Advanced Business Studies

Introduction

This critique aims at providing me with an opportunity to learn gain knowledge from scholars in order to develop an informed skill in the analysis of concepts and theories related to my field of study. One aspect of this critique assignment is that I am required to link those concepts and theories with my PhD thesis topic, which is “the impact of organizational culture in knowledge sharing behavior in organizations.” There no doubt that having such knowledge of critically evaluating other works addressing related topic is very important since it will ensure that during (review of literatures, choosing the methodology, data analysis techniques, discussion of the findings and finally making recommendations and conclusion) I will be in a better position to come up with a high-quality paper.

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To accomplish this task, I examine the purposes, objectives, research questions, theories and concepts, methodology and link the discussions with what my research topic. In this critique, there shall be a section that compares two studies by selecting similar concepts and how they were defined in both papers my own opinion is also brought forth regarding these concepts and theories. Lastly, the paper examines arguments of both the journals and whether they share same or opposing views. Two articles used for this critique are “Organizational culture and performance measurement systems. Accounting, Organizations and Society” written by Henri, J.S. (2006). The second article under review is “Gordon, G.G. &DiTomaso, N. (2007). Predicting corporate performance from organization culture.”

Journal 1: Organizational Culture and Performance Measurement Systems

Purpose and objectives

In this article, the main aim purpose of the author is to demonstrate the common relationship between an organizational culture and the two facets of performance measurement systems. These performance attributes are the nature of use and diversity of management. The article seeks to approach the topic under study by asking fundamental research questions that will help to explain the theoretical implications of the relationship between the organizational culture, and the two mentioned attributes. To achieve this critical step, the research develops and investigates three research questions. One question seeks to examine how the use of performance management systems (PMS) mediates the relationship between managerial control and the flexibility values (Henri, 2006).

In a bid to examine the question, the research proposes an extension of prior studies of management via the influence of contingency approach that helps to outline the significance of organizational culture on the application of control systems in an organizational setting. The question poses the importance of the contingent relationship shared between control and flexibility. According to the author, the concept of organizational culture has received a weak attention for the past few years. These revelations have gained their premise argument from the recent PMS studies (Henri, 2006). According to the analysis of the author, there is empirical evidence that organizational culture has immense influence on the nature of organizational diversity when observed from the control-flexibility perspective.

Key concepts and theories

Diversity of measurement and attention

PMS that uses attention-focusing endeavors to drive effective signs aimed at motivating effective communication in an organization. For instance, the use of information reports that send negative discrepancies in performance different from the expectations is essential in triggering effective discussions. Therefore, non-financial measures can assist to influence positive debates in order to yield better results through strategic actions arising from constructive discussions.

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Diversity and strategic decision process

The decision theory proposes that the application of information and the act of decision-making are significantly related. It is hence important to note that PMS as a viable source of information contributes to the strategic decision-making processes.

Performance Measurement Systems (PMSs)

The concept of PMS has been the focus of most organizations in the recent past. According to Henri (206), PMSs that emerge out of flexible and strong organizational culture can be a source of a powerful tool for realizing better performance.

Methodology

The article builds its framework based on a well-researched background. The researcher demonstrates the significance of previously conducted studies in informing the fundamentals of his study. It is worth noting that the concept of organizational culture has significance on the diversity and flexibility of the organizations when observed from the perspective of PMS. The model adopted by the research to explore the research topic is in agreement with the standard models used to study similar topics. The researcher has developed the methodology by conducting an in-depth literature review, which forms the basis. Therefore, the research utilizes a mixed methodology.

The primary method used in the study is by use of primary data while secondary literatures have played a significant role in setting the theoretical base. Under this subject, the researcher has carefully considered the four fundamental aspects of the research methodology, namely sampling design, Research design, data collection methods, and data analysis (Henri, 2006). It is critical for any study to provide evidence that will inform the theory under study. In his analysis, the research undertook a survey of 383 Canadian firms in the manufacturing sector as the basis to provide relevant data. To ensure availability of empirical evidence, the researcher employed structural equation and the Analysis of variance (ANOVAs) models.

