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The Functions of Organizational Culture

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Commerce
Wordcount: 3000 words Published: 22nd Sep 2021

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Culture is the soul to an enterprise, it is the essence of a successful business. So far, as the organizational culture develops, everyone has been universally recognized that it’s way of thinking and behaving shared by all members of the organization. Successful experience tells us, organizational culture is immortal pillars for the development of the organization, cultural development also has the potential force of cohesion, it brought not only a spirit to employees, but also inspire them a sense of pride and responsibility, cultivating the team work spirit of the organization, thus, to improve the overall effectiveness of the enterprise.(Pumpin, 1987)

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What is organizational culture

Organizational culture is the sum of reflects that gradually formed in the production and management practices, agreed and complied with all staff, with the characteristics of the Organization’s mission, vision, purpose, spirit, values and business philosophy, and the ideas in the production and management practices, management system, the behavior of employees with the external image. (Pumpin, 1987) In essence, organizational culture is a cultural phenomenon among the enterprises, its appearance is inseparable from the development of the theory and practice of modern enterprise, from the management perspective, organizational culture are the application management tools to achieve management objectives, therefore, organizational culture are not only a cultural phenomenon, but also has a connotation as a management tool. First, the organizational culture is led by a sense of enterprise management, the cultural patterns of pursuit and realization in a certain corporate purposes, from a certain sense, the organizational culture is a culture of enterprise management. Second, the organizational culture is a culture that have a common goal, group consciousness, and the suitable organizations and institutions. Third, the organizational culture is an “economic culture”. It is gradually formed in the operation of the production process and management activities by the enterprises and enterprise employees, leaving the economic activities of enterprises, it is impossible to have a organizational culture formation, not to mention a good one.(Miles and Snow, 1978)

The functions of organizational culture

The guiding function

Organizational culture can play a guiding role of value orientation and behavior orientation in enterprises and each member of them. This orientation is different from a traditional management which simply focus on the rigid discipline or system, it emphasizes to guide the behavior of members of the enterprise from the shaping organizational culture, to make people accept the common values in a cultural imperceptibly.(Barney, 1986)

The incentive function

Positive ideas and code of conduct can form a strong sense of mission and a sustained driving force. Positive organizational culture is a ruler of self-motivation to the employees, the ruler that they can contrast their own behavior, identify gaps, can generate the driving force for improving. In the same time, enterprises with shared values, beliefs and codes of conduct which can be a powerful spiritual pillar, can make a person generate a sense of identity, a sense of belonging and a sense of security, until play the role of mutual encouragement.(Deal and Kennedy, 1982)

The cohesion function

The collective strength depends on the cohesion of the organization, the coordination of the organization’s internal condition and ability to control. The cohesion of the organization, coordination and control can be generated by “rigid connections” like the system of discipline, but not as good as more effective by “internal binder” like shared values, beliefs, and codes of conduct.(Schwartz, and Davis, 1981)

The constraint function

Excellent organizational culture have the binding effect on the thinking and behavior of each employee. After a long period of construction of organizational culture, formed written or convention rules and regulations, ethics and codes of conduct to regulate the behavior of employees, by this measure, it achieve the controling of thinking and behave of workers.(Cooke, 1987)

Take the McDonald for example, McDonald’s Quality, Service, Cleanliness, Value, it formed from the top to bottom of a company-wide to a high-spirited, energetic and promising enterprises mental outlook, the concept of health inspire and guide workers keep making progress. McDonald focus on meticulous management, cultivate awareness of staff to establish “the details determine success or failure “, to improve management efficiency through good detail, to build a strong team through good detail, use good details to regulate employee behavior, good restraints of organizational culture in the system can be fully demonstrated. McDonald also enhance their employees sense of belonging through methods such as uniform dress; strengthen employees collaborate awareness; care for each other, help each other; actively promote flexible management to encourages employees to breakthrough program of the work to form a flexible internal strengthen collaboration between employees. scientific management being taken to improve the sense of community of employees.

