Organisational culture has been presented as a factor influencing performance, integration process of mergers, knowledge transfer, shareholder value, competitive advantage, adoption of the marketing concept by many firms to cite a few.
The organisational culture concept was not widely written about until the early 1980s. However, long before that, few organisational leaders created and perpetuated beliefs and values to engender behaviour they thought would result in organisational success. The notion of corporate culture (later designated as organisational culture) appeared in the managerial discourse during the 70’s in the United States and a decade later in Europe. The theme of corporate culture was a way to stress the importance of the human factor in economic production and it rapidly encountered a great success.
Organisational culture has been presented as a factor influencing performance, integration process of mergers, knowledge transfer, shareholder value, competitive advantage, adoption of the marketing concept by firms to cite a few.
Some of the techniques companies employ to change their organisational culture are as follows:
Displaying top management commitment and supporting values and beliefs. Say for example the top management officials often discuss the organisational values and beliefs in meetings, internal publications, television networks, etc.
Creating a statement of organisational values and beliefs, thus in one way articulating them. Johnson & Johnson has had a written statement of its values and beliefs called ‘Our Credo’ since the mid-1940s.
Communicating values and beliefs to employees, offering rewards and incentives to encourage behaviour compatible with the values is a very effective tool. For example, 3M rewards employees who recommend improvement in processes or innovative ideas for new products.
Making the management style and organisation structure compatible with values and beliefs. Companies like FedEx have a more centralised structure to provide totally reliable, competitively superior global air-ground transportation of high priority goods and documents that require rapid, time-certain delivery. Replacing or changing responsibilities of employees who do not support desired values or beliefs. Du Point provides an example for this by appealing to some employees’ sense of duty by asking them to move from key management positions.
STRENGTHS – The four essential strengths of organisational culture approach are:
- It focuses attention on the human side of organizational life, and finds significance and learning in even its most mundane aspects (for example, the setup in an empty meeting room).
- It makes clear the importance of creating appropriate systems of shared meaning to help people work together toward desired outcomes.
- It requires members—especially leaders—to acknowledge the impact of their behavior on the organization’s culture.
- It encourages the view that the perceived relationship between an organization and its environment is also affected by the organization’s basic assumptions.
Organisational change efforts are rumored to fail the vast majority of the time.
- Usually, this failure is credited to lack of understanding about the strong role of culture and the role it plays in organisations. That’s one of the reasons that many strategic planners now place as much emphasis on identifying strategic values as they do mission and vision.
- Again, a strong organisational culture gives rise to another phenomenon called Group-think, a state where people even if they have different ideas do not challenge organisation thinking. In this way, the capacity for innovative thoughts is reduced.
Thus, the conclusion is that though organizational culture reorganization is a difficult task, but if implemented perfectly, it promotes actions and decisions based on shared meanings. Moreover, it also assists in conflict resolution and shared decision making.