The paper "Organisational Culture and How It Is Reflected in an Organisation" is an outstanding example of management coursework. Organisational culture is a vague and multifaceted concept that lacks a standard or precise definition. Nonetheless, it is commonly described as an organisation’ s conventional practices and modes of operation. Organisational culture is also considered as an organisation’ s general climate or ambience (Evans, 2001). Over the years, researchers have come up with different definitions for the concept of organisational culture. For instance, Schein (1984) defines organisational culture as the basic pattern of assumptions that guides decision making in an organisation.
On the other hand, Ojo (2009) considers organisational culture as a set of characteristics, beliefs, values and behaviours that distinguish an organization from others. Nevertheless, the essence of organisational culture is that it epitomises the way things are done in an organisation. Essentially, organisational culture is a basic pattern of assumption relating to how members of an organisation cope with variables in their external environment and how they act within the organisation. These assumptions determine how members of an organisation perceive, feel, think and act in their day to day undertakings in the organisation (Smith, 2003).
Alvesson (2012) notes that organisational culture significantly impacts on leadership, management practice, organisational effectiveness, productivity and employee morale. Therefore, organisational culture is influential in the overall practices, effectiveness and success of an organisation. The key aim of this essay is to critically examine what organisational culture entails and how it is expressed within the organisation. Foremost, this essay will define and examine various dimensions of organisational culture. Subsequently, it will examine how organisational culture is expressed within the organisation particularly with regards to employee performance and organisational effectiveness.
Lastly, this essay will look at how organisational culture is linked and reflected in leadership. Dimensions of organisational culture According to Shukla (2008), organisational culture is an overall constellation of beliefs, value systems, behavioural norms, morals and ways of doing business that is distinct to each organisation. Similarly, Inceoglu (2002) observes that organisational culture is “ the glue that holds an organisation together through a shared pattern of meaning” (Inceoglu, 2002, p. 16). Generally, organisational culture is often regarded as the basic beliefs and assumptions that are shared by members within an organisation.
These beliefs and assumptions unconsciously influence how members of an organisation operate and respond to situations or challenges within their internal and external environment. With time, these beliefs and assumptions permeate the organisation, become accepted and automatically ingrained in an organisation’ s routine practices. Consequently, they distinctively become the accepted way of thinking and doing things (Evans, 2001; Schein, 2004). Nevertheless, organisational culture is more than just beliefs and assumptions. It comprises of different distinctive aspects. The culture of an organisation can be distinguished from related aspects such as norms, climate, symbols, customs and formal philosophies.
These aspects reflect the culture of an organisation however, they do not exclusively embody an organisation’ s culture. In order for any phenomenon to be considered as a culture it not only has to be shared but it also has to be stable and run deep. There are basically three levels of culture namely; assumptions, values, artefacts and creations. Assumptions epitomise the deepest level of an organisation’ s culture. Assumptions are the underlying convictions shared by members of an organisation.
The shape and guide how people within the organisation perceive, feel, think and behave. Values develop through problem-solving. When a certain approach helps to solve a problem reliably, with time it is adopted as “ the way of doing things. ” It is eventually transformed into a shared organisational value and become ingrained within the organisation. Lastly, artefact and creations are the tangible aspects of organisational culture. They may include an organisation’ s physical space, technology, ceremonies, behaviour, style of dressing and language among many other elements. These elements are the most visible features in an organisation’ s culture (Evans, 2001; Schein, 2004).
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