Understanding Organisational Culture For Knowledge Sharing Commerce Essay

Culture circumscribes the doctrine, costs, values, attitudes and attitude and behavior of an administration. Culture is how things get done in administrations. It is besides a well-known fact that an administration ‘s civilization shapes its learning way. It is accordingly important to acknowledge the cultural characteristics of the administration before be aftering any strategy in e-learning or knowledge direction.

In this Goffee & A ; Jones theoretical account for understanding legal house ‘s civilization and bing a map for Baker & A ; McKenzie that can be used to do rapid decision when piecing decisions on other elements of Baker & A ; McKenzie acquisition ( e.g. e-learning or knowledge direction enterprises ) .

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Two Dimensions, Four Cultures

With the aid of this theoretical account, “ What Holds the Modern Company Together ” ( Harvard Business Review, November-December, 1996 ) , Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones present a matrix for understanding organisational civilization. The two dimensions of the matrix are:



Sociability is the sum of ‘sincere ‘ friendliness between employees of the jurisprudence house. Here employees are more like friends than merely office co-workers. They probably to devour a batch more clip in face-to-face communicating, interchanging thoughts, and keep a high degree of unarticulated rectification. A important point to tag here is that all this occurs on an unceremonial and natural footing ; no strings attached.

High sociableness will hold many advantages like for Baker & A ; McKenzie like, sharing of thoughts, cognition transportation, out-of-the-box thought and high esprit de corps.

But there are some disadvantages as good relates to high sociableness which should be avoided by jurisprudence house. For illustration, statements and unfavorable judgments are avoided in the fright of let downing other friends. For the same ground hapless public presentation is besides tolerated.

Solidarity on the other manus is the gage of the attorneies of the legal industry to follow common ends, unconcerned of single attachment.A Here a double wisdom of ground is chiefly important. Even if employees within house do n’t cognize each other, a sense of elevated integrity will convey them together to move as one unit.

Strong sense of reaction to competitory encroaches and other organizational catastrophes and low tolerance of hapless public presentation of employees are one of the few advantages of high solidarity.

But once more, as in the instance of high sociableness, high solidarity has its disadvantages. These lie chiefly in a “ what ‘s in it for me? ” attitude and ruthless sod conflicts.

These two dimensions of civilization unwrap four different types of cultureA ( see Figure 1 ) . These are:





Figure 1: The 4 dimensions of civilization

Goffee and Jones emphasis the world that no 1 quarter-circle is better than the others ; it merely signifies the manner an administration construction itself to cover with its working environment.

One Model, Three Facets

The above theoretical account gives a good support for magnifying and gestating other angles of organizational acquisition. First, allow ‘s analyse trust in Baker & A ; McKenzie jurisprudence house.

1. Trust and cognition sharing

Trust is celebrated to be the conduit through which cognition runs out. In “ Trust and cognition sharing: A critical combination ” , Daniel Z. Levin, Rob Cross, Lisa Abrams and Eric L. Lesser topographic point two sorts of trust that signifier cognition sharing:

Benevolence-based: belief that an employee will non harm another even when given the chance to make so. For illustration, if one attorney is in critical demand of information he might seek aid from his co-worker to acquire this information, but in making so he trusts that this individual will non intentionally do injury ( e.g. by giving the incorrect information ) even if he has the chance to make so.

Competence-based: belief in another to be knowing or competent in the capable part. Again sing Baker & A ; McKenzie, when an employee is in demand of some information, he will seek and swear merely those who he thinks have the competency to give him this information.

Puting these two dimensions on the civilization theoretical account shows the undermentioned ( see Figure 2 ) :

Baker & A ; McKenzie jurisprudence house have high benevolence-based trust, every bit good as have high competence-based trust.

To derive a rich civilization within jurisprudence house it is necessary to accomplish high competency and high benevolence.

Figure 2: Adding the dimensions of Trust to the theoretical account

Now let ‘s add another aspect to this theoretical account.

2. Administration work and cognition sharing

John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid, “ Balancing Act: How to Capture Knowledge without Killing It ” ( Harvard Business Review, May-June 2000 ) , make a strong instance for the division between ‘process ‘ and ‘practice ‘ . To cite, “ There ‘s a monolithic slit among what an assignment seems like in a process manual and what it seems to be in world ” .

Procedure is what is arranged in system and patterns, while pattern in fact takes topographic point on the field.

