This assignment explores symbols of culture in organizations. I will explore symbols of culture in Anthem (Blue Cross) an insurance company where I work. The assignment will explore expounded values, observable artifacts, and enacted values. Anthem (Blue Cross) is an insurance company that provides health insurance in the US. It is ranked 33 in Fortune 500 and has been rated as the largest in terms of profit in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. The company uses a logo that is of logotype underscored with a horizontal rule and a ® mark. The logo is blue which illustrates the patent name of the company Blue Shield.
Rafaelli and Pratt (2013) define observable artifacts as the beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes that are meaningful and important. In the case of Anthem Inc. an example of observable artifact includes a unified and inclusive culture which ensures they attain the needs of their stakeholders. Anthem Inc. (2019) explains that it operates in an environment that emboldens the employees to do the right things; fosters empathy and engagement; supports risk-taking, creativity, and excellence; and one that encourages transparency. The company has corporate responsibilities where they have joined the community in making healthcare simpler for users. The company puts its consumers at the core by providing services that are beneficial to consumers. This is attained by the active involvement of all associates in the best way to provide services to the consumers.
In artifacts, there are espoused values that can be defined as conscious philosophies, goals, and strategies. Bellot (2011) explains that it is crucial that all organizations should have espoused values. This is because without espouse values, employees in an organization would follow their value system rather than organization values. People of all backgrounds can work in Anthem Inc. as it encourages and embraces diversity. Some employees argue that Anthem Inc. is a great work/life balance where it also offers competitive wages to employees.
As an employee in the company, I can bear witness on this aspect as Anthem Inc. operates towards engaged and empowered employees and also provides the opportunity of remote/work at home positions. The espoused values of Anthem Inc. also include a commitment to employee longevity and there is a low turnover rate among employees. The values are in line with the company’s mission which is “to become consistent service and becoming faster and simpler with every action we take” (Anthem Inc., 2019).
Enacted values can be defined as the norms and values that are converted exhibited to employee behavior. The enacted values for any business are identified by exploring the short-term goals for the business, the standards held by the company and the actions of employees. There is a conflict between espoused and enacted values in any organization. For example, I conduct my role in the business based on the ethical aspect of every situation which guides me consciously in making decisions.
Being a healthcare based organization, a majority of individuals in the company apply care-based thinking which helps in understanding the impact the decision or the impact can have on the recipient and what would be my impact if I was the perpetrator. Therefore, the aspect of enacted values is founded on the aspect of ethical decision making a value that is valued in Anthem Inc. Due to this; there is a low gap between espoused and enacted values in Anthem Inc.
Anthem Inc. (2019). Anthem, Inc. Mission, Vision & Values. Anthem Inc.. Retrieved from https://www.comparably.com/companies/anthem-in/mission
Bellot, J. (2011, January). Defining and assessing organizational culture. In Nursing forum (Vol. 46, No. 1, pp. 29-37). Malden, USA: Blackwell Publishing Inc.
Rafaeli, A., & Pratt, M. G. (Eds.). (2013). Artifacts and organizations: Beyond mere symbolism. Psychology Press.Strati, A. (2013). Organizational artifacts and the aesthetic approach. In Artifacts and organizations (pp. 39-56). Psychology Press.
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