Heard about the moral science teacher talking to you or to your kids about the culture. Well, it is different in the case of an organization. Organizational culture is defined as a set of principles which is held by the stakeholders which vary from organization to organization. If were to dig deeper in the concept of organizational culture, the interests of the organization broadly depend on the four verticals these are the environment of the business, the culture of the nation, the human resource management and the approached that define the strategic goals of the organization.
An organizational culture is an act of creating assumption in the organization which is a general practice of doing things and is passed on to the employees in the organization for all other members to practice. For a comparatively new organization, it is an adaptive behaviour that eventually leads to the system of new beliefs.
The important factor to be noted here in the process is that the practice may be in various forms such as written, verbal that is indicative of the set of the practice of getting things done. This eventually gives the organization a new character.
There are different models to study the dimensions of organizational culture. Harrison in 1993 exhibited a theoretical model to explain the methodology of determining the identity of organizational culture. This is explained in detail in the subsequent paras. Take a look.
The underlying assumption stated by Harry while proposing the theory is that the model id inclined and intentionally subjective to be descriptive rather than evaluative. This forms the tendency to see the model in evaluation terms which are not the case. This model emphasis on the difference in the existing and the desired state of culture. In addition to this, the model has broadly limited to the four factors namely role oriented culture; power oriented culture, achievement-oriented culture and support oriented culture.
These four factors are measured on the axes with the help of two entries namely formalisation and centralisation. These entries have two extremes such as high and low. In general, formalisation is the alternative to an organization possessing strong culture. This also implies that the behaviour of the organization can be regulated with the help of formal rules and regulations in the absence of the written set of documentation. This eventually implies that the organization possessing low formalisation depicts or tend to depict a weak organizational culture.
Let us take a closer look at the four factors as suggested by Harry. First things first, power culture dimension is a factor that exercises power to practice control and impact the behaviour. In this context of the model, the power culture is owed to the fact to access resources in inappropriate proportion. The characteristic of power culture is high centralisation and low formalisation.
The implication is most of the power is concentrated and centralised. The dominant driving power being the regulation by rule. The body in power has the central authority and drives operation within the business.
The decision maker takes the centre position and the subordinates or the dependents around the decision maker. The point to be noted that the power-oriented culture is practised and exist in both the small and the large organization. In a small organization the power lies in the hands of the few emergent and impactful personnel in the organization. The individual with the power tries and maintain the control over the subordinates. Every coin has two sides and looking at the positives of the power culture, power residing in the hands of the individual leverages the business operations by bringing in the picture the direct impact of the leaders.
The power lies in the hands of the few makes the decision making process simpler. The negatives of this dimension are the power residing with the higher management brings biases in decision making excluding the minds of all others. Owing to centralization and formalization the decision making is deprived of the contribution all other in the organization.
The next dimension in the model is the role culture dimension. When both the formalization and centralization are on the higher side, there arises role culture dimension. The implication being the role and communication is mostly formal, and the organization is bureaucratic. The commonality between the power-oriented and the role oriented culture dimension being that the organization employees are motivated by the extrinsic motivation which involves rewards and recognition in monetary measures.
If we take the look at the advantages of role-oriented dimension of culture, we will find systematic and well-defined roles and responsibilities, the structure of the organization.
The operations are guided by written and strict rules of regulation and policies. The disadvantages of the role culture dimension being the degree of freedom are nowhere in the picture. There is hardly any difference between the treatment of humans and the machine. Due importance is given to defining the role and defining key roles and responsibilities under it.
Next dimension in the model is achievement culture dimension. It is the culture that beholds the people aligned with a common goal. This is a practice to make belief in the fact of achieving the targeted goals. The ultimate objective of this dimension is to collectively challelise the efforts of the relevant and efficient people to achieve overall success. This is a better way to meet the demand of the organization. If we were to look at the positives of the achievement culture dimension, it would be very effective in the product with short life time and in a market highly competitive.
This is because the outcome is measured regarding the effective achievement of the objectives. Other positives being the effective attainment of the goals. Development of agility, motivation, self-esteem etc. the negatives being the demotion of cross-cultural learning. The tendency to achieve the objectives develops a mentality to ignore the means and achieve the ends by hook or crook means.
The last dimension in the model is the support oriented culture. The point of difference between the achievement oriented and the support oriented culture being of the stakeholder, in this case, is the individual rather than the team. This is similar to the role oriented culture dimension in a way that the job is assigned based on the responsibilities entrusted to the employed individual.
The advantages of this dimension are a collective effort channelised in the productive contribution towards meeting organizational goals, better employee productivity and achievement of business objectives.
The disadvantages being the key stakeholder involved in the decision-making process may be deprived of the conclusion in the decision taken, a general way of appreciation and recognition makes it difficult to track the expertise for future opportunities.
Let us now take a look at the functions of organization culture. These are,
We will now ponder over the fact of strong and weak culture. In general it I believed that the organization sharing a consistent value across the organization possess strong culture. The weak culture is the organization with few practitioners of the set of guided rules and policies to drive business operations.