Unilever is a multinational company that has been in existence from 1929 to date. It has its main headquarters in Rotterdam and London, branches in 190 countries, and hundreds of thousands of employees. The company manufactures over 400 products worldwide, including foods, beverages, home care products, and personal care products.
With reference to Andrew J. Dubrins book Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior, we are able to analyze Unilevers organizational behavior. This analysis is based on the different concepts mentioned in the book. If to talk about Unilevers organizational history, it is clear that, initially, it was a rather small company with few employees and it did not require a lot of organization. As it grew and spread to various countries as well as acquired wider markets, there was a need for the better organization. To ensure that, the company has to consider different aspects. It had to consider the individual differences of its employees and assign roles and responsibilities according to these differences. Likewise, the ethics, attitudes, and values of the employees had to be taken into consideration.
In order to motivate the workers, Unilever also holds motivational programs and promotes teamwork. Interpersonal relations among the workers are encouraged so the workers can build friendship and help each other in times of crises. The company also helps solve conflicts among colleagues and relieve stress by having a counselor to help when needed.
For a company to thrive, it has to have a very good leadership. As such, the leaders at Unilever are carefully chosen, and they work hard to ensure the company is constantly growing. They do so by ensuring they embrace the cultural diversity and use it to better the company as well as carry out the necessary organizational changes in order to satisfy the consumer demands at all times.
From the above, it is evident that Unilever keeps its employees happy and motivates them. It also strives to produce the highest quality products and has a good leadership. As such, it is a very well organized company and continues to grow and thrive worldwide.
Unilever is a multinational organization with operating companies and factories in every continent except Antarctica and hundreds of thousands of employees. It has two co-headquarters in London, England and Rotterdam, Netherlands. It deals with the manufacture of different consumer goods including foods, beverages, cleaning agents, and personal care products. It owns over 400 brands and its products are available in 190 countries. It was founded in 1929 by the merger of a British soap maker Lever brothers and a Dutch margarine producer Margarine Unie. The brand name Unilever was established in 2004 and has stuck to date. It is listed as two companies with the one in Rotterdam going by the name Unilever N.V and the one in London called Unilever PLC. However, the two companies operate as one with a common board of directors.
With products in over 190 countries, it has numerous subsidiary companies all over the world. As such, its organizational behavior is of great importance. Organizational behavior refers to the actions and attitudes of individuals or groups towards one another in an organization as well as the effect of such behavior on the organizations functioning and performance. With reference to Andrew J. Dubrins Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior, this paper will analyze Unilevers organizational behavior by looking at the different aspects of the company. These aspects include the organizational history, individual differences and personality, values, attitudes and ethics, motivational methods and programs, interpersonal communication, and teams and teamwork. It also includes leadership in the organization, power, politics and influence, conflict stress and wellbeing, organization structure and design, as well as cultural diversity and international organizational behavior.
In the 1920s, economic times were hard and, with the First World War taking place, it was hard for any businessmen to trade their products. As a result, most traders merged their businesses in order to cope with the tough times. Similarly, Unilever was formed as a result of the merger between the Lever Brothers and Margarine Unie. In those times, it was still on a journey to establish itself; hence it had few employees and fewer subsidiaries.
By 1960, the world economy expanded and so did Unilever. Hence it began producing new products and expanded into newer markets, thus had more branches in Europe and more employees. From then, it has grown into one of the worlds largest companies with over 400 products available in the world markets. To date, Unilever has about 174,000 employees worldwide and branches in 190 countries. However, the main production bodies remain to be Unilever N.V and Unilever PLC.
According to Dubrin, a companys well being depends a lot on the attitudes and actions of its employees. As such their individuality and personality contributes a lot to the success or failure of the organization. The employees individual differences such as self-esteem, motivation, personality, IQ levels, self-concept, and their different interests should be considered upon employment. They should be assigned projects in which they will be efficient and comfortable in undertaking and which they will enjoy.
Unilever has employed well trained food analysts and people passionate about food in their food production sector. This ensures that their food products are of high quality and are made to perfection. The same applies to their beverages sector. It has also invested in beauty specialists, cosmetologists as well as chemists to take care of their personal care unit. This involves the production of lotions such as Vaseline, perfumes like Rexona, and soaps such as Lux. A team of chemists, cosmetologists, and beauticians as well people who are passionate about beauty and skin care products ensure that the products in the market are beneficial to the skin and not harmful to the consumer. The same applies when it comes to the production of detergent soaps such as Omo and Persil as the company employs chemists to ensure that the chemicals involved in the production are not harmful.
In his book, Dubrin says that the attitude of employees as well as that of the control system in an organization is an important contributor to the organizations growth. Employees should have a positive attitude towards their work and their bosses as well. This way the working relationship is built and the central focus is on the growth of the company. Ethics and values are also important because workplace ethics, such as respecting the organizations property, help an employee contribute to its growth.
