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Organisation Culture- A Case Study of BSNL LIMITED

Mrs. G. Nagamani
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Prof. G.Krishna Mohan

Key Words: Organisational Culture BSNL Workplace

Abstract: The changing scenario of competition is posing challenges to the organisations in the area of work environment, human relations, policies and procedures adopted by the organisations for management of human resources. The Organisations are continuously in search of improvement strategies to meet the challenges of competitive environment. One of the most important building blocks for a highly successful organisation and an extraordinary workplace is "organisational culture" as it creates energy and momentum. The entry of private players into the telecom sector leads to cut throat competition where every player is struggling to capture the market. In the process of gaining the market share it is obvious that human resources plays important role and their commitment stands paramount importance. The paper focuses on the assessment of organisational culture in BSNL and made efforts to unearth issues relating to the various dimensions of organisational culture.

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The author is Assistant Professor at Kandula School Of Management Ksrmce Campus, Kadapa The author is Professor at Kandula School Of Management Ksrmce Campus, Kadapa

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Introduction: In the wake of increasing liberalisation, globalisation, deregulation and powerful technological revolution Indian organisations are facing unprecedented challenges. Economic reforms and fall of geographic barriers have brought the revolution in communication and information technology sectors leading to a big shift in competition and customer preferences. The impact of global trends and events on organisational performance is posing plethora of risks as well as opportunities. To respond effectively to these challenges organisations cannot just depend on the marketing competencies alone, but also on the wisdom and a handful of committed human resources and their adequate involvement at the workplace to achieve organisational goals. The Organisations need to enhance employee morale and in turn satisfaction to cope up with changes. Organisational culture is a powerful tool for facilitating continuous innovation in developing the work environment. The concept of organisational culture was popularized in the early 1980s; but its roots can be traced back to the early human relations view of organisations that originated in the 1920s. A series of studies were conducted between 1927 and 1932 at Western Electric's Hawthorne Works in Illinois by a group of researchers directed by Elton Mayo, a Harvard psychologist who was actively assisted by W.L.Warner, a noted anthropologist. The studies became popular as 'Hawthorne studies' that introduced the new variable, 'people relations' in controlling organisational performance. Hawthorne studies uncovered an informal social system and an associated body of shared assumptions and beliefs which has first revealed the presence of organisational culture. Review of Literature: Hofstede (1980) conducted pioneering research in the area of culture by collecting the data from subsidiaries of a multinational company in 40 countries. The study identified four dimensions namely, Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Individualism and Masculinity on which the culture of a country differs. It concludes that organisations are culture-bound and the culture affects not only the behavior of people within organisations but also the functioning of organisations as a whole. 64
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Uttal (1983) views organisational culture as shared values (what is important) and beliefs (how things work) that interact with an organisation structure and control systems to produce behavioral norms (the way we do things around here). Smirich (1983) opined Organisational Culture as a process of enactment, not as something that already exists. It is a mental state, which is reproduced by all members through sharing of meanings. Cameron and Ettington (1988) in his empirical and theoretical work on culture reveals the most frequently cited conceptual dimensions used in research: (a) culture strength (Power to control Behavior), (b) Cultural Congruence (the fit or homogeneity among cultural elements), (c) Cultural Types (the focus on certain dominant themes), (d) Cultural Continuity (the extent which consistency in culture has been maintained over time), (e) Cultural Distinctiveness (the uniqueness of the culture), (f) Cultural Clarity (the extent to which the culture is unambiguously defined, understood and presented. OReilly et al. (1994) developed 54 value statements using exploratory factor analysis to establish eight dimensions of organisational culture, namely innovation, attention to detail, outcome orientation, aggressiveness, supportiveness, emphasis on rewards, team orientation, and decisiveness to measure organisational culture Saxen (2000) conducted a study to identify the similarities and variances in the culture of manufacturing organisations with differing performance, that is well-performing organisations, turned around organisations and sick organisations. He also examined the relationship between corporate culture and financial performance of organisations. Fifteen manufacturing organisations in Mumbai, five each belonging to the well performing, turnedaround and sick groups, were selected for the study. Culture was assessed in terms of perceptions of organisational members with respect to: Values, Beliefs, and Practices and found their difference in performance due to variations in organisational culture. Rao et al. (2002) emphasised that Organisational culture has a significant effect on how employees

