June 17, 2024

Organizational culture

What is organizational culture

The common perception held by the organisation’s member, a system of shared meaning

The sum total of Attitudes, Experiences, Meanings and Values of an organization

The specific collection of values and norms that are shared by people and groups in an organization and that control the way they interact with each other and with stakeholders outside the organization

Organizational culture, also known as corporate culture, refers to the values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that characterize and contribute to organization’s unique social and emotional work environment.

Organizational culture is unique for every organization and one of the hardest things to change and consists of written and unwritten rules that have been developed over time.

What is the difference between organisational & corporate culture?

Corporate culture is more rooted in an organisation’s goals, strategies, structure, and approaches to labor, customers, investors, and the greater community. It tend to emphasize ways of operating and functioning that lead to optimum profit. Different businesses and industries embody different cultural bents to meet strategies that work for them.

Organisational culture is defined as the underlying beliefs, assumptions, values and ways of interacting that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organisation.



Culture’s Functions:

  1. Defines the boundary between one organization and others
  2. Conveys a sense of identity for its members
  3. Facilitates the generation of commitment to something larger than self-interest


What are the types of organisational culture?

The four types of organisational culture are –

The Clan Culture

This culture is rooted in collaboration. Members share commonalities and see themselves are part of one big family who are active and involved. Leadership takes the form of mentorship, and the organisation is bound by commitments and traditions.

The Adhocracy Culture

This culture is based on energy and creativity. Employees are encouraged to take risks, and leaders are seen as innovators or entrepreneurs. The organisation is held together by experimentation, with an emphasis on individual ingenuity and freedom.

The Market Culture

This culture is built upon the dynamics of competition and achieving concrete results. The focus is goal-oriented, with leaders who are tough and demanding. The organisation is united by a common goal to succeed and beat all rivals. The main value drivers are market share and profitability.

The Hierarchy Culture

This culture is founded on structure and control. The work environment is formal, with strict institutional procedures in place for guidance. Leadership is based on organized coordination and monitoring, with a culture emphasizing efficiency and predictability.

The word ‘culture’ has its origins in the Latin word ‘colere’, which means to tend or cultivate. Simply put, organizational culture is how leadership tends to, cultivates, or takes care of its business, stakeholders, and employees. Culture can be defined as the consistent organizational behaviors of employees and leaders (norms).

 Strong culture and weak culture

A strong culture is a set of habits, norms, expectations, traditions, symbols, values and techniques that greatly influences the behavior of its members.

A weak culture is a culture that is individualistic whereby norms, symbols and traditions have little impact on behavior.


Keeping Culture Alive

  • Selection – Concern with how well the candidates will fit into the organization – Provides information to candidates about the organization
    • Top Management – Senior executives help to establish behavioral norms that are adopted by the organization
    • Socialization – The process that helps new employees adapt to the organization’s culture


How employees learn the culture?

  • Stories (narration of significant events)
  • Rituals and ceremonies practiced by members
  • Power symbols (facilities varies with hierarchy)
  • Heroes (top management becomes role model
  • Languages spoken (common thoughts and gestures)
  • Manager’s reaction to environmental uncertainty and complexity


Changing Organizational Culture

Behaviors and Visible artifacts:

  • Behavior Addition (Performing new behaviour without altering the previous ones)
  • Behavior Substitution (replacing old behaviours with new ones)
  • Changing lay out, design of logo etc

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