Corporate Culture

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Corporate culture is the collective behaviour of people using common corporate vision, goals, shared values, beliefs, habits, working language, systems, and symbols. It is interwoven with processes, technologies, learning and significant events. In addition, different individuals bring to the workplace their own uniqueness, knowledge, and ethnic culture. So corporate culture encompasses moral, social, and behavioral norms of your organization based on the values, beliefs, attitudes, and priorities of its members. Strong culture is said to exist where staff respond to stimulus because of the alignment to organizational values. In Weak Culture there is little alignment with organizational values and control must be exercised through extensive procedures and bureaucracy. Factors influencing culture (Drennan):

1. the influence of a dominant leader – the vision, management style and personality of the founder or leader in a business often has a significant influence on the values that the business tries to promote; 2. the history and tradition of the business – how things have always been done (and why); 3. the type of technology used by the business and the types of goods and/or services it produces; 4. which industry/sector the business is in, and how much and what type of competition it faces; 5. the customers of the business – who they are and what they expect; 6. company expectations – based to a large extent on past performance; 7. the types of information and control systems used;

8. the legislation and wider business environment;
9. the procedures and policies within the business;
10.the reward systems and the measurement of performance;
11. how the business is organised and resourced;
12. goals, values and beliefs – reflected in objects, actions and language (symbols). Deal and Kennedy defined organizational culture as the way things get done around here. They measured organizations in respect of: • Feedback - quick feedback means an instant response. This could be in monetary terms, but could also be seen in other ways, such as the impact of a great save in a soccer match. • Risk - represents the degree of uncertainty in the organization’s activities. Using these parameters, they were able to suggest four classifications of organizational culture: The Tough-Guy Macho Culture. Feedback is quick and the rewards are high. This often applies to fast moving financial activities such as brokerage, but could also apply to policemen or women, or athletes competing in team sports. This can be a very stressful culture in which to operate. The Work Hard/Play Hard Culture is characterized by few risks being taken, all with rapid feedback. This is typical in large organizations, which strive for high quality customer service. It is often characterized by team meetings, jargon and buzzwords. The Bet your Company Culture, where big stakes decisions are taken, but it may be years before the results are known. Typically, these might involve development or exploration projects, which take years to come to fruition, such as oil prospecting or military aviation. The Process Culture occurs in organizations where there is little or no feedback. People become bogged down with how things are done not with what is to be achieved. This is often associated with bureaucracies. Whilst it is easy to criticize these cultures for being over cautious or bogged down in red tape, they do produce consistent results, which is ideal in, for example, public services. Charles Handy popularized a method of looking at culture which some scholars have used to link organizational structure to Organizational Culture. He describes: • a Power Culture which concentrates power in a few pairs of hands. Control radiates from the center like a web. Power Cultures have few rules and little bureaucracy; swift decisions can ensue. • In a Role Culture, people have clearly delegated authorities within a highly defined structure. Typically, these...
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