Organizational Culture And Impact On Conflict

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There is strong relationship between the organizational culture and effectiveness of organizations (Fey & Denison,2002).Organization will be formed when a group of people (two or more) who agreed about specific activity and coordinate with each other to achieve their desired goal by creating roles, values and special characteristics for their own organization (LaGuardia, 2008). In order to have successful and productive organization each single organization should have its own culture because culture is like the personality of the organization. Usually all employees in their first day of employment will got the feeling of strange on how things are running in this organization and they feel uncomfortable in that specific place , but this feeling will start to subside with time when they start socializing and understanding the organization culture (Connolly, 2008).

Health organization is a systematic complex that consists of human, patients, equipment, building and others that have been initiated by humans in order to achieve specific goals (Whitehead, Weiss & Tappen, 2007). Organizational culture can be defined briefly as "a set of principles that determine how people should behave, act, deal with customers and communicate with each other within a specific organization following the rules and implementing the value of the organizational culture" (Khan, 2005, p.110).

The purpose of this written assignment is to identify what is organizational culture and how it might impact in some internal issues like conflicts. This will be done through identifying what is organizational culture, its components and classifications and clarifying the meaning of conflict and how it might be affected by the organizational culture.

What is Organizational culture?

Organizational culture is something that cannot be seen or felt but it can be recognized when you move or pump up against it (Tappen, Weiss & Whitehead, 2004).Simply organizational culture can be described as "the way we do things around here"(Hellreigel, Slocum & Woodman, 1995, p.464 ). How to deal with the patients, ways of providing care and ways of dealing with the patient's family or care giver are guided by the organizational culture. To end up with a successful effective organization some elements should be taken into consideration such as: involvement which means empowering their people and giving them the chance in decision making, so they can feel their input in the organization. The second element is consistency which reflects well coordinated and well integrated organization, strong internal relationships between mangers and followers that give the strength of the organization. Third one is adaptation that points toward the ability of the organizational culture to change without resistance according to the internal and external impacts on the organization. Finally, is the mission that should include clear sense of purpose and direction (Fey & Denison, 2002).

Each organization should plane a head it's goals in which it’s the responsibility of every single employee to achieve this goals completely. An example of goals that a health care organization should have is growth. Growth means improving the services and improving the employee's practices in order to improve or enhance the quality of care that is provided to the patients and improve the reputation of the organization. Other goal also might be status which means being the best all over the world and that can be accomplished by selecting the best and qualified employees and by creating a polices that everybody should follow to end up with the best practice. Other like survival, profit, dominance also should be included. (Whitehead, Weiss & Tappen, 2007).

The organizational culture has many components that should be followed by the employee such as:

1. Routine behavior: how employee should behave, way of dealing with each other's and the way of communicating with the client, what language to be used (Hellreigel, Slocum & Woodman, 1995), like for example in Tawam Hospital the only allowed languages is Arabic and English

2. Norms and Expectations: the organization norms and values, each organization should have a timeframe to achieve the goal. Being busy is not an excuse for failing in achieving the goal. (Hellreigel, Slocum & Woodman, 1995)

3. Philosophy: the way or the frame that should be followed by both the employee and the customers while dealing with them and how they should be treated. (Hellreigel, Slocum & Woodman, 1995)

4. Rules of the Game: what are the qualifications that this organization requires for hiring employee, or the requirements for promotions. Usually this component differs from one organization to another. (Hellreigel, Slocum & Woodman, 1995)

5. Symbols and heroes: Mission, vision, values, and chain of commands. (Hellreigel, Slocum & Woodman, 1995)

These components gives each organization its unique characteristics and the percents of compliance by each single employee gives a clue regarding this organization strength and performance. (Hellreigel, Slocum & Woodman, 1995)

There are four different types or classifications of organizational culture that identifies how this organization operates internally and indirectly it shows the qualifications that required for employment. The organization culture might be a combination of two types or more or it might be only one type .these 4 types are:

1. Baseball team: tough and firm usually they are innovators, taking risk, attacking and attracting. They always look forward. Always wants to be the stars. Have free agents that circulate to other organizations for 2 ways benefit. (Hellreigel, Slocum & Woodman, 1995)

2. Club: the more senior people will go the rewards and the appreciation but on the other hand the risk for termination for both senior and junior is less and they can be considered as secured. The mangers have multi-tasks responsibilities. (Hellreigel, Slocum & Woodman, 1995)

3. Academy: they prefer to hire the newly graduate students, and they like to use the expert people on multi-fields. (Hellreigel, Slocum & Woodman, 1995)

4. Fortress: this type of culture is unsecured, had history of failing in stressful situation, changed its culture due to unsuccessful. Its main goal is survival, employee satisfaction not considered, due to that there is less security and less rewards. (Hellreigel, Slocum & Woodman, 1995).