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view their organisational responsibilities. With increasing globalisation, a greater knowledge of organisational culture and its effect can be beneficial for practicing leaders and decision makers. Kennedy (2003) emphasized that employee efficiency as a key factor for the success of organisations and it is influenced by several organisational factors. Conceptual models have suggested that there is relationship between Organisation culture and employee. He examined the organisation culture in banks through questionnaire-based data from 260 employees belonging to banks with high and low employee efficiency. The validated questionnaire measured the organisation culture through seven dimensions. The Seven Dimensions considered in the study are: Innovation, Stability, Employee Orientation, Customer Orientation, Outcome Orientation, Learning Environment, and Team Orientation ons attempted to understand the role of organisational culture in attaining the objectives of a merger by examining the relationships among changes in the various culture dimensions of the combined organisations, employees satisfaction with these changes and the post integration performance of the organisation based on the typical success measures. Need and Importance of the study: In spite of several empirical studies conducted on organisational culture its prominence has been increasing from time to time. The strong culture facilitates coordination and communication within the organisation and provides competitive advantage over its competitors. In a market characterized by continuous innovation and swift imitation, a strong productive culture is important source of sustainable competitive advantage as it is difficult to imitate. The culture of an organisation can have enormous impact on the way in which an organisation operates and its effectiveness can be assessed and changed over time. BSNL, a public communications enterprise in Indian telecom industry is the largest in India and occupying 6th position in the world. Presently there is an intense competition in Indian Telecom sector and various private players are rolling out attractive schemes and are coming up with good customer services. BSNL 65
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being legacy operator and its conversion from a government department earns a lot of criticism for its poor customer services. In keeping view all the above internal challenges along with external forces, the organisation has to strive for its development. In this scenario it needs to identify competent committed human resources and nurture them with strong culture. The paper attempts to assess the factors that influence organisational culture and to build human resource development strategies for strengthening its culture. Objectives of the Study: The specific objectives of the study are as follows: Assessment of various factors which influences organisational culture To suggest measures for improvisation of organisational culture and strengthen the morale of employees.

Scope of the Study: The scope of the present study is confined to the employees of BSNL. The present study has identified 12 dimensions: creativity and innovation, change management, conflict resolution procedures, work environment, employee relations, decision making, team orientation, role clarity and individual responsibility, reward system, corporate values, customer orientation, quality orientation. Methodology: The study is mainly based on primary data collected from employees of BSNL by administering a structured questionnaire. A wellstructured questionnaire consisting of 90 items on 12 dimensions was adopted. Each and every dimension has been given importance based on the objectives and has been designed systematically with factors assessing organisational culture. The responses are obtained on five-point scale and scores are assigned as given below. Strongly Agree (2) Agree (1) Undecided (0) Disagree (-1) Strongly Disagree (-2) The study has adopted a non-probabilistic, convenience sampling technique with a sample

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size of 139. Data collected was analysed using weighted mean and standard deviation to draw the meaningful conclusions. Conclusions: Creativity and Innovation: Any organisation needs to be involved in continuous research and development by encouraging its employees to think differently, and to come up with new ideas to make the organisation achieve competitive advantage. Creativity and innovation appears to be encouraged in the organisation and was agreed by the respondents with a weighted mean 0.627 and standard deviation 0.665.The employees of BSNL stated creativity and innovation is encouraged and rewarded if the new idea leads to better results. But when it affects regular activities the employee is questioned. This impedes the career of the employee and discourages to think in a new direction. Change Management: The introduction of change seems to be managed effectively in the organisation with proper care and commitment and was agreed by the respondents with a mean 1.022. The change is introduced by the consent of top management. To keep up the pace with the dynamic environment the management encourages change by explaining and ensuring the minimization of adverse effects, and put efforts to convert employee resistance into the acceptance. Employees were found to be change oriented, as they have continuous learning attitude to keep match with the future organisational requirements. Respondents shows resistance change in some issues due to some security and personal reasons, which can be taken care by proper change management initiatives. Conflict Resolution Procedures: The study reveals conflict management as moderately good with a mean score of 0.384. The positive score for the cause of conflict appears due to the struggle for higher performance. The conflicts go unnoticed for resolution, which leads to higher performance and high productivity. Usually conflicts are avoided or smoothened among employees in order to maintain friendly atmosphere. 66

Employees stated that in case of serious conflicts experts advice is taken for resolution rather than third party intervention or arbitration. Work Environment: The work environment is effective in nurturing the culture among employees by emphasizing code of conduct and policies & procedures defined by the top management and were agreed by the respondents with a mean 0.8. The management determines the behavior of employees through nurturing the culture of values, beliefs and organisational philosophy in new as well as existing employees. The organisation is employee oriented continuously looking after the interests of employees. Entire policies are described clearly to guide the employees at work. Though BSNL as a public enterprise is run on systematic cutthroat rules and procedures employees opine ethical code existing in the organisation as weak. This may be due to low awareness level about rules and procedures adopted by the organisation. Employee Relations: The employee relations at the organisation were studied with respect to sub sections like collaboration, communication, interpersonal relationship, trust and unity in diversity tend found strong with a mean of 0.88.The employees appear to be enjoying good interpersonal relations and good collaboration, cooperation and effective communication among them with the mutual trust. Decision-Making: This dimension has studied with respect to autonomy and freedom, individuality, participative decision-making, centralization and decentralization of power and authority. Respondents believe in hierarchical decisionmaking and presume them as effective in building efficiency into the organisation. As the people here are holding government employee status they have adequate autonomy and freedom to take necessary action in completing their individual job responsibilities. This reflects individual responsibility, creativity and joborientation. Organisation appears to be lagging in participative decision-making.

