Analysing the degree of organizational culture

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What is meant by Organizational Creed or philosophy? Who is responsible for creating and defining the Organizational Creed or philosophy? What does Organizational Creed or philosophy consist of? We need to define the meaning of these terms "Creed/Philosophy" in order to understand how they define and establish the values, beliefs, and guidelines for the manner in which the organization is going to conduct its business.

The first thing we need to know is that strategic leaders of an organization's main responsibility are to create and maintain the organizational philosophy and creed that encourages collective effort. Perhaps the most fundamental of these is organizational culture and mission statement. But first what is meant by organizational culture and mission statement?.

First I am going to explain what's meant by organizational culture then move on to mission statement.

Organizational Culture

Many definitions have been said for organizational culture. This topic has been studied from different point of view like management science, and organizational communication, Some of the definitions are:

"A set of common understandings around which action is organized, finding expression in language whose nuances are peculiar to the group" By (Becker and Geer 1960).

"A set of understandings or meanings shared by a group of people that are largely tacit among members and are clearly relevant and distinctive to the particular group which are also passed on to new members" (Louis 1980).

"A system of knowledge, of standards for perceiving, believing, evaluating and acting . . . that serve to relate human communities to their environmental settings" (Allaire and Firsirotu 1984).

"The deeper level of basic assumptions and beliefs that are: learned responses to the group's problems of survival in its external environment and its problems of internal integration; are shared by members of an organization; that operate unconsciously; and that define in a basic "taken -for-granted" fashion in an organization's view of itself and its environment" (Schein 1988).

Organizational culture can be Formally Defined as: A pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way you perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems.

The problem of socialization: teaching newcomers

The problem of behavior.

Can a large organization have one culture?

Going deeper into organizational culture we find two main groups that exist in the study of organizational culture and it is application strategies.

The first group views culture as implicit in social life. Culture is what naturally emerges as individuals transform themselves into social groups as tribes, communities, and ultimately, nations,

The second group represents the view that culture is an explicit social product arising from social interaction either as an intentional or unintentional consequence of behavior. In other words.

The Impact of Culture

Why is culture so important to an organization? (Edgar Schein), An MIT Professor of Management and author of Organizational Culture and Leadership: a Dynamic View, suggests that "an organization's culture develops to help it cope with its environment. Today, organizational leaders are confronted with many complex issues during their attempts to generate organizational achievement in VUCA environments. A leader's success will depend, to a great extent, upon understanding organizational culture."

(Schein) contends that "many of the problems confronting leaders can be traced to their inability to analyze and evaluate organizational cultures. Many leaders, when trying to implement new strategies or a strategic plan leading to a new vision, will discover that their strategies will fail if they are inconsistent with the organization's culture."

According to (Schein 1988) there are three levels in organizational culture, they are:

"

Behavior and Artifacts

This is the most visible level of organizational culture. It is the observable level of culture, and consists of behavior patterns and outward manifestations of culture: perquisites provided to executives, dress codes, level of technology utilized (and where it is utilized), and the physical layout of work spaces. All may be visible indicators of culture, but difficult to interpret. Artifacts and behavior also may tell us what a group is doing, but not why.

Values

Values underlie and to a large extent determine behavior, but they are not directly observable, as behaviors are. There may be a difference between stated and operating values. People will attribute their behavior to stated values.

Assumptions and Beliefs

To really understand culture, we have to get to the deepest level, the level of assumptions and beliefs. (Schein) contends that underlying assumptions grow out of values, until they become taken for granted and drop out of awareness. As the definition above states, and as the cartoon illustrates, people may be unaware of or unable to articulate the beliefs and assumptions forming their deepest level of culture."

Mission Statement

As the case of organizational culture Mission statement has many definitions, we have the defined by (Kotler)

"A mission statement is a statement of the company's purpose. A mission statement is useful for putting the spotlight on what business a company is presently in and the customer needs it is presently endeavoring to serve. It explains why the organization does what it does. It says what, in the end, the organization wants to be remembered for. A clear mission statement acts as an "invisible hand" that guides people in the organization."

A mission statement defines the company's purpose. It is a single statement of why something or someone exists.

Or the definition by (Bobb Beihl)

"A mission statement is like your North Star. A North Star, is not a place you go, it is a fixed point giving you perspective on where you are going. Your mission statement keeps you headed in the right general direction. A mission statement is a very specific umbrella statement explaining why you do everything you do within your organization."

Summing the above we get the definition, "The Mission statement is a formal short written statement of the purpose of a company or organization. The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a sense of direction, and guide decision-making. It provides "the framework or context within which the company's strategies are formulated."

