Organisational in the literature. Perhaps the most commonly

Organisational culture is defined in many different ways in the
literature. Perhaps the most commonly known definition is the way how things
are done in an organization (Martins and Terblanche, 2003).It refers to the beliefs and attitude
held by people about their organisations and is based on tried and attempted
assumptions that have been around in an organization and are successfully
operating now (Martins and Terblanche, 2003).The
behaviours of the members are something that shape up the organizational culture and is
based on assumptions of  human behviour
based on their values, rules and norms. (Martins
and Terblanche, 2003). They are usually formed over a period of time and
play an important role in the organizational functioning (Martins and Terblanche, 2003).This essay will
revolve around the meaning, concept, organizational theories, culture types,
issues, cultural change, key concepts, management of culture, strategies,
sources, practices, conflicts and compare and contrast from available academic
literature.

 

Organisational
culture forms a very important part of the general functioning of an
organization and a well defined culture makes sure that everyone is on the same
track. The culture affects various 
functions and processes in an organization (Martins
and Terblanche, 2003). Organisation and Organization theories are very
closely linked to each other with the only difference being the incorporation
of management studies in the theory (Grey 2017). The main focus of organization
theory is to help organizations get the job done in a better way keeping the
aspects of management in mind (Grey 2017). Organizations are extremely
interesting places where one can study every facet of human life and it
involves studying about their families, politics, work, personal choices and
their life experiences (Grey 2017). An organizational culture includes
artefacts,  jokes, metaphors, stories,
behavior patterns, beliefs, attitudes, values, codes of conduct and other
factors and A lot of it is based on the history of the organization and the
practices they adopt (Brown,1998). 
Socialising within an organization is an important part of organisations
since it helps the members get to know each other and turning the overall
scenario into a more stable place (Brown,1998).  According to Martins (1987, 1997 cited in Martins and Terblanche, 2003) ,the culture of an
organization is also based upon factors like the mission and vision of the
organization, the impact of external environment and its level of involvement
with the organization, the support and structural mechanisms, company image,
easy in management processes, goal formulations, level of communication and
control, how to organization perceives employee activities and needs,
interpersonal relationships and the style of leadership . According to Martins
(1987, 1997 cited in Martins and Terblanche, 2003)
all these elements influence the level of creativity and innovation in an
organization since directly or indirectly they affect the value that the
employee thinks about himself and the company and how he can contribute to its
growth. According to Tesluk 1997, Managers need to be open and supporting
towards their employees with a flexible approach and clearly defined roles and
job responsibilities (Martins and Martins, 2002) .Further he says that, good
technological facilities and fewer barriers in structure often help an employee
to bring out the creative mindset in him. (Martins and Martins, 2002). The most
important sources are probably the type of business the organization conducts
and nature of its business environment, the management style of the dominant
leader and the national culture in which the organization is situated
(Hofstede, 2011). The leader is a very important person since his inspiring
ideas will permeate the organization’s culture (Hofstede, 2011). If he’s
mundane, then the guiding beliefs will be uninspired (Hofstede, 2011). Geert
Hofstede divided cultures into five dimensions mainly power distance,
individualism/collectism, masculinity/feminity, uncertainty avoidance and
Confucian dynamism (Hofstede, 2011). Power distance is the acceptance rate by
less powerful members of an organization, Individualism/collectivism is the
level to which individual independence or social cohesion dominate,
masculinity/feminity is the degree to which social gender roles are clearly
distinguished, Uncertainty avoidance is defined as the extent to which member
of the culture feel scared of unknown circumstances and Confucian dynamism is
the degree to which long termism or short termism is the dominant orientation
of life (Hofstede, 2011)

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Stakeholders
are a set of another very important people due to their direct or indirect
powers to influence organizational culture (Brown,1998).. They even help in
improving the quality of products and services by giving responses
(Brown,1998).The government is another very big party to affect organizational
culture due to their policy decisions, economy management and legal framework
(Brown,1998). The organizations need to deal strategically with business issues
like risk levels, feedback times and management of resources to try and
maintain a stable environment for their business’s functioning  (Brown,1998).

