Hi. Welcome to screen side chats of week six. I'll be your host for the dress code question. Today is Halloween in the United States. And in Dan's class Everybody dressed up and they had a job fair, and some people that showed up for jobs were more prepared and dressed appropriately than others. And some of us, dressed as crazy Superman. And I want you to realize, real quick. Clark Kent, Superman, Clark Kent, Superman [LAUGH]. So, now we're back to Clark Kent and I don't want anybody to get too upset but, the question I'm going to answer has to do with dress codes here. And if you'll bear with me yes I will keep the costume on that we're wearing all day today. And the question was, in your opinion, how important is a dress code in organizational culture? Which one would be appropriate, depending on the type of organization. Or the day within the organization. And a bunch of you had a variety of responses, and a group of you said, well, dress code doesn't matter. But Svetlana Moshkova, said, you know, people and employees choose the dress code. Chosen. in other cases, a lot of you said, yeah, it does matter. It's a, it matters because it's a minimum expected degree of professionalism, yes, totally professional. with others of you said it matters because with turn over the dress code kind of projects consistency so you know, that's Marsha Munt, who is arguing that. Jimmy Butler arguing for minimum expected professionalism. others of you argued that, you know, it kind of is more important now than it is in the past. And that was Annorea Masu Mascuna? Massoura? who wrote that. That it's becoming more important, albeit I kind of wonder Noria. Whether that's true, there's a lot of literature that suggests that in the middle ages, when everybody lived on top of each other in the same town, that they all went to the same church. They all went to the same organizations. They all kind of did multiple tasks. The division of labor was less, less elaborate, that, the way people distinguished each other was by style. The royalty wore, you know, purple. and the peasants had no access to those dyes, things like that. So style really mattered. moreover today, style is often driven by youth culture where they constantly shift their style, because it's somewhat affordable. To alter it, and then that way they can maintain boundaries like who's in, and who's out, and which hierarchy is better than another. So we often look to youth culture for style changes changes, and it's because they, that they can quickly innovate much more than we do. it's often the only cultural resource they can manipulate with their given income. but today you know, it turns out it's not so much style, perhaps. Some people argue that it's really residence, that, you know, now days we see wealthy people who can dress like this or as a bum and they might be millionaires. whereas in other, and even in firms like Google where people dress down, they have some kind of, of degree of not caring about the dress code. Where as it's kind of maybe specific to a discipline or a, a profession that they dress up more or less. So, dress code can kind of fit certain norms of, of professions and the like or particular cultures as well as kind of even income classes. Now so it's not really clear whether that time, it's more important now than in the past. I don't know if that would hold. expected professionalism you know, perhaps dress codes establish more professionalism in the past, but now with greater bureaucracy and legal constraints in place, about behaviors and appropriateness maybe dress code is less important for that regard. in terms of turnover, yes, dress code can kind of project consistency, so I think that's fair. in other cases, you know, it can be a tool, dress codes, for achieving consistency. Or as well as conceiving achieving kinds of organizational goals. So the fact that, that workers wear utility helmets, this is something that Svetlana brought up. could be kind of functional. There's a utility to certain things, like whether you have a gun, whether you wear a uniform, you're identifiable as somebody who could help, like a police officer. in other cases, they're kind of symbolic, though, right? So in some cultures, the police officers don't carry guns. They might now have tools, but they're identifiable as a presence as more symbolic and what have you. Now of course formal wear when you wear ties and jackets and the like does kind of symbolize seriousness to some in quite a few cultures and it, it might also symbolize respect, and that was kind of I think Jimmy's point. But on the other hand it also can convey elitism and snobbery. So, just because you dressed well doesn't necessarily mean that you provide an excellent product. so particularly in the you know, west coast United States, which is a little more perhaps entrepreneurial and freewheeling. You're only as good as the last thing you ever produced, or the last thing you wrote or the last lecture you gave. And because of that, you know, the, the lack of concern, the more informality people exhibit maybe kind of corresponding to that. So it may be reflective of cultural norms of the society in which we're in here. the last thing I want to say is that it's clear that people manipulate dress to accomplish kinds of of intents. And you look at quite a few organizations and we haven't really discussed much. Like the military, asylums, mental institutions, prisons, even schools with dress codes. What's going on there, is there's a cultural socialization of individuals that's going on. And, think of it this way, when someone arrives at prison, they're, they're you know, disrobed they if they go into prison, they are, their heads are often shaved. Same thing with military. They're given a, a uniform that they have to wear. All their identity accouterments of a personal identity are removed. their behaviors are controlled to the point where they're rewarded for things that are consistent with the organization. And they are, punished for things that are not. And there's this whole socialization of, of practices and privileges and symbols that are afforded the individuals that, as long as they are consistent with the socialization intents of that organization and its culture, that they can have, that they can utilize. Of course, that leads to a heavy underlife, where certain meanings and practices can kind of go against the culture, of the organization. But it's also kind of a socialization process, so those of you who've seen you know, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which is a famous movie. knows about asylums, and how they're socialized into them. It's maybe not accurate today. But it does show this process by which we're stripped of, of symbolic freights and rendered into some kind of uniform identity. And organizations have that. Well, I mean, it's not like I can show up to work like this everyday or people would think I'm really bizarre. but today it motivated the students to see you know, in a job fair, a mock job fair, where they tried to exhibit different organizational cultures. And they had to appeal to the different individuals in the, in the audience who showed up with different identities, and I was of course the completely crazy guy that they had to appeal to. And that wasn't very easy for everybody. but, and just to have a little fun was basically the idea. And I think a lot of them had fun. A lot of the students actually showed up dressed up as me which was kind of surprising. So you know, imagine 20 people dressed up like me going to this job fair and pretending to, to do that my behavior is, my mannerisms and the like. So it was kind of cute. It was an activity just to see how you could construct at least an external front of a culture for an organization. That was quite different from the internal experience of it. And not only that but how people could adopt a persona. But they would then try to align with these various organizations. So it was kind of a neat exercise. And I'm, I'm grateful for Maria for asking about dress codes. I think they do matter. I think that allowing for some informality, occasionally, like on a national holiday, like Halloween, in the United States, that it brings in a little degree of fun. I can exhibit some kind of idiosyncrasies and eccentricities that may be showing a person behind the role, or something. And, that can kind of motivate and help people identify. So, there you have it. this is, your last screen side chat for Halloween. concerning dress codes from crazy unshorn Superman. Bye.