On a group of theories one can found a school;
but on a group of values one can found a culture.
                                                                 ~ Ignazio Silone

Why Should We Care About Culture?

The way we view our jobs is dramatically influenced by the organizational culture in which we work.

  In the same way the color of a room can affect our mood, the culture of our work environment impacts both our performance and how that performance is perceived by others. We ignore organizational culture at our peril since it affects the performance of every member of the organization.

What Is Culture, Anyway?

Culture can be described as a set of shared attitudes, values, and behavioral patterns. Organizational culture is created by leadership policies, practices, and styles. This culture, often created unconsciously, acts as an invisible field that shapes attitudes and influences behavior.

The tiny signals sent and received within an organization are so ubiquitous that they often go unrecognized. But this doesn't mean they're unimportant. To the contrary, the unrecognized influence of organizational culture can derail the most carefully laid plans of management.

How Do We Evaluate The Cultural Environment?

The impact of corporate culture on performance can be analyzed by first examining the attitudes necessary to achieve the desired performance and then identifying the cultural elements that encourage or discourage those attitudes. Both surveys and assessments can be helpful in compiling objective information about an organization's culture as well as the attitudes, values, and behaviors exhibited by the organization's most successful memebers.

How Can Cultural Changes Improve Performance?

People perform within the boundaries imposed by organizational culture. When cultural boundaries are modified to align with the behaviors needed for improved performance, individuals are encouraged to display those behaviors and subsequently the improvement is exhibited. For example, an organization that supports the belief that defects are preventable and not inevitable will experience fewer defects.


Articles About Organizational Culture