We are the products of our environment and we are born into a culture without having the choice of choosing what we want, whether we embrace or reject this culture, it all depend on the degree on how we accept it. Sometimes people are put in places where they feel either that they belong or that they are outsiders. Accordingly it's the same with organization cultures and employees.
The question we raised was "how does organizational culture affect performance?" in other words how does the employees perform have a relation to the organizational culture? To be able to answer this question we need to define culture, performance and the relationship between them.
What is culture? Dictionary.com defines culture is the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group.
This definition doesn't merely explain what a culture can be yet it gives us some clues about what an organizational culture is.
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Organization culture in some text is described as the field of organizational studies and management which describes the psychology, attitudes, experiences, beliefs and values in an organization, in other words its "how things are done" or we can say it's "the personality of the organization".
The idea of viewing organizations as cultures is a new trend, it all started when organizational theorists have started to acknowledge the importance of it. Organization culture can be thought of as the perceived, subjective influence of the formal system and the informal style of organizations, it can be also thought of as the traditions, past practices, and the usual ways of thinking and feeling that controls a person's actions more than what the requirements of a situation would usually do.
Who makes up a culture? Is a question that needs to be answered in order to define culture better. Cultures in some organization are just found there by default. In other organization, as the example of Google below, cultures are made, designed and developed. Organizations design different work environments to position themselves in the marketplace and outperform their competitors.
Every single organization has a culture different than the other, and how we can determine if it significantly has an influence on the attitudes and behaviors of its members and employees depends on the strength of it.
When can classify strong and weak cultures by the following classification;
Strong Cultures are those which their employees are held together by widely shared values and beliefs. It's also the one where the organizations experience growth and a high degree of innovation, independence and adaptation. Further, a culture may be considered as a cohesiveÂ when business is carry out according toÂ clear principles, and when management is active and often communicates these principles and shows the importance of them to the operating environment through their actions. When organizations have clearer and comprehensible goals, this decreases vagueness and uncertainty within the employees as researches has shown that employees experience higher motivation and satisfaction working in organizations which are well managed.
Weak cultures on other hand are usually fragmented; employees in such cultures have widely different values and beliefs and experience such feelings as separateness and disconnection from the organization. And all this leads to low performance and high turnover rates.
An organization culture is divided into 3 levels, 1) observable culture 2) shared values and 3) common assumptions.
The 1st level, the observable culture, is all about the methods that groups develop and teaches to their new members. It includes all ceremonies, dress codes, unique stories and all the things that happen explicitly and publicly in front of everyone. As an example of that, is the organization of "the chamber of commerce and industry, Sharjah" every once in a month, a department gather to have breakfast with the Chairman, this act is considered observable and old employees always teach this tradition to new ones, as they did to us when we went interning there.
The 2nd level, the shared values, are the set of coherent values held by members of the organization and that's link them together. As an example of this level Japanese people always start their work by saying a prayer in a group, it's something that has a value and meaning to them.
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The 3rd level is, the common assumptions, it is the collection of truths that organizational members share as a result of their joint experience that guide their behaviors. It's the idea that when someone knows that he is good in a thing, he will always work better to achieve it.
What is performance?
Performance is mainly about an employee's ability to carry out a job effectively and that he completely understands the job description, and he recognizes the job requirements and the standards that he is expected to meet. Simpler it refers to whether an employee performs their job well.
Culture and performance have mutually reciprocating relationship, good culture results in good job performance, and bad culture results in bad job performance.
Therefore organizations that know how to develop their cultures in an effective way most probably have the benefit of growth and advancement in the productivity and the quality of work among its employees.
The basic performance equation indicates the 3 factors that should be present for high job performance to be achieved:
Job performance= individual attributes x work effort x organizational support
As I said before the 3 factors should be present for this equation to be applicable, an individual performance relates to the capacity an employee can have to be able to perform, the work effort relates to the willingness's to perform and organizational support relates to the opportunity to perform and this factor is our concern for this paper and all of them interact with each other to result in a good job performance.
