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What is Organizational Culture?

Question:

Discuss abou the Cultural Dimensions in Minority Marketing.

Culture possesses the ability to shape individuals in various ways where race and gender plays a significant role in shaping individuals. According to the Webster’s dictionary, culture can be defined as an integrated pattern of human belief, knowledge and behavior that relies upon the capacity of human to transmit and learn knowledge to next generation. Organizational culture refers to the sum of values that holds the members of an organization together. The philosophies, values, attitudes, behaviors, practices and belief defines an organization.

Organizational culture is a system of collective values, beliefs and assumptions that tend to govern the behavior of the people working in organizations. These shared values and beliefs have a significant impact upon the people in the organization and influence their dressing styles, conduct as well as their performance within the organization (Hofstede 2014). Every organization has a unique culture that sets out boundaries and guidelines to be followed by members of the organizations. The organization culture has the following distinct characteristics:

Precision orientation- this characteristic of an organizational culture sets out the level to which employees are expected to perform their work accurately as this organizational trait ensures that workers are working with precision.

Risk orientation- when the culture of an organization gives more importance on innovation, the employees are encouraged to innovate by undertaking risks while carrying out their activities.

Fairness orientation- the organizational culture that gives utmost importance to the impact of the decision taken by such organizations on the employees of the organization, tend to treat the employees with dignity and respect.

  1. Achievement orientation- this organizational trait refers to the organizational culture that tends to concentrate more on the result o outcome rather than on the method in which such outcome is achieved.
  2. Competitive orientation- The organizations that focuses on aggressive culture usually gives importance to competitiveness and outperforming such competition under any circumstances. The prevalence of this form of culture expects the employees to be assertive while dealing with the competing companies in the market place.
  3. Collaboration achievement- this form of organizational trait emphasizes on organizational related activities to be performed by teams instead of individuals. The employees of such organizations maintain a positive relationship with the managers and the co-workers.

In order to shape and maintain a mutual and clear understanding of the preferred culture in an organization, it is important to comprehend that culture is a powerful tool and enables any organization to reinforce mutual understanding. With the growth and development of a company, it fortifies and refines the cultural values of the organization. The values incorporated in the company in its initial years usually exercises influence over the future values of such organization. After new employees are recruited, they should be imparted with adequate information about the cultural trait prevalent within the organization (Shafritz, Ott and Jang 2015).

The method that is used in an organization to maintain the prevalent organizational culture includes attraction-selection-attrition process and on-boarding process.

  1. Attraction-Selection-Attrition Process (ASA) - this process refers to the fact that employees are usually drawn to organizations where they feel is appropriate for them. For instance, employees who are competitive by nature may be drawn to companies nurturing competitive orientation process whereas employees who prefer to work under tem-oriented organization culture usually select such organizations. Similarly, organizations also hire people who they believe would fit with the corporate values and the prevailing culture instead of hiring people appropriate for any specific job. For instance- Google relies on multiple interviews by introducing the candidates to several future coworkers for obtaining the feedback of the co-workers about the candidate. This enables the company to determine the level to which the candidate is fit for the company.
  2. On-boarding process- this process refers to the procedure through which the new employees are acknowledged with the skills, behaviors, knowledge that is expected from them to perform within the organization.


Leaders play a significant role in monitoring as well as maintaining organizational culture. For instance, when leaders motivate employees through inspiration, corporate culture becomes people-oriented and supportive, making the employees realize that the peers and the supervisors accept them. Further, the leaders motivate the employees by making provisions for rewards on performance, thus, making the corporate culture more competitive and performance-oriented culture.

Characteristics of Organizational Culture

According to Dr. Geert Hofstede, organizational culture is the united programming of the mind that distinguishes between one member of a group from another within the organization (Rallapalli and Montgomery 2015). The five cultural dimensions proposed by Hofstede are enumerated as below:

It refers to the degree of variation that is in existence and is accepted amongst powerful people and people without power. A high PD implies acceptance of asymmetrical distribution of authority by society and low PD implies power is dispersed and properly shared (Hofstede 2017).

For instance, Switzerland is at the lower rakings of PD, which implies that the society opines that the inequalities amongst people should be reduced. There is a decentralization of power and them manager relies on the experience of the team members. The employees are expected to be consulted, as they do not favor control and exhibit an informal attitude towards the manager. The organizational culture accepts hierarchy as per convenience and is independent in nature.

