Cisco Systems Uses Its Culture For Competitive Advantage

What will be the observable artifacts, espoused values, and basic assumptions associated with Cisco's culture? Explain.

Observable artifacts will be the visible elements in a culture. They could be anything such as architecture and physical surroundings, company products and technologies, styles such as clothing, art, or publications, visual and organizational structures and processes, a company's published values and/or mission statements, and any myths, stories or rituals about the business. Artifacts can be acknowledged by people that are not area of the company's culture. An outsider might easily see these artifacts, but is probably not able to grasp why these artifacts have been established. To understand artifacts, company outsiders can go through the espoused values in the culture.

Espoused values are the things a company says it values, such as ethical practices. They are not the same as enacted values, that happen to be things that are in fact completed. Espoused values are what rally a company's employees. They could be a company's strategies, goals and philosophies, and are values that are normally espoused by the leading figures of a culture. Values sought by company leaders should be supported by some general and shared assumptions about how precisely a company should be run, or how employees should be managed.

Basic assumptions are implied or overlooked beliefs, thoughts and feelings. They may be underlying, often unconscious determinants of your organization's thought processes, attitudes, and actions. A pattern of shared basic assumptions a company has learned as it solved problems of external adaptation and internal integration that spent some time working well enough to be looked at valid can then be taught to new employees as the way in which to think, perceive, and feel with regards to those problems. Assumptions reflect the shared values within a particular company culture. These values are not often well-defined, and may often not be openly obvious to the members of the company. Assumptions and espoused values are may not be related, and the espoused values may not by any means be rooted in the actual values of the culture. This might cause great problems, where the differences between espoused and actual values may create frustrations, insufficient morale and inefficiency, and may therefore spell trouble for an organization.

Use the competing values framework to diagnose Cisco's culture. To what extent would it possess characteristics associated with a clan, adhocracy, market, and hierarchical cultures?

After the 2001 downturn, Cisco CEO John Chambers changed Cisco from a top-down organization to the one which encourages collaboration and teamwork whatsoever levels. Chambers grouped executives into cross-functional teams by combining managers in sales with leaders in engineering hoping that would lead to faster decision making. Accepting this change took 3 years, but as Cisco entered new lines of business, they were able to put together deals far more quickly, so the final result was that faster decision making came out of the company restructuring. (Kreitner, Robert & Kinicki, Angelo, Organizational Behavior, 2010. )

The company culture changed from a hierarchical one, where control is the driving force and the focus is internal, into an adhocracy culture that values adaptability and flexibility and comes with an external focus. Cisco also possesses traits of market culture, whose focus is also external but is driven by a solid desire to provide results and accomplish goals.

Cisco mainly possesses characteristics that are present in both market and adhocracy cultures. The adhocracy culture has sustained independence and overall flexibility than the clan culture, which is essential in a rapidly changing business climate. Leaders in an adhocracy are visionary, impressive entrepreneurs who take measured risks to make significant gains. This type of culture values innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, and adaptability. Companies that succeed within the adhocracy model are those that have the ability to change direction with little warning, rely on individual risk taking, and exist in a very dynamic environment. Market cultures are also external or outward looking, are particularly driven by results and tend to be very competitive. Leaders in market cultures tend to be hard-driving competitors who seek always to deliver the goods. Both these types of cultures are present at Cisco because they encourage employees to think beyond your box and test out new ways of getting things done.

Cisco also possesses a few traits of both clan and hierarchical cultures. Clan organizations have less focus on structure and control and favor flexibility. Their workers are driven by shared goals, outputs and outcomes rather than strict rules and procedures.

The hierarchical culture values efficiency, reliability, and fast production. Within the for-profit world, companies that succeed with this culture are people that have a well balanced product offering, and when a complex group of rules has eliminated the need for staff creativeness and input. According to the Competing Values Framework, the hierarchy model results from value being located on stability and an interior focus.

Begin by finding out about Cisco's Mission or Vision statement on the business's website. Now answer the following question: To what extent is the culture type you determined involved 2 constant with the accomplishment of this mission or vision? Explain.

Cisco's Mission Statement is to transform the client experience, and shape the future of the Internet by creating unprecedented value and chance for our customers, employees, investors, and ecosystem partners. Cisco's Vision Statement is: Changing the Way We Work, Live, Play, and Learn.

