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Organizational culture

Updated on March 14, 2012

Organizational culture is a term introduced first in 1879. It comes from anthropology and can be defined as the sum of all processes associated with the socialization of personality in work environment. Organizational culture is a system of rules that are transparent to the current members of the organization and can therefore be transmitted to the new members as a correct way of thinking, perception and feeling. In other words, organizational culture is the way things are done in the organization

Main characteristics of organizational cultureare:

  • Individual autonomy- refers to the degree of responsibility, independence and individuality of employees
  • Structure- refers to the rules and procedures used to control group behavior
  • Support it refers to the degree of mentoring and support from the managers to their employees.
  • Identity this is the degree to which employees identify with the organization
  • System of awards it includes prizes which are awarded for good work performance to every member of the organization
  • Tolerance - refers to the quantity and the quality of conflicts in the organization and the willingness of employees to solve them

Factors that influence the organizational culture 

Factors that influence the organizational culture can be internal or external. External factors are competition , market / demand ,offering, customers and suppliers /,economic , social and cultural factors. The internal factors can more easily analyzed by the managers and they can be effectively controlled.

Functionsof the organizationalculture:

Organizational culture creates a sense of identity with the organization providing standards of conduct and thus increase the stability of the organizational system. The organizational culture reduces anxiety of employees. The process of socialization for each worker can be formal or informal. The formal process refers to the internalisation of production standards by employees through training and supervision. The informal process is associated with the stories of other employees about the nature ofwork.

Organizational culture symbols

According to Hofstede symbols are surface expression of the organizational culture. Organizational culture symbols are the slogan and logo of the organization, specific language of communication, terminology, clothing, arrangement of buildings and offices, the interior design of workplaces. Organizational symbols form the values ​​of work team and leaders.

Organizational culture folklore

Organizational culture can be recognized by the folklore of the organization. It includes myths and legends, characters contributing to the sustainable development of the organization. There are different types of heroes of the organization. The first type are born heroes. They are real people who have the characteristics to produce new products, create a new type of relationship, they are persistent when it comes to chasing their goals. The second type situational heroes. They are real people who possess the ability to act in critical situations. The third type is called sacred cows”” .They are young employees who have not yet shown what they can, but they are high hopes for the future of the organization.


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