Corporate Culture and Management Essay

 

Abstract

 

The paper discusses the role and responsibilities of the mangers and leaders in the Bank of America, along with its corporate culture and how it can be made healthier, and can be strengthened. The paper has been completed in APA format.

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Management and Leadership Paper

Introduction

Any organization that exists has a management that would want the organization to flourish. It considers that the organization should be productive, have a good corporate image and earn profits in the short and long run. Leaders in the same context would want to lead the organization to such laurels and successes. One such aspect that can actually help or hinder growth and productivity in the organization is the corporate culture. A healthy corporate culture would lead to such successes, under the head of the management and the leaders of the organization.

Roles and Responsibilities of Organizational Managers and Leaders

Both the management and the leaders have very different and distinct roles that they play within and outside the organization. The management on one hand promotes all the values and activities that need to be fulfilled in order to achieve strategic and organizational objectives. The management therefore strives basically to inculcate the importance of the objectives that have been set by the organization.

On the other hand, a leader is basically a person who defines the path that followers should take, additionally; he may help in making teams more cohesive and productive. A leader as such provides influence to the people and the organization in order to achieve objectives that have been set out by the management. Management has a different perspective of work in the organization where it has to provide objectives and milestones to the organization and the people within it (Concepts of Leadership)

Corporate Culture and Management

Corporate culture is a very important part of any organization. Primarily corporate or organizational culture consists of values, norms and beliefs that all members of the organization hold within and outside it. Management of any organization would strive to implement such corporate culture that is healthy and promotes productivity, high quality work and achievement, in order to attain the under lying goal of profitability (DiRomualdo, T)

Organizational culture is primarily promoted and enhanced for increasing and gaining competitive edge in the market. Positive values of an organization actually imbibe positive attitude and motivation in the employees to work harder and more efficiently, and the management can help by promoting those values that they think are positive and worthwhile. However, in case the corporate culture is not healthy and not correctly promoted dysfunctional attitude will exist (DiRomualdo, T)

Organization under Discussion

The organization under discussion is Bank of America. Bank of America has been in business for more than a century, when it started its base as Bank of Italy in 1904. Due to the dissatisfaction in the banking sector, A.P Giannini started this bank to cater to the local market. From then on the bank has grown in laurels and has become a success story for the masses. The bank then grew in terms of number of branches and then later converted to Bank of America. (The Story of Bank of America: Biography of a Bank)

The management and leaders in the organization of course focus on creating and imbibing values and beliefs of Bank of America in the existing and new employees in order to create a better productive organization as a whole. Additionally, with numerous branches in a multitude of states and countries implies that such impregnation of values is absolutely imperative. Therefore, a healthy corporate culture for such an organization is very necessary. (The Story of Bank of America: Biography of a Bank)

Management and Leadership in the Organization

Bank of America is one of the largest and oldest banks that is in existence today, and its management and leadership are an example in their own. The president of the company states on the website that the corporate culture and corporate governance are very important to the organization and practically the board gets involved when it is the matter of principles relating to a healthy corporate culture and governance. He states that: “In its role as our primary governing body, our board of directors provides oversight of the company’s affairs and constantly strives to improve and build on the company’s strong corporate governance practices.” (Lewis, K)

In this regard, we can state with quite clarity that when corporate governance and corporate culture matters are involved, the board of the organization gets involved, and in this situation, it can be stated the board then acts as both management and leader in order to inculcate and promote better value systems in the entire organization. In this regard, the leader in the organization has to set an example by which all the employees follow lead of the values and best practices. Apart from that, the management has to ensure that according to the tasks and activities that the employees have to perform are according to the value system and the corporate culture of the organization, so that the strategic and management objectives of the organization are fulfilled accordingly. The Bank of America has such leaders and management gurus that help out the employees and motivate them in order to achieve successes in terms of values and corporate culture. (Lewis, K)

Culture Growth and Management and Leaders’ Role

The corporate culture of Bank of America is laudable since it has all the values of growth and achievement. Apart from that the management becomes not only the managers but also the leaders in order to promote a healthy corporate culture, by setting examples and helping employees to become part and parcel of a healthy corporate culture. Lewin states:

Our management processes, structures and policies help ensure compliance with laws and regulations and provide clear lines of sight for decision-making and accountability. These disciplines represent one side of governance. The other side, corporate culture, is even more important. It is corporate culture – championed by leadership and sustained by every associate within the company – that determines corporate ethics. (Lewis, K)

This clearly indicates that each and every employee working on the code of ethics becomes the example for a healthy corporate culture in the Bank of America.

