Corporate culture and group values at Dicom Group plc

A case study report

Scientific Essay, 2008

15 Pages, Grade: Distinction


Table of Contents

Table of Figures

Table of Abbreviations

1. Drawing on the information given in this case, construct a cultural web for
Dicom Group

2. Assess the extent to which Dicom Group’s culture is aligned to its vision
and mission

3. To what extent do you consider that Dicom Group’s culture exhibits
characteristics identified by Hofstede and by Trompenaars and
Hampden-Turner for Switzerland?


Table of Figures

Figure 1: The ‘Cultural Web’ of the Dicom Group plc

Table of Abbreviations

illustration not visible in this excerpt

1. Drawing on the information given in this case, construct a cultural web for Dicom Group

The organisational culture as a complex and multilayer concept and embraces regarding to Cameron and Quinn “…the taken-for-granted values, underlying assumptions, expectations, collective memories and definitions present in an organisation” (2006, p. 16). Regarding to Lasher (1999) the term of organisational culture describes the general operating mode and the character of an organisation. Further the organisational culture is often distinguished between the external visible and the hidden section (Lewis, 1998). The culture of an organisation becomes visibly manifested in its lived politics, processes, symbols and behaviours. While the emotions, beliefs and values of organisational members as well as the fundamental basic assumptions respectively the ‘Paradigm’ in the inner core of an organisation cause the hidden part of an organisational culture (Lewis, 1998). The employees take an outstanding position. They mark and affect the organisational culture and develop it to an organisation with a unique character. In this respect HRM is of substantial importance for the perceived culture.

In their ‘Cultural Web’ concept Johnson, Scholes and Whittington (2005) focused on the extrinsic observable elements of an organisational culture and factored out the abstract and hidden cultural part of emotions, beliefs and values. The ‘Cultural Web’ represents the organisational assumptions - which are taken for granted and become manifest in the everyday behaviour of the organisational members – in six dimensions of cultural artefacts. Each dimension describes a certain aspect of the operating mode and behaviour in an organisation. The subsequent figure shows the ‘Cultural Web’ respectively the six manifest dimensions of the organisational ‘Paradigm’ of the Dicom Group plc. The artefacts can be attributed fundamentally to the technical, political or cultural subsystems of an organisation (Balogun and Hope Hailey, 2004).

illustration not visible in this excerpt

The cultural element ‘Routine’ describes the manner in which things will be handled by organisational members in everyday life. This manner can be negative, e.g. if changes are difficult to enforce, but also positive, e.g. in rational behaviour. ‘Routine’ in the Dicom Group is obviously in regular announcements regarding Group performance and other news. Further cultural elements are ‘Rituals’. They embrace activities which take place with specified rules with a high symbolic value. Training programmes, recruitment and promotion belong to this element (Millmore, Lewis, Saunders, Thornhill and Morrow, 2007). They provide clues to the organisational culture. Dicom Group recently launched the ‘Dicom Academy’. That fact highlights the continually investment in employees’ development and internal as well as external training. A further ‘Ritual’ in the Dicom Group is its every year Christmas celebration where awards and prizes are given out to individuals and work groups which were voted by colleagues. ‘Stories’ can embrace negative and positive stories about the organisational culture and will be used to reinforce key aspects of the culture and the values of an organisation (Millmore et al., 2007). An important ‘Story’ for the Dicom Group is the tenth anniversary celebration where all employees from around the world were invited. The celebration was partly funded by the chairman out of his own pocket and so is used to illustrate the humanity and caring nature of the Board of Directors. Logos, offices, cars, title, language and terminology which is often used, represent the last part of the cultural elements, the ‘Symbols’. In conservative organisations many hierarchy-symbols, formal rules, different privileges for different management levels etc. exist. Primarily the language shows such ‘Symbols’, in the Dicom Group as well. The Group promotes itself to employees as the ‘Dicom Family’. If a colleague has done well it is visible in the expression ‘Standard!’ and congratulations will be offered for setting a standard which is difficult to achieve for competitors. Furthermore work takes place in open-plan offices and awards are displayed for all to see. The formal and informal ‘Power Structures’ present the political subsystem in an organisation. The strongest and most powerful group in an organisation exhibits often a strong connection to the ‘Paradigm’. In the Dicom Group symbols of rank or seniority are not visible and so almost no hierarchy structures emerge in day-to-day work. The ‘Control System’ belongs to the technical subsystem. In this system reward and performance systems reveal what is relevant for an organisation and whereon the organisation concentrates e.g. more on finance or quality of its products and services. Annual performance appraisals for all employees and performance measure by an appraisal schedule are used in the Dicom Group. If performance of an employee is exceptional a manager can reward him or her additionally. ‘Organisational Structures’ often reflect the ‘Power Structures’. Formal hierarchies and mechanical structures show that strategy development is the business of top managers and therefore the employees work to rule. Such structures in an organisation highlight that teamwork is not a key artefact. In contrast to that the Dicom Group works in a decentralised ‘Organisational Structure’. Employees are given freedom to undertake their jobs in their own way within self-responsible structures. Also internal promotion into managerial positions will be assisted.

Therefore these entire elements give individuals information how an organisation especially the Dicom Group operates, about its values and standards and therefore the desired and undesired behaviour within the organisation (Millmore et al., 2007). The ‘Paradigm’ sums up the behaviour that was observable in all elements of the ‘Cultural Web’. The ‘Paradigm’ of the Dicom Group highlights that “the Dicom team will be the world leader in enabling organisations to automate their business transactions by accelerating the collection, transformation and delivery of mission critical documents” (Millmore et al., 2007). But the apparent dimensions of the basic organisational assumptions overlap with the organisational ‘Paradigm’. This highlights the interdependent relationship between both. The ‘Paradigm’ of an organisation is external transparent by the functions- and behavioural-dimension (Johnson et al., 2005). Vice versa an analogous behavioural dimension to the ‘Paradigm’ appears as an authentication of the validity of established basic assumptions and so reinforces the existing ‘Paradigm’ (Johnson et al., 2005).


Excerpt out of 15 pages


Corporate culture and group values at Dicom Group plc
A case study report
University of Western Sydney  (School of Management )
Human Resource Strategy
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
530 KB
Corporate, Dicom, Group, Human, Resource, Strategy
Quote paper
Julia Dohrmann (Author), 2008, Corporate culture and group values at Dicom Group plc, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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