Importance of culture within a firm

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Organizational culture, is also known as corporate culture, it is a term that draws various approaches, ideas, common experiences, events, and values that are recognized within an organization and others similar to it.

A well-known behavior is expected, so every worker will have an idea of what is expected from them. This results in creating unity and increases universal worker efficiency. Organizational culture helps to set up the predictable prospects, rules and regulations that will help the company achieve its goals.

If the organization is big the organizational culture contains many smaller sub-cultures that are still committed to the larger representation, but have their own style of operating and working to be more able in performing their task, and be as part of the larger company.


The workforce is the team of employees in employment. It is generally used to describe those working for a single company. The term may or may not exclude the management, but usually implies those involved in manual work.


After many researches done by many groups and individuals it is said that organizational culture plays an important role for any company's development. The following case study talks about a company who follows some culture in driving its business.


Company background

Firstware Technology was established in the late 1980s in one of the biggest cities in northern India. It was started by five visionary professionals who had the objective of making it the number one software company in India. This vision is particularly reflected in the human resource management policies, systems, and practices of First ware and has been the driving force behind its business strategies, organizational structure, and organizational culture.

Although First ware was started as a private limited company, it is now a public limited company. The company has had an unwavering focus on software products in the telecommunications sector since its inception. The product range of First ware includes wireless and wire line communication products in the form of integrated solutions such as complete phone software solutions. The organization has successfully patented six products in the telecom domain. It has a global presence, with offices in USA, UK, Germany, France, Mexico, Japan and China. The revenues of the organization have been steadily increasing and in the financial year 2005-06, the revenues totaled $US 70 million.

The year 2000 marked a new beginning in the history of First ware as the organization expanded its area of operation to include software service in the telecom sector in addition to the software products it had previously specialized in. The new service business covers software support service for wireless networks and terminals, installation and commissioning of wireless networks, and chip and software design services. First ware serves a range of world-class customers, including Nortel, Texas Instruments, Motorola, Lucent, Panasonic, and NEC.

Organizational culture and commitment

An integrationist viewpoint

The evolution and maintenance of organizational values which many employees described as widely shared in Firstware owe a great deal to the business strategy of the organization and the way Firstware grew over time. The small size of the organization in the early years, the focus on products, and the policy of 'people first' played a significant role in shaping and developing organizational life in Firstware. The policies followed by the organization are reliable with those that are commonly attributed to companies wishing to manage their organizational culture (see Ogbonna 1993). For example in the initial days, it recruited graduates from only the top technical institutes in India and the selection process was very rigorous. This resulted in a great deal of homogeneity in the outlook of employees towards work and organizational life. Many of these people have stayed with the organization for a considerable length of time and have experienced the authenticity of the 'people first' policy especially when the organization faced external challenges. The researchers captured many stories which appeared widely shared in the organization and which seemed to play a major role in perpetuating the culture of Firstware. One example is the story of how the company managed the difficulties presented by the downturn in the telecom sector in 2001 without compulsory redundancies. Instead, employees apparently volunteered to take a 20 per cent cut in their salaries and this helped to see the company through this period.

Organizational culture and commitment

A differentiation view point

The differentiation perspective is characterized by inconsistency, sub cultural consensus, and exclusion of ambiguity (Martin 1992, 2002). In the case of Firstware, in spite of the semblance of cohesion, organization-wide consensus, high claims of integrity, and 'people first', there were many aspects of culture that were differentiated and frequently incompatible with such claims. These emerged from the people in supervisory and managerial positions in the service business and the functional departments such as HR, as well as from contract employees. This can be better understood in the light of the developments in the company before and after year 2000. Prior to 2000, the company focused exclusively on the manufacturing and marketing of telecommunications software products. In 2000, a new service business was introduced and this had a number of implications. In this regard, it should be noted that the service business is almost opposite to the product business in that in products the emphasis is on rigorous research with a long term focus, whereas the service business emphasizes fulfilling client requirements, often with a short-term focus. Unlike the small numbers of people required in the product business, the service business requires people in very large numbers. Archival data shows that Firstware employed 481 people on 1st January 2000 and this number grew to 903 by 31st December 2000 and was over 2000 in 2005. Against the background of similar growth in the IT sector in India at that time, it became relatively difficult to get the required number of people possessing the right skills from the technical campuses Firstware traditionally recruited from. Many managers (especially those who staffed the new service business) were recruited from other organizations where the cultural orientations were understandably different and where, for example, business orientations typically had precedence over people. Indeed, throughout the organization, the researchers observed that the managers recruited in this way were often referred to as 'laterals' or 'outsiders'. It was also noticeable that the views of the 'laterals' differed from the views of the managers who had grown with the company. However, of more significance is that the views of the staff in the new service business (predominantly 'laterals') differed markedly from the views of the people in the traditional product business.