At Unilever, the employees are encouraged to develop and maintain positive attitudes towards their work, to the products being manufactured, and to their seniors. This is done to maintain a friendly working environment and to enable them to focus on building the company. They ensure that the workers also maintain proper work ethics and high values in order to be proper representatives of the company to the rest of the world.
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Regular motivational talks and actions such as promotions and bonus payments are encouraged in most organizations. Once a month or several times a year, organizations should ensure they arrange for motivational speakers to talk to their employees. This helps to maintain their drive to work harder. Likewise, upon doing a good job or upon beating a deadline quite early, the workers should be given bonuses or promoted to higher levels of employment.
At Unilever, workers have motivational talks every three months to raise their spirits and make them work harder. Likewise, they are given bonuses on holidays such as Christmas and Easter. They also choose an employee of the month a person who is the most diligent worker in that given month, and he or she gets a monthly bonus on his or her salary. Close to the end of the year, an employee of the year is picked, and he or she is promoted to a higher position with a better pay.
Dubrin insists on the importance of interpersonal relations between the workers of an organization and their associates. These relations enable the workers to be there for each other in moments of crises as well as help each other out whenever needed. They are able to share personal information about themselves with their workmates and connect on a deeper level.
In the different subsidiary companies of Unilever, the workers are able to interact with one other on a personal level, and this improves their working relationships as their workmates also become their friends.
Dubrin maintains that workers should be encouraged to work in teams for the good of the organization and to be able to share ideas on how to better the organization. Team building activities should be encouraged and more group assignments should be allocated to build their communication skills and relations.
Unilever encourages work to be done by groups and employees to form teams that they are comfortable working with. Also, they arrange team building programs where workers get to compete with one another in different sports and games. This helps them interact and get to know each others personalities outside the working environment. Hence they get to bond at a more personal level.
In every given organization, there are a given percentage of employees who report directly to one supervisor or manager. The supervisors, managers, and any other leaders in an organization are required to be people of high moral conduct and ones who command respect from their juniors. They should respect their juniors and be fair to them avoiding practices such as tribalism, nepotism, and racism.
At Unilever, the leaders are well trained and taken through special leadership programs. They are non-discriminative and can be fired upon practicing any acts of discrimination. Before one is appointed as a leader, they are well vetted for proper leadership qualities. A leader here is the one who motivates and encourages his/her juniors and relates well with them. They also have to uphold all the companys rules and regulations and stick to them. With good relations between the leader and his or her subordinates, a company grows.
Dubrin does not ignore the presence of conflict and stress at the workplace as it is normal for humans to disagree. He, however, goes on to stress the importance of conflict resolution and stress management for the good of an organization. When employees are under stress or at loggerheads with one another, they are less productive at work. As such, it is important to ensure that such issues are well taken care of for the well being of the workers and the whole organization.
At Unilever, there is a special unit for stress management as well as a counselor that workers can talk to anytime at no costs. In case of conflicts amongst the workers, they are encouraged to work out their differences or seek help from the companys counselor if needed. Good relations amongst the employees are encouraged as they are vital for the well being of the company.
An organization can either undergo a strategic change or an operational change. A strategic change refers to the long-term change with reference to the scope and strategy of a given organization. This could be due to competition from other similar organizations or due to change in consumer demands. An operational change, on the other hand, refers to the technological, systemic, procedural, and structural changes in an organization. Organizations and companies tend to change their technology systems as well as structure in order to keep up with the ever changing consumer demands and also to better their production processes.
Like any other organization, Unilever has also undergone these various changes. The technology has been upgraded for easier production of consumer goods. The goods produced now are of better quality and serve the needs of consumers. The marketing strategies have also been changed in order to maintain and attract even more customers.
Due to globalization, many companies today attract people from different cultural backgrounds. As a result, the employees often have different practices, beliefs, and way of doing things. The cultural background of every employee should be considered before assigning them duties to avoid going against their beliefs.
Unilever is no different from these companies. Since it has branches in 190 countries, its employees are from different cultural backgrounds. However, the company ensures that its workers are not discriminated on the basis of culture. The different cultural practices are integrated into the companys way of doing things, and the company seeks to provide even more goods that will attract consumers from the various cultures. As a result, the cultural diversity improves the productivity and promotes innovation.
Organizational behavior is important in the growth of any organization or company as a company needs to be organized to thrive. In the above analysis of Unilever Company, we observe the different concepts of organizational behavior and how they have been applied. These concepts include: organizational history; individual differences; attitudes, values and ethics; motivational methods and programs; interpersonal communication; teams and teamwork; leadership in organizations; conflict, stress and well being; organizational change and cultural diversity. The study of these different aspects of the organization helped to determine their effect on the companys growth and development.