The social and psychological environment of an organization contributes to the overall performance of the employees. A good working environment boosts employee productivity and fosters good relations between employees and the outside world. Every organization stands by its culture. Therefore, organizational culture is a definitive element of every company. Organizational culture refers to the beliefs, values, norms, habits, vision, and principles of an organization (Gabrielle, 2006). Each organization has its own unique values and systems. However, there are universal guiding principles on how an organization must be framed to function efficiently in the business environment. These values are not prescribed by a monitoring body. Rather, the values emerge from the interactions between the business and its immediate environment. Such values include social responsiveness, gender equality, cultural diversity, and proper waste management. Organizational culture helps a business achieve its objectives by directing the efforts of the employees and evading conflict with the business environment.
Different organizations have varied cultures. Often, an organization adopts a system that best suits its interests, vision, or goals. In practice, there are various cultures, depending on the leadership or management style adopted by the organization. The most common ones include: work hard- play hard culture, process culture, and the tough guy macho culture (Hartnell, Ou, & Kinicki, 2011). Organizational cultures can also be categorized according to the factors they influence. To this end, there are power, work, person, and role cultures. Despite the differences, each organization has claimed to achieve tremendous success depending on the culture it has adopted. The work hard and play hard culture is relevant for software companies that need instant feedback on their products. Under this system, workers are subjected to hard work that alternates with periods of relaxation. In the process culture, workers work under no stress. The system accords total comfort and security, as it is typical with banks and the insurance businesses (Hartnell, Ou, & Kinicki, 2011). Unfortunately, the system has a low response mechanism. On the other hand, the tough guy macho culture combines rapid response, high rewards, and high risks. Employees operating under this system are subjected to great stress emanating from the manner of work they are engaged in. Examples of agencies operating under this culture include medical practitioners and sportspeople. The different cultures adopted by a business determine the company’s approach to trade, how it handles its employees, and the values it stands for.
Culture in an organization manifests in various ways. It could be the manner in which the company operates, treats its employees, adopts age diversity in employment, enhances gender equality, demonstrates corporate social responsibility, or interacts with the business environment. Irrespective of the manner in which culture is exhibited in an organization, it tells the outside world much about the operations of the company. The process of culture formation, implementation, and evaluation is an integral component of the company’s history (Boddy, 2011). A company is reputed for its particular manner of handling certain operations. For example, a look at prominent companies in the world such as General Motors, Toyota, and Google, one can tell that they handle certain issues uniquely. Google is reputed for its gender equality policy in employment. On the other hand, Toyota is famous for adopting a cultural diversity policy in employment. The uniqueness exhibited by these companies represents their value and cultural position. It is important for one to analyze the history of a company carefully to accurately determine its culture. Culture is intricately bound in the history of a company.
Cultural diversity is one of the most important aspects of organizational culture (Steven & Thomas, 2008). In the modern times, intermarriages and immigrations have led to the development of cosmopolitan towns and cities. It is possible to find almost all the major world races represented in a single town. Big cities are notorious for hosting people from all occupations. Besides, a business serves a diverse community of people, often made up of people from different races. Based on this, it is important for a corporation to have a diverse outlook. A differentiated and diverse workforce enhances the company’s image by portraying it as non-partisan (Steven & Thomas, 2008). In addition, cultural diversity improves the flow of work in an organization by preventing related people from engaging in conversations about local matters. Unrelated people have fewer shared interests hence are unlikely to engage in chitchat at work. To the business stakeholders, cultural diversity improves the organization’s appeal. People from diverse backgrounds feel appreciated by having their counterparts represented in the organization. Cultural diversity helps an association improve its overall outlook.
In coming up with an ideal organizational culture, companies are guided by the nature of activities they are engaged in, the type of results desired, the urgency of the work, and the organization’s vision. Stakeholders are involved in the search for an efficient culture that would steer the company to higher heights. A company’s vision guides the culture developers in framing the best company culture to influence the operations at the organization. Organizations that deal predominantly with people have a more approachable culture to people management (Michelle, 2006). On the other hand, organizations that deal mostly with products have a market-driven culture. However, all entities exhibit a corporate culture. Corporate cultures influence the management styles in an organization. The approach a trading entity takes towards the market, suppliers, creditors, and consumers determines its success. An efficient corporate culture must take into consideration the individual needs of the customers while maintaining its objectivity in the market.
After formulation of a working culture, the management must then endeavor to implement it. The process of implementing a culture is a long and tedious one (Gabrielle, 2006). The management must identify all the deliverables of the culture and work towards attaining them. A culture is often adopted as a resolution. It is incorporated into the operations of the company as a driving influence. Employees and management alike are encouraged to abide by the directives of the adopted resolution. With time, the resolution becomes so ingrained in the operations of the company to such an extent that it is followed as if it were law. Company regulations change often. However, a culture remains steadfast. Even when a company transits from one stage to another, the culture remains as the only significant indicator of how far the company has advanced. Once properly implemented, a culture must be monitored, preferably by external agents, to ensure compliance. A culture takes long to form, usually years. Once formed, a culture is almost impossible to change.
Culture in an organization plays important roles. Most importantly, culture aligns the operations of the company according to the philosophy of its founders (Hartnell, Ou, & Kinicki, 2011). Long after the pioneer directors of the company are gone, the company should still be able to operate profitably or achieve any other objectives of its establishment. New management may often try to introduce new rules or standards of operation. To some extent, such new methods may deviate from the ideal role of the entity. However, a culture existing in the company reprimands the new management and steers them in the right direction. In addition, culture is a motivation tool. For instance, a work culture that rewards creativity or industriousness inspires employees to work hard to be eligible for the award. In management practices, culture sets the benchmark for managerial roles (Hartnell, Ou, & Kinicki, 2011). For example, a company Chief Executive Officer is required to behave in a particular way. Once such a person behaves in a manner contrary to the expected norm, it is easier for the errant behavior to be noted and corrected. Organizational culture plays a crucial role in the management and operation of the company by streamlining operations and enforcing compliance.
Organizational culture is an important element of a company. To begin with, it reveals the history of a company since its establishment. In addition, culture streamlines the operations in a company by aligning them with the founding philosophies, in addition to fostering good relations between the company and the business environment. If well handled, culture has the potential to steer the company to greater profitability. On the other hand, poor culture can collapse a corporation. It is necessary to pause and examine the company’s culture occasionally, to ensure that it is in tandem with the best operational practices, or if something needs to be changed.
Boddy, C. (2011). Corporate Psychopaths: Organizational Destroyers. New York:Palgrave Macmillan.
Gabrielle, D. (2006). The Corporate Culture Handbook: How to Plan, Implement, and Measure a Successful Culture Change Programme. New York: The Liffey Press.
Hartnell, C., Ou, A., & Kinicki, A. (2011). Organizational Culture and Organizational
Effectiveness: A Meta-Analytic Investigation of the Competing Values Framework’s Theoretical Suppositions. Journal of Applied Psychology. doi:10.1037/a0021987
Michelle, B. (2006). Surviving Post Merger ‘Culture Clash’: Can Cultural Leadership Lessen the Casualties? Leadership, Vol. 2, pp. 395-426.
Steven, J. & Thomas, B. (2008). Organizational Psychology: A Scientist-Practitioner Approach. John-Wiley & Sons.