Literature Review on Corporate Culture

Topics: Management, Business, Organizational culture Pages: 6 (1872 words) Published: May 10, 2010
Management Literature Review

“During the 1980s the concept of corporate culture captured the imagination of management researchers and practitioners alike. In particular, Peters and Waterman’s (1982) book entitled In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies proclaimed that the key to corporate success was a strongly unified corporate culture.” Wilson (1996:87)

Corporate culture has always been a part of every business since it was first introduced in the 1980’s. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small business or a massive company, corporate culture will always have an involvement. Corporate culture is very hard to define as one particular meaning, due to the various areas it covers. Glaser (1991:6) stated “...the folk definition of corporate culture as: "The way we do things around here", makes a great deal of sense. It becomes possible to point to a behaviour and say: "That's not the IBM way — but this is", and be understood with relative precision.” This helps to understand what the corporate culture of a business is. It is the beliefs, the expectations, the guidelines, the company and its employee’s understanding of how the company and its employees should behave, individually and as a whole, internally and externally. “While corporate culture is an intangible concept, it clearly plays a meaningful role in corporations, affecting employees and organizational operations throughout a firm.” Sadri & Lees (2001:853)

Corporate culture has been and always will be needed to allow a business to reach its full potential. Without guidelines to follow, individual employees, or companies as a whole, would be in utter chaos. Glaser (1991:6) states “For example, in the United Kingdom a powerful rule is that the waiting for an event (e.g. the arrival of a bus) is to be done in a form of social arrangement called a queue. The rule also says that the person at the head of that queue will gain access first.” Imagine if queues did not exist, if that rule that everyone is eventually learnt, was never taught to anyone. Then try to board a bus. There would be arguments, possibly fights breaking out, because there is no understanding, no standard concept as to how this particular task should be carried out. It is the same with a business environment. “As is pointed out in Rusaw (2000, p. 249-50), “domination is rooted in an organizational ideology”. This ideology, expressed in the culture of the organization, is “a systematic set of norms, beliefs, and attitudes that people accept unquestionably as guides for everyday thinking and behaviour.” Ogbor (2001:592).

Without simple, but powerful beliefs to follow, employees would be in a constantly chaotic state of mind. By having these guidelines, it allows employees, and the company who employed them, to understand how each task should be performed and completed in an organised fashion. Bettinger (1989:39) states “In strong culture companies, there tends to be a remarkable degree of consensus about goals and objectives. Officers and employees understand the mission and the purpose of the organization and see themselves as actively engaged in a common and worthwhile cause.” This approach would be far more useful to a company then their employees running around the building in an unorganised manner. The business will achieve their tasks much quicker, and with relative ease than they would without corporate culture.

While every business has their own separate corporate culture, one of the universal reasons for using corporate culture is, according to Sathe (1983:11) “People feel a sense of commitment to an organization’s objectives when they identify with those objectives and experience some emotional attachment to them. The shared beliefs and values that compose culture help generate such identification and attachment.”This is an advantage to any business because it gives its employees that sense of belonging to a group, working together to achieve a goal. This will...

Bibliography: Wilson, A.M. (1997) The nature of corporate culture within a service delivery environment. International Journal of Service Industry Management. 8(1): 87.
Peters, T.J. and Waterman, R.H. (1982) In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies, New York: Harper & Row.
Glaser, S. (1991) A Note on Corporate Culture. Management Decision. 29(2): 6
Sadri, G
Ogbor, J.O. (2001) Critical theory and the hegemony of corporate culture. Journal of Organizational Change Managemen.14 (6): 592
Rusaw, A.C
Bettinger, C. (1989) Use Corporate Culture to Trigger High Performance. Journal of Business Strategy. 10(2): 39
Höpfl, H
Sathe, V. (1983) Implications of Corporate Culture: A Manager’s Guide to Action.
Donlon, J.P. (1999) Air Herb’s secret weapon. Chief Executive. (146):32-42
Rashid, Z.A
Deal, T.E. and Kennedy, A.A. (1982) Corporate Cultures, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley.
Lee, S.K.J and Yu, K. (2004) Corporate culture and organization performance. Journal of Managerial Psychology. 19(4):341
Denison, D
Kotter, J. and Heskett, J. (1992) Corporate Culture and Performance, New York: Free Press.
Collins, J.C. and Porras, J.I. (1994) Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, New York: HarperBusiness.
De Geus, A. (1997) The Living Company: Habits for Survival in a Turbulent Business
Environment, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Press.
Chung, S. and Haddad, K. (2001) Corporate Culture and performance: A Study of firms in Bahrain. Asian Review of Accounting. 9(1): 89
Grey, R.J
Goffee, R. And Jones, G. (1996) What holds the modern company together? Harvard Business Review. 74(6): 133-48
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