What is organisational culture? Why is it important that managers especially in the context of international organisations have an understanding of organisational culture?

Essay by kemzyUniversity, Master'sC+, March 2007

download word file, 12 pages 4.5

"Some of the riskiest work we do is concerned with altering organization structures. Emotions run wild and almost everyone feels threatened. Why should that be? The answer is that if companies do not have strong notions of themselves, as reflected in their values, stories, myths and legends, people's only security comes from where they live on the organization chart. Threaten that, and in the absence of some grander corporate purpose, you have threatened the closest thing they have to meaning in their business lives". Thomas J. peters and Robert H. Waterman (cited in Mullins p.887)

Culture, as Eldridge and Crombie (1974, cited in Burnes, 1996, p.112) stated, "to the unique configuration of norms, values, beliefs, ways of behaving and so on, that characterize the manner in which groups and individuals combine to get things done".

Every organisation has its own unique culture, even if it may not have been consciously created.

Most organisational cultures are probably created unconsciously, based on the values of the top management or the founders who created and/or direct that organisation. Over time the organisations leaders try to change the culture of their organisation to adapt to their own preferences or changes that occur within the market conditions because these cultures within organisations, influence the decision-making processes, which affects the style of management and determines success in the organisation.

When an organisation is created it becomes its own world, with a set of beliefs and values which make up the culture of the organisation and the culture becomes the foundation on which the organisation exist in the world. The people's action within the organisation are not always their own but are influenced by the socialisation processes of the specific culture in which the organisation they belong.

"Organisational culture is the key to organisational excellence...and the...