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Case Lens on 'Organizational Culture' In the Backdrop of Hollywood Movie, In Good Company*

ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR, ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR
ET Cases, 4.11 Minutes
AUTHOR(S) : Vandana Jayakumar and Dr. Nagendra V. Chowdary

Teaching Note Preview

Case Lens on 'Organizational Culture' In the Backdrop of Hollywood Movie, In Good Company

 

Synopsis

This Case Lens, based on Hollywood movie, In Good Company, focuses on the concept of organizational culture and helps draw a line between work culture and organizational culture. In the movie, employees at Sports America (a sports magazine) are exposed to a new organizational culture when their parent company, Waterman Publishing, is taken over by GlobeCom International (GlobeCom), a multi-business organization, headed by media magnate Teddy K. Post-acquisition, Carter Duryea (Carter) replaces Dan Foreman (Dan) as the head of Sports America’s ad-sales division, followed by rampant employee firing. Luckily, Dan is not fired but he is retained as a subordinate of Carter who is much younger and much less experienced than him. The organizational culture of GlobeCom is largely influenced by Teddy K and even Sports America is expected to follow the same. This Case Lens enables a debate on the influence of an individual on the culture of an organization and the need for acculturation analysis before any one joins a new company. It also gives an opportunity to study the influence of national cultures on organizational culture.

Prerequisite Viewing/Mandatory Viewing

The students/participants need to mandatorily watch the movie In Good Company. Honoring all the expected IPR issues, every participant must be encouraged to acquire a copy of the movie through legally approved means and format. The temptation of either exhibiting the movie in the classroom or the students/participants downloading the movie from any hosting sites should be desisted lest we set unwarranted precedents in violating mandatory IPRs.

Classroom Orchestration

This Case Lens (video consisting the introduction and the accompanying five questions) can be orchestrated in the classroom in the following suggested flow:

1. Asking the students/participants to view the movie 2-3 days before the classroom discussion
2. Playing/exhibiting the Case Lens video in the classroom
3. Ideally, faculty/facilitator should analyze the first question and the remaining 4 questions should be analyzed by the participants/students. The class should be divided into four Learning Teams and they should be asked to prepare for all the questions. After giving them about 15 minutes, the classroom discussion/analysis should be attempted. This can be executed either by asking one of the teams randomly to present their analysis or each team should be allowed to lead a discussion for each of the questions
4. Each question would take varying times [the suggested timings are given in Exhibit (TN)-I] and it is highly recommended that the last 5 minutes should be spent on debriefing and synthesizing. The debriefing segment should be used to synthesize the expected learning outcomes of this Case Lens.

Case Lens Positioning and Setting

This Case Lens as a pedagogical tool can be used for either of the following:

• MBA Programs: Organizational Behavior Course – to help understand the importance of organizational culture and the factors that influence an organization’s culture
• Executive Development Programs/MDPs: To help the participants analyze and understand the need for acculturation analysis before joining a new company

Expected Learning Outcomes

At the end of this Case Lens discussion/analysis, each of the participants/students should be able to understand/appreciate:

• The importance of culture in the working of an organization and to distinguish between work culture and organizational culture
• The need for acculturation analysis before anyone joins a new company
• The influence of individuals on an organization’s culture

Assignment Questions

The assignment questions, as outlined in the Case Lens video, are:

I. How do you define culture? What do you think is the organizational culture of GlobeCom International?
II.................

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Abstract

This Case Lens on Organizational Culture is based on Hollywood Movie, In Good Company. Starring Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace and Scarlett Johansson in the lead roles, the movie showcases the predicament of the employees at Sports America magazine when its parent company, Waterman Publishing, is acquired by GlobeCom International (GlobeCom), headed by Teddy K, a billionaire media magnate. Mark Steckle (Mark), a successful sales guys from GlobeCom is asked to turnaround marketing at Sports America. Mark, in-turn appoints Carter Duryea (Carter), one of his subordinates, as the head of Sports America’s ad-sales division. Ironically, Carter, who is just 26 years old and has no experience in ad-sales, replaces Dan Foreman (Dan), who is 51 years old and has been doing ad-sales for Sports America for more than 20 years.

While Dan is lucky to retain his job, albeit as Carter’s subordinate, several other long-standing employees are fired in quick succession, however, the danger of losing their jobs always loomed large for the rest. On one hand, the employees have to live with job insecurity, on the other, they have to acclimatize themselves to the new organizational culture as brought in and demonstrated by Mark and Carter. Dan finds himself in an uncomfortable position as his years of experience is questioned in the new cultural setup. This Case Lens focuses on the importance of organizational culture and enables a debate on the need for acculturation analysis before anyone joins a new company.


Pedagogical Objectives

  • To understand the importance of culture in the working of an organization and to distinguish between work culture and organizational culture
  • To debate on the need for acculturation analysis before anyone joins a new company
  • To analyze the influence of individuals on an organization’s culture

Case Lens Positioning and Setting

This Case Lens as a pedagogical tool can be used for either of the following:

  • MBA Programs: To teach courses in Organizational Behavior to help understand the importance of organizational culture and the factors that influence an organization’s culture
  • Executive Development Programs/MDPs: To help the participants analyze and understand the need for acculturation analysis before joining a new company


*It should be noted that participants/ students are expected to see the movie before they participate in a classroom discussion/analysis of any of the CASELENS’ products



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- Abstract
- Case Lens
- Teaching Note (**ONLY for Academicians)
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