A mission statement usually contains:

The aim and purpose of the company/organization.

The organization's primary stakeholders.

Responsibilities of the organization toward the stakeholders

What the organization offers.

Mission statement of the company tells the firm's ideology and vision. It should contain the company's values, purpose, and visions. When the visionary goals are selected, the values and purpose of the firms should be discovered. Values and purpose are in the company already; the mission just describes them. When that is done the stakeholders are more likely to believe in the company's mission.

Some mission statements are complex, long, and very broad, for example:

"Wikimedia Foundation is dedicated to the development and maintenance of online free, open content encyclopedias, collections of quotations, textbooks and other collections of documents, information, and other informational databases in all the languages of the world that will be distributed free of charge to the public under a free documentation license such as the Free Documentation License written by the Free Software Foundation Inc.

The goals of the foundation are to encourage the further growth and development of open content, social software WikiWiki-based projects and to provide the full contents of those projects to the public free of charge."

While some mission statements are simple and direct, for example Google's mission statement:

"Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."

Case Studies

Now that I have defined the meaning of Organizational Creed and Mission Statement, I am going to talk about some local organization and their mission statement.

ITelaf ICT Co.

The First Company is a local ICT company Called ITelaf ICT Co, ITelaf is the Arabic word for "Synergy" The term is derived from the Greek syn-ergos, meaning working together, and ICT stands for Information and communication technologies.

ITelaf's Slogan when the company was first started back in 2005 was "Technology Solutions for your successful"; they have recently changed it to "Smart Development... For a better tomorrow".

Mission Statement

ITelaf's Mission statement is "Delivering the message of ICT for Development; strengthening the capacities of ICT for development stakeholders and developing strong links between them, starting from Innovation hubs to the end consumer."

We can see from their slogan and mission statement and from what their name suggests that the company really believes in working together and partnering with other stakeholders in order to establish a clear business model that ensures mutual financial benefit on the short and long term as they are joining forces now with one of the major innovation hubs in the region to establish a presence in the UK, in the form of a technology company, that will serve to bridge the digital divide, establish partnerships with Innovation hubs & consumers at a global level, and link this with the local operations in Middle East & Africa.

The company now works with all stakeholders of technology to bridge the gap between them in order to deliver the right technology to the right end consumer.

They do this by establishing partnerships with all stake holders of development, including:

Development Organizations (UN Agencies , NGOs, etc) Current Partners: UNDP-Libya, National Economic Development Board-Libya.

Innovation Hubs (R&Ds, Universities, innovator companies )

Current Partners: IT Synergy itsyn.com, Diwan, Mubarmaj Retail Solutions, Elmawrid Automation Center.

Channels : Distributors, Resellers, Integrators

Current Partners: Agathon Systems, ALADA Networks, ALADA Mutkan J.V.,

Elmawrid Automation Center

End Consumers: Individuals, Social & Business Communities, Enterprises, Government Agencies.

And from where I am standing I can see that following the rules the have set to them selves they can achieve their vision which is to be a major player in Smart Development by promoting the wise and strategic utilization of technologies in all business and development projects & initiatives in the developing world, and establishing innovation hubs in the developing countries.

Afriqiyah Airways

Afriqiyah Airways is an airline based in Tripoli, Libya. It operates domestic services between Tripoli and Benghazi and international scheduled services to over 25 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Its main base is Tripoli International Airport. The name Afriqiyah comes from the Arabic language word for African. The idea was for Afriqiyah to be the "Airline of Africa" with its hub in Tripoli, Afriqiyah Airways was an inspiration that has come to materialize the dream of linking the African countries directly with one another without the need to suffer through the long connecting flights from Africa to Europe and then back to Africa again. It was also a means of breaking the monopoly imposed by the international carries that controlled most of the mail services and air cargo operations in the continent.

Afriqiyah Airways is slogan "We connect Africa to the World". And indeed it does.

Mission Statement

Afriqiyah Airways is mission statement is "We believe in the highest quality, products, and services for all of our customers. We believe our customers are our greatest asset, and we are dedicated to serving your needs."

The company has expanded dramatically over the last ten year, It started operations with five leased planes and then signed a contract with the Airbus Company during the Paris Flight Exhibition in 2007 for the purchase of 11 new planes including the 5 (A-320) and 6 (A 350) models in addition to the right to purchase 4 further types of the same plane.

With their improved services, purchasing new planes, a welcoming staff throughout the whole traveling process played a key role in the development of Libyan and African aviation and managed to be true to its mission statement, there's no doubt that this company will grow further more in the future securing more market share and delivering its message to the whole world.

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