Every organization has a culture. Whether weak or strong, culture has a powerful influence throughout an organization and affects practically everything, from who gets promoted and what decisions are made, to how employees dress and what sports they play. Because of this impact, culture has a major effect on the success of the organization. Organizational cultures are the very essence of organizations. Whether effective or ineffective, organizational cultures exist and are determined in various ways by all employees and reflected through the personality of the top leader.
Culture is defined as “the way we do things around here.” It is the shared ways in which groups of employees understand and interpret the world through organizational goals, policies, products, or services. Culture comes in layers, like an onion. To understand it, one has to peel it layer by layer. The products and services are on the outer layer. The layers of values and norms are deeper within the onion and are more difficult to identify. The way in which attitudes are expressed in a specific organization is described as organizational culture.
Organization differentiates from each other through a basic set of values, underlying beliefs and assumptions. There are 4 basic types of organizational cultures:
1) the tough guy culture maintains a high level of risks and stress,
2) the work hard, play hard culture maintains a high level of relatively low risk activity and emphasizes team work, meetings, contests, and high volume output,
3) the bet-your-company culture requires its members to make decisions for high impact and does not tolerate risk-taking and immaturity, and,
4) the process culture is a bureaucratic organization whose employees focus not on what is done, but on how things are done.
What organizational culture do you belong? Are your values, underlying beliefs and assumptions in alignment with your organizational culture?