Changing Organizational Culture 6

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Items Description of Module Subject Name Human Resource Management Paper Name Organizational Behaviour Module Title Organizational Culture

Module Id 33

Pre- Requisites Basic knowledge of Organizational Culture Objectives To understand the concept of culture in detail

Keywords Organizational Culture, functions, learning of OC, sustainment of OC, positive culture



Module 33: Organizational Culture 1. Learning objectives

2. Functions & Dysfunctions of Organizational Culture 3. How employees learn Organizational Culture

4. How to sustain Organizational Culture 5. Changing Organizational Culture

6. Suggestions for changing Organizational Culture 7. How to create positive Organizational Culture 8. Summary

1. Learning objectives:

Basic objectives of this module are:

 To understand Functions & Dysfunctions of Organizational Culture.

 To know how to learn & Sustain Organizational Culture.

 To know various suggestions for changing Organizational Culture.

 To know how to create a positive Culture in an Organization.

2. Functions and Dysfunctions of Organizational Culture:

3.1 Functions:

 The primary function of culture is that it has a Boundary-Defining role which states that culture assists to make distinctions between one organization and others.

 Culture aids to generate a sense of identity for the organization members.

 Culture makes easy the creation of commitment to something larger the than one’s individual self-interest. Culture supports the employees of the organization to provide main concern to organizational interests over and above their individual benefits.

 Culture improves the Social System Stability. It is also recognised as the societal glue that supports to fastener the organization conjointly by providing appropriate criterions for what employees should say & perform. It offers a list of social do’s and don’ts for the employees.

 Culture lastly, provides as a sense making & control device that directs &formulae the attitudes &behaviours of the employees of the organization. Each organization has its own set of suppositions, understandings and unspoken rules to guide the daily behaviour of the employees. The beginner will be acknowledged as wholly fledged members of the organization only when they find out to follow these rules. Conformity to the rules is normally the key base for rewards and promotions.

Thus, culture is useful to the organization as it improves organizational commitment and boosts the steadiness of employee behaviour. Culture is valuable to the employee also as it lessens vagueness.

Employees become extremely obvious as to how things are to be done and what is more vital for the organization.

3.2 Dysfunctions of Culture:

Impact of culture on organization’s effectiveness is both functional as well as dysfunctional.

Culture can confirm to be danger to the organization also as explained below:


Barrier to Change: Constancy of employee behaviour is an advantage to the organization, when it has a steady environment. When the organization is dynamic, it will prove to be a liability as the employees will attempt to oppose changes in the environment. Companies such as IBM, Xerox and General motors’ have very strong cultures which worked fine for them in past, but these strong cultures only become barriers to change when business environment changes. As a result, organizations which have strong cultures which proved victorious in the past can escort to malfunction in future, when these cultures do not go with the varying environmental needs.

Source- Change1.png

Barrier to Diversity: Strong cultures set a lot of pressure on the employees to conform to the accepted values and styles of the organization. Even the new employees who belong to diverse race, religion etc. is probable to conform to the organization’s centre cultural values, or else they are considered to be out of shape for the organization.

Strong cultures do not admit the truth that people from dissimilar backgrounds carry exclusive strengths to the organization. Strong cultures can also establish to be barriers to diversity when these support organization bias or when these become insensible to people who are unlike in one way or the other.

Barrier to Mergers and Acquisitions: Culture can perform as barrier to mergers and acquisitions. In the past financial matters and product synergy only were measured to decide which company should acquire which company or which unit should merge with which firm.

But in the latest times, there has been a change in the trend. Cultural compatibility has become a prime apprehension while deciding about acquisitions and mergers. Positive financial statement or product line are, of course, the early attractions at the time of acquisition, but an additional significant factor to be considered is how well the cultures of the two organizations match with each other.

3. How employees learn Culture

The employee can be taught the organization culture through a variety of ways. The most effectual among these are as explained below:



Stories- Employees learn the organizational culture through the stories which flow through a lot of organizations. They generally comprise a story of events about the organization’s originators, rule breaking, rags-to-riches achievements, reduction in the personnel, transferral of employees, responses to previous errors, & organizational handling. These stories anchor the present in the past & provide descriptions & validity for current practices.

Rituals-It refers to any practice or pattern of behaviour repeated frequently in a prearranged manner. Key values of the organization, most significant goals and most important people are reflected in rituals. Repeated activities assist the employees in learning the culture of the organization. Now a days in the educational institutions mainly, the schools one of the practices which is religiously followed by the students and faculty members is to conduct prayers every morning.

Materials Symbols- Material symbols of a particular organization expresses to the employees, the organizational culture. Most significant material symbols are the design of business headquarters, the kinds of automobiles the highest level of managers are given, the existence or absenteeism of a business air craft, dimensions of the offices, elegance of fixtures, executives’ perquisites, dress attire etc. These symbols express to the employees who and what is significant and the type of the behaviour that is suitable.

