Meaning of the term organizational culture? Essay

Published: 2020-02-20 15:32:45
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Organizational culture is sometimes referred to as corporate culture, though this isnt the best description since a large non-profit organization or charity could also have its own organizational culture even though they are definitely not corporations. A very basic definition of organizational culture as given by Deal and Kennedy is the way things get done around here. However this definition is too narrow and therefore there is a need for a deeper definition as follows.

Organizational culture is a concept developed by researchers to explain the values, psychology, attitudes, beliefs and experiences of an organization. Generally speaking, it is viewed as the shared norms and values of individuals and groups within an organization. Through this set of mutual understandings, organizational culture controls the way individuals interact with each other within the organization as well as with customers, suppliers and other stakeholders existing outside the boundaries of the organization.

Schien defined organizational culture asa pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems that has worked well enough to be considered valid and is passed on to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems. Because organizational culture is deeply rooted in the organizations history of success or failure, and because of its collective experience, any organization that needs to work to change it will be facing an uphill battle and a huge investment in time, resources, and work.

Given all these aspects of organizational culture we can therefore note that organizational culture focuses on these points: collective experience, routine, beliefs, values, goals, and system. These are learned and re-learned, passed on to new employees, and continues on as part of a companys core identity. In conclusion we can therefore say that the culture of the organization can be tiered into 3 levels based on their visibility and how closely they are adhered to in the organization. The first level is Artifacts and Behaviors.

Artifacts and behavior are the most visible components of organizational culture. They include the physical layout of the workplace and observable behavior of its employees. The next level is Values. Values are less visible than behavior but they can be seen as they influence observable behavior of the individuals working in the organization. But the top tier of organizational culture may be seen at the level of Assumptions and Beliefs. They cannot be actually seen, but they are so well ingrained in the employees that they come out quite naturally because that is the way the organization thinks.

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