On the contrary, although Ireland has a lower ranking of PD similar to Switzerland, but the managers rely on teams as well as individual employees for their expertise unlike organizations in Switzerland, which relies only on team members. Unlike Switzerland, in Irish organizations, both the employees and managers are expected to be consulted and there is a prevalence of persistent information sharing amongst the employees and the employers.

This cultural dimension addresses the issue related to the degree of interdependence that is maintained by the society amongst the members of the society.  It is concerned with the self-image of people whether they address themselves as ‘I’ or ‘We’ as in individualist societies, people are expected to look after themselves and their immediate family. In Collectivist societies, people belong to group and look after them in exchange for loyalty (Saleem and Larimo 2017).

Switzerland is at relatively higher ranking on this cultural dimension and is considered as individualist society. This signifies that it has a social framework wherein individuals are expected to take care of themselves as well as their families. The recruitment process is based entirely on merit.

In Irish organizations, employees are expected to demonstrate enthusiasm and initiative and they are expected to be self-reliable within the individualistic organizational culture. The recruitment process is based on evidence as well as merit regarding what an employee has done or is supposed to do.

A high score (masculine) on this cultural dimension signifies that the society shall be determined by achievement, success and competition. A low score (feminine) on this dimension signifies that the dominant societal values require the employees to take care of others and look after the quality of life. The primary issue relating to this type of cultural dimension is masculine form determines what one wants to be best whereas the feminine form determines what one likes to do (Hofstede 2013).

The Role of Leaders in Maintaining and Shaping Organizational Culture

Switzerland scores high including both rankings for French speaking Switzerland and German speaking Switzerland indicates a masculine society which is highly success oriented. This is evident from the fact that people work to live and managers are expected to be decisive focusing on equity, performance and competition.

Ireland is lower in ranking compared to organizations in Switzerland and the organizational behavior in Irish organizations is more focused on the shared values that are usually practiced in school. Such values include ‘the winner takes all’ attitude and the employees should strive to be the best they can become. Conflicts are resolved at individual level and the objective is to win the situation.


This cultural dimension is concerned with the approach where a society deals with the fact that future is unpredictable and whether future should be controlled or simply let happen what is decided in future. The extent to which uncertain situations threatens the members of a culture, they have developed beliefs to avert such situations is usually portrayed in the level of uncertainty avoidance (Bakir et al. 2015).

Switzerland has a lower rating demonstrating difference between French speaking and German speaking Switzerland where French speaking Switzerland has strong preference to avoid uncertainty compared to German speaking part. Decisions are undertaken after careful analysis of all the information available to them.

Ireland has a low score as well but the Irish organizations accept creativity and opt for new ways to address such uncertain problems. Acceptance of practical facts is more appreciable than the use of technical language.

This dimension deals with the process how very society maintains links with the past while dealing with issues arising in the present and those that would arise in the future  (Pinho, Rodrigues and Dibb 2014).

Switzerland has a high score owing to the pragmatic culture of the organizations. In the context of pragmatic orientation, employees rely on truth, which forms the situation, time and context, and adapt to changes in traditions, beliefs, and values.  Ireland having a normative work culture has a low score. People in such societies are concerned with establishing the complete truth and exhibit great respect for the traditions.

This cultural dimension is defined as the extent to which people try to control their desires based on the way such desires are raised. The relatively weak control is known as indulgence and a relatively strong control is known as restraint, culture, may be described as either restrained or indulgence (Huhtala et al. 2013).

Geert Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions

Switzerland has a high score and signifies the culture as indulgence. This is evident from the exhibition of willingness to realize the desire with respect to having fun. The employees have a positive attitude and are optimistic in their performance. Ireland is also high in its ranking and culture is one of indulgence. The employees are more inclined towards spending money and give more importance to leisure time.

The millennial plays a significant role in enhancing the future of the business. The millennial possesses an ability to adapt to new and advanced technologies and a detailed knowledge about social media in today’s world has become part of the lives of the millennial (DeVaney 2015).  The growing status of the Millennial as leaders along with their development and work preferences are leading to cultural norms for modern day organizations. Their management approaches involve transformation of the status quo in order to give a purpose to their concerned organizations. They are striving to make such transformation without sacrificing the flexibility of their own self, while at work, thus, to live their lives to the fullest outside the organization. The millennial believes that the purpose of an organization should be the reason why they should work in a particular organization. The millennial perceives purpose as an underlying expectation that can be realized through collaborative activities and entrepreneurship strategies within the context of a successfully established organization.

