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The Estée Lauder Companies, Research Paper Example

Pages: 13

Words: 3442

Research Paper

Introduction

La Mer is a brand of cosmetics created and sold as a subsidiary of Estée Lauder. The signature product sold is a natural moisturizing cream made from kelp that is so effective it can be used to treat chemical burns. Interestingly, the cream product was initially developed by NASA by a physicist named Dr. Max Huber, and then purchased by Estée Lauder for mass manufacturing and sale in 1995. While this initial moisturizer cream was the sole product of La Mer for a period of time, the organization continued to expand on its practices by adding other skin care products and makeup to its line during the next two decades. While La Mer is not as prevalent as its parent company, its products are sold in several luxury departments stores across the world, including Saks Fifth Avenue in the United States, Harrods in the United Kingdom, and David Jones in Australia.

As the Director of Global Events for La Mer, I am “responsible for conceptualization, development and planning of all branded events targeted to the business needs of La Mer and the individual global markets” (EL Companies n.d.). Thus, I am responsible for organizing branded events for the purpose of spreading awareness of the brand. Based on my current involvement in this project, it appears that the primary goal of La Mer is to expand its influence. Drawing from the successes of the Estée Lauder parent company, it will be necessary for me to determine how to reach out to consumers around the world and make them more aware of the La Mer product line. As an individual that is parachuting into this company, it is necessary for me to gain a more comprehensive understanding of its organizational culture in addition to a better appreciation for my role within the framework of the company. This paper will therefore an insider’s view into the operations of the Director of Global Events for La Mer to provide business professionals with a greater understanding of this Estée Lauder subsidiary. It is expected that this analysis will reveal how small subsidiaries act in order to gain dominance in the global market, similar to the techniques that have been utilized by the parent company in the past.

Job Description and Responsibilities

As the Director of Global Events for La Mer, my job responsibilities include the creation of animation, protocols and execution guidelines. Furthermore, I am required to work closely with other divisions of the company in order to effectively market the La Mer brand. Because I am the Director of Global Events, I am required to work on a series of different projects. The aim of the company is to brand La Mer in a manner that is distinct and therefore relevant to each of its geographical regions. Through relevance, the marketing aspect of this job is expected to be more successful.

Specifically, my position requires that I focus on Asian consumers because La Mer is not currently prevalent in this market. In order to effectively expand its reach, branding to the Asian market is important because it will allow the company to have access to a new market demographic. As a consequence, it is important for me to incorporate an understanding of diverse cultures in my work because it is necessary to draw upon aspects of these cultures that will allow consumers to feel more connected to the brand.

My role at La Mer is highly collaborative, requiring me to work closely with the creative, marketing, and product development teams to ensure that our brand message is consistent throughout these marketing efforts. Furthermore, the event planning component of marketing must be consistent with company objectives, therefore requiring the timeline of events to reflect the global marketing strategy. There is a significant need to implement time management skills into this work and to determine how and when additional research can be performed concerning the creation of new types of events (Jex 2008).

Although my position revolves primarily around the planning of events and marketing, as the director, I am also placed in charge of budget management for the individual programs that I run. “This includes negotiating costs with vendors, reconciliation of monthly departmental expenses and involvement in budget planning for fiscal year” (EL Companies n.d.). Thus far, this career path has been challenging but beneficial because I am learning how to balance a multitude of responsibilities that will allow me to become a more effective event coordinator. However, I wish to gain a better understanding of my organization so that I could take advantage of this knowledge in order to engage in my professional collaborative relationships more effectively.

An Organizational Behavior Analysis

There appears to be a strong community in place at La Mer because it is a small organization within a larger company. Because we are a small component of the Estée Lauder Companies, it appears that our interactions with one another are more personal. This has been beneficial to the work I have completed thus far because I need to collaborate with a variety of different employees in different departments. Furthermore, it is essential for me to manage my own staff to ensure that we are able to stay on task and design carefully considered events based on the needs of the company in addition to the population that we intend to serve. It appears that these positive relationships were in place before I started at the company and are therefore a standard of practice. When I started, it was easy to follow suit because although my coworkers are busy working on many different projects, they are very approachable, which makes La Mer a desirable place to work.

As the Director of Global Events, I report directly to the vice president of the company, who is also very approachable and wishes to be informed of problems and positive outcomes that are relevant to my work. Furthermore, he has been available to provide me with information that I need to perform my job more effectively and to help support me with the understanding that I am new to the company. While I have not seen him interact in this manner with other employees because my position hasn’t made doing so necessary, it appears that he acts according to the principles of transformational leadership. He understanding that the manner in which he interacts with his own employees can contribute to or detract from the success of the company. Thus, he prefers to act in a solution driven manner, and address the lack of information that may prevent his employees from being able to achieve positive results. By caring about the individual, it is apparent that his leadership is able to contribute to the production of results in the organization, which creates positive outcomes in terms of employee satisfaction and productivity.

