What is meant by the term culture? How does an organization’s culture manifest itself? How can organizational cultures be differentiated from each other?

Principles and Practice of Management notes and Revision questions and answers

Corporate culture is the system of shared values, beliefs and habits within an organization that interacts with formal structure to produce behavioural norms. Culture gives people a sense of how to behave and what they ought to be doing. Organization culture is composed of such factors as friendliness, supportiveness and risk taking. Such perceptions are gradually formed for each individual over a period of time as the person performs assigned activities under the general guidance of a superior and a set of organizational policies.

Culture has an impact on the employees’ degree of satisfaction with the job, as well as the level and quality of their performance. The assessment of how good or poor the culture is may differ for each employee. One person may perceive the environment as good while another may see it as bad. An employee may leave an organization with the hope of finding a more compatible culture.

• Ways through which culture can manifest itself includes:
o Extent of the formalization of the structure.
o Decision making by committees or individuals.
o Communication.
o Degree of freedom given to subordinates.
o Kind of people employed.
o Symbols and legends in the organization.
o Management style.
o Commitment to quality.
o Attitude to technology.

Charles Handy has suggested that organizations can have any one of four different cultures as follows:
• The power culture – power and culture stem from a central source, often the owner of the company. There are not many rules and procedures.
• The role or bureaucratic culture – there is a formal structure and well-established rules and procedures.
• The task or matrix culture – the main aim of such an organization is to get the ob done. Individuals are valued for their contribution to team effort.
• The existential or person culture – the organization is formed to serve the interests of a person or the individuals within it.

Principles and Practice of Management notes and Revision

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