They strive to make the entire concept of work more flexible and the skills required in the workforce are going to be more about EQ (Entrepreneurial Quotient) and less about IQ (Intelligence quotient). This is because IQ is easily available through the technologies that are easily accessible.


The advantage of including millennial as a part of the organization is their capability of multitasking. As they are becoming faster, stronger and bigger to compete on globally, they are launching advanced development programs to organize their targeted workforce (Cox 2016). They quest for a work culture that expands their thoughts while rendering service for brands, better projects, technology and science, etc. The most important advantage of millennial is their ability to adapt to new technologies and a digital fluent can learn faster how to take an advantage of the new systems and the devices. An organization may use this skill to improve its workflows and processes with new technologies.

There are millennial who are dissatisfied and changing jobs within a short period or are always stuck to social media accounts, which might affect their performance in the organization (Smith and Nichols 2015). It may result in reduced productivity, higher recruitment and succession gaps within such organization. Further, there are various stereotypes millennial who always stick to their social media accounts or are dissatisfied with their jobs due to their belief that modern day requires employees to be flexible and cannot rely on working with the same employer for years. It is essential to understand how these millennial are changing their organizational culture and work dynamics.

Power Distance

Conclusion

From the above discussion, it can be inferred that the most important factors that creates an organizational culture include preferences, demand of the industry and values of the founders. Every organization has a different value, which makes the organizational culture unique. The members of an organization are acknowledged about the organizational values and are expected to conduct in a manner that complies with such values. With the growth of a company, the cultural values of the company are strengthened and refined. The initial values of the company may determine the future values of the organization. The employers and the employees have certain mutual obligations towards each other where the employers must ensure that the employees trust them and have confidence on the employers they will redress their issues. th employers must also have the confidence that they conduct in the ways that enhances the organizational culture, resulting in growth of the organization.

Reference List

Bakir, A., Blodgett, J.G., Vitell, S.J. and Rose, G.M., 2015. A preliminary investigation of the reliability and validity of Hofstede’s cross cultural dimensions. In Proceedings of the 2000 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference (pp. 226-232). Springer, Cham.

Cadden, T., Marshall, D. and Cao, G., 2013. Opposites attract: organisational culture and supply chain performance. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 18(1), pp.86-103.

Carlos Pinho, J., Paula Rodrigues, A. and Dibb, S., 2014. The role of corporate culture, market orientation and organisational commitment in organisational performance: the case of non-profit organisations. Journal of Management Development, 33(4), pp.374-398.

Cox, L.V., 2016. Understanding Millennial, Generation X, and Baby Boomer Preferred Leadership Characteristics: Informing Today’s Leaders and Followers (Doctoral dissertation, Brandman University).

DeVaney, S.A., 2015. Understanding the millennial generation. Journal of Financial Service Professionals, 69(6), pp.11-14.

Farrell, L. and Hurt, A.C., 2014. Training the Millennial Generation: Implications for Organizational Climate. E Journal of Organizational Learning & Leadership, 12(1).

Hofstede, G., 2013. Hofstede cultural dimensions theory.

Hofstede, G., 2014. Organisational Culture & Change Management.

Hofstede, G., 2017. Cultural Dimensions: Country comparison.

Huhtala, M., Feldt, T., Hyvönen, K. and Mauno, S., 2013. Ethical organisational culture as a context for managers’ personal work goals. Journal of Business Ethics, 114(2), pp.265-282.

Rallapalli, K.C. and Montgomery, C.D., 2015. Marketing Strategies For Asian-Americans: Guidelines Based on Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions. In Minority Marketing: Research Perspectives for the 1990s (pp. 73-77). Springer, Cham.

Saleem, S. and Larimo, J., 2017. Hofstede cultural framework and advertising research: An assessment of the literature. In Advances in Advertising Research (Vol. VII) (pp. 247-263). Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden.

Shafritz, J.M., Ott, J.S. and Jang, Y.S., 2015. Classics of organization theory. Cengage Learning.

Smith, T.J. and Nichols, T., 2015. Understanding the millennial generation. The Journal of Business Diversity, 15(1), p.39.

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