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Communication and Culture Essay

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My most interesting and most challenging job is one in the same. It was for a small, start-up trucking company. The owner, who already owned one small, non-union trucking company, had secured a contract with a large national grocery chain to haul groceries outside a 150-mile radius of the city. However, because the grocery chain was a unionized company, the owner, in fear of an attempt to organize his current trucking company, chose to start a new entity to handle the newly acquired business. This is a story of two conflicting cultures, overt cultural interpretation, and the struggles associated with bringing the two cultures together to meet the conflicting needs of the owner and the union workers.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines culture as “the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group” (Merriam-Webster Inc, 2004, pg. 175). With this definition in mind, and knowing that the owner entered this business endeavor with a preconceived fear of union organization, it is easy to understand how interesting and challenging working within the organization was going to be. There were many different cultural issues within this company over the years, but I will discuss the issues involved with introducing a safety program into the organization.
In the textbook, Conrad and Poole, 2012 indicate, “Differences in background and experiences mean that many different belief systems are present with each organizational culture and potentially compete with one another” (pg. 159, para. 1). When I entered the organization, it was clear there were two distinct cultures, each culture in competition with the other, and neither was willing to work with the other. The first culture was that of the c...


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...ed for very small mom and pop type businesses, where culture seems nonexistent. However, I can see where creating a specific culture in a very large organization is very important. That is not to say it is not important in a small business. I just have never worked for an organization that considered culture as part of the business model, which may be why I struck out on my own. In my own small business, I try to cultivate a positive and fun business culture, where employees enjoy coming to work. This week’s material has provided me with many different aspects to consider in building my business and creating such a culture.



Works Cited

Conrad, C. R., & Poole, M. S. (2012). Strategic organizational communication in a global economy. Chichester, U.K: Wiley-Blackwell.
Merriam-Webster, Inc (2004). The Merriam-Webster dictionary. Springfield, Mass: Merriam-Webster.



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