What is organizational culture? Where does it come from?
Organizational culture can be loosely described as "the way things are done in an organization. It is a system of shared characteristics that the members in the organization value, and which distinguish the organization from other organizations.
Main characteristics that the organization culture defines include the following.
- The degree to which innovation and risk taking behavior is accepted and valued.
- The degree to which employees are expected to pay attention to detail in performance of their work.
- The degree to which management focuses on the results produced rather than adherence to systems and procedures.
- Degree to which people and people aspect of any situation is taken into consideration in decision making.
- The degree to which work is organized around teams of people rather than individuals.
- The degree to which aggressive and competitive behavior is accepted and appreciated.
- The relative emphasis placed on maintenance of status quo versus growth.
The current organization culture of any company is largely determined by what has been the way of working in the past and the degree of success achieved using those ways. The ultimate source of the past behavior is primarily the influence of the founders of the organization. The founders contribute to formation of early organization culture in three ways.
- Founders only hire and keep employee of certain types who conform to their image of the persons with the right attitudes, behavior and background.
- They mould these people to their way of thinking and behaving.
- Employees tend to follow the behavior of the employer as a role model for their own behavior.