Starting and maintaining a business at this tough time characterized by the economic recession is a matter of life and death for most entrepreneurs. Businesses involving the management of a large team of personnel have continued to send their employees home through retrenchment leaving them in a redundant state. However, it’s now becoming clear that most of the companies being forced to close their doors have poorly designed organizational cultures to motivate their workforce. The uninspired employees will fully utilize their full strength to save the company from collapse. An example of a properly designated and executed corporate culture is the Urban Outfitters’ business. (Urban Outfitters, Answers.com Company Profile, Hoover’s, Inc, 2008)
In avoiding the duplication of stores from one retail outlet to another, Urban Outfitters’ has employed a large pool of artistic personnel that is responsible for the designation of store displays. The store managers must have undergone some formal training on art design to enable them to make good decisions on the appropriate store display for any given locality. The retail design must be something the customers can relate to and should appeal to their needs which vary from place to place. (Franco, 1995, p.108)
According to Mr. Kyees, the business’s top management organ operates independently from the store affairs. This leaves the decision on what type of design to use on which store to the creative director working in the store. However in the cases where the big chains have similar fittings due to supply from one vendor, Urban Outfitters’ incorporates a team of artists within its human resource pool to redesign the stores to give each a distinctive look. This has ensured that the business maintains its philosophy of non-duplication of brand identity. (Kelly, & McGowen, 2001)
Generally, corporate culture can be described as the behavior pattern within an organization or an integrated set of beliefs, ethics, procedures, and assumptions that define the way a business enterprise operates its activities. The corporate culture in a company can be more noticeable to an observer than the employee because it mostly consists of unspoken norms, behaviors, and values. (Steinhauer, 1996)
In a company, corporate culture has been found to play a big role in business success. It contributes to increased efficiency and job satisfaction among the employees besides making a company have a higher capability to build constant competitive advantage. In achieving this purpose, the organization must consider the four particular components of organizational culture including the customs, practices, values, and beliefs. (Trebilcock, 2008, p.37)
Corporate Culture represents the noticeable basics such as the mode of greeting used, etiquette, clothing, and the fundamentals of the business. These practices are important in straightening business operations in a company. The practices also elevate the employees’ motivation while transforming the individuals into one path of realizing the universal corporate mission, vision, and objective. On the other hand, customs are the established codes of behavior within a company that guides the way the workforce relate to one another within the organization’s environment. They often form the physical outlook of the business. (Kelly, & McGowen, 2001)
Organization beliefs are the assumption the stakeholders have about the company and the ideal situation within i.e. what practices will showcase the company’s prosperity in the corporate world. The belief includes the nature of handling organizational challenges, team building activities, and the nature of the decision-making process adopted. Good corporate beliefs give a company an upper hand when it comes to attracting and maintaining highly competent and productive human resources into the business. (Steinhauer, 1996)
Despite all the progress realized by Urban Outfitters’, the business has often suffered cases resulting from poorly coordinated corporate culture. This is especially due to objections from the customers, the politicization of the office affairs, and neglect of the organization’s culture focus. At the end of the day, this affects business productivity. The incardination has also impacted negatively on the decision-making by the top management of the business. An example is a case where despite the organization’s philosophy based on the ones productivity competent and experience, the Urban Outfitters’ Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Glen Senk was unable to fill the vacancy for the brand targeted toward an older market. The post remained vacant for the whole year and later two executives were appointed to jointly manage the post. (Steinhauer, 1996)
The prosperity of any business always depends on the integrity and technical know-how of its workforce. The employees must also be allowed to fully exploit the skills and knowledge in discharging their duties. Urban Outfitters’ have realized that human resource is the most valuable asset within an organization. This has made them determine if the business will realize its objectives or not. (Kelly, & McGowen, 2001)
All the business operations ranging from management, sales, and marketing, website management, store managers, and designers in the business are motivated to follow one path towards the corporate goal. By doing this, the business has maintained its quality workers. For example, employees in the sales and marketing field are encouraged to give feedback reports to the managers on customer’s views on the products. Out of this, the business will know the customer’s taste and preferences for inclusion in the production stage. The top management is also free to trickle down to meet the customers rather than waiting for the sales data. This displays aptitude in business operation. (Steinhauer, 1996)
At all the retail and chain stores, the business has employed many intellectual creative directors responsible for the financial management of graphic designs of the corporate. The directors work together with store managers in creating an artistic display distinctively for each store, while top management only handles distribution and supplies at the call center. The created display will depend on the locality so to avoid duplication of designs in line with the business philosophy. This creates a market for the business products through a unique brand identity. (Trebilcock, 2008, p.38)
The Urban Outfitters’ company employees are not only involved in the profit-sharing but participate in all the company decision-making processes through their leaders. To maintain good business ethics in the company, the employees have the power to impeach nonperforming departmental managers. This authority vested on the workers keeps the management on toes to ensure that all things run according to the procedure towards productivity. (Kelly, & McGowen, 2001)
With the advancement in ICT technology, the company workforce has put Urban Outfitters’ business to the next level through a well-maintained website. The business now is engaged in e-commerce transactions. To achieve this, the employees have invested a lot of time and resources to ensure the site has run efficiently since its inception. The website has minimized irregularities that could result from the inventory records hence a decrease in losses. (Trebilcock, 2008, p.39)
For a business enterprise to succeed management involved must be well conversant with all the business operations involved in the trade. Besides the business knowledge, the administrators should demonstrate an ability to organize and lead their employee team towards a course aimed at achieving the business mission. A manager who understands the business dynamics will be able to make appropriately informed decisions during economic challenges such as the ongoing recession period. In addition, knowledge about a particular business will enable one to hire a competent workforce to assist in the operation of various components of the trade. Therefore, the growth and survival of any type of business enterprise will directly rely on how knowledgeable the management is on the ongoing operations.
Franco La, R. (1995). “It’s all about visuals.” Business Source Premier, 155 (11):108-112, EBSCOhost.
Kelly, M., & McGowen, J. (2001). BUS100: Business: 2010 custom edition (2nd Ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Steinhauer, J. (May 8, 1996). Retail Rarity: A Success Not Obsessed By Expansion. Web.
Trebilcock, B. (2008).” Distribution redesign at Urban Outfitters: Modern materials Handling”. Business Source Premier, 63(4); 37-38, EBSCOhost.
Urban Outfitters, Answers.com Company Profile, Hoover’s, Inc., (2008). Web.