The use of structural equation serves to establish the existence of a relationship between the fundamental elements organizational culture, control-flexibility, and diversity. Using these models, the research demonstrates that when observed from perspective of control-flexibility values, there is consistent evidence that organizational culture directly influences the nature of managerial diversity. The findings have a managerial implication that most managers reflecting on flexibility have the tendency of applying PMS in approaching the organizational culture such as strategic decision-making in order to achieve their goals.

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Sampling design

The research article targeted a population of 2175 Canadian manufacturing firms obtained from the Scott’s database of 2002. These firms consisted of both primary and secondary codes within the range of 21-39. All the firms selected as the study sample were autonomously established entities. The study’s major objective is to examine the large firms within the manufacturing sector. In ensuring that the relevant organizational and strategies apply, the researcher endeavoured to apply relevant sampling techniques that resulted in the selection of only large firms.

To achieve this fundamental aspect, the researcher utilized two critical criteria in measuring the size of firms to determine whether they merited as samples. Firstly, sales volumes serve as one of the best rubrics that measures the size of firms in a given a manufacturing industry. To qualify, firms selected included those that recorded an average of $20 million Canadian per year in sales returns. Secondly, the number of employees serving as the firm’s work force is imperative to measuring the size of the firm.

Data collection methods

To collect data, the researchers designed and distributed questionnaires to top managers of largely established firms. These questionnaires targeted exclusively independent or autonomous firms or subunits that had achieved some degree of autonomy as obtained from the Scott’s database. The resar4ch used random sampling techniques to obtain the sample with an aim to achieve unbiasedness in the sampling group.

Data Analysis

The data analysis conducted by the researcher utilized the ANOVAs and descriptive statistics in order to explain the underlying variables used in the study. ANOVAs in the analysis of data have been the preliminary step in the process of comparing the variables of PMS between various firms exhibiting control and flexibility as their dominant culture. From the analysis, the research achieved this process by categorizing firms into control and flexibility, where 207 flexible and 121 control firms achieved the criterion for analysis. The analysis of data showed that firms that exhibited flexibility attributes used performance measurement systems in approaching their organizational strategies.

The researcher has sufficiently explained the findings by developing tabulations in order to create clarity. The analysis has clear guidelines gained from the developed hypotheses of the study. The analysis has endeavoured to answer the fundamental research questions through the logical analyses. The findings can serve as the basis for developing theories that explain the relationship between the two variables (attributes and the concept of organizational culture from the control-flexibility perspective).

Practical implications

The research offers a number of theoretical and practical implications in the field of management. Firstly, the study has served to enrich the study literature by extending the previous studies conducted on PMS. Although previous studies have examined the concept of PMS, there is evidence to suggest that little attention toward the study of the relationship between organizational culture and variables or attributes of PMS. Therefore, this research enriches the field by exploring this area with an aim of understanding the underlying relationship from a holistic perspective. Additionally, the study falls among the few inquiries that endeavor to study the concept of organizational culture from a multi-disciplinary, cross-sectional, and extensive-sample approach. Lastly, the top managers may use this knowledge gained from this research to adjust their organizational practices for better implementation of PMS.

This research offers an opportunity for future research in order to investigate a wide range of aspects that influence the implementation of PMS in an organizational setting.

Limitations of the study

Firstly, the author recognizes that the study is static in the sense that it has not considered the evolutionary nature of performance measurement systems as well as culture. The study only confines its investigation to only four practical roles played by PMS. Although it has informed the subject of study, it does not investigate other relevant aspects of PMS and culture. While examining the nature of the questionnaire, it clearly exhibits different techniques and formats, which may cause misunderstanding by the readers. Lastly, the fundamentals measurement aspects used in measuring the size of the sample firms through varied designs cannot allow generalization of the study to other firms outside the scope of these designs.

Journal 2: Predicting Corporate Performance from Organization Culture

Purpose and objectives

The article investigates the relationship between the strength of cultural practice and corporate performance. The main purpose of the research is to establish a model that explains the fundamental relationship or influence that exists between various organizational values and the concept of performance. Since culture is an imperative aspect in an organization, the study explores numerous definitions in the context of an organization. The main purpose of gaining this insight is to allow for a proper interpretation that considers the strengths and weaknesses of culture in addressing issues of organizational performance.

