The organizational culture that exists in a company can contribute to organizational effectiveness or organizational decline. Assessing the culture and related values and norms, can help leaders in an organization determine if changes need to be made in order to foster a more effective organization. Maintaining a positive culture is critical to success as people’s behaviors, decisions and even corporate values are borne from the culture in place.
An organizational culture includes norms and values that are not found in writing. In his book, Organizational Theory, Design and Change, author Gareth Jones (2007) suggests, “Members learn from each other how to interpret and respond to various situations in ways that are consistent with the organization’s accepted values.” Over time, without even realizing it, employees behave in ways that are consistent with rules, values, and norms.
The design and structure of an organization will largely influence the culture that ensues. Organizational design will include the scope of control and how organizational functions are administered. Finding the right balance between design and structure is important to ensure organizational success and survival. This structure will contribute to the corporate culture that exists.
Creating a Positive Corporate Culture
Corporate culture includes values that can often be so strong that ethics and morals come in second place. Setting the standard for a positive corporate culture should be a major focus for leaders in any organization. What happens at the top level of any organization can swiftly trickle down.
Corporate culture is not something that can be mandated or even clearly defined. This culture is rather a feeling or a frame of mind and something developed over time. Putting the right structure and programs in place that focus on employees and customers will help create a positive feeling within the organization.
Creating a positive corporate culture begins with a focus on internal resources. For most organizations, people are the most important corporate assets. Starting with recruiting, people should feel that they are truly valued and important to the organization. Focusing on employee satisfaction will help ensure a positive corporate culture.