SIX INDEPENDENT DIMENSIONS OF ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE
The culture of the organization encompasses values and behaviors that contribute to the unique identity of the organization, its interactions, and its environment. It is a way in which employees relate to each other and impact their day-to-day operations. Culture can either enable or damage an organization’s strategy. As per Geert Hofstede, there are six independent dimensions of Organizational Culture that work together to reinforce each other’s relative impact.
Six Independent Dimensions of Organizational Culture
DIMENSION 1: ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS – Means-Oriented vs Result-Oriented
This dimension defines the effectiveness of the organization in terms of its orientation toward achieving goals. A means-oriented culture will look for processes followed to perform a task whereas; a result-oriented culture will look for ultimate results achieved even if it involves taking risks to achieve that result.
A means-oriented culture supports avoiding risks and repetition of tasks like that in accounting, for example. However, a goal-oriented culture breeds innovation by taking risks and finding innovative ways to achieve goals.
DIMENSION 2: CUSTOMER ORIENTATION – Internally Driven vs Externally Driven
This organizational culture dimension refers to the way an organization deal with customers. An internally driven culture performs tasks assuming that they know best what is good for their customers and the entire globe. They abide by the guidelines set by the business and its belief, whereas, an externally driven culture always focuses on the needs and wants of its customers and is agile enough to adapt to the changing needs of its most important stakeholder – the customers.
DIMENSION 3: LEVEL OF CONTROL – Lenient vs Strict
This dimension indicates the brevity of internal structuring, control, and discipline. An easy-going or lenient culture is fluid where it cannot be predicted as when an employee went wrong and hence a lot of improvisation and surprises. A strict work discipline is just the opposite of that. In this culture, employees are given a handbook on disciplinary actions taken and hence are very conscious of their work and behavior.
DIMENSION 4: FOCUS – Local vs Professional
This organizational culture dimension determines the barriers of hierarchy. Having a local culture means every employee engagement with the boss, different departments, and/or the unit in which one works, like the one you see in a factory, for instance. In a professional culture, the identity of an employee is limited by their profession.
DIMENSION 5: APPROACHABILITY – Open System vs Closed System
This dimension determines the ease of accessibility to an organization. An open culture welcomes all. They believe that almost anyone can fit in their organization, whereas, a closed culture is just the opposite of that. They meticulously look for people who can fit well with the organization.
DIMENSION 6: MANAGEMENT PHILOSOPHY – Employee-Oriented vs Work-Oriented
This dimension demonstrates the philosophy of management. A highly employee-oriented culture means that employees come above all. The employees feel that they are valued, heard and their personal issues are taken into consideration and the organization is happy to look after their welfare at the cost of their work. However, a work-oriented culture is heavy on pressure to perform tasks even at the cost of its employees.
If you are working for diversity and inclusion, you must look out for organizational effectiveness, focus, and approachability dimensions. And, if you are looking to build an innovative culture, organizational effectiveness and level of control are your dimensions.
Contact us if you are interested in a diversity and inclusion program that is tailored to the needs of your organization or team.