In management or organizational learning environments, learners use the phrase ‘organizational culture’ to imply the beliefs, values, attitudes, experiences and psychology of a certain organization. In most cases, organizational culture is a collection of social norms and values applied by people working in an organization. Largely, these values and norms dictate the relationship of members within an organization.
Organizational culture comprises of aspirations and goals set by members towards realizing success. Language, symbols, interactions and expectations are some of the examples of goals set by an organization. They act as culture itself. In essence, personal or group norms sire organizational norms, aspirations, expectations and employee behavior within an organization. (Hill & Gareth, 2001, pp. 1-12).
For example, over the last two decades, organizations have widely applied the concept of organizational culture to comprehend human systems. Thus, organizational culture-environmental condition, affect human systems either positively or negatively. This is because, to form an organization, it takes time.
This is because, two challenges associate with organizational culture formation within a group. For example, it is not easy to integrate individuals as one unit. On the other hand, some individuals find it hard to adopt external happenings of an organization. They therefore need to be educated in order to grasp the culture of an organization. The paper will examine the organizational culture of HP Company where I work in sales department. (Schein, 1993, pp.373-375).
Organizational Culture at my Workplace
Many organizations find it hard to deploy good organization culture to its members. This is because, the whole process seem psychological. Therefore, members need time to adjust and work as per the culture of an organization. For example, in my company, everybody values leadership, socialization and selection as fundamental basics of culture. A common language is necessary in this case because; it facilitates the sharing of knowledge.
In order to realize this effectively, my company has a policy framework requiring every individual to master organizational culture strategies. Each individual comes into an organization with a different culture. However, culture boosts organizational success. Therefore, individuals must be ready to adopt new organizational cultures. At IBM, the knowledge management initiative acts as a guide towards organization culture.
For example, IBM encourages, teaches, rewards and values its organizational culture. As a marketer, I have learned that, without organizational culture, an organization cease to exist. This is because; when employees and employers speak one language, do decision making together, apply symbols and perform practices daily, an organization succeeds.
Largely, a culture of accountability exonerates organizational success while good language enables excellent customer service hence, engaged employees and higher income generation. On the other hand, an organization, which tolerates indiscipline and laziness, impede human systems paramount to success. However, in IBM, our practices are opinioned towards business success. Success is part of our culture. Perhaps this is the reason why our interactions seem to bear fruits.
In IBM, good work is encouraged and rewarded, while the bad rebuked. It is this scenario, which creates competition among employees. Additionally, the ever-changing technology contributes to our culture by far. At IBM, we have a dress code, which symbolizes our unity and diversity. Sometimes, our dress code makes customers identify with us with easiness. (Burman & Evans, 2008, pp. 22-27).
Long-term employees are like culture in entirety. Through their own experiences, they impart organizational beliefs, practices, values and assumptions to others. Sometimes these employees determine failure or success. This is because, if they are biased, other employees will copy this biasness and send it down the lineage of work. However, at IBM, long-term employees set priorities right to other employees. They act as pillars of success and solve problems threatening organizational culture. (Morgan, 1997, pp. 148-150).
Employee Behavior and Action
In IBM, employee act boldly without fear or conformity. Whenever new challenges arise, all employees rise to the occasion and confront the issue no matter how difficult it may seem. Fear and conformity curtails new idea development. However, this is not a culture of IBM. Instead of fear, employees choose strong culture coupled by viciousness of ideas.
Every individual practices common sense at the expense of averting any extreme risks into success. Additionally, IBM employees choose unity of purpose over segregation and this has made the company the biggest manufacturer and seller of information technology equipments ranging from computers to printers to laptops. Ethics and inspiration drives the entire workforce.
Under collaborative culture, IBM looks on the relationship between organizational culture, collaboration and leadership. In most cases, the persons at the top are responsible for collaborative culture. For example, in IBM, social media leadership drives the company into success.
Additionally, the entire IBM leadership fraternity recognizes organizational culture as a full business entity. Collaborative culture helps organizations to develop quarterly returns, which later, compromises long-term values. Collaborative culture defines what IBM produces. Here, diversity of products leads to excellent leadership strategies.
On the other hand, IBM uses its collaborative culture to attract its customers. For instance, the idea of introducing conversations between employees through web teleconferencing and telepresence, supported our organizational culture and as a result, many customers became aware of our products. Overall, collaborative culture involves the existing good communication strategies between leaders, employees and customers. (Rosen, 2010, Para. 34-50).
People of different backgrounds and culture need to interact effectively for common organizational goals. They ought to use a common language and above all, respect the norms and values of an organization. Most companies like IBM know the benefit of having a competent culture. However, cultural competence comprise of four dimensions. To begin with, individual employees must understand their original culture. Consequently, these employees must then create positive attitude to learn the new culture and cross-cultural proficiencies.
Nonetheless, at IBM, cultural competence involves examining personal prejudices and biases and developing an attitude, behavior and policy as a group. In order to be cultural competitive, IBM’s human resource department set out good principles and values, and always demonstrates good leadership behaviors to all employees. Through awareness, attitude, knowledge and skills, IBM employees learn cross-cultural interaction paramount to cultural competence. (Diller &Moule, 2005, pp. 8-33).
Every organization has its own organizational culture. However, no matter how hard it is for employees to adopt new culture, an organization’s leadership strategies receive all blame. Some of the thing that affects organizational culture includes personal interests, communication problems, individualism and stakes.
Nevertheless, through cultural competence, such problems can eliminate. Sometimes, culture can create propaganda or ideology either through unitary or functional viewing of culture. Nevertheless, an organization is a structure produced by an organizational culture, which is the backbone of behavior and interaction.
Burman, R. & Evans, A. (2008). Target Zero: A Culture of safety. Journal of Defence Aviation Safety Centre, 2008, 22-27.
Diller, V. & Moule, J. (2005). Cultural Competence: a primer for educators. Belmont, California: Thomason Learning.
Hill, C. & Gareth, R. (2001) Strategic Management. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
Morgan, G. (1997). Images of Organization. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Rosen, E. (2010). The Culture of Collaboration. Retrieved on 4 May 2010, from
Schein, E. (1993). Organizational Culture and Leadership. Fort Worth: Harcourt College Publishers.