People and Organization
Following the case study provided in “A Day in the Life of Aleksei Ustinov”, seemingly there are issues of personal development that need to be addressed.
In connection to this point, personality is a function of good organizational leadership. There are personality problems, cultural clashes and organizational problems that Ustinov needs to deal with and as such, there is need to explore them in detail. To begin with, Ustinov has his own personal problems that need to be dealt with. As such, Ustinov seems to be overconfident since when he was asked to prepare a report summary of recent developments in the area of human resources, he went ahead and prepared a length report drawing on his vision regarding the company developments and future. Notably, Ustinov as well has a weakness of his personality in the sense that he is not able to make his decisions as a Human resource manager. In others words he is indecisive.
Following this point, when he is faced by Ron Johnson regarding hiring a new assistant for the marketing department, he was not able to make out what to do. The confusion he had would not have been experienced if he had only been a good decision maker who is not easily swayed away. Regardless of the many things that call for his attention, there is need for him to practice the aspect of being able to critically address issues and as such come up with sound decisions. Apart from this point, Ustinov also needs to deal with the personal problems that emanate from the other members and managers of the RosAmTrust organization. In line with this point, there is also the problem of manufacturing manager, Konstantin Bobrov well known for a personality of stubbornness (Vries 2009, p.
126). Equally important, when the need for an interpreter arose, Bobrov seemed not to be so much careful about time wastage. This was rather noticed by Aleksei Ustinov who took the place of an interpreter. It is also evident that Bobrov was emotionally weak; a personality that is covered by the big Five Theory which takes in the aspect of neuroticism (Lussier & Achua 2009, p.34-35). In actuality, Borbov has the character of angry hostility and impulsiveness which is revealed when he ran out of control thus losing his temper.
In fact when the Americans suggested that the symptoms of malfunctioning ought to be monitored. He responded out of temper by saying that the workers were required to work of which they did and thus it was the responsibility of the suppliers to provide the company with reliable equipment of which he presumably thought that they did not. Such an argument is born out of a personality of one who is not patient and in fact unreasonable. This is due to the fact that Borbov could not settle to reason with the Americans and examine to fully establish the originality of the problem with the equipment. Borbov is as well portrayed as to possess an attitude of not being careful.
In other words, he seems to be a don’t care owing to the fact that when he is invited by the visitors to assess the situation, he responded by saying that he had better things to do and as such opted to send one of his engineers to the factory. This shows that Borbov is dominant as he seems to be independent in terms of the decisions that he makes. In fact he says that unless Aleksei Ustinov works for 20 years and gain experience he cannot work with him. This is to suggest that Borbov is dominant and cannot be able to respect the other people’s position (Vries 2009, p.126). He thinks that he is always right.
Again in this context, Bobrov demanded that Aleksei organize the trip for training in America in two weeks. In the process he hangs the phone and becomes angry an aspect that upsets Ustinov. Another point to note is that Aleksei Ustinov needs to deal with personal problems of the Ron Johnson, the marketing manager who insists on hiring an assistant he had identified. He is dominant in the sense that he is not willing to let go of his decision to have the assistant hired whether the General Manager is notified or not. Of the new candidate Natasha being hired, Ron portrays a personality of being persistent and insistent on his way.
This is a factor that brings about being independent, demanding and determined. He actually focuses on goals rather than people and as such, he demands Natasha to be employed due to the fact that she can deliver much to the company (Hoover& Valenti 2005, p.48). This is another character that describes a personality of a dominant character. In addition, he insists that they have to make an offer for Natasha and he would bear the burden of having broken the company rules.
Along with this point, there are also the personality problems of most of the managers being negligent in the sense that no one reports to Ustinov even when a Nikita Suslov, a recently hired production worker got an accident. Besides this point, the cultural clashes that Ustinov needs to deal with have to do with the Russian culture versus that of America. In essence, Ustinov works for a Russian culture organization that has to incorporate that of the Americans. In actual sense, he needs to deal with the problem of the two cultures interacting. Additionally, it is evident that he was trained in US and therefore working in Russia would require that he understands the two cultures and how to integrate them as the HR.
For instance, when Ustinov is mocked by Borbov he is told that ‘An overseas toy, which will never work on hard Russian soil’ which means that he was not from Russian and as such integrating in the Russian culture would prove to be an exercise in futility. Accordingly, Ustinov needs to deal with the organizational problems which entail a lack of coordination. As a matter of fact, communication breakdown amongst the departments has been exposed. For instance, it is unusual Nikita Suslov has an accident of which the Human resource manager is not aware. There is also an aspect of the managers not owning up their jobs. For instance, George’s secretary called when a huge truck with equipment from Western Europe had just arrived at RosAmTrust’s warehouse located 20 km away and found nobody to receive it except the guard.