The functions of organizational culture impact on management

The organizational culture is the basis of the Strategic Management, Strategic management is to determine its mission, according to the external environment and internal conditions to set the strategic objectives of the enterprise, in order to ensure the correct implementation of the goals and progress plan, and rely on internal capabilities implemented this kind of planning and decision-making, constraints in the implementation process of a dynamic management process. The organizational culture is the value orientation of the enterprise for a variety of internal and external affairs and resources, enterprises in the long-term organizational values, under the guidance of shared values, guiding principles and select corporate behavior. Excellent organizational culture is an important condition for business strategy development and success. It can highlight the characteristics of enterprises, the formation of the common values of the members of the enterprise, also because of its distinctive personality, more conducive to enterprise to develop a distinctive strategy of defeating the enemy. Strategy formulation process of collective behavior, establish above the values and beliefs of the organization members.(Hampden-Turner, 1990) Based on the wishes of the members of organization, the guidance from particular culture, to develop corporate strategy around the organizational culture. Therefore, the organizational culture is the basis of corporate strategic planning, development and implementation.

The relevance of the organizational culture and strategic management

In order to maintain the organizational culture and strategic management of mutual synergy, the need for a comprehensive understanding of the positive and negative effect on the strategic management of cultural enterprises to analysis out how to change the organizational strategy culture. (Islam and Zyphur, 2009)

The positive role of the organizational culture on strategic management

Corporate mission and values are important factors for an enterprise culture, so that employees can identify with the organization’s business philosophy and creed.

The formulation of corporate strategy is bound to affected by a mission. The corporate mission defines the scope and level of the enterprises operating in the field of socio-economic activities, represents the corporate identity and role in the socio-economic activities.

The core corporate values of the organizational culture guide the enterprises own strategy development to built on the basis of the values required of following the market and the enterprise’s own progress. When employees were able to agree with the company’s values, you would think that the efforts they made for the enterprise role, valuable sense of collective identity value will give employees greater satisfaction, and this sense of satisfaction in turn will more promote the dedication of the staff of the enterprise.(Halpin& Croft, 1963)

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Culture played a stable role of organization in corporate strategy design, implementation. It guides and shapes the attitude and behavior of employees, make the employees to accept corporate norms and canonical role of restraint mechanisms, and the guidance play the role of restraint mechanisms to encourage their employees to achieve the behavior that enterprises expect. In the perspective of time corporate strategic constraints can be divided into prior constraints, afterwards constraints and any time constraints. Prior constraints requires to design a good valid strategic plan before the implementation of the it, however, it must be designed harmony with the organizational culture, if there is the deviation between the two, the organizational culture will play its regulatory role for the prior constraints goes smoothly. Organizational culture play its strategic constraintsis more significantly embodied in the adjustment of afterwards constraints. It is based on the spirit of enterprise, to fully exploit the employees of self-restraint and self-regulation, use of a humane way to adjust, thus it can greatly reducing friction and communication costs of personnel in the process of implementation of the strategy, in order to promote the implementation of the strategy within the enterprise.

Organizational culture as a driving force of the strategy and continuously improve business performance, profitability and productivity, it become a powerful internal driving force. Culture enables members to understand the historical tradition and the present approach to business, provided to the staff a reasonable explanation for the events of the past of the enterprise, thus to facilitate the employees to understand their proper representation in the future in the similar incidents. This kind of non-institutional factors will enable more humane management to constrain the opportunistic behavior of managers and employees, thus promoting the effective implementation of the corporate strategy.(Hofstede, 1991)

The negative role of the organizational culture on strategic management

Due to cultural difference between the various levels of the organization, when the overall strategy reached out the various departments, they have varying degrees of conflict and contradiction, the contradiction of this conflict will reduce the degree of integration of the entire department and hinder the corporate strategy implementation. However, due to the enterprise implement this kind of division of work, it will lead to a split and the formation of the sub-culture of organizational culture. Strategic management of the enterprise is to unify to form a unified concept of progress of the internal culture, it needs to coordinate the various departments grading, but this requires enterprises to pay the considerable cost, but also need to do ideological adjustment for the department have a propensity of conflict.(Kotter, 1992)

The existing organizational culture has been difficult to adapt to the progress of modern society and the enterprise. In order to adapt better to the external environment, to implement the new strategy, many enterprises began to change the organizational culture that are existing. The original culture has been deeply rooted within the enterprise, with the sudden shift, there will be great progress resistance.(Kotter, 1992)

