What is the Organizational Culture?

What Does Organizational culture Mean

Organizational culture is understood as the beliefs , values , habits , traditions , attitudes and experiences of an organization . The purpose of the organizational culture is to specify the way in which members are expected to interact with each other and with the outside world.



Organizational culture is not simply the sum of the individualities that work in a certain organization or company . On the contrary, the organizational culture is prior to the individual ones: every organizational culture first forms its bases and then adapts the personnel (employees) that will constitute said organizational culture.

Organizational culture is also usually defined as the set of norms and values ​​that people have within a certain organization.

Organizational culture is, in short, the psychology of a company. It is made up of some elements such as: the values ​​and attitudes of its employees, the image that said organization provides to the society in which it is inserted, the identity of the organization, the selection process of its employees and its suppliers.

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Importance of organizational culture

Organizational culture is fundamental in any organization as it guides the direction of the company and guides the way in which it should be conducted . It also directs the treatment that should be given to employees, clients and society in general.

Organizational culture has two major axes of importance: an internal one, which is related to personnel, managers, work environment; and another external, in relation to the community in which the organization is inserted.

Internally, it is important to bear in mind that every employee seeks to identify with a certain organizational culture . For this reason, each organization must communicate the values, beliefs, habits, norms and customs that govern it. From there, it will be sought that all members identify with the organizational culture and work towards making the identity and objectives of the company known.

With respect to the society in which the organization is inserted, the organizational culture serves as a spokesperson to make known the way in which that company relates to the community , that is, its image, the way it cares (or no) the environment , their interest in its surroundings, their influence and participation in neighborhood activities.

Elements of organizational culture

It is necessary to establish who or who are the decision makers.

There are different elements that make up the organizational culture and operate together. The main elements are:

  • Organization identity. Organizational culture is defined, in part, by the mission, vision and values ​​of the company . The identity of the organization arises from the answers to the following questions: What type of company is it? What are your values? What are your goals ? What is your mission ?
  • Control systems . The organizational culture must have control systems, that is, processes that monitor what is happening inside a company with human capital (employees and managers).
  • Power structures. Organizational culture establishes who or who are the decision-makers , how power is distributed and in what percentages.
  • Symbols. The organizational culture is made up of all the designs (visual and auditory support) that are part of the company's identity.
  • Rituals and routines. The organizational culture includes all business meetings, business groups , performance reports that occur within the organization. These routines can be formal or informal in nature.
  • Stories, myths and anecdotes. Organizational culture is defined by the implicit message that underlies the entire organization. The stories tell the emergence of organizations, their foundations and growth, their current impact on the market. Anecdotes are true storytelling that longtime employees tell to new hires.

Examples of organizational culture

  • Free market. It is one of the main examples of organizational culture in Latin America and the world. With a presence in 18 countries, it is the largest e- commerce company in Latin America. Among its main values ​​are: entrepreneurship, teamwork and execution. For this company, employees are the main capital of its success; provides benefits, services and activities aimed at promoting your well-being inside and outside the organization. In 2018 it was chosen by the consulting firm "Great place to work" as one of the best multinational companies to work for.
  • Hilton. It is one of the main hotel chains in the world. With a presence in more than 100 countries, it stands out for its organizational culture. It puts the focus on your employees, employment benefits and travel benefits. For this company, employees are the lifeblood of hotels; For this, it chooses the best talent and trains them around the brand's values, which are all those that promote an atmosphere of hospitality. In 2018 it was chosen by the consultancy "Great place to work" as the second best multinational company to work for.
  • Cisco. It is the leading company in the manufacture, sale and consulting of telecommunications equipment . It was chosen by the consultancy: "Great place to work" as one of the best companies to work for. Cisco bases its work model on trust and commitment . Flexible working, inclusion and continuous improvement are some of the most valued aspects of its organizational culture.

Organizational culture climate

The climate that is generated among the members of an organization is usually defined by the following elements:

  • Physical environment. It includes all the facilities and equipment that the company has, the temperature of the workplace, light, hygiene , access facilities.
  • Social environment. It refers to the relationship between employees, managers, departments.
  • Structural characteristics. It includes the hierarchical structure of the organization, how is its formal structure, the management style, among other variables.
  • Personal characteristics. Includes all employee expectations, attitudes, motivations , desires, goals.
  • Organizational behavior. It refers to the level of satisfaction in the organization, the way to control absenteeism, late arrivals, the amount of employee turnover or not, the pressure with which one works daily.
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