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Analysing Key Pillars of Organisation Behavior: Leadership, Motivation, and Culture. A Case of Huawei

Part 1: Review of relevant academic sources


Al-Shaiba et al. (2019) emphasise that organisational performance depends upon leadership, culture, and motivation. Stimulating leadership provides strategic direction and orientation for staff, while high pay and benefits, professional advancement opportunities, and tying individual dreams to the company are all motivating factors in making people perform. Moreover, establishing an organisational culture requires core values to direct behaviour and frame thinking to enhance performance. These pillars of organisational behaviour will be developed optimally based on companies ‘leadership development, staff motivation, and the culture they promote in developing skills. This essay will examine three pillars of organisational behaviour (OB) and their application at Huawei and suggest areas of improvement.

Organisational Culture

Organisational culture reflects a company’s core identity and how employees conduct themselves; it also refers to shared values, assumptions, and norms (McShane & Von Glinow, 2018). These are the collective ideas that provide organisation members with their standards for what is right or wrong. Organisational norms shape people’s work methods, while invisible presuppositions regarding the company culture also affect them. These factors create a unique organisational culture, represented by nice corporate space and happy employees.

Edgar Schein's corporate culture model

Source: Psychological Safety, (2023).Edgar Schein’s levels of organisation culture

Edgar Schein’s corporate culture model looks at artifacts, values, and assumptions; these are the three layers Schein sees moving beneath culture’s strength (Psychological Safety, 2023). Artifacts are just items that can be observed on the surface-dress code, office layout, and company slogans; however, artifacts also do not show deeper levels of culture. The second level is espoused values, representing what an organisation stands for; these ideas are expressed in leadership mission statements, policies, and rhetoric. Nevertheless, people’s implicit value assumptions are not necessarily peaceful and harmonious-often they contradict the wisdom of their actions. The deepest assumptions are unconscious perceptions of human relationships, truth, and nature. When difficulties are solved, assumptions are made to influence behaviour subconsciously. Therefore, by comprehending the assumptions, one can clearly articulate the drivers of OB in an organisation (Psychological Safety, 2023).

Besides, in an organisational culture, another important aspect is attraction-selection-attrition (ASA). Organisations hire people whose value systems conform to the nation’s culture and release workers who do not fit their cultures. It was like reading a definition by Schneider et al. (Schneider et al., 1995, p.751). The ASA cycle becomes homogeneous by screening incompatible members and selecting compatible ones; therefore, veteran employees also socialise company rules and practices with new hires. Through a mutually reinforcing cycle, the ASA process imbues common values and concepts in an organisation’s spirit or culture.


Leadership is hard work, though crucial to organisational survival. Potosky and Azan (2023) define effective leadership as impacting, driving, and assisting others to benefit the organisation; this means providing a healthy working environment, fostering innovation, and helping with obstacles. The best leader is also an environment builder. In addition to motivating and directing others, a great leadership style tends toward the transformational by introducing teams to visions of themselves in desirable, progressive futures. Likewise, transformational leaders ensure team members collaborate to create the organisation’s vision and determine suitable plans. In addition, transformational leaders appreciate the diversity of their employees and encourage communication with them; they inspire others to put aside individual gain for that of the organisation. Similarly, transformational leadership goes beyond mere transactional interaction by releasing the full potential of individuals ‘and groups’ creativity and prompting increased organisational resilience, agility, and competitive edge (Negussie & Hirgo, 2023).

Likewise, the participatory leadership model requires team members to consult with one another before taking large-scale action; it values diversity and increases employee participation. This kind of leadership emphasises employees ‘participation in decision-making and interacting with colleagues carefully to gather different viewpoints (Coffeng et al., 2023). This tandem approach engenders a sense of belonging among team members, intimating that the success or failure of their work depends on everyone’s responsibility. In addition, the Path-Goal Leadership Theory emphasises that leaders should adjust their behaviour depending on the people around them and the environment. The idea outlines four leadership styles: Directive, Supportive, Participative, and Achievement-Oriented for various circumstances. Dare & Saleem (2022) indicate that directive leadership clarifies tasks; they suggest that where there is a high degree of task uncertainty, supportive leadership promotes a good work environment interface. Overall, the Path-Goal theory emphasises the nature of adaptive leadership, that a leader’s style will vary with employee abilities and experience, locus of control, and job structure.


