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Corporate Culture Essay

3704 words - 15 pages

Corporate Culture

By: Joanne Mowat, The Herridge Group {Insert Date}

Corporate Culture

Abstract As an executive, identifying, understanding, and influencing the organizational culture can ensure corporate agility and financial success. As a potential employee, catching a glimpse of the true culture of an organization will help one decide if the company is a place where one can contribute and flourish. In both cases, misunderstanding the culture can lead to disaster.

Corporate cultures have both gross and subtle manifestations that provide clues to the underlying norms and beliefs. Paying attention to the work practices, environment, communication paths, and even the level of ...view middle of the document...

According to Borgatti (1996) a strong culture: • • • Is internally consistent Is widely shared, and Makes it clear what appropriate behavior is.

Resulting in an organization with a vision that everyone understands to which everyone is committed.

Whenever human beings gather and particularly when individuals with a common purpose begin working together, work strategies and thinking processes will develop and an organizational culture will be created. Most corporate or organizational cultures have key features in common with the larger culture in
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Corporate Culture

which they exist. For example, corporate cultures in America all have some similar underlying thread. Corporate cultures in other countries also have a unifying, cross-company flavour. However, even within a social culture, each corporate culture is unique.

Put more simply, corporate culture is the way things get done in an organization. It is what drives action in the organization, guiding how employees think, act and feel. It is the systematic set of assumptions that define day-to-day working behaviour. “Culture can be described in a circular fashion where philosophy expresses values; values are manifest in behavior; and behavior gives meaning to the underlying philosophy. Philosophy, values, and behavior describe an organization’s culture and culture is the glue that holds the organization together.” (DeWitt, 2001)

Corporate culture can also be looked at as a system with inputs from the environment and outputs such as behaviours, technologies and products. It “is dynamic and fluid, and it is never static. A culture may be effective at one time, under a given set of circumstances and ineffective at another time. There is no generically good culture. There are however, generic patterns of health and pathology.” (Hagberg & Heifetz, 2000)

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Corporate Culture

According to BOLA (2001) culture is the shared beliefs, values and norms of a group and it includes: • • • • • the way work is organised and experienced how authority exercised and distributed how people are and feel rewarded, organised and controlled the values and work orientation of staff the degree of formalisation, standardisation and control through systems there is/should be • • the value placed on planning, analysis, logic, fairness etc how much initiative, risk-taking, scope for individuality and expression is given • rules and expectations about such things as informality in interpersonal relations, dress, personal eccentricity etc • • differential status emphasis given to rules, procedures, specifications of performance and results, team or individual working

In the beginning corporate culture is shaped by the leaders and by the purpose for with the company has been created. It then develops within the constraints of the environment, technology, values of the leadership, and performance expectations. “The initial culture is altered by the design variables of the...

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