If we cover these two dimensions of Bakers & A ; McKenzie work on our theoretical account, it shows the undermentioned ( See Figure 3 ) :

Legal houses have relied to a great extent on pattern to derive competitory advantage in the industry, while Materialistic administrations rely to a great extent on procedure.

Disconnected administrations rely less on procedure and pattern, while Communal administrations rely to a great extent on both procedure and pattern.

Figure 3: Adding dimensions of Organisational Work to the theoretical account

3. Learning and Knowledge Strategy

In “ What ‘s Your Scheme for Pull offing Knowledge? ” ( Harvard Business Review, March-April 1999 ) , Morten T. Hansen, Nitin Nohria and Thomas Tierney, suggest two dimensions for pull offing cognition based on the work patterns of a company. These are personalisation and codification. Here ‘s an account of these two dimensions.

Personalisation: This is the people-to-people scheme. Here the attempt is to wish up people with other people and to turn webs and community of patterns. Emphasis in on informal-knowledge sharing.

Codification: This is the people-to-documents scheme. Here the attempt is to lade intranets and databases with best patterns, instance surveies and how-to ushers to assist people in their daily work. The accent here is to recycle what is being already being done elsewhere in the administration.

Personalisation scheme works best for Networked administrations, while the codification scheme works best for Materialistic administrations.

A high balance of both schemes works best for Communal administrations, while, while a low balance of both schemes is the lone hope for Disconnected administrations.

Figure 4: Adding dimensions of Strategy to the theoretical account

Hofstede theoretical account:

HofstedeA?s findings support the proposition that cultural differences between companies are still so big that they impact the likeliness of acceptance by companies runing in different states ( Van Waarts, Everdingen ; 2005 ) . The findings besides have of import deductions for business-to-business companies spread outing in foreign states with new merchandises and services. The illustration of such a company is justly Baker & A ; McKenzie that is runing in different states all over the universe.

The chief strength of Hofstede theoretical account lies in numerical appraisals of the places Baker & A ; Mckenzie runing in different states on five dimensions of civilization, which provide a strong empirical footing ( Kolman, Noorderhaven, Hofstede, Dienes ; 2003 ) . Although Hofstede ‘s work is a small spot dated and has been criticized on a figure of evidences, the dimensions are utile in foretelling and understanding members of assorted societies probably to act in different ways in different state of affairss.

The Five Cultural Dimensions by G. Hofstede

It is critical to understand other states where Baker & A ; McKenzie is spread outing to or jurisprudence house is making concern with and to do determinations based on their regulations and strong beliefs of the host state instead than on how Baker & A ; McKenzie operates in their ain place state. To be successful, there needs to be comparison with the cultural norms of all the participants. Geert Hofstede ( 2005 ) has derived five chief dimensions of national civilization labelled as:

Figure 5: Hofstede five dimension theoretical account

1. Power Distance Index ( PDI )

Power Distance refers to the extent to which less powerful people in the organisation expect and accept that power is distributed in an unequal mode. Hofstede ( 2005 ) claims that inequality within organisations is inevitable and functional and societies deal in different ways with the issues of power, wealth and prestigiousness.

In each state, there is different mobility between different position degrees as in certain societies it is more or less easy to alter the position than in others. In general, its position depends on instruction, business and income. The inequality of member ‘s ability and power is largely reflected in organisations which try to keep construction and order within the organisation and hence form hierarchal constructions ( Hofstede, 1980/2001 ) .

A high power distance ranking indicates that inequalities of power and wealth are present and desired within the society. It is really common that less powerful people are dependent on those more powerful. Power is normally centralized and hierarchy in organisations reflects the inequality between different organisational degrees ( Oudenhoven, Mechelse, Dreu, 1998 ) .

2. Individuality ( IND )

The 2nd dimension is a bipolar continuum of Individuality versus Collectively.

The definition is:

“ Individuality pertains to societies in which the ties between persons are loose: everyone is expected to look after himself or herself and his or her immediate household. Bolshevism, as it ‘s opposite, pertains to societies in which people from birth onward are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, which throughout people ‘s life-times continue to protect them in exchange for unquestioning trueness. ” ( Perlitz, Seger, 2004, p.5 )

A high individuality ranking indicates that individuality is based in the person and single rights are most of import within the society ( Hofstede, 1980/2001 ) . The chief traits include assertiveness, fight, self-interest and self-actualization. High maleness refers to work forces being ego-boosters and adult females ego-effacers ( Hofstede, 1985 ) .

