Organizational culture in the modern company - GovtVacancy.Net

Organizational culture in the modern company - GovtVacancy.Net
Posted on 04-11-2022

Organizational culture in the modern company

Organizational culture is a sphere in the field of social sciences that has been gradually awakening the attention and interest of scholars and businessmen in the contemporary world.

The issue of organizational culture has gained currency, especially from the link between culture and business management and the influence of cultural management in raising the efficiency and effectiveness of organizations, but as in any young discipline, the limits and extension of its borders are still diffuse, especially considering its eminently multidisciplinary essence.

Contemporary approaches to companies and institutions address this type of approach more and more since there are various factors that make up the culture of an organization. In order to provide some elements about the different approaches around the subject, the formal definition of business culture will be deepened.

What is the organizational culture?

The term culture has many meanings or meanings, and its union with the term organization or company makes its interpretation more complex. The culture of an organization collects the fundamental conceptions of its members, which collects assumptions and beliefs built and learned throughout the development process of the organization, that is, it implies a shared vision of the world, a set of shared meanings, it is a product learned in the group experience and therefore something locatable wherever there is a definable group and possessor of significant history.

Culture is learned, evolves with new experiences, and can be varied, or the dynamics of the learning process come to be understood. In order to study the culture of an organization, it is necessary to make distinctions between the elements that establish different levels of culture.

Culture is the set of important understandings that members of a community have in common. Organizational culture is a system of shared values ​​and beliefs; people, organizational structure, decision-making processes, and control systems interact to produce norms of behavior. A strong culture can contribute substantially to the long-term success of organizations by guiding behavior and giving meaning to activities. Strong cultures attract, reward, and retain people who play essential roles and meet relevant goals. One of the most important responsibilities of management is to shape cultural values ​​and norms.

Culture can be a good or an obligation. It can be an advantage because shared beliefs facilitate and save communication and facilitate decision-making. Shared values ​​also facilitate motivation, cooperation, and commitment. This leads to the efficiency of the organization. However, a strong culture that is not appropriate for an organizational environment and basic strategy can be ineffective. It is important to have congruence between culture, strategy, and management style.

Culture and personality affect management style and philosophy. A person's management philosophy is a system of values, beliefs, and attitudes that guide her behavior. Style refers to the way something is done; it is a way of thinking and acting. The administrative style is a particular way in which an administrator behaves, with the limitations imposed by the organizational culture and guided by his personal philosophy.

Basic beliefs about people affect our approach to designing and managing organizations. Assumptions about people tend to become self-fulfilling prophecies. Organizations that are managed in a positive way tend to be more satisfying to participants and can also be more effective and efficient.

The term culture has many meanings or meanings, and its union with the term organization or company makes its interpretation more complex. Some of the meanings attributed to the term organizational culture are, among others:

  • Behaviors: These are, the ways of behaving people in their relationship with others, during the production or service process that constitutes the center of the entity's life, it is the way of saying things, certain customs, or ways of doing, encompasses, for example, language, or rituals and manifestations of respect.
  • Norms: These are the rules, whether formal or not, that constitute habits or regulations on the procedures that are carried out.
  • Values: It has to do with the dominant values ​​accepted by a company or entity, for example, quality production or service, discipline, and professionalism.
  • Philosophy: Expresses the orientation of the entity's policy with respect to its employees or clients.
  • Climate: It is established from the way in which the members of an organization relate to each other and to external audiences.

Organizational culture, according to Edgar Schein, is:

“A pattern of basic assumptions – invented, discovered, or developed by a given group as it learns to deal with its problems of external adaptation and internal integration – that have exerted sufficient influence to be considered valid and therefore taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think and feel those problems”. (Schein, E: 2002 p.26)

Organizational Culture Levels

In order to study the culture of an organization, it is necessary to make distinctions between the elements that establish different levels of culture and we could establish three basic levels: 

Production level

It is the most visible, that of productions, or services, that is, what is created by the entity in its work process, and is given by its physical and social environment. At this level it is worth observing the physical space, the technological capacity of the group,

its verbal and non-verbal language, the express conduct of its members, and aspects that can be identified through observation.

Values ​​level

It expresses conceptions of the world, and ideas of what should be, what is correct, and what is ethical, they arise linked to the ideas of influential people, and group leaders, and to the extent that they become generalized, they become group beliefs and presumptions. until they become habits that become unconscious and automatic.

Level of basic assumptions

When the solution to a problem in a particular way shows that it is valid repeatedly, it is internalized by the collective, what was a value comes to be understood as a reality, a conviction that this is the natural order of things, they are truths so admitted that there are few variations that are admitted around them. In fact, if a basic assumption is firmly rooted in a group, its members will consider any behavior based on another premise inconceivable. They are the ideas that teach the members of the group to perceive, think and feel things, they are not debatable or confrontational.

