It is with such concerns, that this report aims at analyzing the need for effective organizational culture and an understanding of the ethical issues in public relations which may affect the performance of the Johns Outback Adventures Tours company and help them in making decision on whether or not they should implement a training program to its employees. For efficiency and growth purposes of the company, the management will need to develop or introduce this program which will train all its employees on how cultivating an effective organization culture can promote the growth of their business and how small ethical issues may be a hindrance to the success of the business. The report also aims at providing suitable recommendations to the management and employees of Johns Outback Adventures and Tours Company which will guide them in commencing the training program.
Developing an effective organization culture
Most organizations or companies just like the Johns Outback Adventures Tours are characterized by their own culture which is distinct from those of other organizations or companies. The knowledge and the understanding of on organization culture are very important the business environments both internally and externally according to Khoury and Fadl (2016). Research has shown that the integration and success of most companies or businesses are as a result of operating within its culture. Organizational culture, therefore, shapes the way of thinking and interaction of individuals in an organization and helps them get things done. According to York (2011), the culture of any organization, whether a firm or a company or an association, can be defined as the existence of some shared systems of beliefs, values and certain assumptions in an organization, which dictates the behavior of its members. Hence it may comprise of the general behavior of individuals, their habits, rules governing their behavior, the work ethics, the moods of the people and the general work climate.
Research provides that the culture of an organization shapes its members just as it is for individual personality to shape an individual. Therefore, for Johns Outback Adventures Tours to improve its business or corporate communication and public relations, the initial change must start internally from the organization or company. The change will encompass the understanding of the company’s culture and develop an enabling culture that will help them achieve their goals and objectives. Corporate in an organization may be internal or external depending on the targeted audience, vertical or horizontal, from the company to its clients or clients to the company, as well as from vendors and distributors of the company to the management. The communication should be very objective, informative and well documented. Its purpose and that of corporate writers are to influence public opinion and attitudes and especially to the company’s potential investors in a way that will create much support for the business practices and on the other hand undermine the opposition of the activities according to Pratheeba (2016, p.34).
It is important therefore for the employees and management of the Johns Outback Adventures Tours to get an understanding of the companies culture as it will help them in promoting both internal and external integration, increase or promote moral behaviors, bring all labor force among organizational layers together and enhance their general performance in actualization of the goals and objectives of the company. Such an understanding is important as a business or corporate culture plays a vital role in the achievement of the missions and strategies of an organization as well as improving the effectiveness of the organization and managerial change. Research has also provided that extremism organizational culture or existence of a strong organizational may sometimes be very harmful and may influence the general performance of its workforce. In most cases, such a strong culture may act as a barrier and impediment to the members in achieving certain status within the organization.
How to build and sustain an effective organization culture
According to Davenport (2015), the growth of organizational culture results as a consequence of both personality and collective experiences over a period of time and are usually passed on from one member to the other in the organization. There is also a need to understand the factors which enhance the cultural integration of any company such as the rituals and business routines, the stories associated with the businesses and the symbols as well as the organizational structure and its relationship with power and authority. As mentioned in our definition, organization culture is comprised of a set of organizational beliefs and ideologies, symbols and core values which are shared by all members of an organization and influences their activities.it is, therefore, the responsibility of the strategic management or leadership of the business to shape the organizational culture. Dhingra and Petunia (2016) also denotes that cultural identity in an organization gives its members some internal stability and cohesion and therefore the understanding and acceptance of organizational culture are very important if need be for a cultural change to match the changing environmental needs. An appropriate organizational culture, however, encourages the development of employee’s entrepreneurial spirits.
Organizational culture is built on the mission and vision statements of any company according to Davenport (2015, p. 90). It is, therefore, important for all stakeholders and members of Johns Outback Adventures Tours Company to understand the mission and vision statements of their company. Research has shown that these statements help in defining the culture of any organization. In most cases, the mission statement of the company explains or generally portrays why an organization exists. It also states the activities or businesses the organization carries out as pointed out by Chaudhri (2016, p. 23). The mission statement of any organization should be short to promote a better understanding and communication among the members as well as being broad in order to promote or facilitate expansion and development. It should also be narrow in a way that allows or provides a course and direction which facilitates decision making.
