Corporate Culture Essay

1416 words - 6 pages

Corporate Culture : The Key to Understanding Work OrganisationsOrganisational or corporate culture is widely held to refer to a system of shared meanings held by members that distinguishes the organisation from other organisations, that is a set of shared key characteristics or values.The culture that an organisation has will play an important part in its success in its market sector. Likewise an organisation's continued success will depend to a large extent on the ability of the leadership of the organisation to perpetuate that culture.A large, established organisation in a mature market is likely to have objectives of moderate growth and the maintenance of its position within the market. McDonald's is an example of such an organisation. You could walk in to a McDonald's restaurant in London, Tokyo or Moscow and expect to see staff dressed in the same uniform serving the same food from within restaurants that look remarkably similar. There are no risks to be taken here and rarely a snap decision to be made and certainly not by the staff.Contrast this with a small organisation, thirsty for success in an emergent market such as Steve Job's Apple Computers in the early eighties. Here was a company led by a very strong character who was highly motivated, possessed a highly practical imagination and was fanatical about detail. He built up a multinational company on the strength of his ability to promote free thinking coupled with the attention to detail that is required to produce a world class computer within the organisation that he ran.It is quite clear that if the cultures of these two organisations were transposed there would be internal chaos and the company's would lose their positions within their markets. A McDonald's restaurant that started to add flair to its menu would soon cut in to the company's tightly controlled profit margins whereas a company with tightly enforced rules and regulations could never lead the market in innovative technologies.It is not by chance that these two organisations have such different cultures. They are each the product of a clearly constructed and executed leadership policies reinforced by the organisation's founders and subsequently their top management. The processes of selection and socialisation are key tools in the maintenance of an organisation's culture.The selection process is typically employed within organisations not only to select individuals who have the technical skills and knowledge to perform their roles within the organisation but also to select people who will fit in with, and not undermine, the organisation's culture.The process of socialisation has as its key objective the moulding of the individual, who has already been selected partly for their apparent conformity with the organisation's core values, in to a true member of the organisation where their values and norms are synchronised with those of their work groupA work organisation cannot be understood, however, by studying it's...

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