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The Seven Traits of Organizational Culture

Question:

Write an essay on the Organizational Culture.
 

I have been assigned to write a blog about project management leadership. There are many areas in project management leadership like project management skills, models of change, managing resistance to change, organizational culture, sources of conflict, strategies for negotiation, etc. But I chose to write on Organizational Culture as it is a one of the core areas to understand leadership and management.

So what is organizational culture? It can be defined as system of shared values followed the people that differentiate the company from other firms. There are seven traits to gain a deeper understanding about an enterprise’s culture (Alvesson, 2016).

Innovation and taking risks – Here the employees were encouraged for doing innovative things and taking calculated risks at a certain extent.

Taking care for each minute detail- The extent to which the workers should analyze and pay attention to detail.

Outcome oriented – The extent to which the top management pays attention to the results or outcomes rather than the various processes and the techniques used to get the expected result.

People oriented – Here how much the decisions of the management are taken into consideration for the employee’s outcome within the work environment.

Team oriented – The degree to which the different types of activities happening in the work place are organized within the teams rather for a particular employee.

Aggressiveness – It describes how much extent the employees have the aggression and competitive attitude rather than an easygoing employee.

Stability – It defines to which extent the company’s activities are helping to maintain the status quo in respect to growth (Scott & Davis, 2015). 

Now I will debrief about whether the companies have cultures which are uniform or not. Organizational culture enables us to think that the people working in an organization follow the predefined norms, values, ethics, etc as set by the company. Most large firms have a working culture which is dominant and there are various subcultures. A culture which is dominating stresses on the core values of that company where most of the employees follow those values and which help the firm to have a unique personality and differentiate the firm from others. Subcultures in the firms are present to share the common problems or various experiences the people are facing in the same department or in the same office location. The accounts department can comprise of subculture where there are the core values of the company as well as the distinct values and the norms of the members in that accounts department (Kotrba et al., 2012).

Organizational culture creates a climate in the workplace that can be good as well as bad. An employee working with his/ her co-workers who reflects a positive attitude will motivate you to give your best shot at the task or with a team who has no sense of responsibility will demotivate you to do the work. If you have experienced these types of things at the workplace then you have experienced the effects of climate. It can be defined as shared beliefs of the employees have about their company and the work environment. Through meta-analysis survey it was found that psychological climate has a strong impact for an individual’s level of job satisfaction, involvement, committed and self motivated in the work place. An employee who feels there is a positive climate for diversity will be more comfortable in interacting with other employees regardless of their demographic background (Schneider et al., 2013).

Uniformity vs. Subcultures in Organizational Culture

Next the factors for creating and sustaining a company’s culture are discussed. A firm’s current values, ethics, traditions, norms, etc are based on the vision of the founders of the company. The founders of the firm decide the ideologies that need to follow by each and every employee in the organization (Epstein & Buhovac, 2014). There is three factors that help to sustain a culture. First is the selection process. Here the main task is to recruit the people having necessary skills and knowledge and have the capability to perform the task successfully. Here only those candidates are hired who possess the majority of the core values of the organization (Csikszentmihalyi, 2014).Gore & Associates work culture comprises of no bosses, no job titles, etc. Every work is done through teams. In recruiting process, the candidates have to undergo a grueling interview process whether they can deal with uncertainty, flexible work timings and teamwork.  The next step is the decision process of the top management in the company. Their attitudes, actions, words have huge impact on the overall growth of the organization (Guiso, 2015). Like how much risks should an employee take to perform a task, the degree of freedom should an employee enjoy, the dress code, promotions, rewards and other benefits. For example super market chain Wegman believes in happy and loyal workers who help each others to provide exceptional customer service. The firm hires only those candidates who have an interest in various foods. The enterprise has paid more than $54 million for college scholarships to their both part-time as well as full time employees and also fully paid medical expenses. The last one is socialization where the new recruits need to understand and adapt the company’s working culture. Like the marines must undergo a boot camp training where they need to probe their dedication and commitment and learn the Marine way (Steiber & Alänge, 2013).  

