eview the discussion of values on pages 86 and 87, paying special attention to the chart of terminal and instrumental values. When you feel you understand the differences between terminal and instrumental values, move on to the video.

George Carlin is one of my favorite comedians and I hope you too will enjoy his performance in this brief video. The only thing I dislike is he sometimes swears to much! Ooops, my values are showing.

Enjoy the video. 


Here are some questions to answer and discuss in your group.

1.    Do you think Carlin's message about "Stuff" is referring to terminal values or instrumental values? or is it a bit of both? Explain your view.

Because Carlin is describing situations that they show basic convictions about what is right and wrong, they are part of the value of those imaginaries people that Carlin stereotypes. In addition, the behaviors and situations that Carlin describes have components of both, terminal, in a high percentage, and instrumental, in a low percentage, values.

The Terminal Values are those goals that individuals would like to achieve during their lifetime. At Carlin’s speech we can find ideas and meanings related with “a confortable life”, “family security”, “Inner Harmony” between others. As example, in the Carlin speech we can see how people feel more sure carry on their stuff of having enough places to arrange their stuff. These two examples has different meanings; the first one is the feeling of security, independence, etc; the second one is related with many feeling such as own place, own territory, secure space, etc. These examples show the relationship at least with Inner Harmony, Comfortable life and family security.

Instrumental Values are means of achieving terminal values. At Carlin’s speech we have few clues of at least “Clean”, “logical” and “responsible” values. For example being logic, a person behavior could be relatively easy of predicting and be related with terminal values such as security and inner harmony.


2. Did Carlin's message have meaning for you? Did he persuade you to his view? Is it easy to persuade a person to change their values of such things as material possessions and material wealth?

Yes, Carlin’s message has a lot of meaning trying to understand people (e.g.: my daughters’ behaviors).

Because these values are more related with terminal values, they are very difficult to change. Some of these values are genetically determined and with a strong influence for the culture, parents, teachers, friends, and close environment. Nevertheless, the values vary in intensity in each person and some of these values, with lower intensity, could be modified; how much do they can? It depends of the intensity, other values, substitution of the value, etc.



Instrumental values

n  Ambitious

n  Broad-minded

n  Capable

n  Cheerful

n  Clean

n  Courageous

n  Forgiving

n  Helpful

n  Honest

n  Imaginative

n  Independent

n  Intellectual

n  Logical

n  Loving

n  Obedient

n  Polite

n  Responsible

n  Self-controlled


Terminal values

n  A comfortable life

n  An exciting life

n  A sense of accomplishment

n  A world at peace

n  Equality

n  Family security

n  Freedom

n  Happiness

n  Inner harmony

n  Mature love

n  National security

n  Pleasure

n  Salvation

n  Self-respect

n  Social recognition

n  True friendship

n  Wisdom



Review pages 98 to 106 in your text; the discussion centers around job satisfaction, employee productivity and organizational committment. Read the following true story about an Alabama ad agency, and post answers to the questions that follow .

Unseasoned as a manager, John Zimmerman never asked to be the president of a company, much less its savior. But so it happened when his two elder partners died violently –one in a plane-crash two years ago, the other a suicide ten months later. As Steiner/Bressler advertising slid toward financial ruin, Zimmerman mobilized his colleagues into a team.

Steiner was the managing partner, and he ran the company in a tight, autocratic style. The staff was experienced, very high caliber, and creative; however, Steiner wanted a say in every memo that was written and every telephone conversation that was made. He often fired people unnecessarily, making staff not trust him.

Says Zimmerman, “He was a terrific guy, really, but the agency was the center of his life, and he wanted it to be his style of perfect.” When Steiner committed suicide, no one knew what to do. Zimmerman recalls, “Rival agencies were telling our clients ‘Steiner/Bressler is falling apart. Zimmerman doesn’t know how to run a company.’” They were right. Zimmerman had never run a company before, and Steiner had not let him look over his shoulder.

But Zimmerman dug in, first tackling the money mess. Steiner had managed the books without listing even cost projections or basic profit breakdowns. “He kept information in his head, but nothing on paper – he followed a rigid set of rules and policies, but none of it was written down. He processed it all in his own head, and then shouted at people when they didn’t meet targets or deadlines they didn’t know about.” Zimmerman gathered all the data he could, then asked his staff how the books should best be structured so that they could use the information to the best advantage. They told him, and he arranged the books as they suggested.

Mending morale and sharing power were more daunting missions. Zimmerman asked himself, “What did I always want as an employee? Openness, honesty, and an ability to affect my future. I started with those ideas, and then worked out the smaller details. I wanted to feel the company, rather than see it as an organizational chart on paper.”

Change officially began three months after Steiner’s death, one chilly weekend in January when he took all his employees to rustic Eagle Lodge. They staged a wake for the old firm by tossing old stationary into the fire. After the fire, the employees divided into five groups to devise the ideal ad agency. The consensus: Serve however a client wishes. While some clients like to work with account executives, some preferred to talk directly to the ad-makers. Says Zimmerman, “I don’t care who they talk to, as long as it’s one of our employees!”

Employees asked for participation and got it. Zimmerman is giving everyone at Steiner/Bressler financial reports each quarter and is placing a minimum 40 percent after-tax profits into a company-wide bonus pool. Result: “Our expenses dropped 40 percent. We went from one cost control manager to thirty,” says Zimmerman. Monday morning management meetings now include all staff.

Amid catastrophe, Steiner/Bressler didn’t lose a client. New business has doubled since Steiner’s death. The company is profitable and has added seven more employees.

