Corporate Culture : An Unethical Environment Essay

Corporate Culture : An Unethical Environment Essay

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Corporate culture refers to the intuitions and attitudes that shape organizations’ internal and external interactions. Organizational culture can lead to the development of a positive attributes among the employees and their managers. However, it has the potential of generating negative characteristics as indicated in Australian Wheat Board’s gesture of paying bribes to an Iraq. AWB’s organizational culture created an unethical environment whereby financial success preceded the ethical standards outlined in the company’s code of behaviour. The kickback payments to Iraq scandal has since then resulted in the demise of the company. This paper analyses the theory of corporate culture with reference to the Australian Wheat Board and its involvement in the 1999 – 2002 scandal.
Corporate culture has been categorized into three levels namely: the artifacts (visible), the expounded or intrinsic values and beliefs and the primary underlying assumptions. The visible aspect refers to the external components of organizational culture that can be easily perceived by physical observation such as working environments, compensation, and dress codes. On the other hand, the intrinsic aspect is the invisible elements of the organization that defines the in-depth reality of the organization 's culture like norms, values, and assumptions. The basic underlying assumptions refer to the beliefs and values that are usually overlooked and are the most crucial of the three acceding to Schein (2010). This is because cognitive stability is a fundamental need in the human mind and even the slightest aspect of assumption leads to anxiety and defensiveness. The three levels of corporate culture have been labelled as the cognitive culture (Barsade, 2016). Barsade...


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...paid more attention to the organization 's profitability above integrity and compliance to international cooperate guidelines. It focused on pursuing sales and safeguarding its trading relationship with Iraq at all cost, even to the extent of embracing bribery. The leadership’s actions were motivated by a culture of greed and corruption.
During the time of the kickback scandal, the organizational culture if AWB was characterized by systemic corruption. According to Fallon & Cooper (2015), AWB corporate culture contributed significantly to the management board’s decision to comply with the bribery demands of the Iraq government. The decorum of the leadership council in the Iraq food crisis circumstances was informed by the values, norms, and traditions that had been developed through the organic integration of the cumulative traits of the company’s workforce over time.

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