Culture
can be of  various types and is
classified into different types by different personalities.  The Harrison 1972 approach classifies culture
into power, role, task and person culture types (Dudovskiy, 2014) .Harrison
1972 further says that power culture has a single source of power whose rays
influence throughout the organization, role culture is about bureaucracy with
the main principles being logic and rationality, task culture divides power
based on expertise rather positions and person culture is based upon the idea
of a group of people to collectively organize rather than individually (Dudovskiy,
2014). For example, a British billionaire sir Alan Sugar’s Amistad is an ideal
example of power culture where Sugar takes all the strategic decisions in an
individualistic way (Dudovskiy, 2014). Deal and Kennedy 1982 divided culture
into four generic terms mainly being the tough guy macho culture, the work
hard/play hard culture, the bet your company culture and the process culture
(Bremer, 2017).As per Deal and Kennedy (1982), In the tough guy culture are
high risk taking  individuals who receive
rapid feedbacks on their decisions,  the
work hard/ play hard culture emphasizes on fun and action with low level of
risks, the bet your company culture consists of 
high risk and long decision times while the process culture is low risk
and slow feedback type (Bremer, 2017). The Quinn and McGrath’s 1985 typology
identified and divided into four generic cultures; rational (market),
ideological (adhocracy),consensual (clan) and hierarchical culture (Machado and Carvalho, 2008). Quinn and Mcgrath’s1985 study further says that the market
culture is about pursuing objectives using productivity and efficiency as the
primary criteria of performance, the adhocracy culture  favors external support, growth and resource
acquisition, the clan focuses on group maintenance and the hierarchical culture
exists to execute all regulations in a systematic and controlled way (Machado and Carvalho, 2008).

Edgar
Schein, is a very influential writer who describes culture in layers mainly
being basic underlying assumptions, espoused values and artefacts in order from
bottom to top (Hattangadi, 2017). Schein, further says that the basic
underlying assumptions are the foundations on which culture is based, espoused
values are the companies core values and public statements and Artefacts are
the visible signs of an organization’s culture. (Hattangadi,
2017). For example, the Palo Alto office of IDEO has an plane wing jutting out
of one wall which is a very shocking artifact but it symbolizes IDEO’s playful
and creative culture (Burkus, 2014)

Organisational
culture has a number of important functions and roles to play in an
organization mainly being  conflict
reduction, proper behavior, coordination and control, uncertainty reduction,
motivation and creating a competitive advantage (Brown 1998). Any organization,
whether medium or large has a number of subcultures and subgroups of some kind
whose beliefs, values and assumptions may compete with the dominant culture.
(Brown 1998).  Trice and Beyer (1993)
addressed four social conditions which promoted the growth of subcultures.
These included differential interaction which was about the extent to which
people interacted with each other, 
Shared experiences were experiences people developed over a period of
time, people with similar personal characteristics  and Cohesion (Workman, 2001). Organisations
and people often learn thru trial and errors and different routines and
experiences (Schein, 1984). Culture and learning share a reciprocal
interdependence with each other and thru complex interactive learning processes.
This means all the members must have had collective learning opportunities
(Schein, 1984)

The
cultural framework is an important analytical tool which helps in linking
strategies with organizational effectiveness, keeping this mind Tom Peters and
Robert Waterman, two consultants at McKinsey and Company developed a 7-S Model
Consisting of Hard elements which were easier to define and included Strategy,
structure and systems as its components and Soft elements like shared values,
skills, style and staff (Mindtools.com, n.d.). Tom Peters and Robert Waterman
(1982) defined certain lessons which were termed as elements of a good
organizational culture. These included; A bias for action which was about good
agility to do the job, Being close to the customer and serving them as an
individual, Autonomy and Entrepreneurship which meant that each part of the
business should act as an entrepreneurial unit rather a part of a machine,
Productivity through people and focus on quality, Hands-on, Value-driven
framework for everyday practices, Stick to the knitting which was about
focusing on your core business activities, Simple form-lean staff, meant that
keeping simple process and Holding Simultaneous loose-tight properties (Peters
and Waterman,1982).  According to Earle
(2003) these days having talented individuals who can contribute to the
company’s growth and culture is a very important aspect. Companies change their
recruitment, development and retention strategies for this, give a suitable
physical environment to individuals, help them manage their personal and work
life issues and make them feel like family (Earle, 2003). Job satisfaction,
good office design with a suitable physical environment, promoting a positive
environment and suitable perks help in employee development and maintainance of
a good culture (Earle, 2003). For companies, doing suitable branding and
maintaining a strong corporate image is another important factor. Other factors
like supportive teamwork, knowledge sharing and facilitating proper
communication also help (Earle, 2003). The better the quality of life for
employees, the more positive will be the organizational culture (Earle, 2003).
As Organizations develop and experience different situations, the culture of the
organization changes and it is extremely important to understand this change
since it may help in improvement of performance and effectiveness (Brown, 1998).
Changes may be small scale; Ie: incremental or large scale; ie radical (Brown,
1998).

