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The set of underlying values and norms shared by members of an organization that form the foundation of the management system and of management and employee practices. In corporations this force is often referred to as “Corporate Culture”. The shared values of organizational culture call attention to what is important and shape the patterns of that become norms guiding the way things are done in particular. The organization culture is deeply rooted in its past but also affected by the present and by expectations for the future.
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Corporate culture is a dynamic internal force that not only affects but also affected by the organization and all aspects of its environment. Managers must be aware of this special relationship because the continual give and take between the organizational culture and the organization leads to changes in values and norms that become ingrained in the culture and affect all employees.
Moreover, various groups within an organization, such as marketing and operations or management and employees, may develop their own subcultures that have a powerful effect on the internal environment. These subcultures sometimes represent competing value systems that can create conflict between employee groups and therefore have a negative impact on performance.
Characteristics of Culture
Organization’s culture is guiding beliefs, the values that form the philosophical foundation for the organization’s direction. Guiding beliefs generally reflect the personality and goals of the founder and subsequent to managers. These guiding beliefs set the norms for everyday behavior within the organization.
When the cultural values and beliefs are widely accepted throughout the organization and employees act according to these values, the culture is said to be strong culture. Researchers have identified many measure of cultural strength, including the depth of penetration in the organization, how fervently employees embrace the values, the longevity of the culture, and any tangible evidence of the culture. Stronger cultures influence employees to a greater extent than weaker cultures. Other cultural characteristics include the ability to adapt to environmental change, the degree of employee involvement, and the degree of consistency among the cultural values. Organizations must find ways of sustaining their values and sharing them with others.
How Culture is communicated
Culture itself cannot be directly observed and described, but clues to the underlying values can be found in organizational stories, symbols, ceremonies, and slogans. Organization uses these four methods to communicate their cultural values and beliefs to employees, to customers, and to other members of the task.
Management and Culture
The guiding beliefs and norms of a culture have a definite impact on the way employees work and on their ability to achieve organizational goals. Culture can generate a sense of shared identity among employees, foster commitment to greater goals, and enhance the organization’s ability to guide and shape employee behavior. When culture has a positive effect on employee behavior it inspires employees to high performance.
Culture can also cause problems, when top management want to change the organization’s direction or set new goals, the existing culture may be at odds with these changes.