Organizational culture includes the values, beliefs, behaviors, norms and artifacts that connect the members of an organization. As in all other cultures, organizational culture develops over a long period of time with the participation of the members. Through studying or analyzing the culture of an organization, you are able to come up with various conclusions. These include conclusions about the resistance of culture, organizational performance, and communication and leadership styles. These conclusions can be helpful for managers and consultants seeking to encourage better organizational cultures.
Organizational culture is difficult to transform or change. For example, the behavior and attitudes of employees toward the organization are influenced by the behavior of other employees. When entering an organization, new employees are actually entering a subsystem that transforms their attitudes and opinions about certain business practices. New employees then continue to perpetuate this culture until it becomes entrenched as their own reality. Thus, the organizational culture can be very challenging to change for those both inside and outside that culture. This is something many managers, management consultants and coaches have to deal with when trying to transform an organization’s culture.
The effectiveness of organizational communication can be derived from an organization’s culture. The flow of information vertically from the managers to the subordinates, and horizontally across the same department levels, is determined by the organizational culture. For example, an organization with a culture of openness may experience the free flow of information among all levels of the organization. A culture that emphasizes structure and hierarchy may hinder effective communication or slow down the flow of information. The conclusion here is that the culture can be used to determine the effectiveness of communication, and vice versa.
An organization’s performance can be understood from the organization’s culture. The organizational culture here can be defined as the collective attitudes that employees have toward the company, the leaders, co-workers, shareholders and customers.
Culture determines whether employees will value their customers, along with business innovations and the reduction of costs. The absence or presence of this value then determines the performance of the employees and the organization at large. For example, an organization that has an entrenched customer-oriented culture will tend to be more efficient and have a more loyal customer base compared to an organization that lacks such a culture.
The organizational culture reveals the leadership styles of those leading the organization. It also shows that the culture influences the type of leadership, and the type of leadership influences the culture. For example, an organization with a culture of less competition and more collaboration in achieving goals reveals that the leaders (managers) are more participation oriented or have a participative style of leading. On the other hand, transactional leaders will tend to create an organizational culture of reward and punishment, with a focus on the hierarchy separating leaders and subordinates. The conclusion is that leadership and organizational culture influence each other.