Psychological factors such as motivation, which includes leading, intensifying and maintaining the willingness to behave voluntarily, influence employee engagement and job satisfaction. The correlation between satisfying employees and customers is positive because satisfied personnel are more committed and loyal to organisations (Robbins & Judge, 2021). Robbins and Judge (2021) also suggest that happy workers are good workers, echoing the larger phenomenon of cordial employees being more productive. However, because workers are likelier to work hard when they are happy, it is not easy for everybody; therefore, one must understand what incentives motivate certain individuals to spur them and enhance workplace productivity. In addition, the performances of some employees might be so hampered by technological limitations or the requirement for interdependence with colleagues in production that they cannot maintain control.

Maslow's hierarchy theory

 Source: Mcleod, (2023). Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs

Maslow’s hierarchy theory of motivation posits a basic human life-needs regime, arguing that the satisfaction of lower needs motivates people to meet higher ones (Mcleod, 2023). The theory divides these needs into five levels, arranged in a pyramid from basic to advanced: In terms of basic, physiological needs (food, water, and shelter); needs like security and stability; social needs like belongings and interactional relationships; esteem needs such as recognition, self-worth and lastly self-actualisation needs (Mcleod, 2023). However, critics have found this paradigm insufficiently informed with empirical material about firm requirements development within a strict hierarchical framework.

Motivation involves intrinsic and extrinsic motivation; the latter comes from rewards or attention, while intrinsic motivations are based on competence and autonomy needs (Morris et al., 2022). Places of employment that stress intrinsic motivation offer workers freedom and self-development, allowing them to choose when, where, and how they work. Intrinsic drive is connected directly to autonomy, that is, the right of employees to decide when they work, what they do, and where. For extrinsic motivation involves activities that contribute to external rewards, it includes external stimuli such as such recognition, gifts and avoidance of punishments. Therefore, individuals are spurred by external factors such as social approval, financial incentives and praise from colleagues or managers. However, sometimes extrinsic motivators suppress intrinsic drive, requiring a balance to engage employees. Thus, engaged, satisfied, committed, and involved people forecast successful direction for organisations (Ficarra et al., 2020).

Part 2: Case study analysis and recommendations

Huawei Company overview

Huawei, a telecommunications giant in 1987, was built from the ground up by Ren Zhengfei. With more than 207,00 employees (Huawei A, nd), the company reaches over three billion people in around 17O countries. Yahoo Finance (2023) reported that in the third quarter of the last three years, Huawei projected revenues to reach $62.4 billion. The worldwide firm prioritises technological creation, although it has attracted praise and criticism recently. Its rapid growth is due to its hierarchical nature; Huawei’s 5G technology is just the latest evidence of its influence on telecommunications. This section analyses Huawei through the lens of culture, leadership, and motivation.

Analysing Huawei Culture

According to McShane & Von Glinow (2018), organisational culture is the most important factor for an organisation’s identity and employee behaviour. From this perspective, Huawei has a diversified organisational culture as one of its core pillars; along this line, Hall (2023) uncovers how the meticulous designs and arrangements of objects in Huawei’s new flagship Dongguan Campus reflect cultural values. Moreover, Huawei’s open spaces and glass walls embody cooperation, innovation, and sincerity in their commitment to transparency. The Inspiration Lab (iLab) and TCS Laboratory, located at vanguard points of technological development (Huawei c, and; Huawei, 2022), are home to breakthrough ideas and directly reflect the pursuit of innovative Huawei culture. These facilities vividly portray how an organisation’s culture is embodied through its physical structure.

Moreover, Huawei’s annual reports also attempt to clarify the ideals that inform ethical decision-making (Psychological Safety, 2023). However, stability, honesty, wisdom and courage are ideals that affect daily operations. Deeper, Huawei’s tactic assumptions show a cultural attitude that emphasises plans for the long haul, such as their campaign to include everyone in the digital world by using cutting-edge technologies and solutions (Huawei b, nd). Accordingly, Huawei intentionally uses the Attraction-Selection-Attrition (ASA) model that Schneider et al. (1995) developed to build its culture. This careful process of recruiting people whose values conform to cultural norms creates a unified and solid organisational culture at Huawei.

Analysing Huawei Leadership

Huawei’s leadership is a broad undertaking involving many styles, each contributing to company success. According to Potosky and Azan (2023), healthy leadership at Huawei is a comprehensive, integrated approach to influencing people’s thinking. Huawei’s founder and chief executive, Ren Zhengfei, sees this as work for a transformative leader visioning the future. His seven leadership lessons support this: purpose-driven ambition, inspiration and adaptiveness, vision, humble dedication, directive style, winning by cooperating, and the power of learning (Cremer & Tao 2015). Ren Zhengfei’s transformational leadership through creativity and innovation is supported by Huawei’s 5G commitment and interest in developing artificial intelligence that fits right within this disruptive approach. Moreover, the participative leadership style at Huawei creates an interactive culture ideal for variety and encourages colleagues to share ideas (Coffeng et al., 2023); it also makes shared responsibility a norm. Not only does Huawei actively consult team members, but the spirit underlying most of its technology development projects is to get many teams working together on research and innovation.

