Organizational Behavior is the study that dwells on how humans behave in organizational settings. Organizational behavior may also mean how people react to various situations in an organization. One of the topics learnt in organizational behavior is organization culture. This paper examines, evaluates and analyzes organization culture as the main idea that many companies look into to ensure they achieve their organizational goals. Culture in an organization includes shared meaning, sense making and understanding within an organization. Culture collectively entails the dominant perspectives, values visions, standards and varied models of behavior that an organization as set. The joint beliefs, values and specific expectations that individuals hold in an organization also comprise organization culture.
On a broader perspective, organization culture is described as a pattern of basic molds that are invented or discovered or by a specific group within the organization. It studies how to cope with its complications of exterior variations and internal integrations that have operated well enough to be contemplated as valuable and, therefore, be transferred to new employees as the precise way of perceiving, thinking and feeling in relation to these problems (Edgar, Schein, 1990). In addition, Organization culture is the model that consists of shared actions, values and beliefs that are developed within an organizational set up and which specifically guides both explicit and implicit individual behaviors within the organization (Schein, 1990). In many business settings, this model is usually referred to as the corporate culture.
Organization culture has several functions which include creating a major distinction between one organization and other organizations. Comparing organizations to individuals, it is realized that only organizational culture differentiates two organizations just the same way individual behavior would differentiate two individual personalities who are the similar in all aspects. Besides, the uniqueness of organizational culture should be viewed in a way that no two organizational cultures are the same (Schermerhorn, Jr. et al., 2004). Second, organization culture helps in conveying a sense of identity and belonging for an organization’s members. This is because the cultures and values of the organization would promote certain similarities that would create a sense of togetherness among the employees. For instance, Samsung employees are provided with branded attires that identify them with the company. In addition, Samsung is able to easily identify their members even in crowded set ups because of their unique dressing code and attires. The specific culture that is involved with attires makes Samsung employees stand out whenever they are and identify each other in ways that could not be possible in case they never had the uniforms.
Thirdly, organization culture helps in facilitating the creation of commitment to company interests that are presumed larger than an individual’s interest. Through organizational culture that unites all the members within an organization, the members feel the essence of working together, not only to earn their monthly salaries but also to ensure that organizational goals are achieved in the long run. Moreover, having a common culture enables the employees to come up with approaches that will not only be beneficial to their personal interest, but also valuable to the organizations administration. An example of a company whose organization culture have worked towards the realization of its goals is Coca Cola bottlers who have developed within a span of years to become one of the best sellers in the world. Through joint employee efforts based on a common organization culture, Coca Cola has gradually developed into becoming one of the best soft drink manufacturers in the world. Once the company unleashes its organization culture to the employees and stakeholder, there is the generation of commitment in working towards achieving the set priorities in ways that not only benefit the individuals but also benefit the company at large.
Organization culture also enhances the stability of the social system within an organization. Having set the limits within an organization’s operation structure, the organization can carefully maintain the social structure among its employees such that they all understand the roles required of them at each production or distribution level. The social relationships among workers is, therefore, kept stable through strict following of the culture within an organization thus reducing the chances of tension that might arise due to social technicalities in an organization. In as much as employees might have personal differences, having stable organization culture will ensure that they come up with the most appropriate way of solving their differences. For instance, The United Nations have a set protocol in which it handles any difference among its members. Despite the fact that it is not a business organization, The United Nations achieve its peacekeeping goals by having organizational cultures that are unique and coherent in their own way
There are four key scopes in which the study of organization culture can be reviewed (Deal & Kennedy, 1982). These scopes include values, heroes, the culture network and rites and rituals. Values can be described as coherent beliefs that are based on the heart of the corporate culture under which employees are often encouraged to be and creative innovative in problem solving and risk management. A practical example of a company that has organization culture based on creativity and innovation is Apple Inc. It is through these values that Apple employees always come up with more sophisticated electronic gadgets since the company has given them free will to invent and discover new products as part of their production strategy. Apple Inc., therefore, achieves its objectives based on the values they have within their employee management strategies as well as internal values
Another component that constitute to organization culture is the aspect of heroes. These are people who embody values within an organizational set up. Organizational heroes are sometimes seen as the major actors who carry along the culture of an organization through provision of role models who assist in getting values that are widely accepted and adopted. Heroes also help an organization initiate a given code of behavior among its employees to promote organization culture. For instance, a hard working individual within Samsung Inc. can be used to inflict the value of hard work among the employees thus creating a sense of commitment to duty for the employees. Heroes are also used as examples in making promotion-based appointments so as to encourage employee competence among workers.
