Organizational Identity Employee Perception

Organizational Culture

Culture is the customs, skills, and ideas of a people in a given period (Akhavan, Zahedi, Dastyari, & Abasaltian, 2014). Shrewd managers understand that any organization has its organizational culture that is critical for the identity of that organization, perceptions of the image of the organization, and corporate identity of its employees. Many authors have characterized an organizational culture as something to do with people and the unique style and quality of that organization. Harrison among the first few people to come up with a model of organizational culture based on empirical data (Nwagbara, 2014). Harrison described four different corporate culture and named them role orientation, power orientation, achievement culture, and support culture. An organization that is role oriented tends to be orderly and rational as possible. Conflict and competition are replaced by rules, agreements, and procedures or regulated (Nwagbara, 2014).


While there is a focus on status and hierarchy, it is moderated by the legitimacy and legality commitment. This implies that power is centralized in role-oriented organizations. Larger organizations have the bureaucratic role-oriented mode. In a task-oriented organization, the accomplishment of a superordinate goal is the highest value, and the goal does not need to economic (Nwagbara, 2014). The structure of the organization, activities, and functions are assessed in terms of how they contribute to the superordinate goal, and nothing should get in the way of the achievement of the task. Task-oriented culture fosters deep personal satisfaction and leads to strong personal commitment and have work stations that are high energy. An organization that is person oriented exists mainly to serve its members’ needs, and members can meet needs they could not satisfy on their own. Power oriented sense is discouraged. When it is necessary tasks are assigned based on competence. Individuals are expected to have an influence on each other through helpfulness, caring, and example. There is also mutual trust between the organization and its members, and the members believe that they are valued.

Allan A. Kennedy and Terrence E. Deal viewed organizational culture from the managerial point of view. Kennedy and Deal assert that organizations face different realities in the market depending on their competitors, technologies, products, and government influencers (Nwagbara, 2014). In summation, the external environment of an organization determines what the organization needs to do to be successful. They also discussed the work hard/play hard culture and that it is a world of small risks and quick and intensive feedback. Success is a result of persistence and activity is everything. Work hard/play hard is based on finding a need and feeling it. In this organizational culture, no individual makes a difference, and teamwork is critical. Examples include sales organizations, mass consumer sales organizations, retail stores, office equipment manufacturers.

Effective leadership is one of the critical ways an organization can sustain its business because of the problems that result from the rapid growth of the economic environment (Baumgartner, 2013). Organizational leadership can also define a good culture as culture is shaped by the trust that exists between the leaders and employees in an organization (Baumgartner, 2013). Organizational leadership entails processes and outcomes that are proximal such as employee commitment that results in the development and accomplishment of the purpose of the organization. Various theories can be used to explain leadership in organizations. For instance, the trait theory explains that an individual can have certain qualities or abilities that make them assume leadership roles. The inherent skills such as personality and intellectual capacity are the primary parameters on which the effectiveness of leadership is based (Akhavan, Zahedi, Dastyari, & Abasaltian, 2014).

The main characteristics that define a good leader are creativity, responsibility, and wisdom. Leaders who possess the required traits take certain decisions and actions like role modeling, setting goals, and articulating visions to be successful as leaders. However, behavioral theories categorized leaders into two groups regarding the tasks and the people needed to achieve those tasks (Nwagbara, 2014). Behavioral theories of leadership suggest that leaders are not born but groomed. Behavioral leadership theories also do not focus on intellectual abilities but focus on the actions of leadership. Also, it is believed that people can learn through experiences or observations to be great leaders.

On the other hand, contingency theory of leadership suggests that there is no particular approach of leadership and each approach is grounded on specific circumstances. The contingency theory emphasizes that some situational variables define the leadership styles that match specific situations (Ghazzawi, 2017). Situational leadership also suggests that there is no alternate way for effective leadership but to adapt to a situation, and must be task and relationship oriented. Finally, transformational leadership indicates that there is a strong relationship between followers and leaders which leads to a high level of trust that results in inspiration (Ghazzawi, 2017). Under transformational leadership, the main power of a leader emerges from their charismatic behavior and the level of motivation that they evoke. The regulations and rules in transformational leadership theory are also flexible taking into account that group norms are dynamic. A transformational leader changes the attitudes, values, and the views of their followers because they are capable of leading the changing situation (Ghazzawi, 2017).

Tesco is a multinational company founded in the United Kingdom in 1919 that sells general merchandise and grocery (Tesco Plc, 2019). The company’s headquarters are in Hertfordshire. Tesco is the leading retail company in the United Kingdom based on market share and the third largest retailer globally based on revenue (Coe, Lee, & Wood, 2017). Tesco accounts for over about 27 percent of the market share chains that operate in the UK and has stores in twelve countries across Asia and Europe. Tesco is listed in the London Stock Exchange. The company employs over 600,000 people and serves over 80 million customers online and in stores every week (Tesco Plc, 2019). The company operates in the UK under Superstore, Tesco Extra, Express, and Metro. Over 50 percent of the company’s sales come from its own label products that are in three levels namely values, normal, and finest. The company is also becoming one of the UK's largest petrol retailers as there are gas stations in many stores. Other services that are provided by the company include personal finance. Apart from drinks and foods, Tesco also specializes in clothing, telecoms, and car insurance.