Language-Several organizations &units use language as a technique to identify members of culture or subculture. By learning this language, employees display their reception of the culture and, in doing so help to defend it. The organizations sometimes build up their own terms which operates as a common denominator which bonds members of a given culture or sub-culture. New employees are regularly weighed down with this language, but after may be six to seven months on the job; they also become completely element of this language.

Examples- Cool- everything is fine, Promo- Promotion, MMB-Monday Morning Blues etc.

4. How to Sustain Culture

Once a culture is formed, there are practices inside the organizations that aid to remain it alive. Some imperative practices which assist to maintain the culture are as explained below:


Source- ethics-graphic-2013.jpeg

Have an apparent Vision, Mission and Values statement: It is critical that every employee knows and understands the vision of the organization and the values that it stands for. It should be trouble-free enough or made easy enough that everybody in the organization can comprehend them and get allied to them. The idea here is to get people actually occupied and dedicated to the culture – logic and reason have their place, but in initiatives like this the emotions of people have to be tapped – and a clear mission, vision and values statement serves as a big method to carry everybody on the similar page.

Select people who symbolize these Values: No matter how brilliant a person is, the person does not have cultural fit in the organization, oppose the enticement and don’t make an offer.

The people organization hire are representatives for culture; they will be the instances for the next set of hires. Not only organization require to make sure that they hire, promote and reward people not just for skills or performance but for attitude and behaviour that line up with the culture that organization want to promote but also assist employees who are not allied to be aligned or move them quickly out of the organization. When valued behaviours are not established, no matter where he/she is in the hierarchy, there should be penalty that show that such behaviour is no longer satisfactory in the organization. This is significant to set up answerability.

To understand Culture is not only top to down: It is side-wise too. It does start at the top but it happens together – built through everyone’s behaviour and connections in the team or company. Culture is everybody’s responsibility. Each employee in the organization should be walking the talk, walking it together, and knowing sufficient to course correct if some action in the day-to-day operations of the organization does not fit the culture.

Bring Culture in when solving Business Problems: When organization have an furious customer or a profitability issue or an association issue, that’s the time to do a core reason investigation that also evaluates the problem based on what value was or was not used. Did we follow our culture? Were any of our values ignored? Based on what we stand for, what is the right thing to do now? Do we require to alter anything in our culture so that this problem does not appear again? These deliberations actually assist in strengthen the message.

Emphasize fewer on Perks and more on building Trust and Respect: A cool office, a world-class gym, free food are all fine but not at all the major factors that will create an organization an employer of preference or make a culture that builds both customers and employees happy. These are short-term motivators only. Sufficient studies have been done to demonstrate that people want to work in an environment where they sense valued, respected and are making a important involvement to a reason larger than themselves. So, generating a strong and healthy organizational culture is more than providing a few services that give a pleasant lustrous surface gloss. Build trust and respect so that when one digs below the surface, one finds a strong and healthy foundation for a great culture.


Socialization: The organization may have done an extremely fine job in recruitment and selection of the employees, but at times the employees are still not instructed in the organization’s culture. Since these individuals are not familiar with organization’s culture they are maximum likely to upset the present organization to aid the new entrants adapt to its culture. The adaptation process is called socialization.

Socialization as a concept consists of the subsequent phases:

Pre-arrival- This stage comprises all the education that occurs before a new employee enters the organization.

Encounter- In the second stage, the new employee observes what the organization is actually like and face up to the likelihood that reality & anticipations may diverge.

Metamorphosis- In the third phase, reasonably long lasting variations take place. The new members gain the skills required for his or her fresh job roles, and makes the modification to his or her work group’s value &customs.

5. Changing Organizational Culture

Sometimes an organization decides that its culture is adverse to the organizational effectiveness and it has to be transformed. For example, if there is a transform in the external environment, the organization must adjust itself to the changing conditions or it will not stay alive. Though it is very hard to modify the old cultures, but it is something which the management cannot do without.

Source- When is the organization’s culture a problem?

Organizational culture is a problem when the way in which the organizations regularly operate puts obstacles in the way towards achievement.

Some examples:


 The objectives of the organization require an external direction of the members, but the organizational culture is characterized by internal orientation.

 Transparency is needed to be answerable and to function democratically, but the tradition to engage family members and to support them, may makes transparency unclear.

 Productivity, being directed towards goals, may be delayed by the grown habit to interfere in each other's work, directing most of the energy to each other instead of to the product.

 The not-outspoken rule not to interfere in each other's work (the non-intervention principle) may deter the perfect working process of sharing ideas, innovations, solutions and problems.

 Because of the one-sided fixation on ideology, pleasure of individual needs may be considered as prohibited.

 A grown stress on output may have led to the situation in which reflection is taken a waste of time.

Organizational culture is not the consequence of mere a decision, but the result of a long-lasting process, in which the attitude, beliefs and behaviour of people are steadily shaped. Organizational culture, even if not impartially effectual, is always a rational adjustment to a changed environment.

