Identify one company or organization (the “Company”) that you have worked with or for, describe the basic structure purpose of the Company and then write a paper in which you respond to the following questions. In your response, include specific examples and incorporate concepts and terms you studied in the course.
Company: Sector Construction Company in Abu Dhabi
As suggested by Desjardins (2014), ethics must be followed at any cost. This is the exact same lesson that I got from studying this course. I was able to understand the importance of corporate culture and its moral and financial benefits. There is a general view point that ethics may be an obstacle in maximizing the profit. To be honest, I have been of the same view. But now, after completing different assignments related to business ethics and reading literature related to it, I am confident to suggest that ethics can be a source of maximizing profits.
For the final project assignment, I have chosen to talk about my experience at Sector Constructions Company in Abu Dhabi, UAE. I worked there for one year as a project assistant. My primary duties were to assist the project manager in looking after the activities of different construction projects. The company was not a huge one and was involved in the construction of houses. The owner of the company was a foreigner from India. The company had two civil engineers who also worked as project managers. It had an office staff of 11 people including me. This was my first job ever. I do not consider it to be a great working environment but given the condition of me being searching for a job and a small company that did have opportunities to learn in strict working environment, I would say it was a worth working experience. In the following discussion I would provide my opinion about different questions posed in the project document.
The corporate culture of Sector Constructions was really traditional. Everything revolved around the boss and other had a little say in the decision making. Though organizational meetings were regularly held but the final authority was the boss i.e. the owner. The fact that the owner was an Indian may have something to do with it. I mean India is a country that has a larger power distance on family levels which is often reflected in the corporate culture as well (Farh, Hackett & Liang, 2007). They live in joint family systems where most of the decisions are made by the head of the family, mostly a male member of the family. So the owner of the Sector Constructions may also be employing the same principle in the organization in my opinion.
Comparison of this culture others
The world corporate culture has change over the time and quality has become a focus than authority. Most organizations have different teams who are responsible for making decisions related to their tasks. Corporate system in the world has got decentralized. In my case, at Sector Constructions, the corporate system was still centralized. For example each documents required the signature of the owner who may not be available at some times. This used to cause delays in some tasks and resulted in angry customers. The excuse that was provide by the owner was that he wanted to check the quality of each thing himself so he has to go through everything by himself and could not afford to delegate his authority.
Mission statement of the company
The company did not have a formal mission statement. What I heard a lot from different employees and the owner himself was that their aim was to be punctual at all the tasks. This could be termed as the mission statement of the company. Each person had to be on time for work and were pushed by the amount of work to stay late. This fact is not something I would term as punctuality. I say this because the employees seemed to be exhausted due to abundance of work and, in the absence of the owner, most of them complained that they company needs to hire more people. Unfortunately, no one had the courage to tell the owner to hire more people as everyone was afraid of getting fired.
Top down culture
There was a lack of innovation in the organization. The decision making was reserved at the top of the organization. Also any new ideas had to move top down. The reason was that the employees only wanted to be able to complete their work and go home. Almost every person was interested in his/her salary and not how the company moves forward. The owner himself was not a creative person and always wanted to get more house building contracts. I think that the company had the potential and experience to get big projects like developing housing societies or contracts to construct multi story building. But the owner seemed to be happy with the amount of money he was making and did not apply for big contracts. Abu Dhabi is a developed city and there were always constructions projects advertised in the newspapers.
Was I able to suggest changes?
I did had suggestions in my mind but never got an opportunity to really discuss them with the owner. I did use talk about getting new contracts for the company with the project managers but they never seemed interested.
If I were to start a company
If I were to start a company with the same services or any other services, I would focus on developing and promoting team work. I would delegate my powers and look for new opportunities for my company. Would also promote a culture of innovation.
Meaning and Rights at Work
Was the work meaningful?
The work was meaningful as far as I am concerned. I learned to meat tough deadlines and work more than my actual capacity. I also was able to learn to deal with conflicts that would arise due to the uncertainty created by the decisions of the top management. I learned the corporate culture the hard way but it was worth it.
What if the work is generally uninspiring but occasionally exceptionally meaningful?
Finding a meaning and inspiration in a person work is a way toward becoming a good leader (Yasi, Fernando & Caputi, 2013). Transformation leadership and work engagement: The mediating effect of meaning in work. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 34(6), 532-550.My opinion about the work being less inspiring and inspiring only occasionally is that the work itself has some hidden inspiration in itself. That is why it does tempt the inner inspiration of a person. The person involved in the work has to find a way to get the full inspiration out of the work.
The company did not have a great marketing strategy to attract more customers. I would discuss some of the marketing that the company did in the following.
Sales and marketing
The company did not have a sales and marketing department. The owner might phone a certain newspaper advertisement office from time to time and request an ad placement. That was all. Other than that, the owner would use his personal contacts to get more projects of house building. It was actually word of mouth the company most relied on to get more work.
Strategies to maximize sales
The company used to post short advertisement in the daily newspapers. I do not think that these advertisement were a great source of customers as the company use to find the cheapest ad slots in newspapers. Cheapest ad slots mean less visibility to readers.
Did I feel anything in the company to be unethical?
I did feel at time that the company was involved in unethical practices. For example the company promised unrealistic project completion dates to its customers just to get their projects. I believe that these can be termed as manipulating customer. Also the company used to provide unrealistic costs to the customers. Once they would get the project, they would ask the customers for more money than what they had estimated at the beginning which was annoying for the customers but they were left with no option but to pay.
Hard selling and manipulating a customer
There must be a limit to manipulating the customers in my opinion. I think you can manipulate customers but only if you have the scientific facts and they don’t. For example if there are customers who do not want to use a certain medicine because they just feel it would not help them, you can manipulate them in ways so they take the medicine.
Professionally speaking, I had a fruitful time at Sector Constructions. It was a hard time for me because it was the first ever job for me and also the working environment was not employee friendly but it benefited me a lot. Putting aside the fact that it was a hard time at the company, it did prepare me for future as working at different organization may not always be fun. You have to learn to survive at different organizations one way or the other.
Desjardins, J. (2014). An Introduction to Business Ethics, 5th Edition. New York, NY: McGraw Hill Companies.
Farh, J. L., Hackett, R. D., & Liang, J. (2007). Individual-level cultural values as moderators of perceived organizational support–employee outcome relationships in China: Comparing the effects of power distance and traditionality. Academy of Management Journal, 50(3), 715-729.
Yasin Ghadi, M., Fernando, M., & Caputi, P. (2013). Transformational leadership and work engagement: The mediating effect of meaning in work. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 34(6), 532-550.