Leadership in Organizations — Week #7 Assignment
This week you leamed about the importance of shaping culture and how it is a critical function of leadership,
Write a paper on organizational culture.
Address the following in your paper
‘What is culture?
Why is it important?
Also, include a description of the culture of an organization you are familiar with. Identify some physical artifacts—such as logo, mascot, building, and advertising images—associated with the company and discuss what underlying values these suggest.
An Overview of Organizational Culture
Shaping the organizational culture refers to modifying the personality of the organization which is highly influenced by the employee’s behavior, organizational values, assumptions, and beliefs, all of which hold the organization together.
Introduction: Definition of Organizational Culture
A clear concept of Organizational culture could be understood from its definition and organizational culture could be defined as the social and psychological environment of an organization (Lubis & Hanum, 2020, p.89). The social environment of an organization encompasses the values, expectations, beliefs, social trends, customs, and more. While the psychological environment consists of the behavior of the employees and their way of operation and expression within the organization. It could be considered as a system of informal rules guiding the way how people should behave in an organization (Paais & Pattiruhu, 2020, p.579). Simply stating organizational culture is the shared beliefs that usher the behavioral patterns within an organization.
The gravity of shaping organizational culture
Today, the engagement of employees with full dedication is of utmost importance for any organization to be successful. It could lead to higher productivity and employee retention.
With the rise of companies like Dell, Microsoft, and IBM, with their best cultural framework organizational cultures have emerged as the most important factor for every company whether old or startup. It is because a positive organizational culture leads to high engagement and in turn better performance. Every organization needs to have a culture that is supportive of the workers’ creative ideas as well as creates a more positive and engaging environment. However, shaping the organizational culture of every organization differs hugely. It is not possible that an innovative culture like that of Google would be best for all organizations. Every organization needs to inculcate some of the elements in its organizational culture which are compatible with its environment and suitable to its mission and vision. The values and norms which are embedded in an organizational culture reflect its very essence. A strong organizational culture mirrors the positive mindset of its people while a weak one is the reason behind the negative environment within an organization. In today’s fast-developing industry culture the decision to work with any organization depends on factors like branding image, values, and mission, and all of these fall under an organization’s culture.
One can list the importance of shaping organizational culture as follows:
- Recruitment efforts would be improved as employees today desire to work for organizations with good work culture. Thus, with a strong culture, organizations can attract the interest of the top candidates.
- A strong organizational culture tends to decrease turnover as the percentage of employees wanting to leave their job would decline. This is because a sense of community is created wherein individual differences are honored.
- Employee commitment towards the organization is improved when a powerful culture is fostered, as individuals arc connect with their environment.
- Since employee involvement inclines so does the productivity of an organization.
- A strong brand identity is created with the creation of a well-built organizational culture.
- Since a sense of inclusivity is fostered, the performance of the employees is also stimulated (Clow, 2016, p.40).
Integration refers to combining separate parts into a unified whole. The internal integration of an organization refers to the alignment of its goals to internal and external influences. Integration improves the persistence level of an organization against external threats. It means unifying the various divisions of an organization such as warehousing, purchasing, inventory management, and so on (Taylor, Santiago & Hynes, 2019, p.30). The firm needs self-directed, high-performing, empowered teams so that the integration is smooth and effortless. It has been observed that firms that do not internally integrate often are incapable of coordinating all the organizational activities and resulting in a broken connection between its various departments leading to ultimate failure.
Companies that have an edge over their competitors are said to be more adaptive to external threats or influencers and grow more resilient. The prior objective of any organization should be an adaptation to the external environment. There is an interrelationship existing between the internal and external adaptations. The more internally integrated a firm is the more it grows immune to dynamic external developments. The internal and the external environment co-evolve. External adaptation means adapting to a more complex and unpredictable environment. The companies with more adaptable capacity outgrow the ones with low adaptability and possess the ability to manipulate more opportunities.
The organizational culture of Amazon company
Amazon. com, inc is one of the largest e-commerce giants. It is the online market for retail shopping and is the most valuable brand. The work culture at Amazon is intense and high-performance demanding, putting immense performance pressures on employees. There is a consistent reinvention of organizational culture which aims at enhancing the performances. However, a continuously changing work culture might be chaotic and confusing. Amazon is highly customer-centric which again is the product of its cultural innovations. The best part of Amazon’s culture is that it respects the diversity of workers. On a concluding note, one could observe that Amazon although successful with its cultural improvements, however, should give more priority to a lenient cultural framework.
Physical artifact of Amazon
The logo of Amazon reflects its organizational culture and is an important artifact for Amazon. The image of the logo is given below:
This logo is being used by Amazon company at present and it depicts the value of the company which is its culture of being consumer-centric. The logo signifies that the company is entirely focused on consumer needs and hence sells everything from A to Z which could be possibly used by the consumers. In addition, the smile below the word Amazon connecting the letters A and Z symbolizes the happiness or satisfaction that the customers would experience after shopping at Amazon. The black color depicts supremacy which is also reflected in the organizational culture of Amazon, while the orange color stands for joy and pride (visual hierarchy. co, 2022).
On a concluding note:
Organizational culture differs in structure for every corporation and is developed according to the suitability of the organization. Within the culture, the values, norms, experience, expectations, mission, the behavior of employees, and the whole personality of the organization are embedded. It is very crucial for every firm to critically analyze its culture from time to time to detect the changes to be made so that it could become more adaptable by the workers as well as the organization as a whole. Moreover, every organization needs to be, able to integrate all the internal divisions in the best possible manner so that it is strong enough to adapt to external changes. Companies that fail to do so do not survive in the long run. To end on a positive note, Amazon is a good example of a disciplined culture and is no doubt thriving consistently with its remarkable customer service and fast delivery system around the globe.
Clow, J. (2016, March). The Rise and Importance of Shaping Organizational Culture. Retrieved from:https://www.td.org/magazines/ctdo/the-rise-and-importance-of-shaping-organizational-culture [Retrieved on: 27/07/2022]
Lubis, F. R., & Hanum, F. (2020, December). Organizational culture. In 2nd Yogyakarta International Conference on Educational Management/Administration and Pedagogy (YICEMAP 2019) (pp. 88-91). Atlantis Press.
Paais, M., & Pattiruhu, J. R. (2020). Effect of motivation, leadership, and organizational culture on satisfaction and employee performance. The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics and Business, 7(8), 577-588.
Taylor, A., Santiago, F., & Hynes, R. (2019). Relationships among leadership, organizational culture, and support for innovation. In Effective and creative leadership in diverse workforces (pp. 11-42). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
Visual hierarchy. co (2022). The meaning behind Amazon’s logo, Retrieved from: https://visualhierarchy.co/blog/amazon-logo-meaning/#:~:text=The%20current%20Amazon%20logo%20depicts,by%20shopping%20on%20their%20website [Retrieved on:27/07/2022]