Now I will discuss how the employees get to learn about the culture in the organization. The first is through stories. When Henry Ford II was the chairman of the Ford Motors, he reminded his workers when they became arrogant by saying that “It’s the name of his that was inscribed on the building”. It has a clear message. The company was run by Henry Ford II and everyone should follow his orders. The stories indicate the different practices prevailing in the organization. It tells about the founders, attrition rate, reactions to the mistakes happened in the past, relocation of the employees and various norms followed. Next part is the rituals that explain the core values of an organization. The vital goals, important people, working styles, activities come under the rituals. The third one is the material symbols (Hatch & Cunliffe, 2013). The office layout inside the organization, the various automobiles provide to the top management, perks, the size of the offices and the furniture come under material symbols. The last one is language. There are various terminologies used in the work place that needs to be acquainted for a new employee like various work equipments, key persons or products related to business. Employees need to understand the jargons and various acronyms to interact properly with other employees.

Climate and Its Impact on the Workplace

The last section I will discuss the necessary steps to create an ethical work culture in an organization. The first step should be an icon or a role model to other employees (Robertson & Barling, 2013).The action and the behavior of the top management should motivate the employees and must send a positive message to them. The ethical code of the company must be communicated to the employees so that they follow the ethical standards of the organization. The third one is ethical training should be provided to the employees by conducting seminars, workshops and other training programs so that employees have a better understanding while working in the organization. There should be appraisal for the employees and they will get rewarded who are maintaining the ethical standards and at the same time there will also be punishment for the employees who are violating the code of conduct (Plakhotnik et al., 2015). 

Conclusion

Any organization must aim to have a strong positive organizational culture because the people who have a positive attitude show positive results at work place. They also lead a happy, productive and enriching lifestyle. Organizational culture can be defined as a system of shared values followed the people that differentiate the company from other firms. The culture of an organization differs from company to company and successful firms have high ethical standards and the vision of the company is aligned with the employee’s vision which makes an organization successful. An organization’s culture can be learned through stories, material symbols, languages and rituals which help the workers to have a deeper understanding about the workplace. The workplace should exhibit a positive working climate where there is no biasness and no problem in working with employees belonging to diversified cultures (Azanza et al., 2013).  

References

Alvesson, M. (2016). Organizational Culture. Sage Publications Incorporated.

Azanza, G., Moriano, J. A., & Molero, F. (2013). Authentic leadership and organizational culture as drivers of employees’ job satisfaction. Revista de Psicología del Trabajo y de las Organizaciones, 29(2), 45-50.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2014). Society, culture, and person: A systems view of creativity (pp. 47-61). Springer Netherlands

Epstein, M. J., & Buhovac, A. R. (2014). Making sustainability work: Best practices in managing and measuring corporate social, environmental, and economic impacts. Berrett-Koehler Publishers

Guiso, L., Sapienza, P., & Zingales, L. (2015). The value of corporate culture. Journal of Financial Economics, 117(1), 60-76.

Hatch, M. J., & Cunliffe, A. L. (2013). Organization theory: modern, symbolic and postmodern perspectives. Oxford university press.

Kotrba, L. M., Gillespie, M. A., Schmidt, A. M., Smerek, R. E., Ritchie, S. A., & Denison, D. R. (2012). Do consistent corporate cultures have better business performance? Exploring the interaction effects. Human relations,65(2), 241-262

Plakhotnik, M. S., Rocco, T. S., Collins, J. C., & Landorf, H. (2015). Connection, value, and growth: how employees with different national identities experience a geocentric organizational culture of a global corporation. Human Resource Development International, 18(1), 39-57.

Robertson, J. L., & Barling, J. (2013). Greening organizations through leaders' influence on employees' proâ€Âenvironmental behaviors. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34(2), 176-194.

Schneider, B., Ehrhart, M. G., & Macey, W. H. (2013). Organizational climate and culture. Annual review of psychology, 64, 361-388

Scott, W. R., & Davis, G. F. (2015). Organizations and organizing: Rational, natural and open systems perspectives. Routledge

Steiber, A., & Alänge, S. (2013). A corporate system for continuous innovation: the case of Google Inc. European Journal of Innovation Management, 16(2), 243-264.

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