Why is the silo mentality still so strong? A case study investigating the silo mentality in the Company twenty years after the two sister companies merged
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According to Gleeson and Rozo (2013), a silo mentality does not happen by accident. The root cause may trickle down from the top management and is often caused by conflicting leadership teams. Behaviours such as a lack of communication, respect, knowledge and basic training and the inability for some to work nicely together across the departments, may be caused by the silo mentality in the company but it is not the root cause. It is therefore important to find and define the “elephant in the room”. This case study examines two sister companies who are now two divisions in the same company. They have different deliveries, culture and focus in the same market. Very often the two divisions are dependent on each other to complete and deliver the client package on time and at the right quality. My research is not to find out if the Company has a silo mentality, but to find out why it is still so strong after all these years. A qualitative research method is used to study the social cultural behaviours and phenomena in depth. The data samples used were based on stories (”small talks”), results from in-house workshops, employee engagement survey and four final interviews. The research was defined as inductive; it started wide with a large amount of data. The data were coded and sorted into fewer categories and themes through several rounds of merging. The coding was a way to simplify the data. The results from this study conclude that the lack of top management cultural strategies before and after the merger has had an affect on the silo mentality today. In addition, the mangers have a limited global system understanding, system perspective and the complexity of achieving measurable returns on investing in “one company” cooperation. Managers work without this understanding and concentrate on their own “turf”. The profit and loss centres and the managers KPIs are not in line with a one company strategy.