Organizational support is the third component in the equation and the one that concerns us the most. This factor is all about what the organization may provide for their employees to help them perform well, and that includes the aspect of culture. Employees need to receive adequate support from their employer's whether it ranges from the equipments they need, motivational support to a good environment and culture. Employees are affected by the organization's culture; it's the guide that helps them shape their attitudes.
Employees who work within a strong culture are usually committed to their work and have their main concern for the team and the organization more that their self interest.
So from this equation we can conclude that an employee's performance is affected by a lot of factors and one of them is the culture of the organization.
One of the known examples of organizations that adopted a culture that not just help employees in their work environment but also cares about their health as, it offers all organic food, massages, a gym and even doctors which are for free ,"GOOGLE",.
Google is one if the companies that have been able to create a culture with the ability to increase their performances. It is known for its informal corporate culture. Fortune Magazine has placed the company at the top of its list of the hundred best places to work in both 2007 and 2008. 
Google adopts a concept which is called "innovation time off ".it's basically considered as being a motivational technique that encourages Google engineers to spend 20% of time on their independent projects that interests them. This helps them to relax when they are in their workplace and take their mind of the work stress. Consequently this technique didn't only benefit the employees, yet it was a huge gain to Google itself as it was the reason behind many of Google's new services such as Gmail and Google news.
Another example of a successful organization that has a strong work place cultures is yahoo. Yahoo is ranked at 73 in Forbes 100 b est companies to work for in 2006.
Yahoo was founded in 1994 by Stanford University graduate students Jerry Yang and David Filo. Yahoo provides internet services around the world, including search engine, web portal, Yahoo mail, directory services and more. Yahoo is headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA. As of this writing, Yahoo is the most visited website on the internet.
What makes yahoo so special?
Employees at yahoo are supposed to work for long hours, but they get good benefits in return. Employees at yahoo always gets engaged in teamwork, they are offered stock options, they also have a compensation concept that is called 401K, it's a plan designed to help employees plan for their futures .The working environment of yahoo is a casual work environment in which employees feel like they are home. They do have child care, games room, and even health club and massages.
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There is a reason behind mentioning all these benefits that both yahoo and Google offers, it's that when employees feel comfortable, satisfied about the place they are in, then this is when you get most of them.
 "100 Best Companies to Work For 2007". Fortune Magazine (link published by CNN). 22 January 2007. Retrieved on 26 April 27, 2010.
 "Yahoo! CompanyÂ Profile". About.com. retrieved on 27 April 2010.
Having all these facilities for the employees not just to have a reputation of being an organization who pampers its employees, it's because your employees are your most crucial resource, and to be able to utilize your resource to the maximum you need them to feel pleased and happy and that all going to reflect on their job.
In conclusion we do realize that culture is linked to organizational performance in one way or another. We can say that the organization structure is the body and the culture is its soul, if it's a good soul, then it will succeed, otherwise if it's not a strong soul, this body would collapse.
Organization culture is an important aspect that all managers need to pay attention to be able to succeed. Culture should be viewed as a recruitment tool and an important factor in employee motivation as it's a good driver of satisfaction which makes employees feel good and in return make them more committed to their organizations. Empowerment, team working, job enrichment and flexi hours and more are some of the indicators of strong cultures. Culture which experience all this is going to be a real driver and a definite source of competitive advantage that competitors will find difficult to emulate. Employees who work in strong culture experience cohesiveness and satisfaction and that what makes them productive, useful and creative.
These attributes are the most crucial capabilities for modern organizations effectiveness. Bottom line is that good culture triggers good performance, culture is basically the most critical factor that determines the success or the failure of firms in this new dynamic environment.
Our final answer to the question raised above, is to be able to have a high rate of performance, an organization should acknowledge that culture plays a huge role in affecting employees performance, it's the main driver for how they act and operate, and As Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. a former CEO IBM "The thing I have learned at IBM is that culture is everything".