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Organisational Culture – Meaning, Characteristics and Types

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Every organisation is a unique unit. In other words, every organisation seems different from other organisations. The reason for this difference is no other than the different culture of every organisation. Hence, it may be said that an organisation appears different from other organisations only owing to the difference of its culture.

Organisational culture refers to the common perception of the employees of an organisation, which to a large extent determines the working method of its employees. All the employees of an organisation work in accordance with its culture and present themselves before others.

Characteristics of Organisational Culture

(1) System of Shared Meanings: An organisational culture is a system of shared meanings. It implies understanding the key values of the organisation in the same sense and their acceptance by all its members.

(2) Shaping the Behaviour: One of the main characteristics of the orginsational culture is that it gives a particular shape to the behaviour of the members of organisation. It guides the members with regard to their behaviour within and outside the organisation. In other words, it tells the members how they are to conduct themselves within the organisation and with the outside parties.

(3) Feeling of Community: When all the members of an organisation start conducting themselves in accordance with the organisational culture the group cohesiveness in them gets promoted. Now they start taking themselves as a part of the group and they dedicate themselves to safeguarding interests.

(4) Commitment: The members working in accordance with a particular organisational culture develop a sense of belongingness with it gradually. In such a situation their commitment to the organisation increases with the passage of time. In other words, the members start doing the organisational work as if it were their own personal work.

(5) Stability: The organisational culture contains the virtue of stability in it. The people working in an organisation belong to different backgrounds. But when they become a part of the organisation they begin to forget their own background and start adopting the organisational culture. Thus, people join the organisation and they part from it but the organisational culture continues to be stable.

(6) Differential Concept: The Differential Concept implies that every organisation has its own different culture. That is why the members of every organisation differ from the members of other organisations in their behaviour and commitment.

(7) Strong Vs Weak Culture: The organisational culture can be strong or weak. The strength of the organisational culture depends on the number of employees of an organisation following its key values. That is the more the number of employees following the key values is the stronger the culture of the organisation will be. A strong culture has a greater impact on the employees of the organisation. On the other hand, the culture of an organisation become weak if its members ignore its key values. Such an organisational culture has a negative effect on the organisation as well as its employees.

Organisational Culture Types

(1) Functional Culture – It refers to such a culture in which the employees give preference to their job over all other activities.

(2) Live and Let Live Culture – It refers to such a culture in which the employees prefer to lead a carefree life.

(3) Powerful Culture – It refers to such a culture as wants every big part of the organisation to follow the central values (core values) in addition to its own values.

(4) Sub-culture – It refers to such a culture which prevails in the different sub-units of an organisation.

(5) Blame Culture – It refers to such a culture in which people focus their attention on blaming others for their own mistakes.

(6) Leader Producing Culture – It refers to such a culture as produces leaders, not followers.

(7) Brand congruent Culture – It refers to such a culture in which the employees take the brand-image of the organisation as their own image/identity.

(8) Multi-dimensional Culture – It refers to a culture in which every department of the organisations remains confined to itself.

(9) Strong Culture – It refers to such a culture in which is the main or key values of the organisation are shared by the members.

(10) Weak Culture – It refers to such a culture in which most employees do not support the values of the organisation.

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