Arkansas Department of Humans Services (ADHS) Organizational Culture Analysis
Organizational Behavior BUS 610
Instructor: Adrienne Osborne
February 25, 2014
Organizational culture is a set of share meanings and values held by a set of members in an organization that distinguishes the organization from other organizations and determines how it perceives and reacts to the larger environment (Baack, 2012). Organizational culture contains observable artifacts, espoused values, and enacted values (McGraw Hill). Observable artifacts consist of the physical manifestation of an organizations culture (McGraw Hill). Types of artifacts that you can expect to see within an organization are; personal enactment, ceremonies and rites, stories about the boss, getting fired, promotions, etc., rituals, and symbols (iastate.edu). The function of organizational culture is to provide a sense of identity to member, increase their commitment, be a sense-making device, reinforce the organizations values, and serve as a control mechanism for shaping behavior (iastate.edu).
The Arkansas Department of Human Services (ADHS) has many observable artifacts that are recognizable to employees, prospective employees, and people in need of assistance. Before I began working for them, I knew a little about how the organization performed. The organization employees around 7500 employees that all work to ensure the citizens of Arkansas are healthy, safe, and enjoying a high quality of life (Arkansas, 2011). There are two very observable symbols used by the ADHS; first and probably the most notable being the great seal for the state of Arkansas, the other being a picture of the state of Arkansas with a cartoon person depicted and stretching across the entire state. It is the common knowledge of most that if you are in need of assistance you go to your local DHS office. Just as it is the common knowledge of potential employees that the ADHS is there to assist Arkansans of all ages. The ADHS is a very large observable symbol of hope to all Arkansans in need of temporary assistance. This affects the DHS organization because it is given the opportunity to fulfill the promises that are made to the people of Arkansas.
Exposed values represent the explicitly stated values and norms that are preferred by an organization (McGraw Hill).
The vision of the ADHS is that Arkansans are healthy, safe, and enjoy a high quality of life. Their mission statement is that together we improve the quality of life of all Arkansans by protecting the vulnerable, fostering independence, and promoting better health. Core values include; compassion, courage, respect, integrity, and trust. Operational values; customer focused in ensuring that our actions and services are targeted to the well-being of recipients/customers and the citizens of Arkansas, and a high quality workforce by recruiting and developing our people so that they enjoy the highest quality work life and choose DHS as the best place to work. The beliefs of the ADHS are that; every person and family matters, empowered people help themselves, people deserve access to good healthcare, we have a responsibility to provide knowledge and services that work, partnering with families and communities is essential to the health and well being of Arkansans, and that the quality of our services depends upon a knowledgeable and motivated workforce (Arkansas, 2011).
It is my personal belief that if all of these things were followed as they were intended to be then we would be serving Arkansans to the best of our ability while helping to improve their quality of life. Exposed values affect the values and culture of the organization by securing the belief in the people of Arkansas that there is a place they can turn when they are in need.
Enacted values represent the values and norms that actually are