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What is organizational culture? Essay

Another view suggests that high economic performance is correlated with a ‘strategy appropriate’ culture. Those organizations that have cultures that ‘fit’ the environment and the business strategy will perform better in comparison to those whose fit is poor. However, the difficulty arises when the environment changes. Looking at the evidence provided in the study conducted by Kotter and Heskett, 1992, it is seen that the lower performing organizations, had, in the past enjoyed a significantly better culture-environment fit.

This fit had worsened as a result of environmental changes, to which the organization had not effectively responded. The conclusion that can be drawn is that, for any organization, a good culture-environment fit will be associated with short-term high performance, but this does not guarantee the success of the organization in the long term. In order for an organization to be continually successful, it must have more than just a strong and appropriate culture, it must be able to continuously adapt to its environment.

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(Brown A, 1998) However it is seen that the relationship between an organizational culture and its performance is not always good. Kotter and Heskett (1992), for example, have identified ten large and well known organizations (including Sears, Procter & Gamble and Goodyear) that have exceptionally strong cultures and relatively weak performance over the period 1977-1988, but that weak cultures are not necessarily economically disadvantageous (for example, at McGraw Hill and SmithKline).

It has also long been recognized that companies such as Kodak, Polaroid and Xerox, all of which once held seemingly unassailable positions, and were supposed to be bolstered by their strong cultures, have experienced significant performance difficulties in recent years. In these instances, it seems reasonable to assume that a dysfunctional culture has played (and is playing) a role in thwarting organizational achievement. There are cultures which feature beliefs, values and assumptions that promote conflict, undermine coordination and control, increase uncertainty and confusion, diminish employee motivation and reduce competitive advantage.

(Brown A, 1998) In conclusion, it can be said that organizational culture plays a pivotal role in influencing an organization’s processes and outcomes. After having studied the different types of culture, and the various aspects, where culture has an impact on an organization’s effectiveness, processes and outcomes, it can be said that culture is not something an organization ‘has’; it is something an organization ‘is’; and all the features of an organization, including its systems, policies, procedures and processes, are elements of its cultural life.

(Pacanowsky and O’Donnell-Trujillo, 1982; cited in Brown A, 1998) Culture is an enormously powerful means of influencing how the world is interpreted, and naturally enough there are dangers too, associated with those cultures that perpetuate dysfunctional beliefs, values, attitudes and assumptions. It definitely has a positive correlation with long-term economic performance, but it is weak. This means that there are instances where culture can also be a liability, because shared beliefs, values and assumptions can interfere with the needs of the business and lead people to think and act in commercially inappropriate ways.

However the advantages of a strong culture are explicitly outlined in the aforementioned paragraphs, and the relevance, pertinence and importance of culture in organizational processes and outcomes, by far outweighs its disadvantages.

References: Books 1. Handy, Charles B. (1985). Understanding Organizations. Penguine books. Middle Sex, England. 2. Fincham, Robin and Rhodes, Peter S. (1992). The Individual, Work and Organization. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London. 3. Brown, Andrew D. (1998). Organizational Culture. Prentice Hall – Pearson Education Limited, Wiltshire. 4. Schein, Edgar H. (1992). Organizational Culture and Leadership.

Jossey- Bass Publishers, San Francisco. 5. Longenecker, Justin G. (1969). Principles of Management and Organizational Behaviour. Charles E Merrill Publishing Co. Columbus, Ohio. 6. Hellriegel Don, Slocum John W. And Woodman Richard W. (1995) Organizational Behaviour.

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West Publishing Company, St. Paul, Minneapolis. 7. Huczynski, Andrzej and Buchanan, David (2001). Organizational Behaviour: An Introductory Text. Prentice Hall, Europe. 8. McKenna, Eugene (1994). Business psychology and organizational behavior: A Student’s Handbook. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Limited Publishers, East Sussex. 9. Mullins, Laurie J (2002).

Management and organizational behavior. Prentice hall – Pearson Education Limited, Italy. Information Available Online 1. Organizational Culture. Available at, http://www. mapnp. org/library/org_thry/culture/culture. htm, written by Carter McNamara. Accessed on 08. 11. 02. 2. BOLA: Organizational Culture. Available at, http://sol. brunel. ac. uk/~jarvis/bola/culture/culture. html, developed and maintained by Chris Jarvis. Accessed on 08. 11. 02. 3. Communication Policy and Strategy. Available at, http://129. 113. 160. 149/comm2002/Textbook/Chapter04. html, maintained by David L. Sturges and Michael Minor. Last modified on August 29, 2001.

Accessed on 08. 11. 02. Secondary References 1. Denison, D. (1990). Corporate Culture and Organizational Effectiveness, New York: John Wiley. 2. Kotter, J. P. and Heskett, J. L (1992). Corporate Culture and Performance. New York: The Free Press. 3. Pacanowsky, M. E. and O’Donnell-Trujillo, N (1982). Communication and Organizational Culture. The Western Jornal of Speech Communication, 46(spring), 115-130. 4. Smircich, L (1983). Concepts of Culture and Organizational Analysis. Administrative Science Quarterly, 28, 339-58. 5. Tunstall, W. B. (1983). Cultural Transition at AT;T. Sloan Management Review, 25(1), 15-26.

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What is organizational culture? Essay
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Another view suggests that high economic performance is correlated with a 'strategy appropriate' culture. Those organizations that have cultures that 'fit' the environment and the business strategy will perform better in comparison to those whose fit is poor. However, the difficulty arises when the environment changes. Looking at the evidence provided in the study conducted by Kotter and Heskett, 1992, it is seen that the lower performing organizations, had, in the past enjoyed a significantly b
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What is organizational culture? Essay
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