Apart from that, the corporate culture is promoted through the code of ethics to all associates and employees, and each one is encouraged to perform work, tasks and activities accordingly. This encourages in the organization a pattern of examples in accordance with the corporate culture that can be promoted to all employees alike, along with a healthy culture. In order to ascribe what the president of the Bank of America states for the corporate culture and the management:

One way we build and protect our culture is by aggressively promoting our company’s core values to associates at all times, as well as our Code of Ethics. We also know that actions speak louder than words. And so, we foster a culture of openness, in which healthy debate is encouraged and associates are expected to blow the whistle on improper activity. We also do not hesitate to separate ourselves from individuals who violate our values or ethical standards, regardless of performance or potential. (Lewis, K)

Four Functions of Management and Organizational Culture

The four major functions of a manager or management are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. In the bank of America, the basic crux of management arises from these four functions of management. The different managers and heads in the organization have to work towards planning by planning out firstly the goals, aims and objectives of the organization. The basic values for such planning come from the corporate culture. For example, the aim of profitability with sustainable growth and corporate social responsibility would be part of a healthy corporate culture of the Bank of America. “As part of its oversight responsibility, the board ensures that management develops strategic plans for the Company’s business and periodically reviews its plans with the board.” (Corporate Governance Guidelines)

On the organizing side of management, team work may be ensured by forming teams and project groups to create, develop or achieve certain objectives of the group, like risk management, treasury, even hiring etc. the management has to organize such aspects in  order to  ensure that the business of the bank is being done. Along with that the leading function of the management provides the ability to the managers to set examples for the employees in terms of following best practices and values of the corporate culture system.

With the function of controlling the managers in Bank of America have the flexibility to encourage employees to fulfill values systems in the organization along with curtailing all that activity that is not in accordance with the corporate governance and corporate culture system of the organization. Apart from that, the corporate culture of the Bank of America with the controlling function of the management focuses on providing assistance in terms of attaining personal and corporate goals, “Such standards [of the corporate code of ethics and culture]  require honesty and candor in our activities, including the observance of the spirit and the letter of the law. As set forth below, these standards have both personal and corporate implications.” (Bank of America Corporation Code of Ethics)

Strategies for a Healthy Culture

In the bank of America, the corporate culture is in existence that defines what the employees need to do in order to ensure corporate governance and achievement of the goals that the Bank has set out for itself. However, for a healthy culture, there are several things that need to be done. First and foremost is the understanding of the culture that needs to be given to the employees in the Bank, so that they can perform effective work accordingly. With all the mergers that have taken place of the bank with other organizations, it becomes difficult to understand and assimilate what exactly are the values that need to be followed. Especially wit the new employees who have come from the merged organization, need to be given that understanding of the corporate culture. This involves classes, training and value inculcation programs that help the employees to assimilate the corporate culture and its values.

Additionally, with the understanding of the healthy values of the corporate culture system, the employees need to be in practice of them as well. For each employee, the corporate values like conflict of interest, personal and organizational goals etc, are all part and parcel of working within and outside the organization, for the Bank, but without practicing these values such cannot be considered a daily routine activity for them. Therefore, for each employee, the management and the leaders in the organization have to give tasks and activities and provide examples for them to follow and practice the healthy value system.
References

Bank of America Corporation Code of Ethics. http://investor.bankofamerica.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=71595&p=irol-govconduct
Concepts of Leadership. http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadcon.html
Corporate Governance Guidelines. http://investor.bankofamerica.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=71595&p=irol-govguidelines
DiRomualdo, T. Why corporate culture counts. http://wistechnology.com/article.php?id=1973
Lewis, K. Corporate Governance. http://investor.bankofamerica.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=71595&p=irol-govhighlights
McNamara, C. Overview of Roles and Responsibilities of Corporate Board of Directors. http://www.managementhelp.org/boards/brdrspon.htm
The Story of Bank of America: Biography of a Bank. http://www.beardbooks.com/beardbooks/the_story_of_bank_of_america.html
The Four Functions of Management. www.oppapers.com/essays/Four-Functions-Management/56747

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