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Organizational Culture

Organizational Culture


Mr. Joel Wong, a Head of Equity Finance and Collateral Management of Scotiabank, Singapore, should consider improving what is good to make it better or even recommending changes in what is bad in the organizational culture of the company. In other words, to improve the latter, Mr. Wong should consider applying and using other management theories than the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs or the four-drive approach. As a result, it will assist the Scotiabank organization in improving its culture. Therefore, this paper will discuss various management theories that can be used by Mr. Wong in improving the organizational culture, including the contingency, chaos and systems theories. When used together, they have the capability of improving Scotiabank’s organizational culture and overall performance.

Contingency Theory

Mr. Wong should consider improving Scotiabank’s culture by applying the contingency theory. It is a behavioral approach emphasizing that there is no any single best way of leading an organization, organizing cooperation, or even making a decision. This theory also states that these actions are contingent (dependent) on both external and internal factors. Therefore, it implies that there is no any single contingency management theory. However, Scotiabank can use certain significant contingencies, including suppliers and distributors, consumer interest groups, technology, competitors and customers, as well as government agencies. However, this theory also states that the effectiveness of a leader charged with running an organization is based on the situation itself because of two factors, namely, the leadership style and situational favorableness (Donaldson 2011).

In leadership, Mr. Wong should have the ability to identify the type of the leadership style. However, since the latter is fixed, it is therefore important to measure it using the Least-Preferred Co-Worker (LPC) scale initially developed by Fiedler. As a result, this scale will make Mr. Wong analyze and determine a person, with whom he has least enjoyed to work. It can be an individual, who has cooperated with Mr. Wong at his job, training and education. The manager should then use this scale in rating how he feels about this individual and his treatment, whether friendly or not. It will assist Mr. Wong in determining whether he is a task-oriented leader or relationship-oriented one (Bacher 2007). On the other hand, he should also determine his situational favorableness concerning a specific event, which depends upon three things, including the task structure, leader-member relations, as well as the power of the leader position.

Mr. Wong should also identify his situation within the organization. For instance, he should determine whether he has poor or good leader-member relations, whether the task he is doing as a manager is rather structured or unstructured, or whether he has little experience for solving suchlike problems, and whether he has a weaker or stronger power over all Scotiabank team members and employees. Finally, after using this theory to get the best solutions, Mr. Wong should determine the best and the most effective leadership style that he should use to improve Scotiabank’s organizational culture. For example, if Mr. Wong leads a team of employees who respect and like him, it impies that he has good leader-member relations. Moreover, the situation when team members are working on a highly creative project (unstructured) and Mr. Wong has greater power occupying a high management position will require the most effective task-focused leadership style to improve the organizational culture (Jackson 2012).

Systems Theory

Mr. Wong should also consider applying the systems theory for improving Scotiabank’s organizational culture. Such approach often treats an organization as a system, which should be present in Scotiabank. There can either be an open or closed system, but most systems approaches are often based on the first type. The advantage of an open system is that it interacts with its environment in various ways, including throughputs, inputs, and outputs. Therefore, Scotiabank can apply the systems theory in various ways for improving its culture through knowledge, relationships, and adaptation (Dekkers 2015).

Under the vision of knowledge, Scotiabank will be focused on employees learning, improving a set of competencies and skills, and fostering company’s innovations. Therefore, Scotiabank will be a cognitive system, which will create information as well as activate skills with the main aim of producing knowledge among workers through a continuous and consistent learning process (Banerjee 2013). As a result, the knowledge produced will be at the core of the autopoietic process responsible for generating resources and creating resource-behavior-resource cycles, in which the entire organization as a system can function following cognitive schemes.

Secondly, Scotiabank can also apply the systems theory in terms of relationships to improve or change the organizational culture. According to the model of the viable system, the behavior of any competitive organization is closely linked to the capability of identifying and managing relationships and functions, thereby creating channels of communication, organizing the flow of information, as well as harmonizing and rationalizing organization’s development. The latter should be aligned with every external relationship. Therefore, the viable system model of Scotiabank must therefore be in a position of addressing and directing the organization as a system towards its final goal of improving its culture through the transformation of structural static relationships into a dynamic interaction with other viable systems. For the Scotiabank organization, it is imperative to consider compatibility among parts of the system as well as to improve harmonic interactions (Donaldson 2011).

Finally, Scotia-bank can also apply the systems theory in terms of vision adaptation for improving its organizational culture. According to the approach taken by the viable system, the Scotiabank company should have the capability of preserving its stability and viability, thereby establishing its own internal environment that will enable it to respond to external stimuli in an effective manner at all levels (showing its viability) (Bacher 2007). Furthermore, this organization should also find ways of surviving and adapting to a specific context because of dynamic continuous processes and many types of internal changes. This approach is explained as adaptation.

Chaos Theory

Mr. Wong may also consider applying the chaos theory tto improve Scotiabank’s organizational culture. This approach can provide the manager with a chance of taking a step back from his daily management activities and see how the entire Scotiabank company will function as a unified single system. Exploiting the chaotic quality of the organization will require looking at its shape from a distance. Rather than pinpointing cultural problems among organizational team members, Scotiabank will be better served by looking at its patterns, especially the specific ones that determine certain behavior of this organization. Furthermore, expectations of this company concerning the acceptable behavior, and the extent of freedom to which employees are allowed to work have the ability of shaping the way in which Scotiabank’s challenges and problems are handled by its leaders, including Mr. Wong. Providing groups and people with some sort of autonomy, the latter should encourage every member of this company to organize himself or herself by controlling the quality of one’s own iterations and work until the time when different units of this organization have the ability of working together in the most effective manner. Therefore, Scotiabank should consider acting like a fractal organization by trusting its members and departments to order in the most effective way (Jackson 2012).

In addition, this organization should also apply the chaos theory to focus on its design and structure. It implies that Scotiabank should always draw charts with the aim of illustrating who plays a given role, and in what instances or even who is accountable to whom within the company. The latter should also consider hiring business experts to assist in breaking down this organization into smaller parts that will make it easy to improve its culture (Dekkers 2015). In other words, Mr. Wong should also consider building models of organizational policy and practice with high hopes that it will produce the use of the best communication methods and interaction among departments for improving organization’s culture and functioning.


Scotiabank is a team-oriented organization since it is people-oriented and its employees often prefer to work together as one team. In other words, this organization is a non-tradition-oriented with an innovative working environment. It also relies on its all team members for achieving its objectives. In addition, there are various practices used by this organization, which also make it a team-oriented one, including empowering employees in planning, goal-setting, and organizational processes. Other approaches include mutual trust, shared leadership, shared self-management responsibility, as well as shared performance accountability. Another feature, which helps to characterize this organization as team-oriented is that it has a clear purpose, following which every team member accepts and understands the major goal of the whole company and the team. Every employee is tasked with performing his or her respective roles in teamwork and is provided with a certain degree of autonomy (Banerjee 2013). However, each organizational worker is responsible for the quality of his part of work. Finally, team members of Scotiabank also have an open communication system, whereby they value different points of view, as well as encourage an honest and open discussion.


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