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Toxic Culture (250-400 words)
In the article Ã¢â‚¬Å“
WhoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s to Blame for Creating a Toxic Organizational Culture
Ã¢â‚¬Â Located down below, Guthrie presents the position that as the leader, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was responsible for harboring an environment that led to what was termed Bridgegate. Based upon what you have learned thus far about leadership and organizational culture, do you support or refute GuthrieÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s position? Cite at least one source to support perspective. Respond to at least two of your classmatesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ posts.
Who’s to Blame for Creating a Toxic Organizational Culture?
In his marathon news conference last week, Republican presidential hopeful and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie repeatedly claimed he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know about the collision of politics, payback and hubris on the George
Bridge at Fort Lee, New Jersey last September.
Of course, ChristieÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pleas of ignorance are the fallback position for any number of corporate executives and public officials when faced with corruption or monumental mistakes. TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re shocked by the unethical or illegal conduct and righteously denounce the perpetrators and their actionsÃ¢â‚¬â€all followed by swift firings or a harsh scolding.
We seem to have an endless stream of examples of these kinds of executivesÃ¢â‚¬â€corporate titans, university presidents, governors and U.S. presidentsÃ¢â‚¬â€who claim to have had no idea about what was going on inside their own organizations. At one moment, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re the supreme leader with a finger on the pulse of the agency and the next theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re dupes, blind to internal events and conduct.
In the end, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s beside the point whether they are victims or well-informed. They create the culture inside their organizations, and that organization reflects them and what they are willing to sanction. If you create a culture of lying, bullying and deceit, whether or not you direct people to take those actions, your staff likely will follow suit.
Ultimately, leaders are the single person most responsible for shaping an organizationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s culture. They establish the agenda and serve as a role model. They set the context for performance and success, ensuring that there is consistency between external and internal values and messages. In shaping culture, they drive performance and define company standards.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is not the tone that I’ve set over the last four years in this building,Ã¢â‚¬Â Christie said at the press conference. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It’s not the environment IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve worked so hard to achieveÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ And so I am extraordinarily disappointed by this, but this is the exception, it is not the rule, of whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s happened over the last four years in this administration.Ã¢â‚¬Â
A leader who is so seemingly detached from his own organizational culture indicates a leader who doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t understand how organizations are formed or governed. There is a large body of research showing that a leader sets the tone for the office and sets an example for internal comportment. Executives who claim to operate at such a lofty level that they cannot be bothered by the daily operations or political scale-balancing of their organizations are simply poor leaders.
If the buck really stops at the chief executiveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s desk, as they so often claim in theory, then why is the level of accountability so spotty?
bank executives were responsible for a system that practically demolished the global economy, yet few have stepped forward and said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“This happened on our watch; we created this culture; this is our fault.Ã¢â‚¬Â Near daily revelations about the shifty behavior of the political class rarely result in any reprimand. More often than not, the message is, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know. I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t aware this was happening.Ã¢â‚¬Â
For a leader of ChristieÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s apparent ego, you can understand why his friends and enemies alike are finding it difficult to accept that he was completely ignorant of the bridge mischief or that no one inside his operation dared to even tell him if they suspected foul play. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hard to believe that his entire senior staff gets an e-mail that says laws were broken, and his chief counsel doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t pick up the phone and say, Ã¢â‚¬ËœHey governor, you ought to know that theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re accusing your appointees of breaking the law,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â said New Jersey State Assembly Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski.
So, regardless of whether Christie knew of the efforts of his staff, or when he knew of them, he created an organizational culture that allowed for that type of behavior to not only survive but to flourish.
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