Organizational culture and commitment: A fragmentation viewpoint

"Data generated from Firstware suggests that certain elements of the company culture, particularly those that relate to commitment, can be analyzed from a fragmentation perspective. The fragmentation perspective captures ambiguity, multiple interpretations of culture, contradictions, and ironies (Martin 1992, 2002)".

The analysis of the interviews and other data reveal a number of ambiguities, many of which emerged in the form of conflict between content and themes. The managers and employees in supervisory positions in the service business unit typically highlighted such issues. Furthermore, although there was evidence of consensus within subcultures, this did not always extend across subcultures. For example, the general dissatisfaction of the employees in the service business unit suggested an incomplete realization of Firstware's 'people first' policy as well as the desire of the service employees to re-orientate the culture of the company to a 'business first' approach. The following vignette highlights the belief that the consequences of the 'people first' policy were frequently unintended and commonly counterproductive for business success.

Contributions and implications

The objective of this study was to explore and analyze the impact of organizational culture on organizational commitment in the context of a sector (software) that is renowned to be dynamic and people-centered. The findings of an investigation of these organizational processes in an Indian software organization suggest a range of contributions and implications for theory and practice. The first contribution of the study is linked to the adoption of the three perspective framework in the study of organizational culture and commitment in a single organization. Although researchers have called for scholars to adopt a wider range of perspectives in analyzing the culture of organizations, and specifically to incorporate the three perspective framework in exploring the culture of single organizations (see Martin 1992, 2002; Harris and Ogbonna 1998), few scholars have taken this suggestion forward. The logic of this approach to organizational analysis is derived from the consideration that organizational members are embedded in practices which are constituted in social norms and which are characterized by numerous, sometimes incompatible meanings (Casey 1999; Alvesson 2002). Such multiplicity of meanings suggests that different 'orders' can exist simultaneously both within and across subcultures: a situation which can only adequately be captured through multiple interpretive analytical lenses. The findings of this study suggest that by adopting the three perspective approach it is possible to identify the multiplicity of meanings that characterize values in a single organization and to document the existence of shared values, while at the same time uncovering differences and incomplete realization of values, as well as the contradictions and ambiguities that may characterize cultural values in the same organization and the potential impact of these on organizational commitment. Thus, this study supports the growing call for research into the organizational culture to adopt multiple perspectives and frameworks (Martin 1992; 2002, Harris and Ogbonna 1998; Alvesson 2002) in analyzing the culture of a single organization. The findings of this study suggest that this call should be extended to include studies of organizational culture and commitment.

A second contribution of the study is the delineation of alternative conceptualizations of the impact of organizational culture on commitment. Previous research into the links between organizational culture and commitment has been sparse, with culture frequently confused with climate in such evaluations (see Denison 1996). Such research commonly points to a positive association between organizational climate and commitment (Jones 1995; Ruppel and Harrington 2000). The few studies that have examined culture more specifically reached similar conclusions: that supportive organizational culture can have a positive influence on organizational commitment (see Lok and Crawford 2001; Bergman 2006).

Deal and Kennedy's model of culture has explained about how to characterize different four types of organization, based on how speedily they get feedback and remuneration after they have done something and the stage of risks that were taken by them.

Feedback and reward

"A major driver of people in companies and hence their culture is the general feedback and specific rewards that tell them they are doing a good or bad job".

If this feedback is immediate or shorter-term, it will correct any ineffective behavior very fastly leading to a consistent culture (those who cannot survive, will quickly find out or either leave or be sacked).

If the feedback, takes much time to arrive, then mistakes can be left uncorrected.

The Cultures

Work-hard, play-hard culture

This has quick feedback/reward and low risk, leading to Stress impending from quantity of work rather than vagueness. High-speed action leads to high-speed recreation. E.g. Restaurants, software companies.

Tough-guy macho culture

This has rapid feedback/reward and high risk, resulting in Stress coming from high risk and potential loss/gain of reward. Focuses on the current situation rather than the longer-term future. Eg. police, surgeons, sports.

Bet-the-company culture

This has slow feedback/reward and high risk, resulting in Stress coming from high risk and delay before knowing if actions have paid off. The long view is in use, but then much work is put in making sure that things happen as planned. Eg. aircraft manufacturers, oil companies.

So if you are influencing into an organization, find out what style it has and adjust your approach accordingly. If you are a member of the organization, you may understand why you are either right at home or way out of place.


Any organization needs a healthy culture that can be easily followed by employees and help out the customers any organization should mainly focus on customers and culture is important part for developing an organization. A good culture attracts customers and the organization grows with customers.