Culture of an organization refers to the unique configuration of norms, beliefs, ways of behaving and so on that characterize the manner in which groups and individuals combine to get things done. (Eldridge and Crombie, 1974). It also can define that the set of important assumptions that members of an organization share in common.
There is other definition of the organizational culture involves assumptions, adaptations, perceptions and learning. Examples such as Walt Disney's or Nokia's, they have three layers. First layer includes artifacts and creations, such as annual report, a newsletter, wall dividers between workers and furnishings. Second layer includes values, or the things that are important to people. The third layer is the basic assumptions that tell individuals how to perceive, think about and feel about work, performance goals, human relationships and the performance of colleagues. This becomes the three layer model of organizational culture.
In nowadays world-wide, every organization has its own culture. The organizational culture just like an individual's personality, can influence opinions, actions and strategic choice within the firm. (Pears and Robinson, 1997).
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In recent years, the concept of strategic management has increased attention scholars and practitioners. The importance of strategy has been magnified by both the culture and the success of organizations. (Brown, 1998). The culture and strategy of the organization is considered critical because in the world-wide, the wide range of competitive challenges that currently face organizations. Having the unique and high quality organizational culture can lead the corporation making suitable strategies, then establish their own competitive advantages and get success. There are few points to prove that the organizational culture is important to the strategic management.
Organizational culture is very impacting. It can affect the success or failure of a company. One strong organizational culture can become one of the most sustainable competitive advantages of a company or organization, and this is difficult to copy. For example, the Southwest Airlines is an organization where the links between strategy and its execution are related to its culture. The culture is strong, because there is consistency in what people see, hear and feel about it, and employees are clear how things are done and are willing to help the airline achieve its goals. Therefore, the strong organizational culture of the Southwest Airlines lead to stretching and addresses short-term and long-term goals for the company, and clearly articulated. In addition, the organizational culture of the Southwest Airlines is relaxed. The company encourages informality and wants employees to have fun with their jobs. The Southwest Airlines believes that employees are very valued, with CEO acknowledging births, marriage and death by notes and cards. Staffs are encouraged to pitch in and help out, especially at check-in, giving Southwest turnaround times less than half the industry average. (Southwest Airlines, 2012) Therefore, according to the organizational culture of the Southwest Airlines, it can seen easily that the positive organizational culture is now a prerequisite for success rather than a competitive advantage, such as hiring top-quality employees and unique products and service provide for customers all are crucial for the strategy management of the company or organization.
The good organizational culture is one of the important roles for strategies in organization or company, and it can affect different targets of corporation. For instance, if there is one group has very good quality customer service and is important in the culture, then individuals are willing to adopt this behavior. If, this culture in the group is adhering to the set of procedures in dealing with customers is the norm, therefore, this type of behavior would be expected, recognized and rewarded. (Organizations: Behaviour, Structure, Processes, 2003)
Firstly, organizational culture can affect employees and employees' performance of the company. Employees are one of the most important determinants and leading factors that determine the success of an organization in a competitive environment. This is especially true for service organizations that rely heavily on their good behavioral employees to provide friendly and courteous service to their customers in this competitive environment. For instance, Starbucks is more than just coffee. They are in the people business. The success of the Starbucks is depending on the people they hired, retain and develop. At Starbucks there is a little green booklet, called The Green Apron Book, which are the guiding principles for all the people who work at the company. It is a simple book, but no one ever complaints about its simplicity. The ten guiding principles include: 'know who you are, know why you're here, think independently, build trust, listen for the truth, be accountable, take action, face challenge, practice leadership and dare to dream'. (Principles from a Life at Starbucks, 2007) It is easily can know they are the roots of Starbucks organizational culture through these guiding principles, and make every employees in the Starbucks can know clearly about company's mission and vision, then show their best performance to customers.
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Secondly, the organizational culture can impact on customers or companies clients. For this point, organizational culture can affects customers or clients' attitude, behaviours and even choices. Any companies' culture is connected very close with customers and clients of the company. From this point, the service culture is important part of the whole organization. For example, if you decide to stay at the Four Seasons Hotel, you will feel what an incredible experience is. Once you walk onto the hotel, you can not help but notice that every single person working there --- the front deck staffs, the receptionists, the concierge, the restaurant staff, everybody works in the Four Seasons, seems to excel at service. It becomes a more remarkable experience for guests. The reason why the Four Seasons got such excellent impact on guests and clients is the Four Seasons learn the Golden Rule from the Sharp company's organizational culture and of its future. This rule interacts every employee in the Four Seasons provides excellence service experience for customers and build customer loyalty. Therefore, the Four Season was the first company to put shampoo in bathrooms, to offer 24 hours room service, and to create floors where smoking was not permitted. (Culture Connection, 2012) For this kind of loyalty and commitment to the Four Seasons brand, and to its world -renowned service culture, help the Four Seasons established the very strong customer loyalty and attract customers who come from all over the world to feel and experience the service culture in the Four Seasons worldwide.
