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Organization and Communication

In: Business and Management

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Organizational Behavior and Communication Paper
Communications 530
Aug-Monday 12th, 2013

Organizational Behavior and Communication Paper
Nordstrom Inc., started as a small shoe store in Seattle, Washington in 1901. Since that time it has become one of the leading and successful shoe and apparel retailers in operation today. After reviewing different information regarding Nordstrom Inc. espoused values and enacted values, it is apparent that they are in alignment. Espoused values are the core values of the company. The history and organizational beliefs, developed into policy for the company. The goal of the espoused values is to create standard of behavior for the company. The enacted values are norms exhibited by employees (Answers, 2013). If the espoused and enacted values are misaligned problems could occur within the organization. If the Nordstrom leadership does not live up to the espoused values of the organization, the employees become disassociated and will not work to their potential. Nordstrom Inc. has a strong communication and organizational behavior characteristic of the brand. A generation family business, Nordstrom has grown the company into 240 stores, in 31 states with 11 full line stores, 119 Nordstrom Racks, two Jeffery Boutiques, and Treasure & Bond. This paper will review Nordstrom’s mission and organizational behavior and the communication used in their continued success.
Nordstrom does not have a mission however they do have a goal. Their number one goal is: to provide outstanding service every day, one customer at a time. Although the company is clearly a leader in the retail industry, they still contend that customer service is something that should be strived continually. Communication is important to any organization and fosters control, motivation, social interaction, emotional expression, and information. Nordstrom uses various forms of communication to enhance the customer service mission. The communication forms used are downward communication, upward communication, and lateral communication. For example, “employees are encouraged to make suggestions, ranging from the type of merchandise offered and how it is displayed to the use of environmental friendly products needed to clean the store. ("Nordstrom History," Jan) The leadership mantra is that teams and communication should always flow in all directions. These forms of communication enables the team members: to be accountable, have a shared vision, be able to give and receive feedback, engage employees, and provide exceptional customer service.
Perception is important in an organizational culture. Perception is a “process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment.” (Judge & Robbins, 2011) Nordstrom has a culture of autonomy, empowerment, good judgment, and above all good customer service. The leadership communicates the company history and goals through story telling so that employees can understand the importance of customer service to the organization. For example, in 1978 a customer returned a tire to the store, the employee asked for the receipt and returned the money to the customer. When working for Nordstrom as a seasonal employee, the tire story was shared with the new employees and is currently being shared with new employees. What I perceived the organization to be is one of standing by their claim of superior customer service, using good judgment, and the customer is always right.
Nordstrom is an organization that practices constructive conflict. This form of conflict “refers to conflict in which the benefits exceeds the cost.” (CHRON, 2013) The process becomes as important as the end result. Constructive conflict allows members to come together to redefine and strengthen organizational goals for the good of the company. They can listen and clarify perceptions, clear issues, have focused discussions, and look for alternatives, all with the goal of improving customer service that will improve company sales. Nordstrom company structure uses the “inverted pyramid” to define the organization. The inverted pyramid puts the customer first, the employees, the managers, and at the bottom of the organization chart are the executives. The higher an employee promotes in the company, the farther away the employee is from the top of the pyramid. Because of this type of organizational structure, continual communications is needed to ensure the company remains customer-centric.
Nordstrom Inc. is a leader in the retail industry with team members who believe in the history and culture of the organization. The goal is customer service and providing outstanding service every day, one customer at a time. While the company is at the top of their game, they continue to achieve improvements in customer service, which will yield happier customers and increased revenue.

References Answers. (2013). Retrieved from (2013). Retrieved from References
Answers. (2013). Retrieved from
CHRON. (2013). Retrieved from
Judge, T. A., & Robbins, S. P. (2011). Organizational Behavior, (Select ed.14), .1. Phoenix, AR: Pearson Education.
Nordstrom History. (Jan 1992). Managing Service Quality, 2(2), 104. (2013). Retrieved from 2013 Managing Service Quality; Jan 1992;2,2; ProQuest Central pg. 104 2013

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