Personal clip is besides of import so that person have out of occupation adequate clip for household life. In individualistic organisations, perpendicular relationships are more of import compared to horizontal relationships stressed in collectivized societies.

3. Masculinity ( MAS )

In the 3rd dimension, maleness refers to the grade to which persons value money, success, assertiveness and fight. Functions in masculine societies are strongly determined by gender. On the other manus, muliebrity refers to a society where feminine values like nurturing, caring and relationship edifice predominate and minimum distinction between genders exist. Hofstede ( 2005 ) assumes that sex functions transferred through socialisation strongly act upon the behavior of each state. Within different civilizations certain types of behavior are regarded as more suited for work forces and others more suited for adult females. His definition of this dimension is:

A society is called masculine when emotional gander functions are clearly distinguishable: work forces are supposed to be self-asserting, tough, and focused on stuff success, whereas adult females are supposed to be more modest, stamp, and concerned with the quality of life.

A society is called feminine when emotional gender functions overlap: both work forces and adult females are supposed to be modest, stamp, and concerned with the quality of life. ( Hofstede, 2005, p.120 )

4. Uncertainty Avoidance Index ( UAI )

Uncertainty turning away is defined as a society ‘s tolerance for uncertainness and ambiguity. It refers to the extent that people feel comfy or threatened by unknown state of affairss ( Hofstede, 1980/2001 ) .

Discomfort with uncertainness is indicated by high tonss of uncertainness turning away. This means that people need stableness and do non like unstructured state of affairss or anything new, surprising and unusual. Peoples in uncertainness avoiding civilizations are normally more emotional and suffer from high emphasis and anxiousness in unknown state of affairss. Therefore they try to minimise the possibility of such state of affairss by rigorous Torahs and regulations and safety and security steps ( Hofstede, 1994 ) . Examples of regulations that control the behavior of employees, directors and portion holders are as follows: rites, meetings, memorandas, studies, accounting systems.

5. Long-run Orientation ( LTO )

Long-run orientation is the 5th dimension which was found in a survey among pupils in 23 states around the universe. Long term orientation can be characterized by values like thrift, doggedness and a regard for a hierarchy of the position of relationships ( Franke, Nadler ; 2008 ) . This dimension reflects Confucian values and focal points chiefly on continuity ( Smith, 2002 ) .

High long-run orientation ranking indicates the Baker & A ; McKenzie prescribes to the values of long-run committednesss and a strong work moral principle. In add-on, these civilizations regard leisure clip as unimportant. Harmonizing to Hofstede ( 2005 ) , chief concern values include larning, honestness, adaptiveness, answerability and self-denial. It is besides implied that directors and workers portion the same aspirations as broad societal and economic differences are unfavorable. The highest tonss on the 5th dimension can be found in states with the universe ‘s fastest rates of economic growing. Therefore, LTO is strongly related to economic growing ( Hofstede, 1994 ) .

Comprehensive Development Framework:

The Development Framework gives a familiar linguistic communication for sing ends and depicting the ways to acquire at that place. It besides compromises a assortment of accomplishments re-evaluate tools and larning chances to give high-quality feedback on achievement. Finally, the Development Framework imitates the true complexness of a legal calling and allows attorneies to bore down to necessities.

Undertakings must be supported by true leading based on the thought that polar types of direction. See Appendix C for Mangers V. Leaderships. The Comprehensive Development Framework governs the development of those schemes.

Leadership Models:

The Blanchard Leadership Model

In the Blanchard Leadership Model, Hersey and Blanchard ( 1977 ) propose that the manner of leading is based on the subsidiary ‘s development degree, competency vs. committedness. A The leader so has two diverse sorts of leading, directing attitude and compassionate public presentations. A The qualities of directing attitude are one-way communicating ; followings ‘ function expressed out, and closes supervising of actions. A Supportive leading attitude comes up with bipartisan communicating, listening, offering aid and endorse up, comfortss communicating and to germinate follower in determination devising. A When the two different types of leading are put on a model, four leading manners emerge. A

1. Telling/Directing

The trainee or freshly hired attorneies has a low accomplishment degree and possesses low committedness. The trainee attorneies have deficiencies of preparation, understanding or old experience and besides lacks the motive to finish the undertaking and to run into the deadlines. The leader would closely oversee this employee and utilize one-way communicating to educate the new employee to run into high criterion of Baker & A ; McKenzie.