There are some factors that might affect the organizational culture .factors like the culture of the place where this organization is. The successful organization should study the external and internal factors that will affect the organization and they should take it into consideration and they should overcome any barriers on their way of success. (Billikope, 2003).

The effect of organizational culture on conflicts:-

What triggers conflict is the cultural difference or the multi-cultures that exist within the same organization adding to that the workplace stress and the overloading might also be considered as the source of initiating conflicts. Conflict can be defined as violence that occurs due to different behavior , attitude and practice in which two or more persons can be involved in , also it can be defined as "a situation in which two or more parties strive to acquire the same scarce resources at the same time"(Swanstrom & Weissmann, 2005, p .10) .The main reason for conflict is that every single personality came to the organization with different background, different cultures, different practices, different believes and different values. (Swanstrom &Weissmann, 2005)

Conflict cycle consist of 3 components these 3 components are attitudes, behavior and situation. Interaction between those three components will create the conflict .specific situation might trigger conflict for some and might not affect others because of the difference in the behavior and the way of the acceptance and understanding of the situation .In some circumstances if a conflict occurs the way of responding to that conflict also differs from one person to another and that is due to the individualized attitude. (Swanstrom &Weissmann, 2005).Conflicts might go through several phases according to the severity, these phases started with stable peace with low tension moving to unstable peace with increasing in the tension level, then open conflict when negotiation started and measure of dealing with the conflict identified by the parties, followed by crises near to ware and violence is possible and the worst is ware when spreading of violence took place. (Swanstrom &Weissmann, 2005).

Organizational culture can impact either positively or negatively on conflicts. Conflicts can be used as a learning opportunity if its manipulated correctly otherwise it's considered as barrier for organizational development (Miller, 2002). Some types of organizational culture like the Fortress one that I mentioned before which characterized by unsecured positions, high stress level on the employee. Employee satisfaction is the least important thing and its main aim is to achieve the desired outcome and to prevent any failing, this type of culture provides all the sources of initiating a conflict in which the conflict rate will be high compared to other organizational culture (Hellreigel, Slocum & Woodman, 1995). Accumulation and frequent repetition of conflicts accompanied by inappropriate conflict management will lead to slow destruction of the organization over the time. The organizational culture consistency plays an important role in which it might cause extreme positive effect (the employee are align with the organizational culture) that cause less conflicts, or it can cause extreme negative effect ( the employee are not aligned with the organization) that leads to a huge numbers of un controllable conflicts (Billikope, 2003).

On the other hand other type of organizational culture focuses on the employee satisfaction and they aim toward developing a stress free workplace to maximize the chance of employee comfort in order to insure high quality of care, high level of productivity, creativity and fewer conflicts. Fairness while dealing with employee, rewarding system and equal distribution of job description among staff would but not prevent the conflicts, because it's impossible to have a free conflict work place. This type of organizational culture usually will make use of this minimal number of conflicts positively (Swanstrom &Weissmann, 2005).

The positive impact of organizational culture can be implemented by using that event as an basic element for creativity, productivity and development, that can be done by analyzing the event and knowing the main cause of the conflict, the next step should be finding a solution by creating it and implementing the solution for then evaluating the outcome, by doing that a step in developing the organization took place. "Conflict is an important element of creativity. Sometime productive change would not occur without conflict (Deutsch, Coleman & Marcus, 2006, p.418)."


In conclusion, for the organization to be successful , effective and productive it should have a culture that includes all or most of the essential components as mentioned above (Fey & Denison, 2002). Organizational culture should reflect the organization performance and it should be reflected by the way of behaving within the organization. Organizational culture policies or instructions should be followed by all employees with no exclusions and in case of any resistant to the organizational culture a conflict might exist. Organizational culture is a human made, so it might enhance or hinder some issues or practices within the organization this is why a good organizational culture should have the ability to change and adapt accordingly (Hellreigel, Slocum & Woodman, 1995).