1.    How do Zimmerman and Steiner differ in power distance?


The term power distance refers to the extent to which culture members accept an unequal distribution of power. A culture characterized by high power distance accepts wider differences in power, and employees are expected to show a great deal of respect for those in authority. In contrast, a culture of low power distance plays down inequalities as much as possible. Efforts to minimize differences between employees and managers should support empowerment efforts by making everyone seem equally valued by the organization. Employee perceptions of empowerment will be negatively related to perceptions of power distance. Employees who perceive the culture as higher in power distance will report lower levels of empowerment than employees who perceive the culture as lower in power distance (Tracey Honeycutt, T. and Person, C., 2000).


Simmerman and Steiner have implemented different approaches running the company. These differences have strongly contributed in building a different power distance. Steiner, with his tight and autocratic management style has contributed to increase the power distance in the company; people perceived that Steiner has taken a high power (e.g.: writing memos for every telephone conversations) and given low power to other employees through intimidation (e.g.: firing people unnecessarily, making staff not trust him). In other side, Simmerman has contributed to decrease the power distance sharing power with employees (e.g. he asked his staff how the books should best be structured so that they could use the information to the best advantage; employees asked for participation and they got it).


As conclusion, the power distance between both managerial approaches has a significant difference.


2.    How do they differ in uncertainty avoidance?

Uncertainty avoidance deals with a society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity; it ultimately refers to man’s search for Truth. It indicates to what extent a culture programs its members to feel either uncomfortable or comfortable in unstructured situations. Unstructured situations are novel, unknown, surprising, and different from usual. Uncertainty avoiding cultures try to minimize the possibility of such situations by strict laws and rules, safety and security measures, and on the philosophical and religious level by a belief in absolute Truth; ‘there can only be one Truth and we have it’ (Merkin, R., 2006).


Simmerman and Steiner management approaches are significant different in uncertainty avoidance. Steiner approach tried to avoid any uncertainty taking control of the employees actions and relationships; this centralization shows a strong fear for incertitude and lack of confidence under any uncertainty (e.g.: writing memos for every telephone conversations). In other side, for the employees point of view, Steiner’s style has contributed with some uncertainty; the pressure that Steiner exerted over his employees, the centralization of decisions, concealment of information, etc contribute to increase the uncertainty for the employees and their future.  


Simmerman has a different approach giving to the company. For the point of view of the employees, this approach has decreased the uncertainty and has contributed with many parameters such as attitude, job satisfaction, organizational commitment and employee engagement.


3. What is the effect of the change of leadership style on productivity and profit at Steiner /Bressler?

For the point of view of productivity and the company profit, the Steiner/Bressler leadership style has contributed to create a higher uncertainty to the employees. This uncertainty has become in a lower job satisfaction, organizational commitment and level of attitude from the employees. This had a direct effect decreasing the productivity of the company, then its profit.

In Shawn et al. (Shawn, C. et all, 2006) we could read conclusions that support this idea. The study results suggest that both leadership styles explain a significant amount of variance in team performance and productivity outcomes. Specifically, task-focused leadership behaviors within teams was found to explain 11% of the variance in perceived team effectiveness and 4% of the variance in team productivity. However, leadership behaviors orientated towards the person accounted for slightly more variance in perceived team effectiveness (13%) and productivity (8%) than task focused behaviors. Behaviors that were orientated towards the person explained approximately double the variance in team productivity as compared to task-focused behaviors.


As Hoffman and Mehra (Hoffman, J. and Mehra, S., 1999) summarize in their study about the relationship between management leadership and productivity, several critical factors in the management style are potentially fatal to productivity. The lack of top management support, coordination among functions, and organizational communications in combination with project planning, training, and employee relationships form a framework that discourage success in productivity projects at all levels of the organization. This looks to be close to Steiner/Bressler style because high productivity levels are impossible to sustain without a leadership-based process-oriented environment that emanates from the support of employees, upper management, and the organization. This support comes first from an organizational atmosphere of achieving excellence. The second component is a clearly communicated and well understood set of organizational performance goals focusing on the total organization. Finally, support must flow from a sound performance measurement system that promotes creativity and innovation through well trained employees. This requires a carefully designed reward system that encourages improvement of productivity. As conclusion, Steiner/Bressler style has hurt the productivity of the company.


Then, we know that it exist a direct relationship between productivity and profitability (He, Y. et al., 2007). The authors go further establishing and link between productivity, consumer satisfaction and profitability, but they have demonstrate that for a specific consumer satisfaction, it exists a direct and positive relationship between productivity and profitability.

As conclusion, Steiner/Bressler style hurt profitability.


Works consulted

Tracey Honeycutt, T. and Pearson, C. (2000). Creating an empowering culture: examining the relationship between organizational culture and perceptions of empowerment. Journal of Quality Management Vol. 5. pp 27-52.


Merkin, R. (2006) Uncertainty avoidance and facework: A test of the Hofstede model. International Journal of Intercultural Relations. Vol. 30. pp 213–228


Hoffman, J. and Mehra, S. (1999) Management Leadership and Productivity Improvment Programs. Journal of Applied Quality Management. Vol 2. pp 221-232.


He, Y., Chan, L. and Wu, M. (2007). Balancing productivity and consumer satisfaction for profitability: Statistical and fuzzy regression analysis. European Journal of Operational Research. pp 252–263.


Tracey Honeycutt, T. and Pearson, C. (2000). Creating an empowering culture: examining the relationship between organizational culture and perceptions of empowerment. Journal of Quality Management Vol. 5. pp 27-52.




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