The Culture Effect in Peru’s Organizational Business Climate

For this job he was hired to modernize the company’s accounting system on the basis of his achievements in previous jobs. Ever since he started, he noticed that people who reported to him were completely unmotivated due to the treatment they received from the finance manager, Carlos’ boss and son of the company’s owner.

When consulting with his co-workers on his proposed changes, he found only negative answers, mocking smiles and apathy. Similarly, after three months on the job and after analyzing the accounting situation, he presented a re-engineering plan to his boss that also included personal changes within the workforce, mainly an administrative assistant who did not show any disposition to improve her work. He also recommended the implantation of a new and modern computer system.

The investment necessary to make these changes was estimated at S/.60,000. It would reduce the time for accounting processes from 20 to 5 days, emit financial statements and accounting analyses, and overall save the company S/.80,000 annually. With the current system, accounting reports and analyses were only prepared once a year, mainly for tax purposes. The owners had most of the necessary information in their heads and didn’t need any accounting reports on paper.

Carlos presented his recommendations and hoped that his boss – as it was the case in his previous company – would call him the following day to either congratulate him or ask him for more information. When this did not happen, he waited for a week, then went to his boss to ask him what he thought of his suggestions. The answer of the CFO was that he had not found the time to read it thoroughly. He also thought it was crazy to recommend an expense in the area of US$20,000 and that he wanted to exchange loyal employees who spent many years with the organization.

He also reminded him that he had been hired to solve problems and not to create them. His recommendation, which according to his boss made no sense, came in addition to constant complaints he received from accounting employees who felt threatened by the way Carlos wanted them to change their working habits.

His boss recommended that he solves all problems with the resources available and that he should try to get along better with his co-workers, especially with the department’s secretary. It was only after being fired that Carlos found out his assistant had a sentimental relationship with the CFO.

After this conversation, which the entire company found out about, Carlos lost control over his people and the monthly financial statements were emitted even later than the 20 days they used to take. His boss criticized him again, and three months later, fired him.

We frequently see cases like that of Carlos, in which people fail soon after initiating a career change, after beginning to work for a new company, or after accepting a promotion. This failure, together with the subsequent dismissal, is generally attributed to a performance problem of the person, who then has to carry this bad image around for a long time. Having been fired by a company for poor performance generates bad references when looking for another job.

Nonetheless, in many cases people are fired for the lack of a fitting in to the organizational culture. This lack is a fault of the selection processes and, therefore, it is the responsibility of the company.

Even though a person fired for poor performance has been successful during his education or in previous jobs, it is clear that he will feel this exit as a failure, and doubts will arise on his professional skills and capabilities.

How does culture influence the organizational climate?
The culture of an organization is formed by the values, beliefs and behavioral norms that determine the way things are done or the way people work.

An environment in which the boss is the only one who decides what has to be done and how, where employee recommendations are not taken into account, where a culture of favoritisms exists or in which sentimental relationships between subordinates and leaderships are permitted, has a negative effect on the overall working climate.

What do we recommend to the companies?
Before contracting or at beginning the selection process, the hiring person should clearly define the profile of the position and also consider the organization’s culture and working environment.

What do we recommend to job seekers?
People looking for a new job should try to find out as much as possible about the culture, environment and behavior of the company, including its leadership. For example, how many people have been working in the position before and what happened to them, how long did they last and why did they leave.