Subcultures in an Organization

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Might an organization be better considered as consisting of many subcultures which are conceptually different, rather than one 'major' culture?| HRM Essay|
Irene Puig Portero|
23.04.2012|

Might an organization be better considered as consisting of many subcultures which are conceptually different, rather than one 'major' culture?

The topic concerning this essay is if consider an organization as a whole of subcultures or as a single culture. First of all, it is necessary to explain what a culture is and how it influences in the company environment. Upon this, subcultures and their types are explained. To finalize, it is analysed the convenience of consider a whole of subcultures or a major culture.

1. Introduction
Executive managers in a company should ask continually themselves which elements are important for them business. The main aim is not only getting profits, but how to make them without harming the society or the employees of the organization. This does not mean that the economic view has to be inattentive; on the contrary, a good practices implementation in the company can lead it into an earnings improvement, for instance, due to the good image perceived by customers. Ethics helps to strengthen the social responsibility objectives formulated and focused on the relationships management between the company and the stakeholders: customers, suppliers, public administration, financial institutions… Thus, we find a corporate ethics, belonging to the organization like a whole but we also find a personal or professional ethics which is individual. Obviously, both of them interact and complement each other. The ethics of the company is reflected in its culture. Individual behaviours turn towards social or common behaviours for every member of the organization. Without values neither ethics nor corporate culture does not exist.

2. Corporate culture and subcultures.
Corporate culture is the total sum of values, symbols and rituals shared by all the members of company. It describes the way how the things are done in order to solve internal and external problems related with customers, suppliers and the environment. The culture has a common and qualitative character and it is shared by everybody in the organization. It is important to explain some of the elements which make up the corporate culture: * History: Conducts and facts happened previously in the company, like the structural evolution of the company, the performance of the managers or the product’s evolution. * Myths, legends and anecdotes: Events which nearer traditional or historical ideals than true. They give employees reasons for satisfaction and proud. * Beliefs and values: Values say how and what to do in the company if the employee wants its behaviour pattern to be considered satisfactory. These are rules about how to act. Having widely shared values make the corporate culture strong. * Rituals: Rituals are common practices obeying some rules and formal and informal procedures. They are considered as a benchmark. * Material symbols: Like dress code, buildings, official cars, furniture, decoration, facilities… * Immaterial symbols: How to call employees, informal contacts, given privileges, the approach of the CEOs… * Communication: How the vertical and horizontal communication works.

One important point talking about culture is the relationship between corporate culture and the company’s strategy. An optimum culture for all the companies does not exist, so it is suitable to identify all the culture aspects which make stronger the strategies. If they are not in concordance, it would be suitable to think about changing the strategy or trying to change the culture, even it is more difficult to change the corporate culture because it involves the behaviour of all the staff. Analysing the corporate culture, it is not possible to refuse the existence of many subcultures in a company. They appear when there is a...
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