Culture in Organizations
Culture in business and public institutions describes the conduct of individuals as well as the overall meaning that they associate to those conducts. Organizational culture can include different aspects that range from norms, values, assumptions, behaviors and beliefs. It can as well refer to a pattern of collective habits that may be passed on to new organizational stakeholders so as to shape their perceptions and feelings towards the organization. Bratianu (2012) has defined organizational culture as a collection of mental assumptions that govern the interpretation and conduct in an organization by describing the most suitable conduct that ought to be employed in a given situation.
usage of the concept
Organizational culture is a concept that can be used to describe part or an entire organization. When describing part of an organization, the concept describes a variable perpetuating a viewpoint that culture is an incredible concept owned by an organization. On this note, culture becomes an important unit that adds to the value of the larger organization. The concept can thus be adjusted depending on the type of leadership prevailing within the organization to ensure that it can easily be accepted by organizational stakeholders as well as contribute to the success of the entire organization (Glascoff, 2011). When describing a concept that is equivalent to the organization, culture becomes a metaphor that perceives an organization as its root culture that is founded on aspects of communication and symbols. On this note, culture becomes a basis for individual experience that can generate various perspectives. These perspectives may include traditionalism, which perceives culture through things like narratives, customs and symbols; interpretivism, which perceives culture as a network of collective meanings and critical-interpretivism, which percieves culture as a network of collective meaning and the struggle for supremacy that is generated by a common network of conflict.
Types of culture in organizations
Different methods have been developed with the intension of classifying culture in business and public institutions. While there is no common type of organizational culture that can prevail within all organizations, scholars have created models that can be used to describe varrying aspects of orgnanizational culture.
This scholar analyzed the difference between employees in different countries in an effort to understand the various cultural attributes that can manipulate business behavior. He suggested certain cultural groupings that organizations in various nations and regions can be identified through. He thus identified four cultural groups that he described as dimensions to define cultures in different organizations. One of the four dimensions that this scholar identified is power distance, which is a cultural dimension describing societies that find solutions through social inquality. This dimension is common in organizations and it is often exhibited through employer-employee relationship that persues to achieve solutions within the organization through power inequality (Bratianu, 2012). Another dimension that Hofstede identified is uncertainity avoidance, which defines a cultural aspect that organizations employ to address potential future uncertainities. Organizations adopting this dimension usually deal with possible uncertainities through technology, laws and customs. Hofstede further indentified individualism versus collectivism, which is a dimension describing the clash of interests relating to individual and collective goals. He argued that organizational prospect pertaining to individualism or collectivism are usually mirrored by organizational employees (Hayward, 2012). Employees in a collectivist society usually exhibit a high degree of emotional dependence on the wider organization, and hence the organization is expected to exhibit a sence of accountability on its members. Individualist societies do not depend on organizational accountability and they thus intend to resolve problems through individualistic competition. Musculinity versus femininity is another cultural dimension that Hofstede identified and it describes an aspect of culture in an organization that is dominated by either men or women, which is usually exhibited through values, gendered responsbilities and power relationships (Dawson, 2010). Hofstede further identified the long-term against the short-term discourse, which is a cultural dimesnion in organizations that can either commit their efforts to seek for virtue or absolute truth. Organizations employing the long-term discourse are usually committed to search for virtue since they believe that truth is merely dependent on time, context and circumstances. Conversely, organizations adopting the short-term discourse are committed to perpetuate absolute truth and they thus employ normative thinking and reverence for traditions to help achieve quick results without any inclination to accumulate resources for the future (Glascoff, 2011).
Deal and Ken
These scholars described culture as the mode in which things within the organization are done. They thus deviced a cultural model that was founded on different organizations that would be analysed depending on how they rewarded employees, received feedback and how they took risks. One of the models that these scholars deviced is commonly known as the Work-Hard Play-Hard model, and it described an organizational culture that was characterised by quick feedbacks and rewards and a relatively low amount risk involved (Alon, 2003). Organizations employing this model engaged in high-speed activities, and hence, stress would only culminate from the large quantity of work done rather than risks and uncertainities. They also established the Tough-Guy Macho model, which described a cultural aspect that was characterized by quick rewards and feedbacks and a relatively high level of risk taken. Organizations adopting this culture were mainly concerned about the present and not the future, and hence, work-related stress often culminated from the high level of risk involved as well as the expected reward. Process culture is another model that these scholars identified and it described a cultural aspect that was characteried by unhurried rewards and feedbacks and a relatively low level of risk (Hayward, 2012). Organizations employing this culture are mainly concerned about the past and future organizational security. Work related-stress in such organizations can thus culminate from the high level of risk involved as well as the potential rewards. The scholars further identified the Bet-Company model, which defines a cultural aspect that is characterised by unhurried feedbacks and rewards and a relatively high level of risk. Organizations adopting this type of culture are mainly concerned about ensuring that things happen as expected. Work-related stress can only result from the high level of risk involved as well as the significant amount of delay involved before any action can be taken.
O’Reilly and Caldwell
These scholars developed two important models that can be used to help understand the type of culture employed within organizations. One of the models was based on the perception that organizational cultures can be differentiated by the values that are underpinned in these organizations. Their cultural profile becomes an apparaisal tool that can be used to measure the overall organizational performance. The model can for example measure organizational performance through measuring employees’ level of innovativeness, result orientation, assertiveness, steadiness, commitment to teamwork and attention to details. This helps to consider the most efficient employees suited for the institution. Another model that these scholars developed is commonly described through certain dimensions that include mission, participation, consistency and flexibility. These dimensions describe an organization’s commitment towards perpetuating its overall success (Hayward, 2012).
Importance of organizational culture
Organizational culture attributes to a significant level of impact on stakeholders’ work as well as personal life. As explained by Dawson (2010), organizational culture unites stakeholders from different cultural and demographic backgrounds. Stakehoklders serving in an organization usually have different traditions characterizing their distinct cultures. Having a common organizational culture however gives such stakeholders a sense of togetherness that helps them to understand and effectively communicate with each other. Organizational culture equally promotes loyalty especially because they are able to perceive themselves as part and parcel of the larger organization. The culture enables them to promote their level of loyalty to the top management, and hence, they boost their contribution to organizational success. Organizational culture also promotes healthy competition among workers as they strive to achieve their best to receive rewards and recognition from their seniors. This in return promotes the level of employee performance, which contributes to organizational success (Alon, 2003).
Culture is a crucial concept that defines the conduct of individuals in an organization and the overall meaning that they attach to such conducts. This concept is usually employed todefine part or an overall organization. Different scholars that include Hofstede, Deal and Kennedy and O’Reilly and Caldwell have developed ceratin models that can be used to describe cultures within organizations depending on strategies used to undertake activities within such organizations. Organizational culture plays an crucial role in promoting unity, loyalty and healthy competition in an organization.
Alon, I. (2003). Chinese Culture, Organizational Behavior, and International Business Management, Westport, CT: Praeger.
Bratianu, M. (2012). Organizational Culture Modeling, Management and Marketing, 7(2):70-99.
Dawson, C. (2010). Leading Culture Change: What Every CEO Needs to Know, Stanford, CA: Stanford Business Books.
Glascoff, B. (2011). Organizational Culture, Formal Reward Structure, and Effective Strategy Implemenattion: A Conceptual Model, Journal of Organizational Culture, Communication and Conflict, 15(2):78-119.
Hayward, S. (2012). Organizational Culture, Work and Personal Goals as Predictors of Employee Well-being, Journal of Organizational Culture, Communication and Conflict, 16(1):122-139.