This study is based on the subject of organization culture; the paper takes an expletory approach to highlight different issues that are associated with organizational culture. The organization selected for this study is Groupon Inc which is an online organization that specializes in online marketing. The paper reveals how the culture adopted by the organization affects its operations and performance on different selected perspectives.
Description of Organization
Groupon Inc is an international online marketer that provides information to the online consumers about various products and services offered in the online market. The company was started and headquartered in North America. The organization exposes the online consumers to the online markets providing awareness on different products and services from more than 42 countries across the world. Groupon has been lauded by the online community for facilitating the growth and expansion of the online business. It develops avenues for companies that willing to invest in the online market. The company also promotes development of business activities in the online world through campaign strategies that allow consolidation of resources for the development of business opportunities. The most noticeable role of the company is the facilitation of online marketing, for instance in the year 2011, Groupon developed a point-of-sale system that enabled restaurants, bars, and hotels to access product information through Apple’s Ipad. It impact is also exhibited in the online payment system whereby the organization has launched web oriented merchant tools that enable online payments to be processed very effectively (Johnson, 2007).
Examination of the Organization Culture
Organizational adopted by an organization conveys the beliefs, practices and behavior of the organizational members. The culture used by Groupon embraces its values, working language, symbols, norms, habits and beliefs. An examination of the organizational culture used by the company reveals that it affects how it interacts with the customers and other members of the society. Examine the culture of the selected organization. The culture used by Groupon is rooted on creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. This is manifested in the operational modalities adopted by the company’s CEO Andrew Mason, in an interview with the New York Times revealed that creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship is very important for the organization to cope with intense level of competition in the online world. In the interview, the CEO added that embracing creativity innovation is more self serving than repeating similar things that have been done by other entrepreneurs. The company has won many innovation awards emerging the best company in the online business that encourages information sharing among employees and stakeholders. McGuire, (2007) posits that the high rates of growth in the company are due to creativity and innovation in its operations. Groupon focuses on one particular choice of products or services to the consumers to enable consumers choose the products or services with no difficulties. Creativity and innovation is also embraced in the brand offered by the company, for instance current literature in marketing research reveal that attaching youthful features to a brand exhibits higher levels of creativity (Mulder, 2009).
The practice is also manifested in the behavior of the employees and their values towards the organization, for example the issue of dressing code in the organization is not restricted to any official attire as the employees are encouraged to incalcaate the element of surprise in whatever they do. Mulder, (2009) in his visit to the company discovered that the paintings and the décor inside the offices encourage the employees to be creative. The startup culture used by the organization in Chicago also exhibits creativity and innovation as the business identified a business opportunity that was not being exploited for the benefit of the customers. Entrepreneurship element has enabled the organization to develop new business models and strategies that utilize the available opportunities in the environment. The most important element in the organizational culture is creativity and innovation to support social growth of the people in the society. The elements of social responsibility are highly upheld in the organization’s values. The company traces its root course to the objective of promoting social development of the society through initiatives such as fund raising.
Signs of the Organization Culture
Information sharing in decision making
The organization relies on information sharing among the employees, customers, and other stakeholders to enhance creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. McGuire, (2007) asserts that different people due to the subject of diversity have access to different sources of information and ideas. People from diverse backgrounds have different thoughts and view points on things. Information sharing enables organizational leaders to tap different ideas that can be used to develop different business ideas, strategies, and models and take advantage of the available opportunities in the environment.
Adaptation to change
Entrepreneurship requires the business person to embrace changes in the environment. The ability of the organization to adapt to changes in the environment is very important for the growth and success of the organization. Johnson, (2007) contends that Groupon experiences high growth rates than other companies in the online industry due to its ability to adapt to the changes in the environment. To ensure adaptation to the environmental changes, creativity and innovation is very important. These elements are very imperative during change adoption and implementation process.
The company manifests its culture through participation in the social welfare projects. The company was founded on the grounds of improving social conditions of the people and therefore issues such as Corporate Social Responsibility CSR is perceived as one of the business functions that are important for the success of the business. the organization’s CEO believes on solid support for local businesses to enable them provide more products to the consumers in the market. Hofstede, (2010) unlike other online companies Groupon foster innovation through CSR initiatives by adopting innovative policy that enables local businesses to provide coupons to the clients have show consistent commitment to the products and services. The organization relies on concept of social mobilization of the clients in influencing the purchase of products. Information sharing with customers is deemed imperative when developing new products and encouraging participation of local business in CSR initiatives..
Factors Contributing to the Culture
To counter competition in the online industry, Groupon developed the culture of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. Organizations that lack creativity to develop new business ideas to serve the market are very likely to be faced out the industry. Creativity enables an organization to develop business strategies that provide assurance for success, for instance, to adopt the cost leadership strategy, Groupon developed quality products that were competitively priced to attract more customers and generate high sales revenue.
Identification of new markets
Organizational culture that is vested on creativity and innovation aims at identification of new markets that are not targeted by many businesses in a given industry. New markets enable an organization to identify the needs of consumers that are not fulfilled, for instance the approach by the organization to adopt one choice of product offering online clients was perceived as a very creative move that enabled the organization to attain success in the industry.
Improvement of social welfare
The culture of the organization is also aimed at improving the social welfare of the people through participation in societal projects aimed at raising funds to enhance the growth of local companies which are the main source of lively hood to the people in the society. The growth and expansion of such companies provide employment opportunities and quality goods for to improve the living standards of the people.
Most Appropriate Leadership Style
The most appropriate leadership style used in the organization is transformative leadership style that encourages participation of the employees in the decision making process. The leadership style is also effective in change management and thus provides avenues for success. The type leader that is appropriate for Groupon is a transformative and collaborative leader who encourages employee motivation and empowerment.
Culture Change in Response to Decline in Demand
In circumstances where there is a decline in demand, the company takes advantage of its creative and innovative culture to counter the strategies of substitute or similar products offered by its rivals. The company may also change its culture to embrace the elements of product promotion which will be encouraged through advertisements. The sales approach will also be emphasized on product orientation rather than marketing orientation. In this regard the organization will emphasize on providing quality product with unique features that meet the needs of the consumers.
Organizational culture is an important element that influences the performance and success of the organization. The culture of the organization influences the beliefs, values and behavior of the organization members. The most important feature in an organizational culture is the ability to embrace creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship for the success of the business.
Hofstede, G. (2010) Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work Related Values, Beverly Hills, CA, Sage Publications,
Johnson, G. (2007). “Rethinking Incrementalism”, Strategic Management Journal Vol 9 pp. 75–91
McGuire, J. (2007). “Entrepreneurial Organizational Culture: Construct Definition and Instrument Development and Validation, Ph.D. Dissertation”, The George Washington University, Washington, DC.
Mulder, M. (2009) The daily power game, Martinus Nijhoff Socìal Sciences Division
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