In the background of rapid economic progressing, the general developing trend of the enterprise management is transformed from a strategic management to a higher level cultural management (Turner et al, 2009). Corporate culture has a very important role in the development of the enterprise. Therefore, it is necessary to have a comprehensive understanding of corporate culture and the effect of environment on the enterprise.
In Denison’s organizational culture model, corporate culture has a strong adaptability, and it is agreed that corporate culture is an adaptive culture. In order to warn others to pay more attention to the importance of the adaptability of the culture, this essay is developed by giving literature review about adaptive culture, analyzing the adaptive culture of Haier and assessing how this culture adapts to the complex environment.
2. Literature review about adaptive culture The corporate culture is about various values of ideology, which refers to long-term stable cultural concepts and historical traditions as well as a unique business spirit and style (Kosfeld and Siemens, 2011). In Dennison’s corporate culture diagnostic model, the four cultural identities which refer to adaptability, mission, involvement and consistency have a significant impact on an organization’s business development (Agbejule, 2011).
Among the characteristics, adaptability of corporate culture is what this essay focuses on. Adaptability mainly refers to the ability of the company to respond quickly to a variety of signals in the external environment. This cultural feature majorly reflects the company’s adaptive ability to the external challenges, including the ability to capture and reaction speed of the various direct and indirect signals to the market and customers.
Today’s environment changes in violent upheaval require that companies must continue to learn and change in order to have the ability to respond to a turbulent environment. The turbulent environment is equipped with high instability, unpredictability and complexity. So the perception, the speed of reaction and action with whether the requirements of the environment matches play an important role in the development of the company.
Only to adjust the learning styles and learning focus to follow the changes in the environment, the company would successfully achieve organizational change, enable enterprises to access and improve environmental resilience and have a competitive advantage by carrying out reasonable plans or policies. It is accepted that there are three dimensions to measure the adaptability of corporate culture: creating changes, putting customers in the first place and organizational learning (Kotrba et al, 2012).
Creating changes are related to whether the companies are afraid to risk change, whether the company learns to carefully observe the external environment and forecast the relative processes and changes and timely implement the change (Kotrba et al, 2012). The innovation concept is an important factor to ensure that the corporate culture updates with the external environment and better adapt to the changing environment. Customers first refer to whether the company has the ability to understand their customers and expect their future demands (Kotrba et al, 2012). Those companies which practice their decisions from the customers’ point of view do much better to satisfy customers’ needs, which indicate the humane feature of the company’s culture.
Organizational learning is about whether the company can take the external signals as a good opportunity to encourage innovation and absorb new knowledge (Kotrba et al, 2012). If a company performs well in organizational learning, its culture is equipped with good compatibility and ability to become stronger. In addition, there is a need to understand the functions of adaptive culture. The culture has a guiding function, constraint function, cohesive function, incentive function, adjustment function (Tellis, Prabhu and Chandy, 2009). Guiding function is to play a leading role for its leaders and workers of enterprises, which can play a role in guiding the value orientation and behavior orientation of the whole enterprise and every member. One of the performances is to help the enterprise to make scientific goals.
The implementation of the constraint function of corporate culture is mainly through improving the management system and ethics, which majorly refer to constrain the behaviors of leaders and employees in order to correct the direction of development. Cohesion function refers to that when one set of values is co-sanctioned by the employees, it will become a kind of “glue” to unite all the staff, resulting in a tremendous solidarity and cohesion. Incentive function refers to that corporate culture motivates employees to produce high-up emotions and energy and enterprising spirit from the heart; its incentive to people is not an external impetus, but an inner boot.
Adjustment function is to adjust and adapt, which is actually an expression of the dynamic role of the enterprise. One of the performances is to regulate some internal elements in order to adapt to the external environment. Having a clear understanding of the dimensions and functions of adaptive culture is beneficial to know about how to analyze a typical corporate culture and the adaptive ability. A detailed analysis about the adaptive culture of Haier The importance of the adaptive culture of Haier in its developing history.
Haier has developed to the international company from small plants facing the verge of collapse in 1984, with the annual sales income of more than 300 million to more than 700 billion Yuan now (Duysters et al, 2009). There are a lot of factors accounting for the fast development, but it is necessary to point out that the adaptive culture plays a decisive role, the people and the spirit of innovation support the development of Haier.