Organizational culture (OC) is hard to pin down but can be described as the pervasive, enduring, shared values, beliefs, norms and assumptions of the organization and its members.
- Enables the organization to have a shared ‘identity’ and common purpose
- Is experienced as the unwritten rules of what is expected, accepted and rejected at work
- Manifests in collective behaviors, group rituals, symbols and stories
- Affects the way you think and behave, independent of you individual personality
- Is learned implicitly and explicitly from other members and acts as a ‘silent language’ that binds people together
- Develops and adapts over time in relation to organizational constraints, environmental pressure and ‘critical events.’
The Two Primary Dimensions of OC:
- People Interactions—these range on a continuum from highly interdependent to highly independent
- Interdependent cultures value relationship, collaboration and cooperation
- Independent cultures value autonomy, individual initiative and competition.
- Response to Change—these range on a continuum from stability orientation to adaptability orientation
- Stability oriented cultures value consistency, predictability and control
- Adaptability oriented cultures value flexibility, innovation and receptiveness to change.
The Primary Dimensions of OC give rise to Eight Culture Styles:
- Caring-focuses on relationships and mutual trust
- Purpose-is exemplified by idealism and altruism
- Learning-is characterized by exploration, expansiveness, and creativity
- Enjoyment-is expressed through fun and excitement
- Results-is characterized by achievement and winning
- Authority-is defined by strength, decisiveness, and boldness
- Safety-is defined by planning, caution, and preparedness
- Order-is focused on respect, structure, and shared norms.
- What does the organization value in terms of people interactions?
- What does the organization value in terms of response to change?
- What strengths do those values promote?
- What weaknesses to those values result in?
- What aspects are ignored or neglected because of those values?
- What are the tensions or conflicts in the organization’s culture?
- What does the organization need to pay attention to?