EAP BUS essay

Topics: Management, Organizational culture, Humanities Pages: 5 (1138 words) Published: November 16, 2014


Compare and contrast the four types of business culture illustrated by management theorist, Charles Handy. Discuss which culture is appropriate for an innovative business. Support your answer using examples. (1200 words)

Student name: Leon
Word count: 1019 words

Since about 1970s, or even earlier, people had gradually noticed that different business generally have different and recognizable organizational cultures to operate the business. The one of the most famous model of organizational culture, popularized by Charles Handy (1993), illustrates business cultures as classified into four major types: Power, Role, Task and person. Business culture is the attitudes prevailing within a business (Marcousʹe, 2003). For an innovative business, what kind of culture would be appropriate? According to Avi Freeman (2014), the innovation for a business is about what people do with the ideas that come out of the company. An innovative business - it could be appropriated by a culture that has a less-controlling management style, and adaptable and enthusiastic individuals, and the power of characterizing teamwork, Due to the fact that it frequently enhances the creativity of new ideas and products, as well as the creativity would be the most important part of an innovative business. This essay aims to compare and contrast the four types of business culture by three different perspectives, in order to determine that which culture is more appropriative for an innovative business.

Several differences and similarities between these four cultures are related to the management style. According to Charles Handy (1993), both of person and task culture have a less-controlling management model. Companies that applied power or task culture would have few rules and working procedures of management. Particularly, for task culture, the top managers generally concentrate more on resource allocation, and hiring and placing key employees, but not the hard and fast rules for operating (Handy, 1993). In contrast, for role culture, the senior management at the top would lead the whole business operation, it means employees usually controlled by many working procedures and rules. Whereas, person culture is an unusual culture – employees who work under the culture possibly have more power than the top management.

The task and power culture are possibly more appropriative for the management style of an innovative business. A less-controlling management style of task and power cultures would help an innovative business to achieve the success, because it usually benefits employees’ new idea creativity and learning capacity. As the former CEO of Google Larry Page (2014) mentioned, Google emphasis on the fun aspect of work, providing a balanced lifestyle and a motivating workplace all the time. As well as, less pressure and rules and all the facilities provided could increase motivation and level of happiness. Due to that the two cultures can be more suitable for an innovative business than role and person cultures.

Then there are also differences and similarities of the individual needs between different cultures. Task culture generally is appropriate where flexibility and sensitivity to the market or environment are important, in other words, it usually needs those employees and managers are adaptable (Handy, 1993). Otherwise task culture is suitable for a flexible environment, Handy (1993) has stated that role culture could only succeed as long as it can operate in a stable environment. Individuals therefore could not be enthusiastic and adaptable enough to the company operating. In addition, both of power and person culture generally heavily depends on individuals, but not the committees. Especially, in organisations based on person culture, they are subordinate to the individual and frequently depend on the individual for their existence.

It seems that task culture is suitable for the individuals in the innovative business. The...
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