Culture in Organisations

Culture Definition: The human-generated part of the environment that is transmitted across time and generations and leads to people within that culture developing shared meanings; culture gives people ‘standard operating procedures’ or ways of doing things. Often said to be ‘the ways things are done around here’ culture is a major point within an organisation as it can lead to success or failure. It is important to manage culture and try and install one which works well for the type of organisation, the objectives and goals the business has set and the recruitment practices in place.

Organisational Culture Definition: The distinctive norms, beliefs, principles and ways of behaving that combine to give each organisation its distinctive character.

  • Norms: How things are done, people are treated and the normal goings on in a business day to day. This is influenced highly by the employees in the company, as these are the ones which spend the most time interacting with each other.
  • Beliefs: These are the thoughts employees have, they can either be installed by the employer, for example the belief that all work should be done to the highest standard despite the amount of time it may take. However, employees have beliefs which they learn themselves, such as the fact that everything may have to be done to the highest standard despite the time taken, yet as they have targets to meet in terms of when tasks should be achieved, this isn’t true and the belief isn’t there.
  • Principles: Principles are what the company sets out to do, for example Google’s ‘Don’t Be Evil’.

Arnold (2010)

Taken from our sister site which delves more into Culture is the following;

Cultures in organisation is defined by how the organisation is run, how the personalities within the organisation interact with each other and also how the structure of the company is set out. We can see this when we look at how different counties operate, for example the French are very self-righteous and therefore stick up for what they believe in, hence why they have blocked motorways when fuel prices have risen and chopped of their leaders head when they didn’t agree.

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Key Learning Points

  1. What is the Definition of Culture?
  2. What is the Definition of Organisational Culture?
  3. How can a Culture be Created Within a Company?

Image from Flickr by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra