Chapter 7

An understanding of culture is exceedingly beneficial to managers of
organizations. One of the benefits that accrue to the understanding of
culture in a given organization is that it helps managers in achieving
targeted outcomes (Flamholtz & Randle, 2011). For example, depending on
an organization’s culture, every employee knows what is expected of
him by the organization. Besides, understanding of culture is beneficial
to managers as it helps managers in carrying out their duties with
efficiency because every employee knows the values guiding the
organization. This reduces the probability of wasting time since every
employee understands what the organization is expected to deliver. In
addition, it is also beneficial to managers since it helps in selling
out an organization to the society in terms of uniqueness, which leads
to success of an organization without maintaining a certain culture, it
will be cumbersome to attain success since there will be no uniqueness
in doing business.
Organizational culture is an integral part of an organization as it
gives an organization values that internal and external customers can
identify with the organization. Every organization sets up its culture,
which determines whether an organization will attain success or not.
Organizational culture is not always favorable to an organization, which
implies that the culture of an organization can change depending on an
organization’s achievement using the culture (Flamholtz & Randle,
2011). However, organizational culture do not change over a short period
but may change after a long period. An organizational culture helps
managers in running an organization efficiently since employees of an
organization understand what is expected of them by the organization
because this is what constitutes culture.
An organization’s values are usually different from its norms since
organization’s norms constitute what is expected of the organization
in the cultural or social world, while an organization’s value
constitutes a set of behavior, attitude or symbols that are shared by
stakeholders of an organization. Organizational values also constitute
what is acceptable and unacceptable way of behaving or thinking. For
instance, in regard to Virgin Atlantic Airlines, there exists a
difference between the organization’s values and norms. According to
the values of Virgin Airlines, it promotes the notion of employees
feeling as a family. Besides, in its values, the organization ensures
that it has well trained, motivated and happy employees in offering
services to its clients this is what makes the organization. On the
other hand, the Virgin airlines has a norm of giving back to the society
through supporting charity organization and helping the needy in the
community. Besides, the organization enhances the norm of every employee
to feel proud of his work.
There is diversity in culture depending on what an organization deals
with although some organizations share some values, it is sometimes
difficult to find organizations having a similar culture because every
organization has its unique values that defines what the organization
believes in, or what it does. Cultural differences between organizations
are due to the four foundations that determine an organization’s
culture. The four foundations are paradigm, control systems, symbols and
organizational structures (Flamholtz & Randle, 2011). Paradigm refers to
what an organization is about, what it deals with, its values and
mission. Control systems entail the processes put in place for
monitoring what an organization does. On the other hand, symbols include
logos and designs of an organization while organizational structures
entail hierarchies, reporting lines and the manner in which work flows
in an organization. These foundations are seen as the basic elements
that influence an organization’s culture. For instance, with reference
to Virgin Airlines, these four elements influence the culture of the
An individual can formally and informally learn the culture of an
organization. Formally, a person can learn the culture of an
organization through trainings that the human resource department of an
organization holds. After employing new hires, an organization organizes
several training sessions, which target at teaching new hires on the
culture of an organization. This is usually through seminars and
workshops that an organization holds. Such trainings usually involve
individuals that are part of an organization, who understand the culture
and values of an organization. Besides, a person can formally learn the
culture of an organization through on-job training. This entails old
members of an organization teaching new members on what is expected of
them by an organization. On the other hand, a person can learn culture
of an organization informally through gradually identifying what values
that guide a certain organization. In this case, the organization does
not offer training to an individual but the person learns the culture of
the organization himself. In addition, a person may learn the culture of
an organization informally from work mates of an organization. In
reference to Virgin Airlines, the organization teaches its employees
formally in making them understand its culture.
A manager can be influential in determining the culture of an
organization. A manager of an organization has the responsibility of
dictating what an organization does and the hierarchy of information
flow. This makes a manager influence the culture of an organization
because he acts on behalf of an organization in ensuring that an
organization maintains a unique culture. It is a manager who has the
full control regarding the products and services that an organization
deals with, what symbols and vision that an organization will have and
all the engagements of an organization. This is what constitutes
organization culture. Therefore, since the manager has control over all
these things, he has an influence on the culture of an organization
(Flamholtz & Randle, 2011). Besides, a manager can influence the culture
of an organization through determining the organization structure of an
organization. The organization structure is a chief determinant of the
culture that an organization will follow, which makes a manager become
influential in determining the culture of an organization. For instance,
the culture of Virgin Airlines has been vastly influenced by Richard
Branson who has acted as the manager of the organization through
determining what the organization will engage in and values that will
guide the organization.
Every organization is required to give back to the society through
helping the community surrounding an organization this is in regard to
the corporate social responsibility. Organizations incorporate the
culture of helping the society as part of their values. Therefore, there
exists a relationship between the culture of an organization and
organization’s outlook in regard to the corporate social
responsibility. It is the desire of every organization to have a good
outlook to the society and its customers hence, there is always a
culture of helping the community through supporting charity
organizations or even offering other forms of support to the community.
This establishes a relationship amid the culture of an organization and
its outlook to the community.
Flamholtz, E., & Randle, Y. (2011). Corporate Culture: The Ultimate
Strategic Asset. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.

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