What is Culture?
Every organisation has its own unique culture based on the values of people who direct that organisation. Overtime it changes according to their preferences or the changing market place conditions. Eventually this influences the decision-making processes, the style of management and what everyone determines as success. Interpreting and understanding the organisational culture can both enable and constrain what organisations are able to use to assist change and eliminate those that will hinder the process. Culture is not a deterministic force but rather a subtle and often subliminal pattern of thinking. It is “the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one human group from another...culture, in this sense, includes systems of values; and values are among the building blocks of culture.” (Geert Hofstede, 1984, p.21.) The basic elements of culture include;
Beliefs and ideologies
Statuses and roles
The values and norms of a society are influenced by its political and economic philosophy, social structure, religion, language and education. These factors play an important role in building the organisations culture.
CULTURE AND ITS IMPLICATION IN THE WORKPLACE
Any international business must be flexible to adapt to the changing global market. It needs to compensate for changes in culture, politics, economics and technology. Different cultural responses to different environments are a key to building capability (Berwyn Clayton, CURVE). There are of course going to be multiple cultures within the organization in the global market. For example, Latin Americans stand closer than North Americans when conversing. Or North Americans give more importance to time than the Middle Eastern Arabs. Organizations will need to meet the challenge of balancing their multiplicity of cultures with a unifying culture. For that, cultural...
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