Organizational culture may be compared to coping mechanisms: once effective in one specific situation, but internalized, unconscious familiar, and hardly noticeable for the owner.

6. Suggestions for changing Organizational Culture

Source- For the 'change agent' (the one who manages the process of change: the leader or manager or an outsider consultant) this requires:

o Modest aims combined with ambition o Understanding the culture of an organization o Flexibility in strategy

Modest aims and ambition: Modesty is required because changing the 'personality', i.e. 'the soul' of an organization is very complicated. However, the organization (as its own change agent), or the leader of an organization as its change agent, or a consultant assisting the organization in its change, each of them has to be determined, because if they do not trust in this process of change, who else will? The change


agent has to be humble and determined at the same time, and that means inspiring and gratifying activities and persons heading in the desired direction. Punishing people because they do not move rapidly is not very useful. Inspiring them in a constructive way is better. This is done by finding a motivating the healthy nucleus that survives in each organization.

Understanding the culture of the organization: Organizational culture refers to the personality of an organization: if the structure of the organization is the body: the bone structure, the feeding structure of blood vessels and the communication channels of nervous system, then the personality or soul is the way people deal with one another, the values and beliefs that live inside the organization. Restructuring an organization, in order to attain a definite goal, frequently falls short or gets stuck because the personality does not alter. Culture is defined as the collective mind-set or 'the software of the mind'. Because it is often complicated to explain what the personality is, the following method can be used to comprehend the deeper cultural facets of an organization.

Flexibility in strategy :Each and every organization requires a well adapted strategy to be capable to alter its organizational culture. Tailor-made approaches are essential:

what is effective in this situation with these persons may be different from other situations with other persons.

There are other general key factors for success to identify:

 Whichever alternative is selected for a victorious strategy, it is imperative to make use of the existing energy.

 A second element of a successful strategy is to keep in mind that support will be created by connecting people and giving them the chance to examine themselves, examining what the problem is and what would be the finest solution.

 A third element: always take into thought the interests and needs of the persons which have to be motivated for the objectives of change.

It is clear that change agents require a wide arsenal of strategies to attain the change objectives, and that they have to be eager to incessantly regulate their strategies to respond to ever-changing relations and circumstances.

There are some more suggestions which can be considered for implementing the change:

 The top management people should become the positive role models. They should set the examples through their own behaviour.

 An employee learn the culture through stories, symbols and rituals, the old stories, rituals and symbols should be substituted by generating new ones which are presently in vogue.

 Adding new members, particularly, at the higher level, is a powerful strategy to change the culture, provided the new members bring in new culture.

 The socialization processes should be redesigned to align with the new values.


 Reward systems establish and reinforce specific cultural behaviours and therefore, a change in the culture can be initiated and supported by change in corporate reward system.

 Unwritten norms and beliefs should be replaced with formal rules and regulations that are tightly enforceable.

 Extensive use of job rotations should be made to shake current sub cultures.

 Change in the top management can have significant impact on others in the organization, because he may be, in a real sense, personification of the culture.

 Change in the culture will be comparatively easy if peer group consensus is got through contribution of employee involvement & formation of a climate with great level of faith.

7. How to Create Positive Organizational Culture

Source- A positive organizational culture is defined as a culture that focuses on employee strength, rewards more than it penalises, &highlights individuals’ energy & development.

Building on Employee Strength- A positive culture does not disregard problems, it does emphasize viewing workers they can take advantage of on their strengths. As management guru peter Drucker said, “Most Americans do not know what their strengths are. Employees must know about themselves and their inner strengths.

Rewarding more than punishing- There is, of course, an occasion and place for punishment, but there is also a time and place for rewards. Though most organizations are adequately attentive on extrinsic rewards like pay and promotions, they frequently overlook about the supremacy of smaller rewards like admire. Creating a positive organizational culture means that managers “catch employees doing something right”. Part of creating a positive culture is expressing praise. Many managers refuse to give praise either because they are frightened employees or because they believe that praise is not appreciated. Failing to praise can become a “silent killer” like increasing blood pressure. Because employees usually do not ask for praise, managers generally do not understand the cost of failing to do it.

Emphasizing Vitality and Growth- A positive organizational culture highlights not only organizational efficacy, but persons ‘development as well. No organization will obtain the best out of employees if the employees see themselves as meagre tools or parts of the organization. A positive culture understands the distinction between a job and a career, and


demonstrates an interest not only in what the employee does it has have assessed over thousands of organizations, fully one third feel they are not learning and growing on their job.

8. Summary

Organizational Culture as an intervening variable. Employees perform a general personal perception of the organization founded on the reasons like amount of risk taking, team importance

& sustenance of people. This whole perception becomes, in consequence, the organization’s culture or personality. These constructive or hostile perceptions then affect employees’

performance &gratification, with the influence being better for sturdier cultures.

Like as individuals’ personalities tend to be steady over the period of time, so too do strong cultures. This makes strong cultures hard for administrators to alteration. As a manager, one can shape the culture of work environment.




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