The vision statement of the organization, on the other hand, expresses the future desired state of the company or organization. Fawkes (2010) denotes that it gives an outline of the plan of reach intended by the organization, the general effect the company will make, gives a brief overview of the values and strengths of the company as well as bringing the staff of the company together for a common effect. It provides an inspiration and acts as a measure of the progress of the company’s activities. The vision statement also gives direction on how the employees of the company are expected to behave or conduct themselves and inspire them to give their best towards the actualization of the goals and objectives of the company. Lastly, the vision statement shapes the customer's understanding of why they should work or invest with the company.
When the existing culture of an organization becomes destructive or hindrance to the direction of the company, Choi and Rashad (2015) denote that the management or strategic leaders must recognize the need to change the culture or modify it in order to fit into the existing structure of the organization. A change in organization culture comes about with a lot of volatility and certain cases of unpredictability which may end up bringing about stress to the members of the organization as a result of an emotional response to culture change according to Wells and Walker (2016). However, the process of overcoming resistance to change should be done in a positive way and it largely depends on changing the attitudes and behavior of the organization of its members. And in most cases, Dhingra and Punia (2016) provide that people who remain hostile and in self-denial to the process of culture change may find it difficult or may not even have a place in the transformation process of that organization.
Ethical issues in public relations
Ethics play an important tool in the development of the image and reputation of a company. For the case our Johns Outback Adventures Tours, which its main customers or clients are from the tourism sector, there is a great need to instigate ethical grounds in the activities of the company, Friedman et al. (2015, p. 456). Therefore there is a need for the employees of the company to get an understanding of the ethical elements in their work environments. By ethics, this study explores the boundaries or what constitutes to wrong or right doing in the context of work environments. According to Fawkes (2010), ethics in workplace sets the standards or criteria through which key decisions are made by the management or the employees on what is right or wrong. According to utilitarian context, Fawkes (2010) denotes that ethics has been used to imply to an activity or decision that produces the best possible outcome. Such a view that has been criticized, as many holds to the opinion that certain principles are right or wrong regardless of their consequences. In other words, a moral person or individual must by all means not only achieve good results but must comply and employ the proper means and guided by good intentions or motives.
Success in the tourism industry will entail a good reputation of the company and this can only be achieved through engagement or practicing business activities on the right ethical grounds. Therefore, this knowledge is fundamental to employees of Johns Outback Adventures Tours in the development of good business ventures, in attracting new customers and investors. In most cases, the organization's ethics are controlled or determined by the management and it’s the responsibility of the employees to accept the patterns and especially if there are rewards attached to them according to Ki and Kim (2010, p. 67). At times the employees can act under the influence of their cultural, political and economic influence but the motive should not go against the values and objectives of the company. The management should ensure that these ethical standards exist in order to protect employees’ rights in the company as well as enhancing a common good for the majority of the people.
Ethical issues can either build or damage the reputation of a company or organization. In this case, ethical issues are termed as a dishonest act or choice in business that bears negative effects to the person the customers or any other person or business connected to the company or firm. If not addressed in time then it may cause serious problems to the business, Siano et al. (2013, p. 89). It may be a bad decision made by the employees or the management or a wrong deed that affects the business customers or other business entities connected to the business or company. According to Zivkovic, and Ivanova (2016), some of the underlying reasons which can affect or attract unethical behaviors may include; the management or staff giving an advantage of short term goals over the long term goals. Such will lead to diverting the attention of workers towards realizing short-term goals at the expense of long term goals and may not meet the needs of its customers. The other reason may be due to lack of or the non-existence of written ethical codes resulting to random behaviors and misguided decision making in the company as denoted by Robberts, et al. (2017, p. 90).There also may be cases of solving ethical dilemmas too fast or just over the surface, the management may need to take ethical dilemmas among the employees seriously. And lastly, the unethical behavior may be prevalent in circumstances where ethics are viewed or thought about as legal questions in the work environment.
