Q.4. What do you understand by the term organisational culture and values? What are the characteristics of healthy organisational cultures?
Ans. Organisational Culture: Organisational culture is an idea in the field of organisational studies and management which describes the psychology, attitudes, experiences, beliefs and values (personal and cultural values) of an organisation. It has been defined as “the specific collection of values and norms that are shared by people and groups in an organisation and that control the way they interact with each. other and with stakeholders outside the organisation. Although it is difficult to get consensus about the definition of organisational culture, several constructs are commonly agreed upon — that organisational culture is holistic, historically determined, related to anthropological concepts, socially constructed, soft, and difficult to change.
Organisational Values This definition continues to explain organisational values, described as “beliefs and ideas about what kind of goals members of an organisation should pursue and ideas about the appropriate kind or standard of behaviour organisatjonal members should use to achieve these goals. From organisational values develop organisational norms, guidelines, or expectations that prescribe appropriate kinds of behaviour by employees in particular situations and control the behaviour of organisational members towards one another.
Characteristics of Healthy Organisational Cultures :Organisations should strive for what is considered a “healthy” organisational culture in order to increase productivity, growth, efficiency and reduce employee turnover and other counterproductive behaviour. A variety of characteristics describe a healthy culture, including:
(1) Acceptance and appreciation for diversity.
(2) Regard for and fair treatment of each employee as well as respect for each employee’s contribution to the company.
(3) Employee pride and enthusiasm for the organisatjon and the work performed.
(4) Equal opportunity for each employee to realize their full potential within the company.
(5) Strong communication with all employees regarding policies and company issues.
(6) Strong company leaders with a strong sense of direction and purpose.
(7) Ability to compete in industry in the field of innovation and customer service, as well as price.
(8) Lower than average turnover rates (perpetuated by a healthy culture).
(9) Investment in learning, training, and employee knowledge.
Factors and Elements: G. Johnson described a cultural web, identifying a number of elements that can be used to describe or influence an organisational culture:
(1) Paradigm: What the organisation is about; what it does; its mission; its values.
(2) Control Systems The processes in place to monitor what is going on and to correct any anomaly if found. Role cultures would have vast rulebooks. There would be more reliance on individualism in a power culture.
(3) Organisatjonaj Structures: Reporting lines, hierarchies and the way that work flows through the business.
(4) Power Structures: Who makes the decisions, how widely spread is power and on what factor is power based?
(5) Symbols These include organisational logos and designs, but also extend to include symbols of power such as luxurious cars, spacious offices.
(6) Rituals and Routines: Management meetings, board reports may become more habitual than necessary.
(7) Stones and Myths: Build up about people and events and convey a message about what factor is valued within the organisation.
These elements may overlap. Power structures may depend on control systems, which may exploit the very rituals that generate stories which may not be true.