Organizational culture, therefore, can be seen as the shared values, norms, belief and assumptions that an individual hold in common with members within a corporate firm or social group (Ogbonna, 1992). This essay is aimed to establish that organizational culture is manageable. By taking one of Linda Smircich’s approaches (1983), culture is seen as a dependent variable that an organization has. It is possible to argue that culture can be modified and changed as long as there is a thorough understanding of how and why it is evolved and developed.
People from the workforce may rely on a manner which is shaped from the shared experiences from their seniors or even the founders of the organizations. As the time passes on, this manner has essentially formed a common belief of the organization in order to achieve its ultimate goal. Culture may then develop into a persistency of the organization, but it is still possible to be managed. Communication between the managers and employees takes an important role in this respect. In order to modify a well-based organizational culture, the workforce needs to have a deep understanding of their given task, roles and the meanings.
Evidence on this matter will be perceived from a list of referenced texts as referred to below. Another position to be demonstrated in this essay is that organizational culture is critical to the success of any organization. As organizational culture is established and developed to a large extend for the betterment of workflow and ultimately achieving the corporate goals, it is therefore critical to the success of an organization. The way to achieve a corporate goal is first of all to obtain a thorough understanding of the organization culture and how it affects the workflow.
According to Peters and Waterman’s statement in 1982, the strengthening of corporate culture enhances organizational performance by securing greater commitment and flexibility from employees. E. Ogbonna (1985) illustrated that when organizational culture is taken as something that organization has, it becomes a powerful organizational tool. It shapes a sense of belonging to the members, controls the workflow behavior, establishes rules and directs decision makers. It, therefore, can be argued that organization culture is a definite factor to the success of an organization.
To Manage Organizational Culture Corporate Culture has become a main theme in organization studies since the 1980’s. Researchers and practitioners often argue that whether the culture can be managed while they attempt to redefine and examine the literature on managing culture. A well-known definition was made by Edgar Schein in his model of organization culture. In 1985, he identified three distinct levels in organization culture: 1. Artifacts and behavior – physical manifestations 2. Espoused values – shared believes, rules of behavior, professionalism 3.
Assumptions – taken-for-granted, deeply embedded behavior It is common to believe that the first two levels in an organization culture can be modified feasibly. However, the third level describes a basic conception that leads to the employees’ consciousness in terms of their work ethics and the prospect of responsibilities. Some debate that it is a phenomenon which constructs the root of an organization. A root can be changed upon a complete change in the entire organization. However, there are other practitioners debate that it is only challenging and not impossible at all to change. Organization don’t have cultures, they are cultures, and this is why culture is so difficult to change. ” (Siehl,1985). Approaches to Manage Culture Effectively There are a number of approaches attempting to achieve a change in organizational culture. In 1976, Silverzweig and Allen developed ‘normative system’ model which summarizes the approaches to a change in organizational culture. It states that the culture is a set of norms and shared values that make major influences to the members in terms of their behavior and thus, the workflow within the organization.
The workflow behavior can essentially be managed by altering the environment. This can finally lead to a change in values and expectations in a long-term period. In order to achieve a change in organizational culture, firstly, it is important to analyze the existing culture and establish a thorough understanding of the way it has been developed. Secondly, it is necessary to get the members involved in the system by giving them opportunities to question their old beliefs in order to establish a positive outcome from the desired culture.
Thirdly, management team members are to act as a role models to persuade other members in the organization to accept the newly developed culture. Lastly, evaluations of its effectiveness in terms of goal achievement need to be done to keep the culture permanent. There is no point to develop a new culture when there is little or no effect on the improvement of the workflow. (Silvezweig and Allen, 1972) Factors Analysis There are few other factors to argue whether the organizational culture is manageable. Firstly, the leaders and management team members of the organization need to take on the most important role.
To make sure that the organization is supportive with the change in culture, the management team members need to have a good communication with the other members of the firm (Ogbonna, 1992). Secondly, it is important for the employees to understand their roles and responsibilities within the organization. Through these understandings, employees will have the vision to a change in behavior. As mentioned above that a culture is dependent on individual behavior and it is, therefore, crucial to mange each and every behavior that forms the workflow in order to manage a culture properly.
