Organisational Behaviour Assignment: A Summary on Organizational Culture
Task: You are supposed to write a detailed summary report on Chapter 10 (organizational culture) from text book Organizational Behaviour.
The report on organisational behaviour assignment is the summarization of organization culture from chapter 10 and explores the various aspects of this concept. In addition to this, the common characteristics of organizational culture have been critically analysed in the summary while also pointing out the essential functions it serves in an organization. The report also covers the method of creation and long-term sustainability of organizational culture and how employees interact with it. Finally, changing dynamics of the organizational culture have been reviewed along with examples from personal work experiences.
Organizational culture in a more general context can be defined as the soul of an organization as it is the manifestation of the shared beliefs and values of everyone associated with it. From a business perspective, the staff members all strive towards a shared goal with a specific meaning and belief about their organization that separates it from other organizations. This can be referred to as the organizational culture and offers a sense of stability and purpose to the employees. The operational tone for the organization is set by the culture and also influence in which each member act and interact with each other (Driskill, 2018). When critically analysed, 7 key components create the essence of the organizational culture. These include attention to details, stability, aggressiveness, innovation and risk-taking, team orientation, outcome orientation and people orientation. Attention to details refers to the precision and diligence with which an employee is supposed to work while the status quo and growth ratio is represented through stability (Langton, Robbins, & Judge, 2018). It is also necessary to be competitive and aggressive to get the upper hand with other organizations and this can be achieved through innovation and taking risks. Subsequently, team building is also crucial for acquiring fruitful outcomes for people through management decisions.
Functions of Culture
Organizational cultures have a purpose within that organization and thus can have both functional and dysfunctional effects on the various organizational aspects. One of the key functions performed by culture is that it defines the rules that make organizational operations possible. As stated earlier, it is the culture that separates the organizations and thus it provides a boundary to some extent. The staff members also get a sense of identity due to the embedded culture. Another major function of culture is to ensure everyone rises above their self-interest and commit to something larger through a collaborative effort (Langton, Robbins, & Judge, 2018). In many cases, organizational culture acts as a social glue and helps to bind the organization together. This is manifested in various ways like how employees behave and interact with each other. When the attitude and behaviour of every staff member are more or less similar, this creates a sense of unity which make them cooperative and yield more productive outcome (Kwantes, 2015). Organizational culture can provide the control mechanism for shaping the behaviour and attitude of the employees. As a result of this, they tend to do or say things in a specific way. This making sense of the organization is what makes culture so unique to each organization and can be considered as the most important function as well.
Development and Sustainability of Organizational Culture
The reason for developing organization cultures is that it is capable of creating a positive workplace climate which in turn enhances productive outcomes. This is the concept of organizational climate which can be both positive or negative based on the influence of the team members. The shared perception about the work environment generally determines whether the organizational climate is positive or negative (Langton, Robbins, & Judge, 2018). It is preferable to have a positive work environment due to higher customer satisfaction as well as employee job satisfaction associated with it. However, to maintain these positive aspects over a long period, it is necessary to ensure the culture is sustainable. It is through a strong ethical and moral component for shaping the culture, it can be made sustainable as such core values nurture the relationship it has with society (Kok, de Bakker & Groenewegen, 2019). Organizations should implement social sustainability practices as organizations and social systems are mutually dependant on one another and their actions influence the other. However, it is not always necessary to maintain an altruistic stance and focusing on financial performance can ensure sustainability for the organizational culture.
Employees and Culture
Now that the importance and effects of organizational culture are known, it is also crucial to impart it with the employees for its execution in practical scenarios. There are several ways in which organizational culture can be transmitted to the employees and this can range from material symbols and rituals to stories and language (Langton, Robbins, & Judge, 2018). It is possible to anchor the present with the past for legitimizing the current practices and this can be achieved with the help of stories that circulate through the organization (Sharma, 2017). Such stories can be narratives about the founders of the company, success stories, employee relocations, etc. and this gets gradually infused with the employee overtime. A similar approach for embedding culture can be done through rituals which are the repetition of specific actions that are capable of reinforcing the organizational values into the employees. Using corporate chants or an interactive routine can help the employee bond with each other and get used to the organizational culture.
Changing Organizational Culture
There are often situations, where an ongoing organizational culture that has been embedded for a long time needs to be changed due to change in market or customer requirements. During such situations, changing the organizational culture is necessary but can be quite difficult as it requires changing other organizational aspects as well. Also, changing the established mindset of the employees requires an innovative approach and cannot be done as a quick fix (Langton, Robbins, & Judge, 2018). The major reasons as to why the change in organizational culture might be necessary can be varied. Like a dramatic crisis can be such a condition where the company needs to align itself with a technological breakthrough or need to cope with a major financial setback. Other reasons for culture change can be turnover in leadership and the existence of a weak culture. When there is a change in the top leadership, the new leader might like to change the set of key values which would require a culture change (Alvesson & Sveningsson, 2015). Similarly, when the majority of members agree that the current culture is weak as compared to other competitors, they might need to step up their game to gain a competitive advantage. In many cases, small and young organizations change their culture simply because it is easier to do so in its early stage rather than struggle to do it later on.
Examples of Personal Work Experience
From a personal perspective, using the work experience can also offer some insights into the organizational culture as well. As an ayurvedic physician, I was working at an ayurvedic clinic where other physicians were also treating patients. The use of ayurvedic medicine can be extremely effective but might require a lot of time as compared to antibiotics. For this reason, it was often necessary to encourage the patients to carry on with their prescribed medication. Thus, organizational culture was developed where the physicians would not only prescribe the medicines but rather spend time with patients. Explaining the mechanism of medicine with the body and the timeline for a cure to the patient was required to ensure they carried on with it.
The report provides an all-round summarization of the various aspects of organizational culture and how it determines organizational outcomes. The functions of culture helped in understanding the role of its development while its sustainability was necessary for achieving the organizational goals. The personal examples also offered insights on the use of organizational culture and complete the summarization of the topic.
Alvesson, M., & Sveningsson, S. (2015). Changing organizational culture: Cultural change work in progress. Routledge.
Driskill, G. W. (2018). Organizational culture in action: A cultural analysis workbook. Routledge.
Kok, A. M., de Bakker, F. G., & Groenewegen, P. (2019). Sustainability struggles: Conflicting cultures and incompatible logics. Business & Society, 58(8), 1496-1532.
Kwantes, C. T. (2015). Organizational culture. Wiley Encyclopedia of Management, 1-4.
Langton, N., Robbins, S., & Judge, T. (2018). Organizational Behaviour: Concepts, Controversies, Applications (8th ed., pp. 350-381). Pearson Prentice Hall.
Sharma, P. (2017). Organizational culture as a predictor of job satisfaction: The role of age and gender. Management-Journal of Contemporary Management Issues, 22(1), 35-48.