Organization culture is quite complex to comprehend. Every organization has a unique personality type just like us human beings. This unique personality of the organization is more or less organization’s culture. It is invisible yet a powerful force which determines and influences behaviors of its employees.
An organization’s culture is a system of shared values and beliefs which provides the guideline and boundaries for behaviors of the employee in an organization. It includes:
- The way organization does its business, treats its employees, customer and the society as a whole
- Freedom given to its employees to make decisions, innovate products and services and express oneself
- Flow of power and information in its hierarchy
- Commitment of employees towards collective objectives
Many scholars have defined organizational culture differently. Some of them are:
According to Robbie Katanga, “Organizational culture is how organizations do things”, whereas Bruce Perron defines it as “a jointly shared description of an organization from within”. It also extends to methods of manufacturing products, advertising, marketing, etc.
Following are the characteristics that is influenced by the organizational culture:
- Individual Autonomy: It is the degree of responsibility, freedom and various opportunities of exercising initiative that is provided to employees of an organization
- Structure: It is the degree to which the companies create clear objectives and performance expectations for its employees. It also includes direct supervision that is required to control employee behaviors.
- Management Support: It is defined as the degree to which the top management provides clear communication, assistance and support to their subordinates.
- Identity: It is defined as the degree to which the employees identify themselves with the organization as a whole rather than their particular work group or bay area or field of profession.
- Performance Management System: It is defined as the degree to which the reward system of the organization is based on employees’ performance rather than on seniority, favoritism and etc.
- Conflict Management: It is defined as the degree of conflicts present in current relationships between colleagues and work groups as well as the degree to which employees are allowed to air conflict and criticism openly.
- Risk Appetite: It is defined as the degree to which employees are empowered and encouraged to be innovative and risk taking.
- Communication Flow: It is defined as the degree to which organizational communication are restricted to the formal hierarchy of authority.
- People Orientation: It is defined as the degree to which management considers impacts of their decision on their employees.
- Outcome Orientation: It is defined as the degree to which management focuses on results or outcomes rather than procedures or techniques adopted to achieve those outcomes.
A combination of these above characteristics gives us the big picture of organization and its culture. This picture becomes our foundation to understand their shared belief systems, norms and operating procedures.
In order to reshape you organization’s culture, you can reach out to Strengthscape who holds expertise in culture transformation journeys and workshops.