Lastly, enthusiasm of changing can drive the whole operation. Enthusiasm comes from realization of corporate goal which in term affected by the existing culture. Enthusiasm can be managed to spread through the entire organization by a way of communication. A Critical Factor of Goal Achievement A corporate firm is normally started with a clear statement of an ultimate goal. A set of rules and expectation will be formed after evaluating the possible ways of achievement. This leads to a formation of norms, values which share between members of the group and this generally defines organizational culture later as the firm operates.
Referring to E. Ogbonna’s theory about organization culture, it simply implies that an organization culture controls employees’ individual behavior and thus develops to an extend betterment of workflow. It is also consistent with some of other researchers (Peters and Waterman, 1982; Linda Smircich, 1983; Jay B Barney 1986). While it is unclear about the exact definition of organizational culture, there is a broad agreement about culture leads to better overall performance. Organizational Culture and Its Effectiveness
Identified by a model developed by Silverzweig and Allen (1976), “people tend to form shared values when they come into a sustained period of interaction; that there are set of norms and expectation which whilst not written, constitute a major influence on the behaviors of members. ” (Ogbonna, 1992) Organization culture shapes a basic assumption that is shared by each and every of the member in the organization. Their behavior in the workflow becomes a dependent variable, simply depending on the culture and organizational environment.
It is essential for the co-workers to have similar behavior in the same environment without concerning their consciousness or willingness. “Culture may also be regarded as the expression of unconscious psychological processes. ” (Linda Smircich, 1983) Researchers also believe that culture forms a foundation concept of the organization, control workflow and individual members to work as one team, which leads to an alteration of overall performance, depending on the strength of the culture itself. Factors Analysis In order for a culture to provide advantages to organization performance, there are a few conditions must be met.
Firstly, The corporate culture must be strong. This means that all members are supportive towards the corporate culture and keen to be part of the organization. This can be achieved by recognizing the corporate goal, rewarding individual members symbolically and materially, identifying their sense of purpose with values that are designed into the organization (Hugh Willmott, 1993). Secondly, the culture must be unique. There were a few studies in organization previously showed that organization culture cannot be imitated or borrowed due to a number of differences, for example, corporate goals, organization structures and etc.
When concepts are borrowed from other disciplines, they may not be suitable in terms of goal achievement. This may also result in confusion in the concept of a culture or a dilution of the original power from the workforce (V. Lynn Meek, 1988). Lastly, the management of organization culture plays the most important role for a corporate firm to be successful. As discussed earlier in the essay, culture is a tool for an organization and it is possible to be managed. In terms of goal achievement, it is a matter of how well an organization can manage its culture. A certain culture cannot be used to solve organizational problems over the time.
Since there are certain factors that affect the efficiency of a corporate firm (e. g. technology, financial status of the firm etc), it is essential to change values and behavior patterns as time passes on. In long term, this is necessary to be managed as to remain or increase the efficiency of the organization. Conclusion To summarize the essay, organization culture is manageable and it is critical to the success of any organization. The basis of the argument is that culture should be treated as a managing tool that the organization used to manage its people and production.
When culture is defined as the Schein’s model in terms of the three distinct levels (artifacts, values and assumptions), the difficultness in managing the culture graduate increases as the level increases, although some argues that there will come to a level that is impossible to manage. Organizational culture can always be managed as long as there is a thorough understanding of how the existing culture evolved.
A study conveyed by Silverzweig and Allen summarizes the approaches attempt to manage the culture effectively. The four steps to achieve such approach are analyzing the existing culture, get all members involved, anagers to act as role models and evaluating the new culture. By attempting the four steps, it is agreed broadly that it can effectively manage a culture. This is also one of the factors to achieve a crucial success in an organization. The reason that organizational culture is critical to a firm to achieve its corporate goal is that effect of organizational culture has influences on individuals as well as the whole organizational workflow and behavior pattern. For a successful organization, it is essential for it to have a strong and unique culture.
It is also crucial for managers to have an in-depth knowledge on how to manage the organization culture effectively, in order to encounter organizational sociology causes by factors such as technology improvement and financial stability of the organization as time passes on. A well-managed organizational culture may have impact on the workflow behavior. It also provides power to persuade members of the organization to work in one self, and thus, adding efficiency in production. Therefore, organizational culture is not only essential but critical to the success of an organization.