Strong and weak corporate cultures: Every place of work has a slightly different culture. Some are friendly, some of disorganised and some are challenging. This reflects organisational culture sometimes also called organisation, corporate or business, other business. Organisational culture is the value, attitudes, beliefs, meanings and norms that are shared by people and groups within an organisation.
Advantages of a strong corporate culture: a strong culture is one that is deeply embedded into the ways a business organisation does things. It is argued that there are certain advantages to a business of strong corporate culture.
- It provides a sense of identity for employees. If you’re part of the business. This may need workers be flexible when a company needs to change or is having difficulties.
- Workers identify with other employees. This may help with aspects of the business which is teamwork.
- It increases the commitment of employees to the company. This may prevent problems are just high labour turnover or industrial relations problems.
- It motivates workers in their job. This may lead to an increase in productivity
- It helps employees understand what is going on around them. This can prevent misunderstanding in operations or instructions passed to them
- It helps to reinforce the values of the organisation and senior management
- It acts as a control device for management. This can help when setting company strategy
In comparison to a strong culture a weak culture exists where it is difficult identify the factors that form the culture aware wide range of subcultures exist, making the culture difficult to find. There are certain factors that determine if the business has a strong or weak culture.
- Artefactse. Furniture, clothes or tools- wearing a uniform would be an example
- Ceremonies, such as award giving ceremonies or the singing of the company song at the start of work
- Courses, such as induction courses, or ongoing training courses for workers used to instil the organisation culture
- Heroes of the business, living or dead, such as Bill Gates, Richard Branson or Walt Disney, way of working providing a role model within the business
- Language used in a business specific way, such as referring to work as colleagues or calling workers crew members
- Mottoes which are short statements that never change, expressing the values of an organisation
- Stories, which tell of some important event that exemplifies the value of the business, such as the history and role of the founders
- Myths, which are frequently told stories within a business about some but not necessarily literally true
- Norms, which are the ways in which employees behave, such as worrying if you turn up for work late, always been prepared to cover for workers who are off sick, or not using the company’s telephone to make personal calls
- Physical layout of premises, such as open plan offices, hot desking, or allocating the size of an office gone to managers place in the hierarchy
- Rituals, which are regular events that reinforce the culture of an organisation, such as always supporting Red Nose Day, having a weekly dress down day, or holding an annual Christmas party
- Core Organisational values: Core values are located below the surface manifestations of organisational culture. They consciously thought out and expressed in words or policies. The values expressed in the mission statement would be an example. Often these are the values that have come from the top of an organisation. They may have come from the original founders of the business, the current senior management, which is attempted to impose a culture on the business. Core organisational values reflect the actual culture of a business, but, equally, might not. Workers at the bottom of the hierarchy might have different values from the ones that senior management want them to possess. For example, work is your face a very difficult environment where customers often company might not share the views of the CEO that the customer is always right and at the heart of business.
- Basic assumptions: basic assumptions are the unsaid beliefs and ways of working; they form the general attitude of the workforce and represent the totality of individuals beliefs and how they then behave. They are invisible and below the surface, and therefore often difficult to see, understand and change.
In practice, there may be discrepancies between the three levels of surface manifestations, core organisational values and basic assumption. For example, a company might organise regular social events for employees. It might say in documents that this is a friendly and caring firm. Yet, throughout the organization there might be a culture of competitiveness that tends to make people look out for themselves and distrustful of everyone else. In this situation the actual organisational culture is different from the surface manifestation and the organisational values. In contrast another organisation might call its employees partners. It’s mission statement that is it rewarding employees as well as shareholder. May then year after year, pay the employees above the average of the industry and give regular annual bonuses based upon how much profit the business made during the Year. Here underlying organisational culture fits with the stated values on the surface manifestation. There is a culture of rewarding employees because they are stakeholders, for instance the John Lewis partnership.