This is as a result of the organizational problems whereby there is no communication, coordination and procedures being not followed. This is supprted by the example of Nikita Suslov being not trained on the working safety measures. As well, the procedure of training new workers has not been followed. Equally important, there seems to be a problem with hiring since the marketing manager just jumps in a point of asking for Natasha to be employed even when the General Manager George is not aware. As well, Borbov jumps in and asks for a two week training which was not planned for.
There is a lacking effectiveness of management that needs to be dealt with in the organization. Interpersonal skills and interactions are as well another point of organizational problems. Again in this context, the organization lacks work ethics since the managers talk any-how and make demands that are not procedural of which this is a factor that is called for by the dictates of work ethics (Peterson& Ferrell, 2005, p.3). Following this point, Ustinov may cope with the situation that he is in through several ways.
For instance, taking in the view of his personal development, he is new in the field of Human resource management. In connection to this point, Ustinov needs to be careful to fully develop in terms his personal development. Personal development entails the improvement of one’s self awareness, self knowledge, talents, identity, potential, human capital, aspirations, social abilities and personal development plans along with interactions with other people. In this context, he needs to help the others with the likes of Borbov, Ron and the General Manager by means of ensuring that he develops in his personal development (Baum1990, p.7). This is accomplished by ensuring that he improves on his weak personality often hindered when he is supposed to act.
As a matter of fact, there is need for Ustinov to improve his social abilities in order that he may be able to effectively to interact with the other managers. He should also seek to ensure that he helps them to realize the need to deal with the personality problems they have once he first deals with his own personal problems of being dominant. Leadership requires that the leaders develop in terms of personal development in order to be able to lead effectively (Gillis & International Association of Business Communicators 2006, p.50-51). The Dominance realized is evident when he becomes angry when the managers fail to read his memo. The future of the company is another important factor that Ustinov needs to deal with as he seeks to cope with the situation at hand.
This can be accomplished employing the training of the managers on leadership skills inclusive of the role played by effective communication or rather the flow of information.Basically, the inter-departmental coordination should be implemented along with a strict adherence to the procedures and rules in the organization. As well, the establishment of policies supporting safety measures and employees training should be implemented. Interpersonal communication amongst the managers needs to be emphasized (Murphy, Murphy, & Riggio 2003, p.2). The cultural differences between Russia and the United States are some of the important factors that contribute to the leadership differences between Russian firms and the United States firms.
In this regard, the leadership styles of Americans vary greatly from those of the Russians. In line with this, there are different challenges that emerge whenever there is a mix of organizational leadership from the two countries. In this respect, there are important factors that must be considered when organizational leaders from an American background are given an opportunity to lead Russian-based firms. To begin with, it is important for the American leaders in Russian-based firms to understand that there is a great divide between the American behaviour, attitudes and attributes as compared to the Russian ones. To begin with, the Russian leadership styles differ from the American due to their behaviors that each hold from their cultural background. Note that the American values certain behaviors that are believed to contribute to increased productivity in firms and organizations within their environment.
However, these behaviors do not necessarily transform to the same measure of productivity in a Russian environment. For instance, Ardichvili & Kuchinke (2002, p.102) argues that the attributes that are seen as characteristic for leaders may vary across cultures. In other words, the leadership style that works in one environment may not necessarily work in another environment. In this regard, attributes such as motivation and keenness on productivity are predominant in the American culture.
However, these attributes are less important in the Russian organizational culture. The organizational culture of Russian firms and the American firms differ and more important, it is passed on from one generation to another leading to its perfection in the succeeding generations of leaders. In reference to Hofstede & Minkov (2010, p.6), culture is always a collective phenomenon, because it is at least partly shared with people who live or lived within the same social environment which is where is learned and it consists of unwritten rules of the social game. Following this, the American organizational culture has focused over the years to develop an organizational cultural structure that is tailored in such a way that its end product is maximum productivity.
In other words, every action that is taken by the American organizational leaders value increased or rather high productivity as well as efficiency of the organization’s operations. Similarly, procedures and the safety of these procedures is also an important aspect of the American leadership. According to Bell (2006, p.22), a focus on operational efficiency is critical to an organization in an American setup. In this respect, procedures are vital and as a result, they must be followed carefully in a systematic manner to ensure that nothing is left to waste. More so, it is important to understand that most of these procedures have already been developed and they are only tailored in such a way that they are able to meet the requirements or needs of an organization or firm in a particular setup.