To provide Cisco customers and sales teams with accurate and timely information about our internal deployments of leading Cisco products and services, resulting business benefits and best IT practices, in order to help others succeed, shorten sales cycles also to improve our customer satisfaction. '

Company's mission is to allow visitors to make powerful connections-whether in business, education, philanthropy, or creativity.

Cisco Systems also strove to deliver an array of services, expand its offerings through internal and external efforts, enhance customer support, and increase its existence round the world.

Cisco Culture

At Cisco we believe community belongs to everyone and connecting and collaborating with others is a key element in our culture. Making the entire world a smaller place through technology and utilizing it to improve life experiences is something we take seriously. While market transitions evolve and change as time passes, the components of our culture remain consistent. For they are our core values, the foundation of all we do - and the spirit in which we get it done - and are embraced with the intention of customer success and positively adding to the world among others. Cisco employees are focused on giving back. Volunteering is a huge part of our own culture, and the numbers speak for themselves: Since 2001, Cisco employees have logged more than one million (1, 128, 970 ) volunteer hours - lots which is constantly on the increase year over year.

From Cisco's website - Cisco is an equal opportunity employer with a committed action to diversity. All individuals, irrespective of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply.

Our Employees: We develop programs and policies to aid our employees' work-life integration, and provide a stimulating and inclusive work environment to foster their development.

What approaches for changing organizational culture has Cisco used to form its culture? Discuss.

If company leaders can flourish in changing the basic assumptions of confirmed culture, they might be able to improve the effectiveness of the business. That is known as a cultural change process, where basic assumptions are changed to fit the required espoused values and artifacts of a company. Leadership is the origin of any company's beliefs and values. If what a leader proposes works and continues to work, it'll become a shared assumption.

Culture frequently echoes the prevailing management style. Since managers tend to hire people exactly like themselves, the established organizational culture is reinforced by new hires. When people within an organization realize and know that their current organizational culture must transform to support the organization's success and progress, change may appear. But change is not pretty or easy.

Cisco encourages teamwork when analyzing a difficulty and searching for a solution but once that is found the business switches to a "command-and-control" mode, and "that's when we're telling the managers and leaders, turn off the collaboration and start execution, " according to Pond. That formula has been deployed in Cisco's engineering group which was previously led by Charlie Giancarlo, but is currently run with a team of VPs.

The Cisco employees who'll succeed at the company will be the ones who thrive at being moved to different business functions - IT, finance, customer support, manufacturing - and can work on any cross-functional projects. They won't be payed for their current skills but instead be paid for their leadership skills and willingness to learn new things.

Would you like to work at Cisco? Explain your rationale.

Working at Cisco would be a great opportunity because they are a high-technology firm that is benefiting from rapid growth. They are suffering from a niche, where it promotes innovation by giving an environment conducive to attracting and retaining knowledge workers; the business's core competency is, in fact, the technology and people it develops and acquires. Cisco has a value system that emphasizes partnerships and win-win outcomes-for shareholders, customers, employees, and companies with which they contract. Their compensation system is designed to align the incentives of the workforce with those of the shareholders and customers. They recruit and select individuals that are attracted and can contribute to this culture also to the shared vision of "transforming" industry through their products and technologies. The fantastic growth and profitability of the company reinforces its culture, keeps turnover suprisingly low by industry standards, and has produced a huge range of very wealthy employees.

The firm contracts out many of the manufacturing and service activities that older professional firms would have done internal, allowing Cisco to retain its concentrate on knowledge personnel and the acquisition of new technologies. It uses independent contractors and temporaries to buffer the uncertainty of demand and also to cope with peaks and valleys in the projects associated with product development and delivery. The company is frustrated with the laws governing these employees, since it has already established to reclassify some valued independent contractors who want to retain that status as temporaries.

Human resources strategies are both very important to this firm and highly integrated with its core competitive strategy, the acquisition of new firms, technologies, and folks. Its compensation and reward strategies and the culture the business has generated are also critical to maintaining the environment had a need to attract the types of personnel who will permit the firm to stay on the leading edge of changing technologies and markets in its industry. Its social contract therefore targets providing a financially and psychologically rewarding destination to work.

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