Key concepts and theories

Organizational culture and the corporate performance

The study explores the significant relationship that exists between the strength of an organizational culture and the rate of performance. The researchers have utilized the concept of trait approach in examining the magnitude of the effect of corporate culture’s strength on the nature of performance. The approach believes that specific aspects of corporate culture have the potential of influencing the performance and as such, it is important for top managers to assess the values of their culture in order to shape their organizational destinies (Gordon & DiTomaso, 2007).

Methodology

Sampling and Data Collection

The study sample consisted of 850 respondents from top management of life and health insurance firms with an asset base from $691million to $18.7 billion. Data collection utilized questionnaires distributed to respondents through mail. Although the use of top management as respondents does not provide a base for generalization, studies have revealed that top management officers are always positive about their firms as compared to low-level and middle-level managers.

Data Analysis

Gordon & DiTomaso (2007) have analyzed the collected data based on established criteria that allows for accuracy and reliability of the outcome. The researchers, there is a strict correlation between the three measures of Return on Investment (ROI) and the consistency of organizational culture. Presentation of data in the research is clear and simple to understand since the researchers have carefully organized their interpretations in the form of tables and explanations.

Practical Implications

The study’s findings on the correlation between cultural strength and corporate performance present a unique opportunity for firms and their managers to reorient their organizational cultures in order to achieve better performance. In addition, the findings offer an additional insight for future research about other related elements of culture and the dependent variable, which is performance. The study further suggests that from the context of Consistency, appropriate and strong culture can be the best and powerful combination for guaranteed performance. Therefore, it is critical for the firms to ensure that they formulate and institute a culture capable of benefiting them through improved performance.

Comparison of papers 

In both papers, the researchers have utilized similar methodology in deriving their statistical findings. The collection and analysis of data have tended to use a similar design as observed from the preceding sections. Although each study concentrates on different firms operating in different industries, they all emerge to conclude that strong and consistent performance results from well-grounded cultural variables.

The two research articles correlate in terms of their contribution to the role of organizational culture in sustainable performance.

According to Gordon & DiTomaso (2007), when a firm thrives on an appropriate corporate culture that is generally strong, it ensures great performance. In a similar but separate observation, Henri (2006) contents that firms which operate on a flexible aspect of culture from PMS perspective develops a tendency for performance. Following this analysis, it is important to emphasize the significance of corporate culture in shaping performance of firms in an industry.

Summary of comparison between the two study papers

The paper Key concepts Key theories The relation to my field/ work “The Impact of Organizational Culture on Knowledge Sharing Behavior in Organizations”
Henri, J.S. (2006). Organizational culture and performance measurement systems. Accounting,
Organizations and Society, 31(1), pp 77-103.
  • Organizationalculture– it refers to the overall practice of values and norms by a given organization.
  • Performance measurement systems (PMS)– they entail those systems, processes by which organizations measure the quality of their operational activities in respect of their goals.
  • Measurement of diversity– it is a term used to refer to the nature and use of various financial and non-financial measures in order to determine the quality of activities completed. This concept focuses on the multidimensionality and variety of a set of measurement that encompasses financial and non-financial indicators.
Decision theory– is a body of knowledge that concerns decision-making processes while exploring various options of alternatives. Henri (2006 focuses on the role of organizational culture in PMS, whereas my paper emphasizes its role on knowledge sharing behavior within an organization. Since both performance and knowledge significantly correlate to yield performance, it implies that the two papers share commonalities that converge to the independent variable that is, performance.
In this paper, there are practical benefits that my paper may draw. The paper by Henri (2006) focuses on understanding the role of organizational culture in shaping the PMS. Therefore, cultural aspects that shape the performance systems have the capacity to influence the behavior and practice of an organization.
The concepts enumerated in this paper can benefit may paper in numerous respects. Firstly, the use of the concept of PMS shall enable me to understand the impact of a particular PMS on the changing the overall organizational behavior. This is because Performance measurement systems tend to shape behavior capable of bringing about desired performance.
Secondly, the concept of multidimensional and variety with regard to measurements emphasizes the need for a diverse PMS that is flexible and inclusive. Hence, an all-inclusive PMS has a positive impact on the concept of knowledge sharing in an organizational setting.
Gordon, G.G. &DiTomaso, N. (2007). Predicting corporate performance from organization culture.
Journal of Management Studies, 29(6), pp 783-798.
Organizational Culture– according to the paper, the term means the aggregated way of organizing functions and activities in order to achieve the organizational goals.
  • Performance– refers to the level to which an individual or organization renders results based on the pre-planned goals. Using this concept, the item of knowledge sharing will benefit from understanding performance since information and performance and performance are tightly related.
  • Contingency theory– the theory claims that there is no specific way in which an organization may be organized or structured, but rather depend upon the internal and external dynamics faced by an organization.