Ethical issues in the work environment have necessitates the importance of creating public relations. Stucke (2014) in his study shows that public relations have been considered as a corporate conscience in which in most cases fits very well with business ethics of social responsibility. The Public Relations Society of America has developed some codes of professional development in relation to public relations profession. Such codes may be important to the employees of Johns Outback Adventures Tours in providing behavioral guidelines to its members, in educating the management on public relations standards and in distinguishing public relations professionals from sociopathic individuals who may use the company’s name for bad intentions or personal motives and gains.
According to Gallo (2015), the knowledge of public relations will give the employees the understanding of some of the responsibilities of a public relation officers or representatives. The employees are all by default public relations representatives of their company’s and they carry the image of their companies in every place they go. Such responsibilities or duties include; maintaining the reputation of Johns Outback Adventures Tours to its customers and the general public as well as informing them on the new developments in company products and offers and company news. They also play a major role in handling customer complaints and issues and are always busy blogging on the company websites as well as using the company social media platforms to maintain the company’s public image. The public relations department or the employees of the company must ensure that they maintain the happiness of their clients or customers for the growth of their tourism business.
All businesses have always had goals and objectives of their own to achieve, in order to achieve this; Voet, Groeneveld, and Kuipers (2014) denote that they must create successful business relationships with different publics such as the employees, the shareholders in the business and the local community. Such an understanding can only be achieved if there are effective communications. The development of public relations career has seen the effect of four models which have been used to guide the standards of public relations. The first model was known as the press agency model which is the oldest and its main emphasis was on generating media coverage, and therefore the advocates of the model did not believe in bad publicity according to Keyton (2016, p. 56). The second model was the public information model and its main idea was based on creating good media relations in order to promote good publicity. The third model was a two-way asymmetric model and usually emphasized that to reach a consensus or agreement, business communication should be based on data or information gathered from a targeted public. Lastly, we had, a two-way symmetric model which has been recognized to sharing the views of public relations, it utilizes the input of the public in order to improve the company products and also takes into consideration the general opinion of the organization.
Organization culture from the research above may be defined as the unwritten feeling of the symbol of the organization which is mostly believed to be intangible and persistent and no clearer definition can be given about it. It represents a system of beliefs and values which are shared by the organization members and differentiates the organization from the others. The ethical issues in public relations will always remain vital to the growth and success of the business. The strategic management should, therefore, focus on creating a culture of corporate communication centered on the recipient’s demands and interests rather than that of the sender.
The understanding of the practice of developing an effective organization culture in work is not only important to the employees but also to the management team of the company. The culture defines the practices and directions of the activities of the company. The tourism sector has greatly evolved and increased its operations and therefore it is important for the Johns Outback Adventures Tours Company to implement such a training program as it will keep its staff and members updated and knowledgeable of the increasing demands of the tourism industry. The implementation of the program will also benefit the company in terms of building its workers capacity, training of employees improves performance and efficiency and promotes the quality of services provided to clients and business customers, Dempsey, J 2015. The knowledge of the ethical issues will reduce factors which may undermine the growth of the business through poor public relations. The knowledge of public relations will, therefore, be essential in promoting the image of the company to the business environments and the general public, Turaga, R 2016
The company should implement the training on effective organization culture as well as on ethical issues in public relations and should commence as soon as possible. Every employee in the company should purpose to undertake the program for effective performance of the company. The management of the company should take full responsibility for ensuring that business or organization culture is adhered to in course of business operations. The activities of the employees in the company should be guided or established within the established codes of ethics in order to protect the company public image or relations. The management should also change any aspects of organization culture which may act as a hindrance to achieving a social status position by the employees or affect their performance in the company.
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