Organizational culture can be defined as the group norms, values, beliefs and assumptions practiced in an organization. It brings stability and control within the firm. The organization is more stable and its objective can be understood more clearly.
Organizational culture helps the group members to resolve their differences, overcome the barriers and also helps them in tackling risks.
Elements of Organizational Culture
The two key elements seen in organizational culture are:
- Visible elements: These elements are seen by the outer world. Example, dress code, activities, setup, etc.
- Invisible elements: These inner elements of the group cannot be seen by people outside the group or firm. Example, values, norms, assumptions, etc. Now let us discuss some other elements of organizational culture. They are:
- Stories: Stories regarding the history of the firm, or founder.
- Rituals: Precise practices an organization follows as a habit.
- Symbol: The logo or signature or the style statement of a company.
- Language: A common language that can be followed by all, like English.
- Practice: Discipline, daily routine or say the tight schedule everyone follows without any failure.
- Values and Norms: The idea over which a company is based or the thought of the firm is considered as its value and the condition to adopt them are called norms.
- Assumptions: It means we consider something to be true without any facts. Assumptions can be used as the standard of working, means the employees prepare themselves to remain above standard.
Different Types of Organizational Culture
The culture a firm follows can be further classified into different types. They are:
- Mechanistic and Organic culture
- Authoritarian and Participative culture
- Subculture and Dominant culture
- Strong and Weak culture
- Entrepreneurial and Market culture
Mechanistic and Organic Culture
Mechanistic culture is formed by formal rule and standard operating procedures. Everything needs to be defined clearly to the employees like their task, responsibility and concerned authorities. Communication process is carried according to the direction given by the organization. Accountability is one of the key factors of mechanistic culture.
Organic culture is defined as the essence of social values in an organization. Thus there exists a high degree of sociability with very few formal rules and regulations in the company. It has a systematic hierarchy of authority that leads towards free flow of communication. Some key elements of organic culture include authority, responsibility, accountability and direct flow towards the employee.
Authoritarian and Participative Culture
Authoritarian culture means power of one. In this culture, power remains with the top level management. All the decisions are made by the top management with no employee involvement in the decision making as well as goal shaping process. The authority demands obedience from the employee and warns them for punishment in case of mistake or irregularity. This type of culture is followed by military organization.
In participative culture, employees actively participate in the decision making and goal shaping process. As the name suggests, it believes in collaborative decision making. In this type of culture, employees are perfectionist, active and professional. Along with group decision making, group problem solving process is also seen here.
Subculture and Dominant Culture
In subculture, some members of the organization make and follow a culture but not all members. It is a part of organizational culture, thus we can see many subcultures in an organization. Every department in a company have their own culture that gets converted to a subculture. So, the strength and adaptability of an organizational culture is dependent on the success of subculture.
In dominant culture, majority of subculture combine to become a dominant culture. The success of dominant culture is dependent on the homogeneity of the subculture, that is, the mixture of different cultures. At the same point of time, some cold war between a dominant culture and a minor culture can also be seen.
Strong and Weak Culture
In a strong culture, the employees are loyal and have a feeling of belongingness towards the organization. They are proud of their company as well as of the work they do and they slave towards their goal with proper coordination and control. Perception and commitment are two aspects that are seen within the employees. In this culture, there is less employee turnover and high productivity.
In a weak culture, the employees hardly praise their organization. There is no loyalty towards the company. Thus, employee dissatisfaction and high labor turnover are two aspects of this culture.
Entrepreneurial and Market Culture
Entrepreneurial culture is a flexible and risk-taking culture. Here the employees show their innovativeness in thinking and are experimental in practice. Individual initiations make the goal easy to achieve. Employees are given freedom in their activity. The organization rewards the employees for better performance.
Market culture is based on achievement of goal. It is a highly target-oriented and completely profit-oriented culture. Here the relationship between the employees and the organization is to achieve the goal. The social relation among the workers is not motivating.
How to Create an Organizational Culture
An organizational culture is created with the combination of certain criteria that are mentioned below:
- The founder of the organization may partly set a culture.
- The environment within which the organization standards may influence its activities to set a culture.
- Sometimes interchange of culture in between different organizations create different new cultures.
- The members of the organization may set a culture that is flexible to adapt.
- New cultures are also created in an organization due to demand of time and situation.
The culture of an organizational can change due to composition of workforce, merger and acquisition, planned organizational change, and influence of other organizational culture.