Organizational culture refers to a collection of personal and cultural norms, values, attitudes and beliefs that are shared in an organization. These norms determine the behavior of employees and managers, and the resulting interaction with each other or with other stakeholders. Organizational culture influences the goals and strategies that the members of a particular organization will pursue and the behavioral standards that would enable them to achieve such goals. Organization culture can raise serious difficulties especially when organizations merge or during acquisitions. One of the key purposes for organizational culture is to enhance the end result of the department or organization at large and that's why any explanation of organizational culture that eliminates goals and commitment do not fully cover the concept of organizational culture. This is because the shared expectations amongst the committed employees go towards the set goals. In fact, every culture has an aspect of commitment.
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Leadership and organizational processes made possible by employees interactions influences organizational culture outcomes. There are various elements that can be used to describe organizational culture and these elements highly overlap. Some of the commonly identified elements include organization paradigm which illustrate what a particular organization is about, its envisioned values, mission and activities. Another element of organizational culture is the internal control systems which comprises of the processes used in monitoring the organizational activities. Organizational structure as shown by the work flows, reporting lines, existing hierarchy and power structures. The symbols that organization use like the logos and designs, and to some extent the symbols of power like the kind of parking and washrooms used by the executive are largely determined by organizational culture. The way an organization's management or leadership holds meetings or handles board reports influences the entire organizational culture. For example, such meetings become more usual than relevant developing to rituals or even routines, as a common ground for organizational culture. Another element of organizational culture is demonstrated by the stories and myths developed by staff in regard to organizational events, which forms the perceived organizational values.
Organizational culture offer a stable set of values and traits that determine how the managers and employees work, behave and respond to issues. Things like quality and excellent customer service and regulations are adopted if they are deemed important in an organizations work ethics commonly facilitated by the management as well as individual employees' commitment. Changes initiated by managers' influences organization's practices and operations, which in turn reshapes the entire organizational culture. For example, when organizations or companies merge as proposed by concerned manages, the firms involved bring together different organizational cultures with different sub-cultures, and at times form major cultural obstacles. For instance when companies merge most employees suspect that they will loose jobs owing to organizational culture that they are used to. A good example was the merge between the Chrysler Australia Ltd and Mitsubishi Motors which occurred in 1980. The Australian culture for the managers was authoritative and every time there was a downturn in sales they responded by downsizing, which largely affected the recently hired hourly-paid workers. The management culture for Mitsubishi was totally different. Though most of the shop floor workers, their supervisors and managers were in suspicion, no one got terminated since the Mitsubishi chairman was firmly controlled by effective culture practices. As such, the disbelief amongst the employees slowly changed taking more than five years for employees to understand that the former management culture had actually changed. Culture takes time to transform and organizational culture differing in individual commitment to allow the perceived change. For instance, as drawn from the article the management culture for Mitsubishi was very different from what the Australian managers knew and this slowly transformed their mindset.
When employees get used to a certain management culture it becomes hard to change their mindset and any change in management or leadership styles acts to create internal hostility. For example, an impromptu shift from Laissez-Faire leadership to an authoritarian style may be distractive on employees' commitment to drive the organization to greater heights, possible through creative/ad-hoc culture. It's inevitable that resentment and antagonism in such an environment will persists. This can be quite disruptive to the organization as evidenced from the Mitsubishi car-take-over scenario. Individual personality or preference during leadership have a substantial impact on the preferred management style in a particular organization such that if a given culture convey distrust among employees, the managers are likely to respond authoritatively, and this style of leadership can only be changed if the perceived distrust individual personality is averted. It's good to appreciate the truth that managers do not control culture, but are rather controlled by culture and this way managers get themselves compelled to change and adopt new management culture or resign if they are too comfortable to change from their old style. Under this consideration, the Australian managers had to resign because their thinking was estranged from that of their peers. From the case of Chrysler Australian Ltd and Mitsubishi, the Australian management culture still hanged around Mitsubishi though it finally transformed itself. Its system thinking that transforms an organizational culture. Culture controls the perception and thoughts of managers as well as their feelings, and when a certain culture is strong it influences managerial actions. In fact, all management actions such as control, setting of objectives and follow-up procedures comprises of organizational culture.
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Mergers have remained a common corporate strategy, some fail due to inability to forge the merge or takeover successfully based on the individual organizations culture which may be too strong giving rise to undesirable cultural issues. Analysts have shown that, most of such mergers are sold-off in five years while only 10% meet their objectives. This is because a company's success depends largely on the employees' values and norms besides the manager's integration of the firm's functioning systems. Even if a firm's technology and systems are working but the managers are unable to unite the employees' culture, the firm cannot yet be successful because the employees' have their morale diminished.
Leadership strategies act to influence organizational culture especial during change procedures. For example, to enhance culture modification is hard because it involves convincing people of certain things which more often invokes resistance. It's very hard to build core values especially in a scenario where employees are able to evaluate the disparity between organizational values and the reality. As such, the new core values become confusing and mostly employees become skeptical, thus reducing their trust in those involved in leadership. This was one reason why the renowned amalgamation between the Mitsubishi and Chrysler made substantial losses since the employee-manager relationship was destroyed by a series of differences and subsequent strikes. However, it's possible to change organizational culture if employees are made to understand and get them involved right from the initial processes.
As employees begin to understand the changes they become comfortable and soon begin to embrace the new management style. This arises since leadership styles act to determine the entire organizational culture since the management takes part in formulating organizational strategies. It's worth noting that behavioral compliance by employees may not necessarily mean cultural change because culture can not be a product but rather encompasses powerful influence that determines the style and practices of management as well as the effectiveness of the corporate. Employees' commitment in boosting organizational bid to achieve defined goals, and effective policies crafted by the leadership inline with the business' visions enhances culture development within the organization.