culture of organisation


Can any one explain how the culture of a organisation can affect its operation

kind regards  

  • Hi Hurjeet,

    a culture underpins everything a company does and how it does it.

    A good starting point is for you to think how the culture in banking affected/is affecting banks and the wider society as a whole given the financial crisis we are in the midst of...that should lead you on the right tracks in terms of what a culture can do in a negative sense, obviously there are also companies out there whose cultures positively impact on internal operations and the external environment.


  • Megan Peppin

    | 987 Posts

    Chartered Fellow

    2 Mar, 2013 10:08

    Cripes, a big question.

    Ed Schein and John Kotter both write about culture and are well respected and I suggest you read some of their material.   I could give you lots of examples; here's a couple: 

    How does culture work?

    An example might be if the culture that exists is one where leaders are slapdash about meeting their own deadlines, it might mean that other people consciously or subconsciously take their lead and are also erratic when it comes to doing things to agreed times..

    Another example might be that HR limits time for people to come and see them (I worked for one LA where I walked past the HR office - the door was firmly shut - with the sign "We are are available for drop in on Wednesday afternoons").  So, the cultural message might be that HR are actually not available at all in reality for face to face communication, and the operational impact might be that people (true in this situation) avoid HR and get other people in (me) to help them with some of their people issues.

    Culture is shaped by everyone who works in the organisation, but most significantly by leadership tone, and various structures that exist in organisations to reinforce culture.  So if managers work closely with their teams, talk to them regularly, encourage feedback and are open and transparent, the culture they create is likely to be one where conflict is surfaced quickly, seen as quite normal, and dealt with.    Hope this helps.

  • David

    | 20508 Posts

    Chartered Member

    2 Mar, 2013 15:51

    Hi Hurjeet 

    A good informal definition of culture is 'the way we do things around here'

    Social psychologists etc study group norms etc, which is really the same kind of thing.

    The culture of an organisation can profoundly determine just about every aspect of its operation - consider how Hitler's SS or Stalinist Russia or Apartheid South Africa once operated. The most outrageous and inhuman forms of behaviour can become legitimised and even celebrated within some cultures. To enter some workplaces of a particularly- wacky culture can feel like Alice must have felt when she fell through the looking glass or into Wonderland - it's an exceedingly variable and powerful force.

  • Thank you to everyone who replied to my post

    kind regards


  • Jaysen

    | 14 Posts


    4 Mar, 2013 17:13

    Charles handy is also a good read; task, role, power & people culture 
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