When coming into or starting an organization, many things need to be decided upon for that organization. The organization’s mission statement, its business plan, and its structure are a few of the many things that need to be decided for that organization. One element that is extremely important to establish within an organization is the organization’s culture. An organization’s culture is extremely significant within an organization, and an organization’s culture can be determined from a variety of different types of cultures.
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Organizational culture can also be called a corporate culture and is defined as “the set of shared, taken-for-granted implicit assumptions that a group holds and that determines how it perceives, thinks about, and reacts to its various environments” (Kinicki and Williams, 2018). Each and every organization has its own type of organizational culture that sets it apart from other organizations. One reason organizational culture is vital to an organization is because the type of culture the organization has determines how the employees conduct themselves in the workplace. Organizational leaders will most likely want to hire employees who act professionally and politely when they are in the workplace (Juneja, n.d.). Establishing a culture that values professional actions and communications among all members of the organization can create an attitude within the employees that makes them want to act in a professional manner whether they are speaking one-on-one with one another or whether they are speaking to many other employees within the organization at one time.
Organization culture is also important for establishing an organization’s identity. Customers or colleagues are more likely to keep returning to an organization for services or products whose identity is easily identifiable and likeable. For example, Chick-fil-a is known for having an organization culture where employees are usually professional in every manner and employ good customer service skills and where the establishments are usually clean and family friendly (Kinicki and Williams, 2018). Chick-fil-a has chosen to employ an organizational culture that seeks to hire employees who are genuinely kind and doing this has given them identifiable and likeable by their customers.
Organizational culture is also vital to an organization because of the idea of preservation of employees. If an organization develops a specific culture that it is very strong in, then that culture will attract a specific type of employee. For example, if an organization’s culture highly values the importance of promptness and professionalness within employees, that organization will attract those types of employees, and as a result, many of those employees that it attracts will feel like they belong to that organization and not want to leave, causing a low turnover rate for the company (Alton, 2017). Employing this type of culture also creates more unity among organizational team members because they all share some sort of community in their work ethics.
It is also important to create an organizational culture because creating one can give the organization competitive advantage. When an organizational culture exists in which the employees of the organization can clearly and accurately communicate the purpose of the organization to others and advocate for the organization to others, then that organization can establish some leverage over the others it is competing with (Rapp, 2015). Also, establishing a corporate culture that is desirable that is difficult for other organizations to imitate also creates some competitive advantage (Mahrokian, 2010). Uniqueness in terms of organizational culture is hard to establish within an organization, but it is more than well worth it because it gives that organization the upper hand in the market.
Along with the ways in which an organization’s culture is important comes the different types of organizational cultures an organization can establish. One of the types of organizational cultures is the clan culture. A clan culture “has an internal focus and values flexibility rather than stability and control” (Kinicki and Williams, 2018). This culture almost mimics the behaviors of the family unit or the tribal unit in the sense that it promotes community among its employees. For example, the famous insurance company, Acuity, implements clan culture within its organization, allowing employees to openly express their creative ideas, and Acuity believes that this cohesion among team members makes them have higher job satisfaction (Kinick and Williams, 2018). However, non-proponents of this type of organization culture claim that the nurturing environment it creates for its employees can cause its employees to become complacent because of the lack of competition present within the organization among employees (What Is, 2014).
The next type of organization structure is the adhocracy culture. An adhocracy culture “has an external focus and values flexibility” (Kinicki and Williams, 2018). This type of culture values risk-taking, flexibility, and originality within its organization. Critics of this form of organizational culture believe that doing normal things such as solving day to day tasks can become an issue with the adhocracy culture because there are no established procedures for such tasks, and therefore, each task is solved differently each time it is faced (Lister, n.d.). At the end of the day, the adhocracy culture type is the best organizational culture for organizations seeking innovation and being the first to come up with ideas.
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The last two types of organizations cultures are the market culture and the hierarchy culture. The market culture “has a strong external focus and values stability and control” (Kinicki and Williams, 2018). In a market culture environment, leaders place emphasis on success and accomplishing tasks well and in a timely manner. Competition among employees and having the best reputation as an employee is extremely prevalent within this organization (OCAI, n.d.). A common critique of the market culture within organizations is the fact that overall employee satisfaction is not valued as much as being a leader in the market.
The hierarchy organizational culture “has an internal focus and values stability and control over flexibility” (Kinicki and Williams, 2018). Within this organizational structure, emphasis is placed on following formalized policies and procedures to accomplish tasks. Proponents of the hierarchy culture believe that its long-term goals are stability and results, along with smoothly executing tasks (OCAI, n.d.). This structure, however, is not ideal for small businesses because small business owners tend to get caught up in executing the day-to-day operations that when it comes to executing the big picture operations, they tend to struggle figuring out how to solve them.
Having shown that establishing organizational culture is extremely important within an organization and having shown the different types of cultures organization’s can adopt, it can be concluded that organizational culture is something that should not be overlooked when starting a new organization or coming into an organization in a management position. A good organizational structure should involve some risk taking, employee satisfaction, structure, and good competitivity in the market. Those individuals who are highest in the hierarchy of authority in an organization should determine its organizational structure based upon the organizations mission statement and the organization’s ultimate goals. Establishing an organizational culture is vital to having an organization that is ready to open its doors to people in order to do business.
- Alton, L. (2017, February 17). Why corporate culture is becoming even more important. Forbes.com. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/larryalton/2017/02/17/why-corporate-culture-is-becoming-even-more-important/#1e0e5ebe69da
- Juneja, P. (n.d.). Importance of organizational culture. Managementstudyguide.com. Retrieved from https://www.managementstudyguide.com/importance-of-organization-culture.htm
- Lister, Jonathan. (n.d.). Disadvantages of Adhocracies Within an Organization. Small Business – Chron.com. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/disadvantages-adhocracies-within-organization-37791.html
- Mahrokian, S. (2010, January 1). Corporate culture: a lasting competitive advantage. Freepatentsonline.com. Retrieved from www.freepatentsonline.com/article/Review-Business-Research/237533602.html
- OCAI online. (n.d.). Organizational culture types. Ocaionline.com. Retrieved from https://www.ocai-online.com/about-the-Organizational-Culture-Assessment-Instrument-OCAI/Organizational-Culture-Types
- Rapp, A. (2015, September 15). The power of culture as a competitive advantage. Forbes.com. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/yec/2015/09/15/the-power-of-culture-as-a-competitive-advantage/#87082c63f6be
- What Is. (n.d.). Clan culture. Whatis.techtarget.com. Retrieved from https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/clan-culture