This theory is useful to my topic in the sense that organizational cultures are diverse and as such, modes of structuring the various functional units may vary. Therefore, this theory benefits my topic in context of how varied cultures result in different knowledge sharing behavior in order to determine the resultant performance.

The utilization of a specific corporate culture has the capacity to influence the level of performance. In this respect, a diverse and strong culture is a characteristic of a highly knowledgeable organization.
The paper authored by Gordon & DiTomaso (2007) brings in my topic an insight into understanding the role of corporate culture in telling the potential performance of an organization.
Comparison between similar concepts/ describe each understanding of each paper

Explain both papers arguments whether the both paper share same or opposing views.

The two papers focus on the concept of organizational culture and performance as the underlying features of study. Although each paper concerns itself on articulating different aspects of culture in organizational setting, both articles converge to a single and similar variable known as performance. In general, both studies recognize the innate significance of corporate culture in shaping performance in organizations.

Analyses of the findings by the two articles reveal that a strong, diverse and inclusive culture has the potential to bring about better and sustainable performance. In his paper, Henri (2006) utilizes various studies that have examined the PMS variables and their relationship with performance levels. However, the study notes that although studies have focused on the subject on PMS, contribution of specific variables to performance has attracted less attention.
On the other hand, Gordon & DiTomaso (2007) examine the corporate culture and its ability to predict future performance. To achieve this objective, the study has creatively utilized most of the previous studies in informing the findings of the study. Therefore, both studies develop a theoretical framework based on the abundant background that achieves their objectives.

Conclusion

The purpose of this critique has been to examine two similar research studies that focus on related topic. The aim of this analysis is to gain understanding o the underlying knowledge in the concept and theoretical analysis. Based on this imperative, I have examined various concepts and theories used to further understanding of the topics, and the degree to which these concepts influence the findings of the researchers. In Henri (2006), the paper purposes to demonstrate the common relationship between an organizational culture and the two facets of performance measurement systems.

These performance attributes are the nature of use and diversity of management. The major concepts that Henri (2006) emphasizes in his article are diversity of measurement and attention, strategic decision-making, and the need for performance measurement systems in varied organizational orientations. To achieve the objective of developing a model that establishes the relationship between the two attributes of culture (flexibility and control) as the drivers of PMS, Henri (2006) developed the methodology by conducting an in-depth literature review, which forms the basis of the study. The primary method used in the study is by use of primary data while secondary literatures have played a significant role in setting the theoretical base.

On the other hand, Gordon & DiTomaso (2007) have investigated the relationship between the strength of cultural practice and corporate performance. The main purpose of the research was to establish a model that explains the fundamental relationship or influence that exists between various organizational values and the concept of performance. The two studies have a common consensus that strong and consistent performance results from well-grounded cultural variables.

The two research articles correlate in terms of their contribution to the role of organizational culture in creating a sustainable performance.

References

  1. Gordon, G.G. & DiTomaso, N., 2007. Predicting corporate performance from organization culture. Journal of Management Studies, 29(6), pp. 783-798.
  2. Henri, J.S., 2006. Organizational culture and performance measurement systems. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 31(1), pp. 77-103.
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