People employed in the enterprise have the different cultural background, there is a significant difference between them. The companies believe that this can boost the organization to achieve enterprise multifaceted progress. Employees bear a strong organizational culture will naturally accept this culture, behavior consistent with its own characteristics will not be reflected in order to lead to the formation of a single environmental systems, lack of constructive sounds and opinion, the employees will not spend more time to update and improve the internal management of the enterprise, no innovative force at all.(RSA 1995)

Take Apple Inc. as the example, first, the business guiding ideology inadaptability lead to strategic mistakes. Apple does not like to hear someone accusations that he is wrong, and hope that regardless of their own employees, or the hot suitors of the outside world can stand together with his firmly. With the culture of “to go it alone” will inevitably lead to the company’s operating guiding ideology to a product-oriented, which leads the direction of the company and the market demand is difficult to coordinate. Secondly, Lack of coordination within the organization, and inconsistent. Leadership is one thing to develop workflow and truthfully feedback process of the team is another matter entirely. Former Apple designer Andrew Poirot Minkowski, (Andrew Borovsky) said: “from the design, each of the underlying designers is extremely difficult to get direct feedback from the executives. Typically, if you are not receiving a positive reply, then it is told you to stop doing stupid things. ” Third, over-reliance on individual heroes, serious personality cult. Apple has a unique program, that is to cultivate a person – whether he is competent, supervisor, or a common staff – on behalf of Steve Jobs eligibility. Steve Jobs is a dictator of the company, all of the key decision-making – as well as a lot of seemingly inconsequential decisions – are made by him. These decisions include how to design the route of shuttle for employees in San Francisco city, what kind of food served in cafeteria. However, as Jobs can insight into the company’s all move, he has not see if he is not sitting in the CEO’chair, the situation will be very different.

Changes of organizational culture in the strategic management

Re-examine and make appropriate modifications and adjustment to the original values of the organization. Because strategic change and implementation will eventually be implemented into every employees’ action, so to promote the people of organization to have the idea of change, innovation to the current values, in order to match the new framework for the implementation of the strategy is the value basis whether strategy can be implemented. Second, the culture of innovation concept, allow employees to take the initiative to participate in the innovation. And discuss with the staff of the strategic implementation plan, establish them a clear understanding of the external and internal environment changes, inform the role of that can be brought with the concept of change to the employees, and strengthen the implementation of the identity of the employees on the strategic management. Lastly, establish feedback and timely adjustment mechanism in the organization to allowed full communication of the cultural contradictions.(Schein, 1985) If there is no fast and efficient information system to accept and feedback, no effective coordination and monitoring system for the overall situation, then the implementation of strategic management of the enterprise is bound have actual deviation because of lack of timely and correct information feedback, making the entire implementation process cannot be constrained effectively, then, affect the final implementation, failed to achieve the established strategic objectives. Correctly understand and grasp the the complementary dialectical contact between corporate strategy and organizational culture can help to improve the overall quality and competitiveness of enterprises, promote enterprise taking quality, rapidly, sustained and healthy progress.


The role of the organizational culture in the corporate management is to manage strictly, focusing on the incentive to cultivate employees’ sense of responsibility and solidarity, like the physical form of the product, as it is perceivable, organizational culture cohesive people internally, improve operations externally, also strengthen the management, make the vitality of enterprises to develop and create a strong competitive. Ancient and modern history shows that the closed culture inevitably lead to stagnation and degradation of the society, open culture will inevitably lead to the prosperity of society and evolution, it is the same for companies, so to strengthen the integration of the organizational culture is the right choice for corporate survival and sustainable development. In the management applications of the organizational culture, “people-oriented” is most able to attract talent, now, many businesses and entrepreneurs advertised himself as a “people-oriented”. However, in the enterprise management system, the leadership style of the business owners in the allocation of the enterprise, the basic living and working conditions of the workers, and so on are not the slightest reflects of the attitude of true respect to talents, to employees, then “people-oriented” is illusory. In the market economy, if the businesses want to be invincible, business leaders must fully understand and know the advantages and shortcomings of the enterprise. To prevent and overcome their own shortcomings in order to cope in a market economy. Operations are art , management are science, and the system is the guarantee, talent is fundamental. Grasp a good business operation, management, system, talent, then the company could hopely have a healthy development, also could truly establish their own organizational culture.


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