Thirdly, suppliers and partners are important roles that organizational culture can impact on. Dell Computer is the good example to explain this point. Michael Dell was the founder who founded Dell Computer with a simple vision and business concept. Dell's "winning" culture is emphasized cost efficiency and competitiveness and lead the Dell got success. (Crafting and Executing Strategy, 2005) And Michael Dell also believed that it made much better sense for Dell Computer to partner with reputable suppliers of Personal Computer parts and components than to integrate backward and get into parts and components manufacturing on its own. The wining culture make Dell always picked the best one or two as suppliers and then stuck with them as long as they maintained their leadership in technology, performance, quality and cost. Management also believes that long-term partnership can benefit Dell company, and can reputable and benefit suppliers as well. For instance, Dell's long run commitment to its suppliers made it feasible for suppliers to locate their plants or distribution centers within few miles of Dell. It can short distance and the delivery time between Dell company and suppliers, then can save transportation costs and other fees. It is a win-win situation.
Another important role is the corporate social responsibilities that organizational culture can impact on. Corporate social responsibility is part of organizational culture and a value in the organizational culture. Different organizational cultures have framed different definitions about the corporate social responsibilities. For example, Singapore airlines took place over seven years and examined the company's strategy and competitiveness, in particular its organizational culture that support the delivery of excellent service, achieve sustainable competitive advantages. The strong corporate culture of Singapore Airlines also can strongly affect their corporate social responsibilities. Singapore Airlines believes that supporting the corporate social responsibility can benefit the communities that Singapore Airlines serve throughout the world. It is an essential part of being a good corporate citizen. Such as Singapore Airlines contributes to numerous educational programs and events; focusing on national events, arts and heritage activities; in addition, reduce carbon footprint from airplanes is the important part of the responsibility that Singapore Airlines is able to take. That's why the Singapore Airlines can get high level awards each year. (Singapore Airlines, 2012)
According to these four examples above, it can clearly shows that there are varieties of effects on organizational culture. The effects of organizational culture depend on whether the company has a strong culture or a weak culture. One the one hand, one strong organizational culture can focus on the environment it creates for employees. Because this can encourage and develop a very efficient and strategic competitive advantage for a company. A strong organizational culture can focus on establishing and sustaining the management of company, and make employees believe that they are one the very crucial parts of the company. For example, Japanese firms such as Toyota is one of the organizations has very strong and influential cultures. One the other hand, a company's culture can be weak. In weak culture companies, there is little cohesion and glue across organization units and organization members typically have no deeply felt sense of corporate identity. Although they may have bonds of identification and loyalty toward their department, their colleagues, their union, or their boss. The principles also can be unclearly, it can cause the bad effects on employees of the company, and all staffs of the company can not go along with the same direction.
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Organizational culture is the common rules, the common beliefs and sharing the same aspiration that fostered by the organization employees. It has huge exciting force, spirit charisma and energy allure, and it lead all employees go along with the same direction in the company. The organizational culture is the motive power of the organizational sustainable strategic development. Compare with the cultural organization, the economic type organization only chase the economic goals, but cultural organization can develop for the life of the organization and obtain the sustainable competitive advantages. Therefore, the strong organizational culture can affect company's strategic decision-making, strategic options and the action of strategies.
Decision making is one of the important parts of the organizational management. During the management processes, must make different decision-making continually. In addition, the quality of decision-making is connected with management performance and results, especially the strategic decision-making. Organizational culture can affect every decision-making process. For example, to different internal and external environment views can affect organizational employees acknowledge to the problem. The same problem can be ignored in one of the organizational cultures, but the serious of problem can be focused on in the other type of organizational culture. So, when believes of the serious problems that do not at the same time, it will affect the form of decision making and process, also affect the approaches of decision-making. If most members' attitudes are negative, then the mode of decision-making is able to become the bad decision-making mode.
Organizational culture is the importance measures of organization strategy implementation. There are three points. Firstly, the organizational culture provides behavior orientation for the implementation of strategies. Secondly, organizational culture has unique incentive function. Lastly, organizational culture can restrain bad strategies implementation properly.