Corporate culture: what is it, types, and parts that make it up?
Corporate culture is one of the most important elements of organizational functioning.
The field of business and organizations is constantly evolving. Social and organizational psychology, among other things, is responsible for studying all these changes. An important phenomenon within this field is corporate culture, which consists of the set of values and behaviors that define a company.
In this article we will find out exactly what corporate culture isIn this article we will find out exactly what corporate culture is, what components make it up, what types exist, how it is transmitted among employees and what elements are needed to bring about a cultural change in organizations, a process that is often necessary to continue growing.
Corporate culture: what is it?
Corporate culture can be defined as the personality of a company. It includes all those values, processes values, processes, knowledge, techniques, attitudes and policies that the company considers as defining and identifying the organization itself.. It is, in a way, the "philosophy" of the company.
All these elements make it possible to achieve the company's objectives, and many experts consider corporate culture to be "the company's DNA", since it contains, as we said, the company's identity.
Today, more and more companies, managers and professionals consider corporate culture to be the most important part of a company's identity. the most important part for a company to functioneven beyond its strategy or operating model.
That is why more and more companies are now choosing to define a good corporate culture that is known, accepted and shared by all their employees and positions. The objective of a good corporate culture is that all members of the company feel it as their own and share the company's values.
We can speak of two main types of corporate culture, although there are more: the strong and the weak culture..
In the strong culture, the corporate culture is accepted and followed with determination by the employees; in the weak culture, on the other hand, the employees do not accept the corporate culture proposed by the organization (its values, norms, behaviors...). In fact, they perceive these elements as imposed.
Many companies are sometimes forced to change their corporate culture. But when does this happen? When the organization's behavior and values no longer serve to achieve its objectives.
Thus, the corporate culture must always be up to date, constantly evolving. We will see below what elements are needed to bring about a change in corporate culture.
How is it transmitted?
Corporate culture is transmitted mainly through organizational communication.. There are different types of organizational communication (formal, informal, upward, downward...) that enable multiple forms of social interaction and information transmission. These interactions will allow the corporate culture to be known and reproduced.
Thus, when a new person joins a company, the most normal thing is that he/she learns the language and the appropriate behavior within the group of coworkers, listening to the stories and "legends" of the company and observing the rites and rituals of the organization.
All this (language, behavior, rituals...) is also part of the corporate culture, and is what the person will learn and assume throughout his or her time in the company and the development of his or her work in it. That is why it is ideal to promote this knowledge, so that the worker becomes a real part of the company..
There are several elements that make up the corporate culture, and several experts have made different proposals in relation to them. Let's take a look at two proposals:
Edgar Shein's proposal 2.
Edgar Shein, social psychologist and author of Organizational Culture and LeadershipEdgar Shein, a social psychologist and author of Organizational Culture and Leadership, proposes three elements that make up every corporate culture:
1.1. Unconscious assumptions.
These encompass the how people and employees view the company from the outside. (and from within), what they think of it, what beliefs they have, etc.
They are formed by the norms that should guide the behavior of workers, as well as their principles and role models.as well as their principles and role models.
The third component of any corporate culture, according to Shein, would be the artifacts, ie, the results that the company obtains through its actions..
2. Stephen Robbins' proposal
Stephen Robbins, writer and author of works such as Organizational Behaviorproposes 7 other elements as integral parts of any business culture:
2.1. Individual autonomy
Consists of the level of independence and participation that the company itself has..
The structure includes the norms that govern the behavior of workers and the rules that define how the company works. Also includes the degree of control exercised to ensure that standards are met..
This refers to the support and help provided to each other by workers and their superiors, and includes the type of relationship they maintain.
Identity as part of the corporate culture refers to the fact of feeling part of the company (it is a sense of belonging to the company). (it is a sense of belonging to it). It is the way in which employees perceive the company as a whole and not in a fragmented way.
Recognition has to do with the rewards or positive reinforcement that employees receive for a job well done and for their contributions to the company. and for their contributions to the company, by the organization.
2.6. Conflict Tolerance
This refers to the company's ability to cope with obstacles and to cope with obstacles and difficulties in the in the achievement of its objectives.
2.7. Risk tolerance
The last component of the entrepreneurial culture proposed by S. Robbins is risk tolerance. Robbins proposes is risk tolerance, a concept that alludes to creativity and innovation. creativity and innovationThese are very positive aspects to implement in the company.
Change of corporate culture
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, sometimes companies need to make a cultural change need to make a cultural change because their current system is not working.. There are 4 features that facilitate and enable this process of change of corporate or organizational culture. These traits or conditions are the following:
1. Strong leader
It is essential to have a strong leader who can initiate and maintain business change. Leaders are key figures in any change process.They provide ideas and manage a team through motivation, enthusiasm and experience.
Vision of what needs to be done
Another condition needed to produce a cultural change in the company is a vision of what needs to be done to achieve such a change. This vision implies a belief in what the new culture will be like, and it must be well defined.
New work procedures
It is also necessary to develop new work procedures that will help to break the loyalty to the new culture. that help to break the allegiance to the old values, and to establish the new ones..
4. Open organization
Finally, an organization that is open to learning, adaptable to change and constantly growing, will make it possible to successfully achieve the change in corporate culture that the organization needed to continue growing.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)