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Team Orientation: Teamwork actually has several meanings for quality, which fosters cooperation among various departments when they make contributions to the achievement of organisational goals. Teamwork appears to be highly encouraged in the organisation and was agreed by the respondents with mean 1.08. The presence of climate, which is conducive for teamwork, is found to be effective in enhancing the cordial relations among employees and making the employees believe that collective work helps to outperform. Role Clarity and Individual Responsibility: The result for this dimension is positive with a mean 1.2. This show the employees of this organisation are very clear about their roles and job responsibilities Employees are committed towards the achievement of organisational success. In case of failure the employees will feel a personal loss. This affiliation towards organisational goals is possible when the employees reward system is linked with performance and organisational success. Corporate Values: This dimension emphasizes on the core values of the organisation such as honesty, integrity, consistent approach and transparency within the organisation. According to the opinion of respondents the organisation has a strong set of core values with an overall mean 0.73. This atmosphere of coordination and integration, honesty and confrontation facilitates the growth of employee relations by developing mutual trust thus leading to the increase of employee morale to contribute more efforts. Reward System: In any organisation performance linked Rewards act as stimuli to increase the performance of employee. The reward system was studied with respect to the basis and criteria of the reward provided in the organisation. The high score (1.05) for the overall dimension represents that the reward system in the organisation is fair and linked with performance as well as experience. By the opinion of respondents it was found that the organisation has a value by rewarding loyalty, knowledge and expertise.

Customer Orientation: In this dimension the researcher tried to study the importance of customer to the organisation. The overall score for this dimension is 0.61.The present study revealed that the organisation is customer oriented to some extent by having a sense of customer wants and needs. But the organisation is very weak in providing after sales services to the customers, as it is not able to nurture the culture among employees about attending the customers complaints within time. Quality Orientation: Quality consciousness induces the values like customer driven quality, continuous improvement, fulfilling work and respect for employees, communication, cooperation, team work, prevention of quality problems and public responsibility and provide long range strategic focus to the organisation. This dimension measures the quality consciousness of the organisation and its employees. Employees perform their work tasks according to the pre fixed procedures and standards to ensure the quality of work done, and were agreed by the mean 1.05. Suggestions: Organisation needs to be more involved in creativity and innovation, which helps to create competitive edge. Creativity and innovation helps the organisation building long-term strategy in a more precise manner, reduce uncertainty and helps in achieving goals of the organisation more effectively. Hence the organisation needs to encourage the individuals without considering any fanfare for the results. Organisation may review the ideas generated through an expert committee before going for final implementation. Organisation in addition to adaptation of change resistance suppressing mechanisms it needs to undertake continuous training programs to enlighten benefits of change management and avoid threat of change among the employees. Conflict resolution mechanism may include the conflict avoiding mechanism by clarity. By this the management helps both parties who are involved in conflict by clarifying the issues and work assignments, thus developing interpersonal relations.

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The top management may concentrate on providing orientation programs for employees on ethical code in order to clear the ethical dilemmas arise at work place by creating more awareness. In general in every public enterprise decisions are made by top management and force the lower level people to implement the same. To improvise the effectiveness of decision making, organisation may go for collective opinion from the people at different levels. This may help the organisation to achieve synergy. In the light of stringent competition from various private service providers, company need to

restructure its procedures towards customer orientation. The organisation may go for strengthening the marketing department and also promote quality management in the organisation. In the present scenario every organisation need to delight the customers to retain and attract. The top management may create awareness among middle level as well as the lower level employees about the quality standards of International standard organisation to make them more quality conscious in providing the services to the customers.

Table 1: Mean and Standard Deviations of Dimensions Sr. No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 68


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Dimension Creativity & innovation Change management Conflict Resolution procedures Work Environment Employee interpersonal relations Decision making Team Oriented Role clarity & individual responsibility Reward System Corporate values Customer Orientation Quality orientation

Mean 0.627 1.022 0.384 0.808 0.88 1 1.09 1.152 1.05 0.729 0.611 0.902

Standard deviation 0.665 0.629 1.037 0.599 0.47 0.4 0.37 0.55 0.31 0.505 0.67 0.51

Figure 1: Dimensions of Organisational Culture

Organisational Culture

S c o r
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Dimensions
References: Hofstede, G. (1980), Culture's Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values. Beverly, Hills CA: Sage Publications. Uttal B. (1983), the Corporate Culture Vultures, Fortune. Smirich and Linda, (1983), Studying Organisations as Cultures in Gareth Morgan (ed.), Beyond Method: Social Research Strategies, Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications. Cameron and Ettington (1988), The conceptual Foundations of organisational culture, in J.C.Smart (Ed.) Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research Vol.4, Agathon, New York. OReilly et al. (1994), People and Organisational culture: A profile comparison approach to Assessing person-environment Fit Academy of Management Journal. Saxen (2000), A Comparative study on Corporate Culture and Organisational Performance of Manufacturing Organisations, Management review. Rao et al.(2002), A Study on Organisational Culture and Its Relationship with Job Satisfaction in Manufacturing and Information Technology Sectors, Xavier Institute of Management. Kennedy (2003), A Study on Organisational Culture and Employee Efficiency in Indian Commercial Banks, the PSG Journal of Management Research. Yadav and Bhaskar (2005), A Study on the Role of Organisation Culture in Mergers and Acquisitions, SCMS Journal of Indian Management

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