Responses View Attachment Response #1
Corporate culture can be defined as an organization’s values, visions, norms, working language, system
Responses View Attachment Response #1
Corporate culture can be defined as an organization’s values, visions, norms, working language, systems, symbols, beliefs, and habits (Mintz, 2013). With this definition in mind, if leadership within an organization wants to manage the culture, they should start by ensuring that every member of their team knows what the values, visions, norms, working language, systems, symbols, beliefs, and habits of the organization are.
Once those in the organization are aware of established ethics and culture, it is important that managers lead by example and consistently implement them for all to see and mirror. Also, the interview process should include questions that allow hiring officials to gauge prospective candidates’ ability to understand and live out company culture.
It is up to those at the top to create, convey and live out company culture. Since an organization’s culture defines the proper way to behave within that organization, it is up to management to provide employees with a tangible example of what that looks like (SHRM.com, 2021). Once culture is established at the top of an organization it should be managed throughout its various levels of supervision and management. Once norms are established within a company, all employees (including management) should be held accountable to those norms. Managing company culture requires communication, consistency, and commitment.
The question at hand is “can culture be managed?”, not “will it be managed?”, or “is it typically managed?”. I believe it can be. But it starts with established ethics and responsibilities that serves as guidelines for every employee. Organization culture is implemented through each employee consistently using their circle of influence to reflect those ethics and responsibilities during everyday interactions.
Mintz, S. (2013, August 27). Can corporate culture be managed? Retrieved from https://www.workplaceethicsadvice.com/2013/08/can-corporate-culture-be-managed.html
SHRM.com. (2021, June 3). Understanding and developing organizational culture. Retrieved from https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/toolkits/pages/understandinganddevelopingorganizationalculture.aspx
Although some argued that organizational culture cannot be managed, I would contend that it absolutely can be. Culture defines many of the great companies out there (Google and TOMS shoes come to mind) and their reason for success. If it cannot be managed than even the best strategist has a slim chance at aligning culture and strategic choices. In my opinion the culture is the persona, or the feel personnel receive while in the environment. Simplified, it is what the company desires to project and what its members allow it to become.
Take for example what happens in the event of leadership turnover in the military or any high performing organization. As leadership changes does the culture or the vibe of the organization change when the leader intentionally implements change? I would answer a resounding yes! That is because leadership is intimately connected to an organization’s culture (Groysberg et al., 2018). Let us be honest, every high-level leader or executive wants to leave their stamp on the organization they take charge of. Sometimes it is the sole reason the new executive is put in the seat to begin with…change (improve) something to get the company out of a rut.
My Air Force experience has shown me both versions. Leaders wanting to inject change for the sake of their own legacy and leaders that make changes for the sake of taking care of the people and mission who are deeply part of the culture. Both have impacts to the culture, but with the latter the culture genuinely accepts the change and is more likely to freeze it into rhythms sequenced with organization.
I would agree with the notion that culture is extremely fluid and cannot exist solely within a single person. It is the product of thousands or millions of micro-transactions on the personal and professional level that define written and unwritten rules. However, the rulesets born from these interpersonal transactions are how the culture defines itself. Frame that and you can frame culture. Yes, it is much easier said than done. But, if leaders grasp their company’s cultural norms and blend them with the values, motivations, and experience of their people it can shift the culture because people with shared purpose either perpetuate an already thriving culture or cause it to evolve. Groysberg et al., (2018) puts it this way, “When aligned with strategy and leadership, a strong culture drives positive organizational outcomes” (p. 1, para. 34). Get it wrong, and it will be a surefire disaster. This will be very interesting topic to gather other student’s perspective on, look forward to reading!
Groysberg, B., Lee, J., Price, J., & Yo-Jud Cheng, J. (2018, January 1). The leader’s guide to corporate culture. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2018/01/the-leaders-guide-to-corporate-culture