As a new employee at La Mer, I have noticed that a majority of workers are highly motivated. All of the directors I have spoken to feel challenged by their work, but in a manner that contributes to their professional development. Furthermore, lower level staff members feel that they are providing meaningful contributions to the projects that they have been assigned to, which according to their supervisors enhances their performance. A majority of the individuals that have been hired to work at La Mer appear to have a passion for what they are doing. This is a positive reflection of the human resources department, who are directly adding to the perception of workplace productivity. By selecting individuals who are already motivated and passionate concerning their particular area of specialty or for cosmetics, the company is able to be more certain that their work will be effective and that they will achieve professional growth.

The individuals that work under me in the events team appear to have this passion in particular. While some of these employees have been involved in event planning in the past, others are new to the position. However, they are all dedicated to determining how to create the events in a manner that will allow all attendees to enjoy and remember La Mer. Furthermore, it appears that many of these individuals have the potential to one day advance to a higher level of the company. Therefore, a combination of the drive that they have for their work and the understanding that their hard work can one day help them receive a raise or a promotion, they continue to strive to support the company. In essence, their personal and professional goals are aligned with the company’s objectives.

Overall, the organizational behavior of La Mer appears to positively contribute to employee satisfaction, motivation, and productivity. These three concepts are tightly linked. Employees who are satisfied tend to work more effectively and are motivated to produce a high quality product. In the end, this means that both the company and the employee will benefit. Based on this organizational culture, it is likely that I will thrive at La Mer both in terms of my professional and personal goals. I have already had the opportunity to work with and learn from countless professionals who have made me reconsider the way that I engage clients and plan events (Dennison 1990). Because of La Mer, I am now aware that even though I am a professional in the field, I can continue to push myself and do better because this is why my employer and employees expect of me. Since this sense of lifelong learning is present in the organization, working at La Mer is an ideal career for those who wish to constantly work to better themselves and strive to achieve new goals.

Analysis of Ethical Decision Making

Currently, I have been exposed to a series of decisions and understandings that have helped me determine my current opinion regarding La Mer’s ability to make ethical decisions within their practice. In terms of relationships with employees, these ethics are strong because the supervisors are not quick to place blame on individuals when their work does not go according to plan (Duska 2007). While employees are still held accountable for their work, this allows employees to have a better understanding of what they can do to fix their mistakes, and not be afraid to report these errors to management for fear that they will be held at fault (Luthans 2015). Therefore, this aspect of ethical decisions making positively contributes to organizational culture because employees feel that they are more likely to be respected by those in charge.

However, a concern of some employees and animal activist organizations is that La Mer tests its products on animals. While this is done to uphold safety requirements, many employees and consumers believe that this experimentation is done in a manner that causes unnecessary harm to the animal (Eadie 2009). While my personal work is not related to animal experimentation, as an individual that is involvement in the marketing and branding of La Mer products, it is important for me to understand this ethical issue thoroughly so that I am either able to defend the company when approached by these individuals or take action to make change within the inside of the organization (Machan 2007). Since I am a new employee, I am not able to undergo the second option because this is outside the scope of my power. Thus, it is important for me to continue marketing the company in a positive light, even though the production methods used to make La Mer products have caused some concern. If anything, it is my job responsibility to ensure that this news does not mar public opinion regarding the products on a global scale.

Communications Analysis

While the La Mer subsidiary is a small company, it is often challenging for us to maintain effective communication with the individuals at Estée Lauder with regards to the actions that they wish for us to take. Such communication is not typically needed, but it is important to consider that the scale of the parent company is much larger than that of Le Mer. Thus, some members of the leadership team are required to communicate with individuals around the world to ensure that they are meeting objectives and company standards.

A majority of the communication that I am involved in is at the local scale. It is valuable for me to communicate effectively with my employees and with my bosses to ensure that I understand how to properly pass the chain of command to my subordinates. Furthermore, I must interact with these individuals face to face and through e-mail on nearly a daily basis, which makes it imperative that meanings are not lost through messages. As such, I ensure that I am communicating ideas through these virtual platforms as clearly and concisely as possible, and much of upper management follows these practices as well.

One of the most significant problems that I have observed with regards to communication in my department, however, is that my subordinates and even some individuals on the management team do not know how to send a proper e-mail (Boddy 2011). In the age of texting, shorthand messaging and improper grammar has dominated, so it is challenging to understand these messages and respond to them in a way that does not challenge the intellect of the individual who sent them. Ultimately, sending e-mails that are not descriptive and may be confusing to the reader is a significant waste of time, and one of the greatest challenges that I have encountered at La Mer. Individuals that are young and tech savvy have grown accustomed to this shorthand and think that it is acceptable, while older professionals are deeply bothered by it (Papa 2008). It appears that many of us waste time trying to determine what has been sent to us before we finally ask the individual who sent it to clarify. In the age of technology, it is still necessary to maintain proper use.

Even though I work closely with many members of the marketing team that are responsible for our presence on social media, it is important for employees to distinguish the purpose for which their message is being used. It is proper to use shorthand on Twitter to fit an important message into a small amount of character space. Likewise, it would not be proper to use the same shorthand on Facebook because this website allows for longer messages that should therefore reflect proper spelling and grammar (Black 2003). Just as it is important to use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation when communicating with potential clients, it is also beneficial to use these techniques in the professional setting. Thus, it would be valuable to provide employees with a training session to help them distinguish between language uses in these different settings.

