Understanding Organizational Culture

What do we mean when we talk about organizational culture? Is it employee morale or engagement? Is it level of satisfaction or job fulfillment? Perhaps it refers to strategy and direction? Or even capable and trusting leadership?

All of the above are critical aspects of organizational culture, but are not its essence. Definitions of culture abound. Webster’s dictionary defines culture as “The integrated pattern of human behaviour that includes thought, speech, action and artifacts and depends on one’s capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations.”

Marvin Bower, founder of McKinsey + Company, a global management consulting firm, defines organizational culture in his book The Will to Manage, as “Culture is the way we do things around here.” My own favourite is from the French writer and politician Edouard Herriot who states that “Culture is what remains when we have forgotten everything else.”

And yet, despite the vagueness or uncertainty about how to define organizational culture, we don’t seem to have any trouble recognizing it when we see it. We seem to intuitively grasp when we are thriving as part of “great culture” or withering in the throes of a “toxic culture”.

Get your FREE trial now!

Start your free 14-day trial now to read this story and

Make. Work. Better.

Already a subscriber?

Reuse and Permissions: While social sharing is permitted, unauthorized reuse or republication of any and all content is strictly prohibited. To discuss re-use of this material, please contact: copyright@yourworkplace.ca ; 877-668-1945.

Share

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Related Posts

Your Workplace is a premium source of leading-edge content to help you create a thriving workplace where everyone wants to work.

Contact Your Workplace

Tel: 613-549-1222
Toll Free: 1-877-668-1945
Contact Us

Whoa! Don't Go Yet

Sign up to receive free leading-edge content about people at work.

News letter