Seven Leadership Lessons of Ren Zhengfei

Source: Cremer & Tao (2015). Seven Leadership Lessons of Ren Zhengfei

Similarly, Huawei applies the Path-Goal Leadership paradigm, which stresses situational leadership (Dare & Saleem, 2023). Throughout technology development, directional leadership is applied to clear things up. The comfortable work environment and employee well-being here are examples of supportive leadership at Huawei; this is apparent in situations requiring high-task ambiguity, which calls for concrete directive leadership. To help employees achieve well-being and satisfaction, Huawei’s managers create a work atmosphere conducive to health. Huawei respects achievement-oriented leadership, sets high goals, encourages steady advancement, and puts effort into excellence. Overall, Huawei’s adaptive leadership is well suited to the Path-Goal theory, which responds to people’s ability level, experience, locus of control and job structure. This adaptability also makes Huawei’s leadership methods dynamic and responsive to the organisation’s various needs in different environments.

Application of Motivation at Huawei

Happy employees increase organisational identification, and corporate loyalty motivation improves employee engagement (Robbins & Judge, 2021). Ren Zhengfei, Huawei’s founder and chief executive officer, motivates workers through innovation and technology. Employee satisfaction is the key to customer satisfaction, and Huawei has achieved global coverage in 170 countries worth over three billion people (Huawei A, nd). Besides, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs can explain Huawei’s motivation, the company provides employees with resources and a comfortable environment that meets their physiological and safety needs (Huawei d, nd). Apart from these intrinsic and extrinsic factors, Huawei also seeks to provide staff members with the motivation they need for a lively workplace (Morris et al., 2022). Intrinsic motivation is supported by the company’s emphasis on liberty and personal growth; moreover, Huawei lets the employee decide his time, work and location, supporting the concept of Maslow’s self-actualisation. Furthermore, Huawei has extrinsic motivations to complement its intrinsic method. For example, years back, Huawei Technologies suggested increasing the salaries of its 190,00 global employees and giving them cash awards of about $ 286 million (Huawei f, nd). However, Huawei must combine external motivators with inner motivation to avoid stifling drive.


Continuous Fostering Unity in Diversity

Huawei must invest in cultural assimilation with its rich and diverse global workforce to succeed. Huawei should make culture a regular topic for inspection with the four constant values of stability, honesty, wisdom and courage as criteria. Surveys, focus groups and employee involvement can complement these assessments. Customised training is a feasible recommendation; programs should reinforce official pronouncements and clarify how they will be applied in daily work. When the going gets tough, Huawei could even make case studies from such employees. Teams can debate these situations to foster communication and shared cultural conformism. Huawei is also possibly applying technology to create a virtual platform for intercultural discussion and exchange of views. The goal is to tear down the cultural barriers within an organisation and make a more integrated world. Furthermore, programs that pair staff members from outside cultures can promote the exchange of information and knowledge.

Nurturing Dynamic and Adaptive Leaders

Next, Huawei needs an overall leadership development system focusing on transformative and participatory leadership. Workshops, seminars and online courses can be part of the program to teach leaders how to innovate, manage change and motivate workrooms. Furthermore, emotional intelligence and cross-cultural leadership will increase Huawei’s flexibility in its leadership development. Since the organisation has operations in various markets around the globe, its chief executives have to learn how to manage groups of people with different backgrounds and cultures. Virtual reality, case studies and cultural immersion are also possible training topics. Moreover, the programs can also bring young leaders together with experienced executives; this mentorship strategy can help with knowledge transmission, skill training and developing a leadership pipeline.

Balancing Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivators

A comprehensive incentive system recognising individual and group achievements is a good idea. Examples are career advancement, bonuses for performance and recognition programs. Huawei must be positive that extrinsic rewards uphold its values and promote a healthy work environment. Huawei needs to work on internal motivators: autonomy and personal growth. Huawei also employs skill development, mentorship, and creative expression to build intrinsic motivation. The motivational ecology can be assessed through employee surveys and focus groups; with this feedback loop, Huawei can keep up to date with data and remain effective at motivating.


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