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Organizational Behavior and the Learning Process

Changing Destructive Organizational Behavior Patterns
Almost all organizations possess some aspect of at least one of the detrimental patterns described above. As an organization grows or encounters drastic change, there are bound to be bumps along the road. As learning professionals, we have a strong responsibility to identify problem patterns and to champion more effective patterns of behavior. Too much emphasis on hierarchy can be transformed into an empowered organization with strong leaders. Management teams who rely on power and use fear-based techniques can be transformed into leaders who use positive influence to get initiatives accomplished. A company that constantly fights fires can be transformed into one that focuses on long-term objectives. Even managers who focus more on their own pride than organizational results can be transformed into results-oriented leaders who derive inspiration from others� successes.

A company�s culture determines a lot of the organization�s behavior. An organization�s culture is comprised of its beliefs, values and assumptions, which shape the individual�s behavior within the organization. A culture may be strong (having a dramatic influence over an individual�s behavior) or weak (having a relatively low impact on behavior).

Wal-Mart is known for its strong corporate culture, first established by Founder Sam Walton, who opened his first dime store in 1945. Having come a long way from its meager beginnings, Wal-Mart generated more than $250 billion in annual revenue during the past year. Wal-Mart�s mission focuses on allowing people who are not wealthy to acquire the same or similar goods as the rich. Wal-Mart�s dominance in its industry and its culture of discipline allow it to demand rock-bottom prices from suppliers and ensures product quality for customers.

Wal-Mart�s No. 1 value is a commitment to business. Walton conveyed to thousands of employees how he was able to overcome many of his mistakes and shortcomings due to his strong passion and commitment to the business. He also reminds employees that money and perks only go so far, whereas true appreciation and gratitude for what employees bring to the business stretch much further. The company�s emphasis on what it calls �aggressive hospitality� has been one of the driving forces in its ability to be the top performer in a competitive marketplace.

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