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What is Organization Culture?

Every corporation has a way it does things, its own values, beliefs, etc. in management terms this is called organizational culture. Organization culture defines the employee’s beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. It outlines what is rejected, accepted, discouraged and encouraged in a company. An organization can have either a strong or weak culture.

A strong culture means the organization most likely thrives due to positive attributes such as clear communication or equal opportunity within it. A weak culture, on the other hand, leads to poor performance, low morale, recklessness at work, etc. Organization culture sets the standard of how people in a company relate and behave towards each other and those they serve. The culture adopted by staff is determined by several factors.

  • Gender– How an organization looks at gender issues determines how male and female employees relate at work. If the leadership views both as equal then a culture of teamwork will be entrenched, because every bodies input is taken in. This may also lead to a competitive and aggressive culture because all are eligible for a promotion. On the other hand, if the company regards men as superior to women a negative culture of disrespect towards women may form leading to low morale among women.
  • Region– The country or area where an organization operates from also determines its values, believes and attitude. For example, if operating out of the Middle East your values and believes would be totally different from a company working from the United States. The environment you operate in does affect company culture as you might have to align your values and behavior to theirs.
  • Organization Strategy to fully achieve its strategic goals and plans, the company culture must support the business plan. For example, companies like google promote a flexible culture of fun and enjoyment which in turn promotes innovation which is at the heart of their strategy.
  • Industry– The industry you’re in very much determines what culture an organization takes. In the financial industry, a cautious and safety culture would be the norm due to the many financial guidelines an organization is supposed to adhere to. While operating in a non-governmental organization a culture of compassion would be in place as their key role is to serve and help others.
  • Leadership– The behavior and character of the top management go a long way in determining an organizations culture. Employees are likely to behave as they see their leaders acting. For example, if the senior management is corrupt the organization will have a culture of accepting bribery. The role of leadership in determining organization culture cannot be overemphasized.
  • Employees– What kind of individuals you hire will affect the corporate culture. If you are looking to cut cost and hire people who are not professional you will only have yourself to blame if your staff are indiscipline, rude to clients, etc. An employee’s attitude, behavior can influence others leading to a bad company culture, so be careful who you hire.
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Employees Role in Organization Culture

From the above, you can see that the leadership and employees affect a company’s culture. A company cannot have a coherent culture without people. So, what role do employees have in organization culture?

  • Promote Company Culture– Employees have a role to promote good company culture. As a brand ambassador, they have a part to play in portraying the positive attributes of the company they work for. They should know the positive values, behaviors, and practices that ensure a conducive environment to work in and follow them religiously. By playing this role they will make themselves and the business thrive. This role can be as simple as being patient with a difficult client.
  • Create and Review Organization Culture– Employees have a role to create the kind of culture they would like to work from. For example, if they want a friendly and open system everyone has a part to play in ensuring that all feel welcome to say what they want and can be helped in case they need help. Employees also have a role in improving the business culture where they see it necessary. While they may not have the power to change the culture outright, they can influence the leadership to implement the kind of organizational culture that ensures they enjoy coming to work and doing their job.

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About Sonia Kukreja

I am a mother of a lovely kid, and an avid fan technology, computing and management related topics. I hold a degree in MBA from well known management college in India. After completing my post graduation I thought to start a website where I can share management related concepts with rest of the people.