Importance of organizational culture. Visibility and tangible character

There are three fundamental reasons that express the importance of culture in an organization or entity:

  • The phenomenon of culture is perfectly visible and tangible, it is so real and impressive that whether we talk about a society in a broader sense or if we refer to a production or service center, it is a phenomenon that affects the course of events every day and every moment.
  • The individual and corporate performance and the opinions or image of the public about the company can only be understood if the company culture is known and taken into account. It is affirmed today by many authors that the degree of effectiveness of a company is determined by its business culture
  • Corporate culture as a concept has been misunderstood or confused with other concepts, such as climate, philosophy, ideology, or the way people are addressed, if you want to truly understand the concept of culture it is essential to establish a clear reference framework and use it in the proper way.

The effects of culture are deep and are outlined, if we get in contact with other cultures, through a trip, for example, we immediately notice the depth with which cultural changes affect us, new language, different customs, we put ourselves in contact with the artifacts or productions of that new culture, with its visible and tangible manifestations, that is, they affect deep levels of our consciousness, and are outlined to the extent that we learn patterns, sets of norms and values ​​that make us value things and people from patterns that have outlined our responses to such things and people, in order to promote change and contribute to the development of organizations, it is necessary to introduce strategies of cultural intervention and promote adequate forms of socialization of new values ​​that allow the learning of other patterns and norms.

In the following video, you will be able to appreciate some of the characteristics that make organizational culture important for companies, what its functions are, and how to achieve its successful application.

Values ​​in Organizational Culture

This way of understanding culture and its functions leads to focus on it as the essential element in its functioning: Values, which are no less complex than culture, nor are they more clearly defined than it, although they have also been the subject of numerous studies. From psychological science, they have been approached, although their study is still considered relatively recent.

The psychological perspective understands the value of the relationship with the subject as an active entity, based on the interaction with the object. In this way, value is assumed as the quality of objects that emerged in the process of development of society. Thus, there are three levels of analysis of the value category:

  • Objective value system: Values ​​are a constituent part of social reality. Each object, phenomenon, behavior, each result of human activity, performs a certain function in society; insofar as —as objective, material actions— they affect the interests of other men.
  • Diversity of subjective systems: Subjectively, values ​​are reflected in the consciousness of man and/or the community, therefore, they are also an expression of motives, preferences, needs, representations, etc. of each subject and/or group.
    The values ​​have to be understood from the subject-object dialectical relationship; because it is in it that they arise and are manifested: They are subject-object links; they do not exist as qualities of objects and actions (independent of the subject) nor can they be reduced to the framework of the individual, subjective world of the person; they only exist in that special subjective-significant relationship that the subject establishes with the object.
  • Instituted social system: Society is structurally and functionally organized around a system of recognized and instituted values, which are basically dynamic and dialectical: changing socioeconomic conditions also change the hierarchy of values ​​in society, therefore, the meaning of social (depending on the historical-cultural context) will have great weight in the construction of values ​​(and their hierarchy) made by the subject.

From Psychology then, the value is understood as a certain social and dialectical relationship, which is verified in the framework: subjectivity-intersubjectivity micro-societal intersubjectivity, and that guides the behavior of the individual; that although they have an objective character they are not an identical reflection of the object, of reality; they are a subjective reflection insofar as they depend on the needs and interests of the subject, as well as on the system of social relations in which the individual develops, since society, the values ​​instituted by it, mediate the individual and group formation of values: through political and ideological discourses, its norms, etc. These influences reach man fundamentally through the family, the media, and the different groups in which the subject is inserted.

Among this social insertion, groups are those that are formed and developed in the organization, building organizational values in them.

In the organization as a culture, the values ​​are considered as its "foundation", since they define success in concrete terms for its members, and establish, and guide, the norms for the organization, they are motivating elements of the actions and behavior of man as a generic being, defining the fundamental and definitive character of the organization, creating a sense of identity of the staff with it.

They set the guidelines to implement the practices, policies, and procedures of the organization; (being both criteria for decision-making and behavior promoters) reflect the real goals, as well as the basic beliefs and concepts of the organization, and also provide the basis for judging situations, acts, objects and people; They make up, in short, the core of the organizational culture.

In response to this, it is proposed that the values ​​in the organization must be clear, shared, and accepted by its members, as the only way for there to be a unified criterion that compacts and strengthens the interests of all members of the organization.

Shared values are understood as those that the organization favors and the workers assume with great importance, having their counterpart in distanced values, which are those that the organization favors, to which it aspires, but that are not assumed or at least not with the same level of involvement by workers.