However,
when one or more cultures are integrated into one environment then disruptions
can take place. Usually, it may be due to mergers and acquisitions,
departmental differences, leadership or strategical changes or even national or
geographical differences (Riley, 2014). Change could even be resisted due to
fears of change, loyalty towards exisiting relationships , break up of groups,
loss of power, skill or income or maybe even the failure to accept the need for
a change (Riley, 2014). A classical example of a failed culture change was the
“Daimler-Chrysler” merger which was a fail due to a big cultural mismatch since
Daimler had an upright and hierarchal approach while Chrysler was a risk taking
and loose organization (Riley, 2014). 
The planning towards culture change can be proactive or reactive in
nature. Proactive businesses plan in advance and are usually more flexible and
they focus on a productive and efficient work environment while the Reactive
businesses don’t change until situations force them to act towards it and are
always at risk (Mack, n.d.). Change management is a complicated thing but
certain things like proper planning, communication, integration, motivation,
confidence, workload management and evaluation of existing culture can ease the
process (Ball, n.d.). Culture shapes up the conduct at work, behavior, style,
language, problem solving tactics, negotiation skills, relationship creation,
values and building trust and understanding (Brown, 1998).  Human resorce management and organizational
culture have a very close relationship. HR profesionals manage key elements
like symbols, rituals, rites, behavioural norms, beliefs, values and even
assumptions (Brown, 1998). Things like office parties, décor, space, equipment,
staff meetings, award ceremonies affect culture too (Brown, 1998). The HR
department can use proper recruitment and selection procedures, guided
induction and socialization training, a fair performance appraisal system and
rewarding worthy employees in an organization for proper culture management
(Brown 1998). However, there are times when the organization wants to
incorporate culture change. According to Hyatt (2012), this can be done through
firstly becoming aware about the existing culture then assessing your culture
and deciding the aspects you want to keep, deciding what to let go off and
deciding what is missing. Once this is done, a new culture should be envisioned
and then shared and discussed with everyone. Employees should be motivated and
communication should be clear and then the vision of culture change can be
turned into a reality (Hyatt, 2012). Sometimes, culture could even be negative
in nature and have darker side to it. It could be in the form of extremely
strict rules, unethical practices, setting the bar too high, not being
considerate towards employees, not giving consideration to employee viewpoints,
stereotyping, prejudices, leader being a bully, broken promises, useless
gossip, lack of praise, lack of team spirit, low pays or constant humiliation
(Zambas, 2017). The world of management too is highly sensitized to different
fads and fashions, they change as often as clothing styles and may come back
after a couple of years (Rabstejnek, n.d.). Fads are crazes popularized usually
by desperate managers. Fads have a shelflife and despite the fact that how good
it is, its unlikely that it will work for all persons, in every situation at
all times (Rabstejnek, n.d.). Some fads can be integrated into the business
while some just fade away with time. Some fads and fashions that have been
there since quite a long time are the ISO 9000 and the MBTI (Rabstejnek, n.d.).
Paradigms are another trend in culture which talk about the values or thoughts
held in a society in the most standard and accepted way at any given time
(O’donnell and Boyle, 2008). They are formed by the community’s culturual
background and history. For example, Zalami (2005) identified certain paradigms
in the public sector and realized that they were focused on authorities and
controls, rules, inefficient use of resources and not focused on results
(O’donnell and Boyle, 2008). He suggested a paradigm which was more focused and
responsive towards citizen needs. His Paradigm suggested that the government
should provide solution to common problems and public servants should be
focused on meeting the needs to the citizens (O’donnell and Boyle, 2008). From
a personal experience, I would like to share about the organization I worked
for which was an IT start up company having a lot of young and innovative
minds. The managers listened to and understood everyone’s ideologies and
thoughts. They gave consideration to personal issues and treated everyone
equally. There were regular meetings with the management where we would give
our opinions on how to improve and they were genuinely taken into
consideration. The salary increments were done every six months to further
motivate employees and there were a lot of social gatherings. It was like a big
family. It was similar to Deal and Kennedy’s (1982) work hard/play hard culture
type where everyone was high on energy, upbeat, existed of high volume
salespeople and was totally a team effort kind of an environment where everyone
was driven to excel (Bremer, 2017).

Understanding
and Managing Organisational culture is important since it helps understand the
insights, improve efficiencies, understanding the arrangements and what works
and what does not. It helps understand the psychological commitments of the
employees and bring everyone together. In order for a company to succeed, the work
culture should be able to unite everyone together and members should have a
healthy relationship with each other. A healthy culture will promote creativity
and innovation and spark organizational growth (Grey, 2017).

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