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Corporate Manners - Do Good Manners Matter Anymore?

Part One:  An Introduction

By Kathleen Hogan, MBA - September 29, 2010

A few years ago, I wrote a paper on corporate manners contrasting two different workplace environments in two different companies within the same industry.  Though the comparison  involved a regionally based savings bank versus a nationally known mortgage bank, the findings are applicable to companies conducting business across industries and countries.

This is especially applicable to the hospitality industry whose primary purpose is to deliver customer satisfaction daily.  

Corporate manners was defined as the ethics, management style, accountability and professional decorum embodied in the performance of senior management on a daily basis.  The premise was that the manners of senior management impacted the productivity of internal team members more directly than the professed corporate culture.  That is to say, the manners of senior management in an organization ultimately define its corporate culture and success more than the written mission statement or creed.

My research  revealed the following:  

With deregulation and advanced technologies fueling the global reach and operation of companies conducting business, the organizational structure becomes more horizontal and team-oriented in design to afford greater flexibility and speed in competing markets.  Big companies compete head to head with small entrepreneurs.  

Team performance is critical to the success of the organization which, in turn, increases the importance of the individual team member.  Senior management as the top managers are increasingly required to set the direction, motivate and harness the collective and creative energies of diverse teams.  

The effectiveness of the team in terms of ability and willingness to perform is influenced by the atmosphere created in the workplace.  The team attitude toward work and senior management is, therefore, crucial in producing successful results. 

The leadership style and attitude exhibited by senior management impacts whether the workplace atmosphere is negative or positive.  The underlying attitude of management reveals itself in the manner with which they conduct business.  Team members discern the difference between what is said and what is done, resulting in a team that functions in accordance with the example set by senior management. 

The performance of the team is influenced by how the team is managed.  Mutual respect promotes a positive atmosphere and spirit of cooperation within the organization, increasing the chances for successful results.

If successful results are the business goal, then earnings are key.  The three conditions that enrich team members are: 

1. challenge,  
2. empowerment and 
3. significance.  
These working conditions also drive earnings.  As motivation, value and achievement levels rise, so does production, performance and results.

Senior management influences the creation, maintenance and balance of these three ingredients needed for earning success.  At the heart of the organizationís earning success is the rapport between individual people as they work together for a shared goal. 

Corporate manners establish a living culture and successful companies recognize that good manners are very important in business as in life. Do You Have Good Manners?

In Corporate Manners - Part Two,  I will share the case study of two companies and how their corporate manners affected their respective team members.

Kathleen Hogan, MBA is Co-Founder and Publisher of  She has a background in management, banking, and finance with a Masterís Degree concentration in Human Resources Management.  In addition, Kathleen is a hospice volunteer in Phoenix, Arizona, where she currently resides.


 Kathleen Hogan, MBA



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