Lincoln Electric's Culture

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Lincoln Electric began with a $200 investment, the ingenuity, and the drive from a beleaguered industrialist, John C. Lincoln, in 1895. After over a decade, his brother, James F. Lincoln, was brought on board to run the company and left John to his other ventures. This well reputed company was only in its infancy. As time would unfold, a distinctive culture was about to shift the paradigm. The organizational culture of Lincoln Electric continues to be well respected and studied far and wide. This report will delve into the genesis of Lincoln Electric's culture and decipher its current culture as it relates to Arthur Sharplin's 1989 case study. Organizational culture is something that is difficult to comprehend with the five senses. It…show more content…
These components include its mission statement, its rituals, its policies, the physical layout of its facilities and how stories shape their culture. Lincoln Electric has a mission “to earn and retain global leadership as a total quality supplier of superior products and services.” Next, we'll look at the rituals, or traditions, the company implements. As previously mentioned, employees of Lincoln Electric have enjoyed yearly bonuses since 1934, regular Advisory Committee meetings with executives, and job security. In recent years, markets have seen slumps and as such companies have had to layoff employees. With average unemployment rates in Cleveland, Ohio peaking at 12.5% in the past decade, Lincoln Electric employees are guaranteed a minimum of 32 hours after one year of employment. (Sharplin, 1989) This policy has stood since 1949 and an employee can feel comforted knowing they have income even in bad times. Finally, we will analyze Lincoln Electric's rules and policies. Most of the policies that are found today at Lincoln Electric are rooted in the founders beliefs. Some of these polices include open communication, lack of organizational structure, its human resource practices and its general management practices. Open communication is evident in day to day operations as interviews with the employees in the case study reveal. An example of this is James Lincoln's establishment of the employee selected advisory board. A suggestion system was inaugurated in 1929. Suggestion cash awards were originally offered but suspended and now additional merit points are rewarded in lieu of direct cash. Organizational structure has never been adopted to “ensure maximum flexibility.” (Sharplin, 1989) This same policy has led to encouragement of workers to seek resolution from anyone that is best suited to handle the issue.

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