Culture As The Main Feature Of Organisations Business Essay

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Culture is the main feature of every organisation, and every organisations agenda is engrained in it. Culture is the principle that governs behaviours or attitudes of the people in the organisation. According to wunthnow and witten(1958), culture describes roles and interaction which is derived from norms and values in a sociological view and attitudes in the social psychological view.

Culture is the interweaving of the individual into an organisation and collective programming of the mind that differentiates them from other (ogbonna, 1990). Organisational culture was defined as "a set of values that helps individuals in an organisation to understand what or which are acceptable or unacceptable in an organisation and it member ( morehead and griffin, 1995). According to burrell and morgan's (1979) definitive framework: culture as something an organisation is and culture as something an organisation has. From the previous, based on the different definitions and explanations of culture and organisational culture previously discussed, and which is to be discussed on my research. Which state organisation "is" rather than "has" and that culture can be influenced rather than changed will be further discussed. Organisational culture was also discussed in term of "employee's share values and perceptions of the organisation, the beliefs from the common ways of solving problems within an organisation" (2002: 151).


According to sociological definition culture is the way of life of people on how they relate, communicate, with shared norms, values, customs and belief in a given community or social group. Miller, (1979, p.9) defined culture as a worldwide striving toward "civilization" through the accumulation of practices and beliefs; a unique patterns of belief that shapes personalities in each society; a local system of practices and ideas that are functionally included; an unconscious structure that generates behaviours and ideas; a system shared symbols that come into play in social interaction; and a system by which people adapt to their environment. These are the sociological and anthropological definition of culture, culture we may say forms personalities in each society today that brings or generate ideas and behaviour. Culture is a functional character in an organisation rather than a possession.


There are different definitions of organization's culture and theories that support's and goes with it. Most of us have some idea about what culture is, according to Schein's (1985, p.14) view was organization culture is the pattern of basic assumptions which a group has invented, discovered or developed in the learning to cope with it problems of external adaptation and integration, which have worked well enough to be considered valid, and therefore to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think and feel in the relation to problem. In general view of people's culture is the of way of life of people. (Deal and kennedy, 1982) defined Culture as the way we do things around here. Culture seems to vary from organization to organization. However (scholtz, 1987) says organization culture focuses on the values, beliefs and meanings used by its members to grasp how its uniqueness originates, evolves and operates.

Organization's culture as we know also have some cultural behaviours, according to (mclean & marshall, 1993) says it is the collection of traditions, values, policies, beliefs and attitudes that constitute a pervasive context for everything we do or think in an organization. Schein .E (1985) talked about three fundamental levels of culture and there are as follow

Artefacts: visible, physical space, layout, language, overt behaviours.

Values: direct behaviour, goals, written , " Insist on excellence"

Underlying assumptions: Taken for granted, the actual culture.

The first which refers to the visible things that a culture produces, it also includes the behaviour patterns and physical object that can be seen, heard or felt. Schein's second level which he talked that they are often unspoken but can mould members' behaviour; also they are broad tendencies to prefer certain states of affairs to others. Values are operations that are put into company procedures and practices, as detailed in the surface manifestations. And the lastly schein's level of culture talked about individuals hold about the organization and how it functions. It also relate to human behaviour aspect , and the organization's relationships to its environment.. Schein (1992) sees "culture as a variable which as organisation Has such as the set psychological pre-dispositions that members of an organisation posses lead them to act in certain ways. Handy, (1993).four main types of organisational cultures






Power- this kind of culture is normally found in small entrepreneurial organisations and relies on the compassion, trust and personal communication for its effectives. It has centralised decision making, and little administration.

Role - this kind of culture rest on the strength of strong organisational pillars. The interactions and work between the pillars is controlled by procedures and rules, and co-ordinated by the pediment of a small band of senior managers.

Person - These types of culture makes us to understand the central focus and the structure that exist to serve the individuals within the organisation. It is when a group of people decide that it is in their own interest to band together to do their own thing and share office equipments, space or clerical assistance then the resulting organisation would have such culture.

Task - it is job- oriented or project-oriented. Task culture can be likened to a net, some strands of which are stronger than others, and with much of the influence and power at the interstices. Task culture seeks to bring together the right resources and people, and utilises the unifying power of the group.


Culture change is the understanding ways in which organisations employees behave and assumptions upon which they base their behaviours is part of change. According to Richard Whittington and Michael mayer (2002) argue that 'adaptive organization', is the ability to redesigned structures frequently, is now critical to organization performance. Cultural change has to do with people; there are different views of organizational culture. Change in organization brings creativity and innovation to the organization's culture. Culture change which has happens in some organizations in the world today and which enhances performance of employees to work well, when considering change in an organization we must also be aware of what is not changing. According to Kransdorff,(1991), and Beckett - Hughes(2005) said that the age, philosophy, manner, reasons and values that surrounds the formation of an organisation are critical factor that influences the development of the culture of the organisation. Furthermore, Whittington and mayer (2002) argue that for change to be successful, the 'soft' human issues need to be integrated with hard structures and systems. In other to understand the culture change in organizations, we have to look or go through the views of some scholars who talked about change in organizations. Change we know as the creation of something new, though it has both negative and positive aspects. Henry mintzberg (1994) argues that our preoccupation with change is exaggerated. Mintzberg still argues, discover change as something unique to itself, which previous generations have not had to endure. We all know change is constant, though at the same time it may be successful if human resource policies and practices concerning management development, reward and recruitment are not supportive. In some organization change takes time before it can be established, in other case if the organizational culture is ready to change or not. Alvin Toffler (1970) argued that the rate of change was out of control, and that society was doomed to a massive adaptation breakdown. Toffler believed that there is a limit to the amount of change individuals can handle. Richard pascale, mark millemann and linda Gioja(1997) argued managers to involve 'every last employee'. In other to have a perfect change in an organisation all staffs from top to below should participate fully in the changes in their organisations so that it will result to rapid increase in efficiency. When change takes effect in an organisation managers should share their objectives and knowledge to the members and staffs (employees) of that organisation that have been affected. Though as it seems it may affect arrangements and other relationships that have effort and time to establish. Implementation does not begin until there is agreement on the solution of that organisation, so therefore it is advised that communication must be ongoing and consistent. Change strategies must also be tailored to fit the substance and context. Examples of two companies that made cultural changes in their organisations are Microsoft and Volkswagen. Research was carried out of top 50 companies in the Britain from 1992 to 2000 and found that, in the 1990s, the reorganized every five years. By 2000, major changes were taking place on every three years, with minor changes in between them. Employee's role, relationships and responsibilities are seen as key to bring about situations that enforce changes ways of thinking, attitudes and behaving in an organisation. Organisations do not operate in segregation: they co- exist in a wider environment which encompasses legal, social, financial, cultural and moral factors. They have multiple forces operating and influencing the direction followed. To be successful there need to be a degree of "fit" between the organisation and the environment in which it exist.