The Culture Network is also another aspect that constitutes to organization culture. Most companies refer to culture network as an informal communication model or ‘hidden hierarchy of power’ within the organization. Members of any organization must be proficient at manipulating this aspect if effectiveness has to be achieved in any way. Through culture network, an organization can design a protocol to use in problem solving and decision making with the aim of acquiring effective organizational practices. Apple Inc., for instance, has been able to maintain the quality of their electronic gadgets through effective communication between various departmental systems. In addition, they have achieved quality assurance since their organization culture stresses on quality and not quantity of what they produce.
Organization culture has various characteristics that may vary from organization to organization. Some of these characteristics include innovation and risk taking, attention to detail, outcome orientation, people orientation, team orientation and rules. In addition, organization culture involves aggressiveness, stability, norms and dominant values. These characteristics virtually control the whole system of organizational culture. They are the building blocks in which organizational culture is vested thus their maintenance should be any organization’s strategy.
Innovativeness and risk taking can be described as the extent to which employees are stimulated to be innovative and take risks. Through the culture of innovation, many organizations have been able to achieve their goals in promoting the creation of new ideas to the market. Coca Cola, for instance, has a culture that allows employees to come up with new methods of production which if proven effective, can be used to substitute the monotonous common ways of production. Similarly, Coca Cola encourages its employees to take risks as they carry out their duties since their insurance packages are taken care of. Innovation and risk taking is an aspect of culture that ensures Coca Cola achieves the best out of its employees.
On the other hand, attention to detail which refers to the extent to which employees are expected to display precision, analysis and attention to detail in every activity they carry out in the organization. Most companies advocate for attention to detail by workers since they believe attention initiates concentration which eventually lead to success. According to Samsung, qualities of its products entirely depend on the attention that its employees give to the manufacture of their products from raw materials into assembled usable materials. Attention is an aspect of culture that is universal to all firms that expect reasonably high returns from their products.
Outcome orientation is another characteristic that a culture in organizations looks up to. It can be defined as the magnitude to which an organization’s management focuses on resultant effects or outcomes rather than on the methods and processes it uses in achieving those outcomes. Many companies are usually concerned with their end product since it is from this product that they will be able to gain access to consumers in the market. Coca Cola, for instance, would be more concerned about creating awareness on its end product through advertisements rather than initiating more efforts on its production schedule. For Coca Cola, advertisements are continuous whether they have poor sales or best sales. This aspect helps in developing good company image with the consumers in order to create the best interest for the company, its employees and its consumers at large
Another characteristic of organization culture is people orientation, which refers to the level in which organizational decisions take into account the consequences of outcomes on people within the organization. This characteristic implies that any organization that has set its culture should consider the effects of the decisions made by managements on its employees. Moreover, the organization needs to be more concerned with the welfare of its employees than its organizational needs. This is because it is the employee welfare that will work towards ensuring a better and more equipped organization. Samsung, for instance, should first ensure that the decision making process involves all its employees just to ensure no employees have been sidelined in coming up with the cultural norms within the organization.
Team orientation is another characteristic that most organizations need to look into when formulating its culture and norms. Team orientation refers to the arrangement of work around teams rather than individuals. Teamwork is one of the best cultures that an organization can ever have since with teamwork, there is a combination of various talents aimed at one ultimate goal. Through teamwork, companies such as Apple Inc. have come up with some of the best communication gadgets and mobile phones. Team work in the sales department also ensures that all the company’s products are effectively distributed and sold to consumers. It is, therefore, of profound significance for every organization to ensure it incorporates teamwork in its activities and culture, as well.
Achieving stability is one of the strategies that any organization should consider before setting its organization culture. Stability is the extent to which an organization ensures emphasis is put in maintaining the status quo in contrast to growth. However, stability can negatively impact on an organization if the management does not consider reviewing any changes in the external and internal aspects of the organization. Coca Cola, for example, should strive to make its sales team as flexible as possible to ensure increased stability in the way they carry out their operations. This eventually helps the organization in ensuring its sales volume is kept constant to the extent that any deficit would not be felt in the market. Lastly, every organization should have rules and norms governing the behavior of its employees. Rules are strict strategies that are related to getting along in the organization. Rules help control human activities in the organization.
In conclusion, organization culture is one of the aspects of organizational behavior that greatly control the activities taking place within an organization. The companies used in this paper, that is Coca Cola, Apple Inc. and Samsung all have varied organization culture aimed at promoting their wellbeing, as well as their consumer satisfaction. Organization culture also has various characteristics that help in guiding the organizational behavior within the above companies. Some of the characteristics include rules and norms, innovation and risk taking, team orientation among others. To ensure increased production and relationships in an organization, companies must ensure they develop internal and external organization culture.
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