).
Nonetheless, out of ordinary is another trait that these market leaders driven by human leaders do display. It is a known fact that charismatic leadership calls for confidence to establish the aspect of out of ordinary. The solid development of the business enterprise’s industrial projects along with new facilities evolving in other countries like India, China and Saudi Arabia provide enough evidences to the charismatic leadership elements. The leadership attributes are strongly linked with the Hyflux woman, Olivia Lum as it is her out of ordinary entrepreneurial ideas that have given shape to the water firm (Schroeder et al., 2016).
Charismatic leadership is also known to possess the tint of change agent. It is not only the trait to motivate and oratory that makes them leaders and famous but also their functionality as change agents. They are known to listen to what has been stated as well as those thoughts which are many times suppressed and not made vocal. However, with the assimilation capacity of being a good listener, orator, key driver, visionary and communicator they become the change agent thereby setting high end objectives. Olivia Lum has proved herself to be that change agent within the Singaporean society, Hyflux as well as the global society. Though she was an adopted child, she is well striding her way thus pulling Hyflux up thereby conglomerating her water business with Saudi Economic Development Company (SEDCO) making an S$45 million investment. This joint venture of Hyflux will open their way to success in the Middle Eastern regions of the globe (Avolio & Yammarino, 2013).
Literally, the environmentally sensitive area refers to a sort of designation attributed to a specific field that is in dire need of special attention and security due to certain other factors like the landscape, market, and certain situations like the economical condition of a country or a firm. Therefore the quality of charismatic leadership extends to revive this type of scenario thus laying its footwork. Owing to the environmental sensitivity of the country, Singapore which faces shortage of natural water supply as there is no natural water source in the country, Hyflux came up with such brilliant concept of desalination of water, water recycling as well as waste water treatment. Thus it portrays another charismatic leadership trait of the mastermind- Olivia Lum through Hyflux (Schroeder et al., 2016).
There are certain power tactics used by the organizations to develop their managerial skills. 7 such power tactics are reason, friendliness, coalition, bargaining, assertiveness, higher authority and sanctions. Reason refers to the implementation of facts and information to form a rational presentation of logical ideas. Friendliness denotes the incorporation of flattery, establishing good will, showing humility as well as getting friendly. Coalition refers to achieving the aid of other individuals’ within the business enterprise to attain certain objectives. Bargaining is the implementation of negotiating power to attain certain goals through exchanging benefits and favors whereas assertiveness indicates application of a forceful methodology through demanding compliance. Higher authorities signify to the aid of the hierarchical levels being earned for backing the requests. Sanctions imply to the incorporation of the rewards as well as the punishments that are extracted organizationally (Wheelen & Hunger, 2011).
According to the reviews derived from the employees of Hyflux, it is noted that the company still has to better in terms of reason tactics. It is mostly observed that the employees in the average positions have traced the management to be not reasonable enough regarding the personal growth and while it comes to choose the company as a good career option. Hence, though the company has been doing exceedingly well in terms of business and development, the human resource planning pertaining to the reasoning tactic seems to be not working functionally. When it comes to friendliness, it is noted that though the subordinate level displays attributes of friendliness, the management is lacking in that according to the reviews generated from most of the Hyflux employees (Ambosini & Bowman, 2009).  
According to the reviews of some of the employees, it is observed that some sort of coalition is rendered in the form of training, friendly colleagues and others. However, the support from the management of the organization seems missing in the reviews. Higher authority does not play a pivotal role as most of the employees seem unsatisfied and therefore any form of support is not expected. Other reviews suggest that employee empowerment has not yet been established thus leading to controlled management (Glassdoor, 2017).
It is seen that the employees unknowingly rely on the aforesaid tactics. Hyflux on the other hand, can use these tactics on different situations in case of their employee handling pertaining to managerial skills. The managers of the company can implement reason as a power tactic to sell their concepts and goals thereby reasoning and persuading the employees. On the contrary, friendliness is traced to be a significant tactic to make things done or take favors from the subordinate employees. Further, the management can make use of sanctions to reward the employees attaining the objectives of Hyflux (Wheelen &n Hunger, 2011).
Assertiveness can be used as another tactic by the management which is to be followed by sanctions. In all these aspects, organizational culture seems to be dominant. Singaporean culture follows the collectivism concept and therefore coalition seems to be one of the important power tactics. It is more like if the group admits of entailing a specific task then the other employees will succumb to the scenario. Hence, implementing these aspects, Hyflux might be able to improve their managerial skills (Glassdor, 2017).
There are certain aspects that call for change management strategy. Along with the advent of globalization and introduction of multinational companies, it is speculated that certain strategies have always been incorporated by the business enterprises to stay at par with their respective markets, demand generated from their stakeholders in due course of time. To be more specific, change is the new trend and thus companies have been witnessed to apply the change management every now and then (Freeman, 2010).
The four strategies relating to managing change are the top down approach, force coercion, rational approach and shared power. The top down approach is the conventional method to conduct the organizational style where the power is centralized and in the hands of the upper management. The mandate, clauses and objectives of the company flows from the hierarchical level to the subordinate level of the company. According to the reviews received from the employees of Hyflux, it can be derived that the company conducts its organizational style through the application of top down approach (Wheelen & Hunger, 2011). 
Force coercion strategy of change refers to the application of power in the form of rewards and punishments. It mainly dwells on the concept that the employees are self driven. Direct forcing exists as well as political negotiating take place under this strategy. This strategy seems relevant for Hyflux as the company is notably executive power centric according to Ambrosini & Bowman, (2009).
Rational approach denotes the significance that is rendered to the strategic decision model of the management thus making it as the main analytical approach. It has a profound established convention pertaining to organizational administration. When the higher authority settles on the Strategic Plan, the subordinate employees ought to execute the Strategic model through the application of an Operating model. The rational approach gives an organized and sequential method to deal with strategic change management. It is incorporated on the corporate plan and formulated in a precise and organized way stated Buchanan & Badham, (2008).
Assessing the national dimensions of the cultural aspects, it is seen that Singapore scores high on power distance and long term orientation which favors the rational approach rather than the emotional approach. First of all, rational approach is conventional model to follow and secondly, owing to its higher power distance, it depicts that the power is mainly within the hands of the upper management which is also a characteristic of the rational approach. Moreover, Hyflux being a Singaporean company follows this approach that has been stated by its employees in their reviews (Hwang & Lee, 2012).
Starting from the 1950s, the business organizations have mainly applied command and orders to conduct their organizational management. The conventional managers are assertive and demanding. It has led to the concept of shared power where the driving force of energy of the CEO gets shared with other hierarchical managers so as to achieve the set goals. According to the Singaporean culture and the managerial structure, it is implied that the organization has been implementing this aspect. It is the vision of Ms. Olivia Lum shared with other board of directors that drive the company. It is the dream and the vision of Ms. Lum that flows from the top level to the bottom of the company (Schroeder et al., 2016).

References

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