What is Organizational Culture?
Organizational culture comprises a number of different social and communal variables that can all change in subtle or dramatic ways over the life of an organization. It typically includes
- the shared values of the group,
- their professional or technical lingo, and
- they way they interact with one another.
Organizational culture defines the collective backdrop of the team:
- the tools they use to accomplish a certain task
- the way they conceptualize the reasons for accomplishing that task
- their interpersonal relations along the way.
A good organizational culture is imperative for the successful operation of the team or firm, since it boosts morale and facilitates communication and productivity. Managers and organizational psychologists alike realize that organizational culture is one of the most important factors in determining the success or failure of a team, a department, or even an entire firm.
Organizational Culture vs. Corporate Culture
It’s important to distinguish organizational culture from corporate culture. Organizational culture is the organic, spontaneous set of values and behaviors that a group adopts when they work closely together. Corporate culture, on the other hand, is a culture deliberately engineered to achieve a certain result.
When managers seek to influence the way that employees relate to each other or their work environment, for example, they are changing the corporate culture – this may or may not have an effect on organizational culture.