Corporate Culture

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1.  How might a manager deal with elements of a healthcare organization’s internal culture that are, or are perceived as, inconsistent?OR2.  Does a professional code determine what is ethically correct for those who are not members of the health care profession, or only for members of that health care profession?

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Inconsistencies in organizational cultures, including healthcare organizational cultures, are defined (briefly) as arising from conflicts between management policies and practices and employee practice. For instance, the easy example is that of a healthcare (or any) organization that has developed an unplanned, spontaneous, as it were, culture that has no organizational or structural relationship to management policies and practices. To illustrate this, maybe a neighborhood health clinic began with a few, close participants but has grown large over time with the induction of new employees and loss of original core employees. In this scenario, where culture was not planned because there was an original accord of vision, aim and policy practice, the expansion of personnel will result in a spontaneous development of an unplanned culture that may begin to conflict with the original, and now operational, policies. This conflict between culture and policy creates inconsistencies that cause, among other things, employee disengagement.

The recommended solution to dealing with elements of organizational culture that are, or are perceived to be, inconsistent is to:

  1. identify the dominant organizational culture, e.g., traditional, innovative, cooperative, competitive [this not mean identify the desired dominant organizational culture but rather the existing dominant culture]
  2. determine to solidify the existing dominant organizational culture because a full remedial change to a culture, though possible, is a daunting, time-intensive operation
  3. decide on action to take to slightly alter the culture, minimize conflict in the culture (conflict between the culture and management operation), and reinforce positive aspects
  4. bring the culture to be more in line with management "policies, practices and programs (e.g. the organization’s compensation strategy, the physical workspace, the degree to which employees are empowered)" (Human Capital Institute).

Identifying the organization’s dominant culture allows you to take action to reinforce it, tweak it, and minimize its challenges. (Human Capital Institute)

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