Microsoft which was founded in the year 1975 by Bill gate an American and a Harvard dropout. Microsoft Company which is known and used worldwide today, has made many changes in the past and present day. Since the organisation (Microsoft) started in 1975 various changes occurs constantly. In some organisation culture managements withhold information about the decision making of the organisation, Microsoft been one of the successful organisation in the world was also involved in such act. It has now been changed and that management should not withhold information about the decision making from staffs or employees. Transparency was also introduced in Microsoft organisation so that managers can be able to relate or explains sensitive information's regarding, reward, promotion compensation.

In April 2002, Microsoft announced its fourth major 'reorganized in five years. This pattern of 'repeat change' is driven by various reasons:

Enhanced or heightened competition and stock market turbulence in the private sector, the movement seeking to protect and inform consumers by requiring such practices as product and advertising and government pressures in the public sector

The pace of technological innovation

Increased knowledge- intensity, as organization design affects information flows.

Career models were applied as a new standard in Microsoft organisation, an exception process and timeline to support to the standard was also provided. Additional management team facilitation was required to adjust to the emphasis on objective measure and more transparent decision making. Transparency which increases trust as information is actively shared and reduces the perception of unfairness among employees. It also increases employee's ability to move on or through business units and geographies and locate individuals with selected commitments. Levine (2010) said the only reason why change should not take place in an organisation is when the organisation is making or producing quality result. All the same change is constant in most organisations.

In order words when there is no good performance in jobs roles in an organisation with quality result there will be need for change in such organisation. Ogbonna and harris (2002) who report that many theorist now argue that while organisational culture can and does change, the direction and impact of the change cannot be subject to the conscious action of management. Also available information can be acted upon at all levels of the Microsoft organisation.

The management of Microsoft organisation also provide a stable view of the employee in the face of reorganisations. It makes the employee know he or she is recognized in the Microsoft organisation, which gives them the sense of belonging to something larger than local group. Another changes Microsoft organisation does is the changing of their packages like the Microsoft office which has different contacts like the Microsoft word, Microsoft excel etc.


Volkswagen which was founded on may 28 in the year 1937, by a German named Ferdinand Porsche, the Volkswagen Company which is known worldwide today for car manufacturing and also motorcycle has made so many changes in previous years. The Volkswagen Company has different branches worldwide with head quarters in Germany. In the past Volkswagen started by manufacturing a car called "beetle" and till present day the car has been produced in different styles or models. Change like we know is something that is somehow necessary in an organisation. The present president and CEO of the Volkswagen organisation Mr. Stefan Jacobi who talked about the major changes in the organisation from time to time, Recently there was a change in the Volkswagen organisation, first the company moved it us corporate headquarter from Michigan to Hendon area to change the company's corporate culture from an "inside culture to an outside culture, more customer - oriented, culture". Which Jacobi called corporate shift

When they moved there goal was to communicate frequently and transparently with the employees in the organisation. The CEO founded that most of the employees in organisation live in the either on the west or east coasts, and that the hernon area is an ideal place to begin implementing the new corporate culture.


Culture can be intentionally being influenced, and these are some of the key influences that are likely put as an important role in the development of any culture with an example from a bank in Nigeria (finbank). This shows how the bank was influenced.

History - finbank is a techno centric bank based in Nigeria used to be called as first inland bank plc which offer a wide range of financial services. Though it started as a bank called first Atlantic bank before it was now merged with three other banks to formed first inland bank plc.

Primary function and technology- finbank used to be a bank that has less technology facilities, because of their competitor in the stock market today they were influenced by making or improving their facilities more effectively in the society, with new development now they have access to online services- such packages like using your phone to assess your bank account and transferring money with your phone do transactions without going to the bank. Etc

Goals and objectives- at first finbank were almost liquidated sometime ago for given out loans which they could not get back or recovered from customers. but with help of the central bank of Nigeria which influenced finbank and some other banks with billions of naira to get back on their feet to achieve their goals and objectives.

Size- finbank they have a different units or department in a particular bank, with large members and staffs of the organisation. which offers its customers a broad range of first class banking product and services.

Location- this organisation have different branches all over Nigerian. Mainly in urban areas, where customers can have easier access to get to any of their branches.

Management and staffing- the previous manager was removed by central bank of Nigeria governor some months ago, because of lack of management style and he was replaced by new manager to help build or manage the bank in a way other banks function or operate.

The environment- finbank operates in a more conducive environment so to effective, so that the organisation can respond to environmental influences.

These seven steps show how finbank was influenced.


Following my study conducted with the help of some scholars theories in this research, recommends the peculiar