Organizational Culture

A culture can be strong (think of Disney) or weak. A strong culture is not necessarily an asset to the organization. An organization's culture will start with the founder's values and preferences and respond to industry demands. However, the culture is shaped over time as it deals with external and internal challenges. Additionally, the culture is shared with new employees. Companies can use a formal orientation program and mentoring to instill the organizational culture during the onboarding process. We can learn about an organization's culture by looking at its mission statement, rituals, rules and policies, physical layout, and stories. Read this text to consider organizational culture in more depth and provides some different perspectives to help us understand corporate culture, including how it forms.

Characteristics of Organizational Culture

Outcome-Oriented Cultures

The OCP framework describes outcome-oriented cultures as those that emphasize achievement, results, and action as important values. A good example of an outcome-oriented culture may be Best Buy Co. Inc. Having a culture emphasizing sales performance, Best Buy tallies revenues and other relevant figures daily by department. Employees are trained and mentored to sell company products effectively, and they learn how much money their department makes every day. In 2005, the company implemented a results oriented work environment (ROWE) program that allows employees to work anywhere and anytime; they are evaluated based on results and fulfillment of clearly outlined objectives. Outcome-oriented cultures hold employees as well as managers accountable for success and utilize systems that reward employee and group output. In these companies, it is more common to see rewards tied to performance indicators as opposed to seniority or loyalty. Research indicates that organizations that have a performance-oriented culture tend to outperform companies that are lacking such a culture. At the same time, some outcome-oriented companies may have such a high drive for outcomes and measurable performance objectives that they may suffer negative consequences. Companies over-rewarding employee performance such as Enron Corporation and WorldCom experienced well-publicized business and ethical failures. When performance pressures lead to a culture where unethical behaviors become the norm, individuals see their peers as rivals and short-term results are rewarded; the resulting unhealthy work environment serves as a liability.