Tesco employs over 600,000 people around the world; hence it is critical that it maintains an appropriate organizational culture (Frontiera, 2014). The company's corporate culture developed over decades of interaction between participants in the company. Tesco's organizational structure is not complicated, and the company effectively uses its labor force to grow and develop and to attain its objectives. The organization effectively follows the implementation of technology and innovation to ensure that its employees are efficient. Innovation has also allowed the company to reduce human error. For this reason, general employees can be given more responsibilities to provide excellent services.

The managers in each store are given a scope of control with the workforce, and they work effectively to maintain a positive organizational culture with cooperation and effective communication and manage operations (Firoz, 2016). Tesco fosters effective relationships within managers and employees and the employees trained appropriately to perform tasks. The company follows a centralized decision making as its board of directors makes all decisions. Tesco has also introduced quality to the products it sells by providing them in three different levels as mentioned previously. By giving other products such as insurance and financial services, Tesco has incorporated ‘one stop shop’ to its organizational culture.

Tesco’s organizational leadership is responsible for its success. Leadership in the company has the view that its employees and customers are critical in the overall running of the organization (Baumgartner, 2013). How Tesco is run shows that leaders in the organization are transformational as the company looks for leadership from its customers and employees. Leadership at Tesco borders on the ability of leaders to drive subordinates and followers to enable them to act to set objectives and standards because there is need to lead effectively. By using transformational leadership, leaders can lead by consent instead of coercion. This allows followers and leaders to motivate one another. This is what characterizes leadership model at Tesco as leaders in the organization inspire confidence, emphasize the strengths of their subordinates, and communicate a positive vision. This has enabled a sense of collective goal and vision to be achieved in the company.

As opposed to transactional leadership, transformational leadership transforms self-interest into objectives and goals of Tesco including appealing to the sense of commitment of its employees and customers. This is what underpins Tesco's organizational leadership that has led to its success over the years. In magnifying this corporate philosophy, Tesco's mission statement is vested in earning the lifetime commitment of customers by creating value for them. People in the organization are also seen as partners to lead change. Transformational leadership is also about participative leadership and delegation which allows everyone to participate (Firoz, 2016). Participant leadership enables the voices of employees to be heard when decisions are being made. The leadership of Tesco motivates employees for the company to continue providing quality services to its customers. These are the factors that are responsible for the company's success.

Tesco also uses contingency and situational leadership since it has been able to adapt its transformational and democratic leadership style because of the structure that enables all employees to be part of the success of the company (Baumgartner, 2013). Leadership style at Tesco has been effective in ensuring that the organization continues to grow. Tesco’s leadership ensures that their employees find the best shifts, jobs, and support that suits their needs. This includes support for disability or illnesses and demands of religion. For this reason, leadership must be situational and flexible to ensure that all employees are on board when there are any strategic changes. Situational leadership enables leaders to vary their leadership styles to fit circumstances, implying that even autocratic style can be used to ensure that employees perform their tasks well on time. This is because high performance is critical for Tesco, and everyone in the organization has a role to play, and diverse leadership style ensures that every customer is served exceptionally.

Transformational leadership produces results that are high as shown by Tesco’s continued dominance and success of over the years. However, the best model of leadership incorporates both transformational and transactional leadership models. Transformational leadership does not weaken the strengths of transactional leadership. It only augments transactional leadership. Therefore, it is recommended that Tesco incorporates both transformational and transactional leadership models into its organizational leadership. Further, Tesco's corporate culture matches the leadership style in the organization. To align with the first recommendation that Tesco should incorporate both transactional and transformational leadership in its organizational leadership, the company should rethink its approach of recognition and rewards by changing its system of compensation to encourage employees to behave in ways that are crucial to the organizational culture that is desired. Also, since Tesco practices participative leadership, it should make decision making to be decentralized. This will enable employees and lower managers to participate more in decision making.

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  • Akhavan, P., Zahedi, M. R., Dastyari, A. & Abasaltian, A., 2014. The effect of organizational culture and leadership style on knowledge management in selected research organizations. International Journal of Scientific Management and Development, pp. 432-440.
  • Baumgartner, R. J., 2013. Organizational culture and leadership: Preconditions for the development of sustainable corporation. Sustainable Development, pp. 212-235.
  • Coe, N. M., Lee, Y.-S. & Wood, S., 2017. Conceptualising contemporary retail divestment. SAGE Journals, pp. 215-231.
  • Firoz, A., 2016. Critical Review of Culture and Leadership of Tesco. International Leadership Journal, pp. 96-105.
  • Frontiera, J., 2014. Leadership and Organizational Culture Transformation. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, pp. 12-21.
  • Ghazzawi, K., 2017. Situational Leadership and Its Effectiveness in Rising Employee Productivity: A Study on North Lebanon Organization. Human Resource Management Research, pp. 63-89.
  • Nwagbara, U., 2014. Managing Organizational Change. Intenational Journal of Management, pp. 98-112.

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