As the end of the year approaches I am faced with the daunting task of writing and conducting year-end job performance evaluations. I find myself thinking about my company’s values and the organizational culture at my facility, a great majority of my time. Almost every management meeting I have attended this month has involved a discussion of the company new values guide or how we change the culture in our plant to align with these values. There seems to be nothing more important now, as we come to the end of this year and prepare for next year. The meetings are long and repetitive, “we need to change the culture in the organization” is ...view middle of the document...
could have aligned values, but unless the true organization is aligned, the entire company, the organizational culture will not be changed.
What is Culture?
There many definitions of culture found on the internet. Merriam-Webster defines culture as “the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization” and the Oxford dictionary defines culture as “the ideas, customs, and social behavior of particular people or society." Both definitions share a common thread, shared values and/or ideas. Given the two definitions, the culture in organizational culture refers to the company, small business or any organization that shares a like set of goals and have a shared set of core values that have been accepted and are followed. The values would have to be known by everyone and a way of passing these values to new members of an organization would be required to ensure that the values are part of the “culture." Culture can be a liability when the shared values do not agree, limiting an organization's effectiveness.
Up to this point then I could define organizational culture as the common values and belief that are shared by an entire group, a very simple definition but a starting point. When looking at that definition and evaluating whether that is enough to begin trying to make changes in my organization, I realized that simple definition may not be enough. A company’s organization culture is more than a set of corporate guidelines sent to and posted throughout facilities. Organizational culture is really the sum of many experiences of a...