Organizational Culture

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Organizational Culture has been described as the shared values, principles, traditions, and ways of doing things that influence the way organizational members act. In most organizations, these shared values and practices have evolved over time and determine, toa a large extent, how things are done in the organization.

This definition continues to explain organizational values, described as “beliefs and ideas about what kinds of goals members of an organization should pursue and ideas about the appropriate kinds or standards of behavior organizational members should use to achieve these goals. From organizational values develop organizational norms, guidelines, or expectations that prescribe appropriate kinds of behavior by employees in particular situations and control the behavior of organizational members towards one another.”

The definition of culture implies three things. The culture is ‘perspective’, ‘descriptive’ and finally ‘shared’ within the organization.

Research suggests that there are seven dimensions that describe and organization’s culture. Each of the seven dimensions (shown in exhibit 1) ranges from low to high, meaning it is not very typical of the culture (low) or is very typical of the culture (high). The seven dimensions of culture are: Attention to Detail.

Outcome Orientation.
People Orientation.
Team Orientation.
Aggressiveness.
Stability.
Innovation and Risk Taking.

The culture of an organization can either be Strong or Weak. It is the culture, that sometimes influence the employees’ behaviors and actions.

Strong Culture is said to exist where staff respond to stimulus because of their alignment to organizational values. In such environments, strong cultures help firms operate like well oiled machines, cruising along with outstanding execution and perhaps minor tweaking of existing procedures here and there. Research shows that strong cultures are those in which the key values are deeply held and widely shared and...
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