Within this set of values, the following stand out:

  • Discipline: This adheres to the standards of behavior that identify the morality and conduct of workers in our society and the principles of the Code of Ethics for managers and administrators. It is fully responsible for the quality of the services and products offered. Through discipline, resources are used rationally in daily activities. The use, in all aspects, of new technologies is encouraged and a dynamic response to the different demands of society, environmental care, and confrontation with criminal manifestations is encouraged.
  • Professionalism: The workers and work teams are kept updated to remain at the forefront of the activities they perform. They are highly committed to clients to provide them with the required solution at the desired time. We work honestly in an environment that privileges the pledged word, mutual respect, and collaboration where in daily activities we act with honesty, discipline, and dedication, and are always customer-oriented.
  • Honesty: It is the respect for external and internal clients and the incessant search for the satisfaction of their real and formal needs, they must be the central axis of the activity whose objective is linked to firm ethical and moral principles where the work occupies a very important place by giving ourselves to it responsibly.

As beliefs (constructed from daily life, from the experiences of the subjects) relatively stable over time that one way of acting is better than its opposite to achieve certain goals; values ​​have great potential, both individually and socially, and of course, also within the organization; since although they are abstract, their organizational usefulness is based on their ability to generate and channel or direct specific behaviors, due to the feasibility of their conversion into guidelines, guidelines, and criteria for decision-making.

This is one of the reasons why the study of the construction of values ​​within the organization is considered important, and, therefore, each one must create and develop its own value system in a way that best meets its needs.

In relation to this, each organization must define which values ​​are most necessary, taking into account its environment and its relationship with the characteristics of the internal dynamics of the organization.

It is considered that the values ​​highlighted by the humanistic model as opposed to those of the bureaucratic model of organizations are more favorable in the development of increasingly effective and efficient organizational cultures; among them can be cited:

  • Eliminate the hierarchical concept of authority.
  • Eliminate the fear of exposing yourself to risks: Accept them as something necessary to promote change.
  • Provide opportunities for people to perform within the organization as human beings and not as passive elements within the production process.
  • Provide opportunities for each member of the organization, as well as the organization itself, to fully develop their potential.

We could conclude that even though the topic of values ​​is considered relatively recent in philosophy, values ​​have been present since the beginning of humanity. For the human being, there have always been valuable things; good, truth, beauty, happiness, and virtue. However, the criteria for giving them value have varied over time. It can be valued according to aesthetic criteria, social schemes, customs, ethical principles, or, in other words, by cost, utility, well-being, pleasure, and prestige. Values ​​are the product of changes and transformations throughout history. They emerge with a special meaning and change or disappear at different times. For example, virtue and happiness are values; but we could not teach the people of today's world to be virtuous according to the conception that the ancient Greeks had. It is precisely the social meaning attributed to values ​​that is one of the factors that influence the difference between traditional values, those that guided society in the past, generally referring to cultural customs or religious principles, and modern values, those that share people in today's society.

This concept encompasses different contents and meanings and has been approached from different perspectives and theories. In a humanistic sense, value is understood as what makes a man such, without which he would lose his humanity or part of it. The value refers to excellence or perfection. For example, it is considered a value to tell the truth and be honest; be sincere instead of being false; it is more valuable to work than to steal. The practice of value develops the humanity of the person, while counter-value strips him of that quality. From a socio-educational point of view, values ​​are considered referents, guidelines, or abstractions that guide human behavior toward the social transformation and the realization of the person. They are guides that give a certain orientation to the behavior and life of each individual and each social group. Every value presupposes the existence of a thing or person who possesses it and a subject who appreciates or discovers it, but it is neither one nor the other. Values ​​have no real existence but are attached to the objects that support them. Before they are mere possibilities. Hence it is important in the construction of culture in the organization itself since these allow the different publics to appreciate the transparency of each company and, together with this, its processes, are part of a set of internal practices that each company carries out with in order to perfect their image, identity and the purposes they want to achieve. but it is neither one nor the other. Values ​​have no real existence but are attached to the objects that support them. Before they are mere possibilities. Hence it is important in the construction of culture in the organization itself since these allow the different publics to appreciate the transparency of each company and, together with this, its processes, are part of a set of internal practices that each company carries out with in order to perfect their image, identity and the purposes they want to achieve. but it is neither one nor the other. Values ​​have no real existence but are attached to the objects that support them. Before they are mere possibilities. Hence it is important in the construction of culture in the organization itself since these allow the different publics to appreciate the transparency of each company and, together with this, its processes, are part of a set of internal practices that each company carries out with in order to perfect their image, identity and the purposes they want to achieve.

That is why each entity, company, or corporation must watch over the values ​​it creates, since these in turn are creating a culture that the public can appreciate and value as positive and transparent for the organization itself, or negative and polluting.

The purpose of each institution is to assert from its internal culture an identity trait that is reflected in the future generations that join that entity, but also is an appreciable trait for external audiences as forms of good praxis. that are generated internally and that in turn are a decisive factor in the construction of values, communication, wealth, identity and image of each company.

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