What is organizational culture?

We explain what organizational culture is and why it is so important for companies. What are its elements and how its climate is defined.

  1. What is organizational culture?

Organizational culture is understood as the beliefs, values, habits, traditions, attitudes and experiences of an organization.

Because every organization is made up of people, this culture is made up of the different individual values ​​that make an organizational “ whole ”. However, organizational culture is not simply the sum of the individualities that work in a particular organization or company .

On the contrary, the organizational culture is prior to the individual ones. This means that every organizational culture forms its bases and then adapts to the personnel  (employees) that will constitute said organizational culture.

The organizational culture is also usually defined as the set of norms and values ​​that people have within a given organization.

The purpose of organizational culture is to  control the way in which people interact with each other (and abroad) to interact.

Organizational culture is, in short, the  psychology of a company. In other words, it is the human core of the company, it is the behavior of the sum of its employees, it is the image that this organization provides to the society in which it is inserted, it is the process of selecting its employees and its suppliers too.

  1. Importance of organizational culture

The organizational culture has two major axes of importance: an internal one (in relation to its staff, managers, work environment, etc.) and another in relation to society (external); with the environment , with neighborhood, charitable, governmental, etc. activities

The organizational culture guides the direction of the company as it guides the way in which each company or organization should conduct itself . It also directs the deal with its employees, customers and society in general.

Every employee seeks to identify with a certain organizational culture. Hence the importance in relation to these lies in an adequate identification of values, beliefs, habits, norms and customs among employees and the organizational culture.

With respect to the society in which the company is inserted the organization, the organizational culture serves as a spokesperson for the way in which that company relates to society , that is, its image; the way in which it takes care of (or not) the environment, its interest in its environment, its influence and participation in neighborhood activities, etc.

  1. Elements of organizational culture

Organizational culture
It is necessary to establish who or who are the decision makers.

Within the organizational culture there are different elements that constitute it:

  • Identity of the organization:  What type of company is it? What are your values? What are your  goals ? What is your mission ?
  • Control systems: The organizational culture must have control systems, that is, processes that monitor what is happening inside a company with human capital (that is, with employees and managers).
  • Power structures: It  establishes who or who are the decision makers, how it is distributed and in what percentages.
  • Symbols:  This includes the logos and any design (visual and auditory support) that the company has. Parking lots or bathrooms exclusively for executives are also symbols of power and fit into this section.
  • Rituals and routines:  This includes all business meetings, business groups, performance reports, etc. Often these can be formal but also many companies have many rites or routines informally.
  • Stories, myths and anecdotes:  This is the implicit message that underlies the entire organization. The stories tell the rise of organizations; its bases and its growth, its current impact on the market, etc. The anecdotes are narratives of real stories that employees with antiquity tell new employees. In other words, the message that is valued within the organizational culture of each company.

Each of these elements works in conjunction with the others, being able to overlap if necessary.

  1. Climate of the organizational culture

The climate of the organizational culture will be defined by the following:

  • Physical environment. It refers to the facilities, the equipment installed with which the company has, the temperature of the workplace, brightness, hygiene , comfort of access to it, etc.
  • Structural characteristics. It has to do with the hierarchical structure of the organization, how is its formal structure, the management style among other variables.
  • Social environment. It refers to the relationship between employees, managers, departments, etc.
  • Personal characteristics. Employee expectations, attitudes , motivations, desires, goals, etc. are included here .
  • Organizational behavior. It has to do with the level of satisfaction existing in the organization, the way to control absenteeism late arrivals, the amount of turnover or not of employees, the pressure with which you work daily, etc.

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