What is Organizational Culture?
Organizational culture is a set of shared values, the unwritten rules which are often taken for granted, that guide the employees towards acceptable and rewarding behavior. The organizational culture exists at two distinct levels, visible and hidden. The visible aspect of the organization is reflected in artifacts, symbols and visible behavior of employees. The hidden aspect is related to underlying values and assumptions that employees make regarding the acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. Artifacts: These are visible components of culture, they are easy to formulate, have some physical shape, yet its perception varies from one individual to another. 1-Rituals and ceremonies: New hire trainings, new hire welcome lunches, annual corporate conferences, awards, offsite meetings and trainings are few examples of most common rituals and ceremonies. 2-Symbols & Slogans: These are high level abstraction of the culture; they effectively summarize organization’s intrinsic behavior. Symbols are rituals, awards or incentives that symbolize preferred behavior; “employee of the month” is one such example of a symbol. Slogans are linguistic phrases that are intended for the same reason, “customer first” is an example of corporate slogan. 3-Stories: These are narratives based on true events, but often exaggerated as it told from old to new employees. The stories of the organization’s founders or other dominant leaders are the most common ones, the challenges they had faced and how they dealt with those hurdles etc. In some form, these are stories of the organization’s heroes, employees relate the current system due to events that had happened in the past and stories are the medium that carries the legacies. 4-Values: These are conscious and affective desires of the organization, the kind of behavior it wants to promote and reward. Usually every organization sells its cultural values through some artifacts like written symbols or...
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