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Best Buy - the Importance of Organizational Culture and Change

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Best Buy - The Importance of Organizational Culture and Change
Organizational cultures that can be a liability to an organization include those that create barriers to change, create barriers to diversity or barriers to mergers and acquisitions. (Robbins, S. P. 2011) Organizational cultures are also good for change and revitalization of a company. This paper will provide background information on Best Buy and the ROWE (Results-Only Work Environment) Program. This paper will describe the culture of Best Buy. This paper will also discuss the approach to organizational change that the ROWE program illustrates. This case has sources of stress and this paper will discuss the sources that are apparent in the case. Changes have occurred and this paper will discuss whether the organizational culture has helped with the change.
Describe the culture of Best Buy
Best Buy’s culture has changed. The old culture embraced long hours. Managers rewarded those employees who were first in the building and the last to leave the building with tokens of appreciation. One employee earned a bonus and a vacation when he stayed up three days in a row to complete a report that was suddenly due. Yet, he was hospitalized due to the stress. The new culture revitalized Best Buy and changed how most employees view work. Employees thanked the organizers for allowing them to have a better home-work life balance. One employee was considering resigning after the birth of her child, but with the new program, she decided to stay with the company.
The old culture was not moving the company forward and needed change. Even though the quantity of work was the same, women were accepting jobs considered to be part-time. This was the only way to have the family time flexibility they needed. With the new change, productivity increased an average of 35 percent within six to nine months. Voluntary turnover dropped between 52 percent and 90 percent.
Discuss the approach to organizational change that the ROWE program illustrates.
The approach to organizational change that the ROWE (Results-Only Work Environment) Program illustrates is a mentality where work is not a place you go work is something to do. Best Buy decided to launch ROWE after realizing that a work-life balance program was not enough to change the culture within the organization. The Program has thirteen principles and rules. Employees can work when and where they like, as long as the employees get the job done. All meetings are optional, except for very few mandatory meetings. Employees may not judge how peers and colleagues spend their time. As long as employees meet all deadlines, employees can do what they want and whenever they want. ROWE is about results.
Discuss the resistance, both organization and individual that the ROWE program had to overcome.
The ROWE program had some resistance, both at the organizational and individual level. Resistance is a word used to describe what a person is doing if that person does not see things done his or her way. One of the rules of the ROWE program was that all members of the department had to approve the change. If one resisted, nobody in the department could be a part of the program. As amazing as the program sounds, the ROWE program received rejection from all employees of certain departments and from individual members of the management staff. The legal department resisted the new way of working. The in-house attorneys were concerned that they would be criticized as unresponsive if they incorporated a more relaxed way of working. The attorneys get compensated on how well they serve their clients and taking an afternoon off just did not seem like the right thing to do.
Managers resisted the change more than other employees did. One manager had to accept that his style of managing was to treat his employees as unruly children. He felt that with the new program, these employees were not going to abide by the rules. Managers also did not think that hourly employees like administrative assistants should be a part of the ROWE program. In the manager’s way of thinking, administrative assistants had to be at their desks throughout the day in case a member of management needed them.
Discuss the sources of stress that are apparent in the case.
Despite all the good changes that the ROWE program generated, stress is still apparent. Change is difficult when certain behaviors are already a part of the daily routine. An employee who works in the finance department received a call from one of Best Buy’s suppliers. Apparently, he did not receive payment for the last order and threatened to stop delivery of any supplies until he received payment. If she stayed at work to resolve the problem, she would not be able to go home and attend to a personal matter. The new changes were difficult to adopt. The employee was part of the ROWE program and she was allowed to make her own work schedule and leave, if necessary, without anyone judging her. The employee knows she could handle both matters just not in the traditional work order. Her fear was that someone would judge her for the way she would handle the situation.
Discuss whether or not the organizational culture has helped with the change.
The organizational culture has helped with the change. Employees are slowly transitioning into the new mindset. The early results showed that the ROWE program helped reduce voluntary turnover, improve productivity, and increased employee morale. With these results, more employees are adopting the ROWE program. One employee started to take some afternoons off to spend time with his Grandson. He shared in a meeting that he wished he had this type of flexibility when his children were younger. He believes he would have been a better parent and a better husband.
Organizational cultures can be a liability or can be good to an organization. Cultures can be a liability when these organizational cultures create barriers to change Organizational cultures can be good for change and revitalization of a company. This paper provided background information on Best Buy and the ROWE (Results-Only Work Environment) Program. This paper described the culture of Best Buy. This paper also discussed the approach to organizational change that the ROWE program illustrated. This case had sources of stress and this paper discussed the sources that were apparent in the case. Changes occurred and this paper discussed whether the organizational culture helped with the change. References
Robbins, S. P. (2011). Organizational Behavior (8th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning.

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