Strategic Human Resource Management

Corporate Culture Meaning, Features and Functions

Corporate Culture Meaning – There are quite divergent definitions and, hence, differing views as to what constitutes an organisational culture? It is commonly agreed that it stands for a set of assumptions the members of an organisation share in common.

In other words, the taproot of corporate culture is the organisation’s beliefs and philosophy about how its affairs are to be perfectly conducted. That is, it speaks of reasons as to why it does things the way it does. A company’s culture is mirrored in the values and business principles that management preaches and practies in official policies and procedures, in its highly valued traditions and often repeated stories, in the attitudes and behaviour of employees, in the peer pressures that exist to display the core values, in the company’s politics in its approaches to people management and problem solving, in its relationships with external stakeholders, and in the “chemistry” and the “”personality” that spread throughout its work environment.

The values, beliefs and practices that undergrid a company’s culture come from anywhere in the organisation hierarchy representing the philosophy of an influential executive and stemming from the exemplary actions on the part of specific employee, workgroup, department or division. Very of term, they key elements of culture originate with a founder or other strong leader who articulated them as set of business principles, company policies, or the ways of dealing with employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders and the communities in which it operates. Over a period of time, these cultural underpinnings take root, become embedded in as to how the company conducts its business come to be accepted and shared by the company managers and employees, and then persist new employees are encouraged to follow and adopt the professed values and practices.

Features of Corporate Culture

(1) Individual Initiative – Individual initiative spells out the degree of responsibility, freedom and independence that an individual has in the organisation.

(2) Perspective of Direction – Direction is to move towards a definite destination through a laid down groove or the route. Here, it stands for the gree to which the organisation creates objectives and performance standards or expectations.

(3) Perfect Integration – Organisation does not exist in vacuum. It is made up of people and units working as part of it. Integration in this sense stands for the degree of free wheeling and autonomous operation of individuals, groups and units in one set or a well coordinated group or team.

(4) Extent of Risk Tolerence – Business is a game full of risks. The employees hesitate to take risk under normal conditions which stagnates the progress of the firm. Instead, it stands for those attempts that encourage employees to be bold, aggressive, innovative and risk-seeking.

(5) Managerial Support – Nothing happens unless employee efforts, initiatives, actions, decisions are encouraged and supported. This managerial support is the extent to which managers capable of providing vivid communication, whole-hearted assistance and support to their subordinates.

(6) Supervision and Control – Plans and strategies defined are implemented in right spirit. However, there is need for review and control which presupposes supervision. Hence, these two aspects speak of the number and strictness of rules and regulations, amount of supervision and control the employee behaviour.

(7) Patterns of Communication – Communication is the life blood of any organisation that is kicking and alive. In the context of corporate culture it stands for formal internal communication patterns.

(8) Identification – Every individual in an organisation is important in one respect or the other as his or her contributions are valuable for the overall achievement of present goals. What is important is his or her identity in the organisation as a whole and not restricted to his position, work group or division.

(9) System of Rewards – “No pains and no gains” that is the truth. Every effort put in by an employee in the directed manner, is to be properly rewarded. Reward system speaks of rich culture where it is based on merit, impartiality and true sense of achievement.

(10) Pointing Positive Attitude – Corporate culture speaks of the slogan “all is well”. Never the employees say “no”. They are to the forefront ready always to take up the assigned work or task. Self-confidence is at high level that makes employee a fore runner.

Functions of Corporate Culture

(1) Identification of Organisation – It is the corporate culture by which it is identified or recognised. When one speaks of any organisation, they are remembering and reminded of corporate values, beliefs and hence culture. They are given a sense of pride and status. Its social recognition makes organisation to grow and develop in all its dimensions.

(2) Setting Cultural Limits – A well set corporate culture is capable of setting the boundary limits beyond which employees can not go. They follow the principles, orientations which are distinct and clear which make each corporation having its own personality. These imbibed values are strictly followed. Violation is strictly prohibited.

(3) Providing Greater Degree of Self Satisfaction – A rich and strong corporate culture makes available all the facilities that enhance self-satisfaction. An esteemed corporate culture being a pervasive and deep rooting leads to much warranted internal or inner satisfaction. Surprisingly individual interests rank only after organisational interests. It works on the statement “what is good for the company is good for the individual.”

(4) Making Organisation More Stable – A strong and enchanting corporate culture lends much warranted organisation stability. The employees, customers, suppliers, financiers and others prefer a longest period of bonds and attachment thus, making them most loyal. This is the greatest asset that company enjoys loading to sustained growth and prosperity of the organisation on the hand and others who are associated with it, on the other.

(5) Brings in Self-Control – In an organisation that has rich and strong culture, permits employees to fix the standards of performance levels where the principles of MBO are applied. As standards are set by them, they take interest and put in their best to achieve the standard performance and some times even cross the set lends of performance. The organisational culture is a self-motivator that induces, guides and controls the employees. As a result, employees enjoy high level of achievement spirit.

(6) Organisational People are Development Oriented – The very attitude and behaviour of employees are focused towards the achievement of goals through rich and social culture. It instills discipline in every one and that makes everyone well behaved. It encourages implicit rules that have magical impact in turning employees stand alone and development oriented as key lies in self-discipline.

(7) Creates Cycles of Positive Behaviour and Culture – It is the strong and rich culture that leads to positive attitude towards work, workers, works and those come in contact with it. Such as attitude and behaviour encourages in enriching the organisational culture. That is one supports another. This cycle goes on and on forever.

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