HRM and Cultural Management

Organizational Culture and HR Practices

Basic HRM practices such as recruitment, selection, training, etc. affect the performance and stability of an organization. Thus these practices have the ability to influence employee behavior and create values that develop organizational culture. Since the behavior change refers to how one acts or conducts oneself, if HR practices could positively affect the behavior, developing positive thinking about Organizational initiatives towards the employees can help in creating value for the strategies and would result in positive results for the business.

Cultural values are part of the external factors that affect HR practices. Number of cultural values influence employee behaviour. In organisational cultures where employee involvement is common it is more likely to have higher employees satisfaction and motivation than the ones that do not favour employee involvement. However, there might be various reasons why employees do not want to contribute or speak out. Some employees might see this as an unnecessary risk, while others might simply have personal reasons (e.g. being shy or not getting along well with the management).


HR provides the organisation with effective means of facilitating an organizational culture,  HR practices like on-going training, creating continuous communication channels, involving employees, establishing clear goals, creating a fair reward system, developing employees and flattening the organizational structures are all ways through which desired organizational culture could be promoted.

Culture and Management Style

HR could help develop strategies that could serve as a link between Management Style and the business strategy whilst employee’s wellbeing and performance is maintained.  HR should develop practices that aids in forming co-ordination between management styles and business strategy. A Delegative Management Style with business strategy that has the focus on quality improvement through knowledge sharing, in this case HR practices shall focus on Employee Development through Creation of Organisational culture where there is ease of sharing information, trust in knowledge sharing, Learning Opportunities.

Arguably the attitude of senior management is crucial for facilitating organisational culture because senior managers play an important part in shaping cultural values. After all, the style of management is likely to reflect on organisational culture. For Instance if the Management portrays itself as being flexible in daily business operation, flexibility could include lack of timing constraint for employees, focus on tasks rather than designation, this could well form an organisational culture where people might come late and go home late, Jobs could get mixed, as one person might be having multiple tasks not directly related to the job he/she was hired for.

Styles of Management in an Organization

Kabanoff (1991) identifies four styles of management:


Resources and rewards are evenly distributed. Since the Management Control over the employees is limited, there is employee empowerment; Individual responsibility is the basis of organisational performance. Organisational success depends on commitment an employee has with the job and the business, this is key ingredient and shared values that help create a unity of direction and focus on part of the employees.


Employees are concerned about productivity and cohesion. The management focus is on performance. Appointments are made and responsibilities are assigned to individuals based upon their “merits”, namely intelligence, credentials, and education, determined through evaluations or examinations for example Civil Service Exams.


In such Management Style Organisational hierarchy is highly developed. Power, resources and rewards are concentrated at the top levels of the hierarchy.


This style of management has a lot in common with the elite style of management, but instead of a faction of leaders on the top level, it has leaders at various levels of the hierarchy (e.g. the army).

Organizational Size is also a very important factor. In the case of facilitating organizational culture, size does matter. Complex structures and management styles make it difficult for Larger organizations to facilitate culture than the small ones. Size is related to level of resources. Large organizations are more likely to cope with internal and external challenges faster than small ones because larger organizations have better resources. In addition, large organizations tend to have a more solid hierarchy and a complex workforce, this can sometimes be a problem when departments, groups, and individuals have their own interpretation of what needs to be done.

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