An additional issue that has been presented with regards to communication is that some employees are often unable to decide the best mode of communication to use based on the information that needs to be provided. For example, I am frequently visited in person by some employees to be asked a question, when it would have been better for productivity for them to have contacted me by sending an e-mail. On the other hand, I have been presented with very important news in the form of e-mail, and it is likely that this information would have been better presented in person due to the need for clarification and conversations with regards to the topic. Since I have been with the company for a short period of time, it is possible that they already have structures to help employees communicate effectively that I may have overlooked. However, at the time being, it appears that there is a significant communication issue that should be addressed (Jethwaney 2010). It is beneficial that the organizational culture continues to be positive in spite of such problems, but the ability of employees to properly communicate with one another based on their ability to use e-mail properly and choose the method of communication needs improvement (Hofstede 1991).

Analysis of Leadership

Although the leadership style of my supervisor was briefly discussed due to the positive impact that his leadership characteristics have on the workplace, it is valuable to analyze his impact in greater detail. Ultimately, it is important to consider that the ability of each employee to thrive at La Mer could be explained within the context of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. For example, it appears that a majority of the workers have their physiological needs met based on the salaries offered by the organization (Sopow 2007). Because of their income, they are able to find suitable housing and to feed themselves, which allows them to avoid the constant fear of whether they will survive. Next, the positive organizational culture contributes both to a sense of safety and social needs. Since a majority of workers at La Mer have these needs met, they are more able to focus on their higher level needs, including self-esteem and self-actualization. At La Mer, this appears to be accomplished by focusing on professional developing and feeling good about the work that has been done. Thus, the leadership of supervisors on a variety of levels is successful because it allows employees to set their own reasonable goals (Kleinbaum 2013). Once these goals are reached, these individuals will be more likely to feel satisfied about the work that they’ve done. As an individual, I feel that La Mer is making me more able to grow by helping me recognize my personal strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, it is plausible that I will remain with this company because it challenges both my ability and my intellect. I believe that my coworkers in the organization, independent of their position and level in the company feel the same. Even though La Mer is a company, it combines excellent leadership skills with interesting work that continues to drive its employees to excel and achieve great accomplishments in their work.

Conclusion

Overall, it appears that La Mer’s mission drives its behavior. Because the organization understands the needs of its employees and are willing to act on these needs to make the workplace a more beneficial setting for all, employees are more likely to produce meaningful work that will benefit the organization. Since the organizational culture of the company is so positive, I enjoy my work even though it requires extensive communication with a variety of other departments. It is enjoyable to work with people with a variety of different knowledge and skill sets because this helps both the output of my work in addition to my personal development (O’Donovan 2006). As an individual that parachuted into the organization, two points that would be valuable for the company to work on includes its current stance on animal testing in addition to the communication abilities of its employees. It is valuable for the company to improve its ethics so it can gain more support from individuals that deeply care about animal rights. Furthermore, enhancing the communication within the organization will contribute to greater productivity because less time will be spent to accomplish the same goals. In conclusion, I deeply appreciate the opportunities that I have been given at La Mer because I believe that my continued professional experience with them will help me grow as a professional. Even though I am one of the more experienced individuals in my department, I recognize that I still have the opportunity to grow and that I should take advantage of this. Thus, I will continue working hard to make both my company and myself grow, recognizing that these two goals are closely related and mutually beneficial. I will continue to analyze my company to determine where there is room for improvement and to understand its strengths in order to increase my personal efficacy as well as the efficacy of the organization.

Bibliography

Black, RJ 2003, Organizational Culture: Creating the Influence Needed for Strategic Success, London UK.

Boddy, CR, 2011, Corporate Psychopaths: Organizational Destroyers, Palgrave Macmillan.

Denison, DE 1990, Corporate culture and organizational effectiveness, Wiley.

Duska, R 2007, Contemporary Reflections on Business Ethics, Boston: Springer.

Eadie, WF 2009, 21st Century Communication: A Reference Handbook, SAGE Publication Inc.

EL Companies, n.d, Job Description. Available from: <http://www.elcompanies.com/Pages/La-Mer.aspx>. [10 June 2015].

Hofstede, G 1997, Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind., McGraw-Hill Professional.

Jethwaney, J 2010, Corporate communication : principles and practice, Oxford University Press.

Jex, SM 2008, Organizational Psychology, A Scientist-Practitioner Approach, John Wiley & Sons.

Kleinbaum 2013, Creating a Culture of Profitability, Probabilistic Publishing.

Luthans F, 2015, International Management, Culture, Strategy and Behavior, Mc Graw Hill.

Machan, TR 2007, The Morality of Business: A Profession for Human Wealthcare, Boston: Springer.

O’Donovan, G 2006, Corporate Culture Handbook: How to Plan, Implement and Measure a Successful Culture Change Programme, The Liffey Press.

Papa MJ, 2009, Organizational Communication Perspectives and Trends (4th Ed.), Sage Publications.

Sopow, E 2007, Corporate personality disorder, Lincoln NB: iUniverse.

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