2. Selling/Coaching

The new employee has low degree of accomplishment but high committedness. He carries out the desire to complete the undertaking but lacks understanding. The leader uses bipartisan communicating to give counsel and spread out programs from the co-worker about how to finish the undertaking.

3. Participating

The new comers have a high accomplishment and different committedness. The follower has the accomplishments to finish the undertaking, but does non hold the assurance to make so. The leader focuses on motive and assurance, the undertaking is completed by the follower.

4. Delegating

As shown in below fig in last phase attorney will be high in accomplishment and committedness. Follower is experienced and motivated to to the full finish the undertaking. The leader assigns the undertaking and the follower is in charge of determination devising and completion.

Figure 6: Blanchard Leadership Model

Abraham Maslow proposed the Hierarchy of Needs theoretical account in 1940-50 ‘s USA, and the Hierarchy of Needs theory stays applicable today for understanding employee ‘s enthusiasm with in Baker & A ; McKenzie, single development and direction preparation. Indeed, Maslow ‘s thoughts circumscribing the Hierarchy of Needs associating to the liability of employers to offer a workplace environment that consoles and let employees to carry through their ain different potency ( self-actualization ) are today more important than of all time.

Figure 7: Maslow ‘s hierarchy of demands

Maslow ‘s hierarchy of demands

All of the employees in Baker & A ; McKenzie are motivated by demands. Their most basic demands are inborn, holding involved over 10s of 1000s of old ages. Maslow ‘s Hierarchy of Needs helps to find how these demands motivate us all.

Maslow ‘s Hierarchy of Needs describes that we must fulfill each demand in bend, get downing with the first, which deals with the most obvious demands for endurance itself.

Merely when the lower order demands of physical and emotional wellbeing are satisfied are employees are dying with the higher order demands of influence and personal development.

Alderfer ‘s ERG TheoryA

Simplifying Maslow ‘s demands theory was put frontward by psychologist Clayton Alderfer with his ERG theory ( see appendix for Maslow and Alderfer ‘s Theories side by side ) . Both theories see demands as the motivation force behind behavior. Peoples are motivated to make things by different demands, of which Alderfer identified three:

Figure 8: Alferders ‘s Erg

Being needs – demands for physiological and material wellbeing

Relatedness needs – demands for fulfilling interpersonal relationships

Growth needs – demands for continued personal growing & A ; development


Development schemes should be complete and formed by a long-run vision. In the past, development schemes give precedence to short-run macroeconomic compensation and balance-of-payment corrections. The Baker & A ; McKenzie must concentrate on longer-term societal and structural contemplations, such as turning and acquiring better in footings of client services to accomplish high degree of their clients satisfaction, keeping substructure, and developing a new employees.

Every office should show and be after its ain development docket based on citizen engagement.

Management, attorneies, leading and other stakeholders should work together to convey development schemes. Partnerships construction on lucidity, common trust and treatment can add up the effectivity and efficiencies of assistance, and assist Baker & A ; McKenzie to increase their aptitude to spread out and transport out an extended scope of services.

Development public presentation should be evaluated on the footing of accessible results.


Performance transparence expectancy in Baker & A ; McKenzie current function and patterned advance at the house.

Feedback from Spouses on public presentation from clip to clip.

Personal and professional support in the occupation for all employees for development programme.

Measuring the civilization of Baker & A ; McKenzie and concentrating on advancement in enveloping cognition direction into that civilization must be a important portion of planetary cognition programme. There are some benchmark industry determines for understanding the evaluating towards a civilization in which cognition sharing is genuinely embedded. These include alliance of KM aims with compensation constructions, board-level leading, and the constitution of appropriate procedures and policies. All these factors must be considered when analyzing cognition programme.A

There are, though, a figure of less clear marks that can assist expose how much advancement is being made. At Baker & A ; McKenzie, direction must travel past the issues of clear uping functions and answerability, A notice alterations in the attitudes within the house towards KM. These alterations are promoting, as direction and leading understand that merely when cognition direction becomes the work of the whole administration instead than merely that of a specific group does it get down to give permanent consequences. A figure of tendencies in peculiar base out.


Burnes, B. ( 2004 ) Pull offing Change: A Strategic Approach to Organizational Dynamics, 4th edition Harlow, Prentice Hall.

Kubr, M ( edition ) Management Consultancy: a usher to the profession, ILO.

R. T. ( 2005 ) Organizational alteration direction: A important reappraisal, diary of Change Management 5 ( 4 ) 369-380.


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