Thanx to Stalin, Anon.
Organizational culture is a set of shared values, the unwritten rules which are often taken for granted, that guide the employees towards acceptable and rewarding behavior.
The organizational culture exists at two distinct levels, visible and hidden. The visible aspect of the organization is reflected in artifacts, symbols and visible behavior of employees. The hidden aspect is related to underlying values and assumptions that employees make regarding the acceptable and unacceptable behaviors.
These are visible components of culture, they are easy to formulate, have some physical shape, yet its perception varies from one individual to another.
New hire trainings, new hire welcome lunches, annual corporate conferences, awards, offsite meetings and trainings are few examples of most common rituals and ceremonies. These are narratives based on true events, but often exaggerated as it told from old to new employees.
These are conscious and affective desires of the organization, the kind of behavior it wants to promote and reward. Usually every organization sells its cultural values through some artifacts like written symbols or slogans and publishes them in various mediums. However, the true values can only be tested within the organization, through the employees, based on their collective opinion about the experience of the values.
It is the code of moral principals and values that distinguishes the right behavior from wrong. Ethical values are different from rule of law which is dictated by the legal system of the country and have to be followed anyway.
However, the laws themselves are based on some moral principles and thus there is some natural overlap between ethics and the laws. The geographic location of the organization and the culture of the place also influence the ethics, this is particularly important for multi-national organization.
Irrespective how an organization depicts its ethical values, they can be tested by the two criteria. Whether it values specialization and narrow career paths that runs the risk of being outdated along with technology or it values broad skill development and offers training in new technologies at its own cost.
The social culture and the structure of the organization influences the underlying values related to the amount of employee empowerment.
Management by nature is about control, the difference is how it enforces it. Well defined guidance, job description and authority of taking decisions are formal methods of control, while team or collective decision making is a social or cultural method of control.
The functional or divisional structure encourages formal control while process or network structures promote a culture of employee empowerment. The authority of decision making is closely related to issue of responsibilities.
The culture of responsibility is measured by observing whether the individuals are expected to take responsibility of their decisions or there is a collective responsibility in case of team decisions. The implication of failure is the most influential assumption that every employee derives from all the artifacts, stories, myths and values.
The fear of failure and how it would be perceived determines the actual empowerment felt by the employee; the stated values vs. Foundation of the Organizational Culture Organizations are mini social systems that are less complex than their counterparts at city or national level.
The foundation of the organizational culture is also rooted in three distinct social entities, anthropology, sociology and psychology. It uses the physical artifacts like symbols, stories and values to study the cultural viewpoint of the employees who practice it, and how it adds meaning to their jobs.
It is a study of the different group behaviors in the organization, their causes and their consequences on its culture. The method of the study comprises of identifying certain key attributes and then quantifying them using questionnaires, surveys and interviews.
The key difference from sociology is that it is behavioral analysis at individual level rather than application of psychology on a social system. How a person behaves individually can be quite different from how he behaves in a group.
As an example, humans by nature use statistical knowledge in making decisions, however they apply it rather poorly. The last positive or negative outcome influences our decision more than statistical average; such observations can be used effectively in growing a desired culture.
What Influences Organizational Culture? Thus it is futile to expect or create a culture that is not aligned to these factors. However, the culture is not a separate, self sufficient entity in itself, but rather one part of a whole.
Types of Organizational Cultures In case of organizational design, while the contextual dimensions define the structure; the culture should aim at providing adequate reinforcement to the structure. The organizational culture can be accessed by evaluating the contextual factors and the structural dimensions.Organizational behavior is the study of both group and individual performance and activity within an organization.
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Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization, Occidental culture, the Western world, Western society, and European civilization, is a term used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, belief systems, political systems and specific artifacts and technologies that have some origin or association with Europe.