In additional to this, the organizational culture is coupled by ethics and organizational structuree that promote the effectiveness of the operations of the firm or organization involved. For instance, transparency in leadership styles is highly valued by American organizational leadership (Domsch & Lidokhover 2007, p.41). For instance, the American representatives of RosAmTrust partners valued or rather saw it fit for them to evaluate the real problems with the American machines that this firm had imported from the United States. Finding out the problems from the employees’ side was an important aspect that was valued by the Americans. In other words, every employee in the firm was vital in the American organizational leadership.
On the contrary, the Russian organizational leadership styles do not values efficiency and ethics in their daily operation of business activities within their environment. In addition to this, procedures were not important aspects in the leadership of these firms. Furthermore, time management was an issue in these firms. For instance, the issue of time management at RosAmTrust was not considered. This was further worsened by the fact that efficiency was not valued and this led to consistent breakdown of machines which disrupted the operation of the firm leading to its inability to make an impact in its particular market. de Vries et al.
(2004, p.33) argues that the wish for strong leadership has had a great influence on organizational life in Russia and typically, power and control in any Russian organization come from the top. With this in mind, there are a few factors that need to be considered to ensure that there is harmony between the two nations in terms of organizational leadership. In reference to Domsch & Lidokhover (2007, p.41), foreigners who are trying to work within the HR domain in Russia must be realistic about the environment. Therefore, one of the issues that must be embraced by all American leaders who are working in a Russian environment must utilize some of the issued that are abhorred in their organizational environment, yet they are valued by the Russian firms.
Stated in other words, the American leaders in such an environment must use these aspects to bring out positive results as opposed to condemning them and introducing American style of leadership that cannot work in a Russia environment. Furthermore, the Americans leaders must work on ways of avoiding being influenced by the Russian culture since they are not exceptional. According to Domsch & Lidokhover (2007, p.41), foreign firms must realize that it is not just Russian firms that are at risk of being negatively affected by Putin’s agenda of intervention and recentralization. Therefore, the leadership styles can focus on taking advantage of the positive aspects that are reflected both in the American styles of leadership as well as the Russian one instead of dwelling much on the negative aspects.There is a relationship between national culture and organizational culture.
It is important for one to understand that national culture influenced greatly the organizational culture. However, most organizations across the globe have ignored the influence of the national culture on the organizational culture, especially after the success of expatriate managers in foreign organizations. In line with this, there is little focus that has been given on the impact of national culture on the organizational culture. However, having looked at the case of RosAmTrust, it is important to emphasize on the fact that national culture has an impact on the organizational culture. To begin with, Hosni & Khalil (2004, p.246) argues that organizational culture is embedded in the national culture in which an organization operates.
In other words, the organizational culture that is portrayed among organizations in their daily running of different activities across the globe reflects the national culture of the country in which such an organization operates. This is as a result of the fact most people who work in different organizations across the globe come from particular nations in which these organizations operate. In line with this, these people would more than often portray behaviors that are based on the cultural roots of these particular nations. Therefore, the culture that is reflected among organizations is a small portion of the overall culture that is reflected nationally. However, it is important to note that organizational culture and national culture are not the same (Silverthorne 2005).
For instance, the inability to maintain efficiency by the management of RosAmTrust reflects the inefficient system that has been formed in the Russian culture over the years. More importantly, one must understand that eliminating such a culture and imposing a new culture among employees in such an organization may prove to be a taunting task to the management. With this in mind, there are different constraints that are imposed by the national culture on motivation and performance management in organizations. Note that different cultures have different ways of propagating motivation among their people. Therefore, when two or more organizational cultural are brought into view, it is difficult to use the motivation strategies of one of these culture to motivate individuals in another culture (Fayolle 2008). For instance, corruption is rampant among the Russian-based firms and employees would not hesitate to indulge in these practices to perform their work.
However, among the American-based firms, any act of bribery would only attract the claws of the law since this is a breach of ethics. In other words, what is right in one culture may not necessarily by right in another culture. Furthermore, to increase performance, the value that instilled in employees by a particular culture would play an important role in determining whether performance is enhanced or not (Smither & London 2009). For instance, introduction of certain aspects in an American culture may improve performance whereas when the same aspects are introduced in Russian-based firms, they would only worsen the situation. For instance, being late in a Russian-based firm would attract little penalty as compared to be late in an American-based firm.
Therefore, the difference in cultural values determines whether motivation and performance rate is increased or reduced among organizations.