Organizational culture case study india

So, how can we use stories in an organisation to influence the organisational culture? There are many ways to do this, but let us list three ways here. Using Stories from History When an organisation feels it is straying from its root identity and values, it can use stories to bring the organiwation back to its moorings. In such a context, the story often goes back into history. A story about an incident in which the founders of the company in its early days refused to do something unethical despite tremendous temptation and business pressure helps to build or re-build, the character of the company.

Using Stories to Paint a Vision These are stories that are forward-looking and inspirational, and used to promote a vision for the future. They move the organisation forward in specific directions. Between and , a Baptist preacher named Russell Conwell, narrated this inspirational story more than 5, times to audiences across America. In the story, the protagonist is a wealthy farm owner named Ali Hafed who lives in Hyderabad, India. Although rich and well-settled, Ali learns that there are things called diamonds which make their owners tremendously wealthy.

Obsessed with possessing a diamond mine, he sells everything, leaves his family and goes across Persia and Europe looking for the diamond mine. Unfortunately, he does not find any, and ultimately, penniless and heartbroken, he throws himself into the sea and dies. He picks it up and it is discovered to be a diamond, and it is not the only one. The preacher Conwell told this story to inspire Philadelphians to invest in Philadelphia and not somewhere else—as a result, he raised large sums of money to fund many philanthropic causes in Philadelphia and even establish the famous Temple University.

Stories can thus be used to paint a vision, inspire an organization and move people. Storytelling is a wonderfully simple and inexpensive way of fostering an innovative, inclusive and dynamic organizational culture. Think Live Work Play. Video Slideshow Audio Twinterview. Additionally, performance oriented cultures have been shown to possess statistically better financial growth.

Recognizing Across Cultures: India

Such cultures possess high employee involvement, strong internal communications and an acceptance and encouragement of a healthy level of risk-taking in order to achieve innovation. Additionally, organizational cultures that explicitly emphasize factors related to the demands placed on them by industry technology and growth will be better performers in their industries.

According to Kotter and Heskett , [7] organizations with adaptive cultures perform much better than organizations with unadaptive cultures. An adaptive culture translates into organizational success; it is characterized by managers paying close attention to all of their constituencies, especially customers, initiating change when needed, and taking risks.

Healthy companies are able to deal with employees' concerns about the well-being of the organization internally, before the employees would even feel they needed to raise the issues externally. It is for this reason that whistleblowing , particularly when it results in serious damage to a company's reputation, is considered to be often a sign of a chronically dysfunctional corporate culture.

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Specifically, some organizations have "functional" cultures while others have "dysfunctional" cultures. A "dysfunctional" culture is one that hampers or negatively affects an organization's performance and success. There are many different types of communication that contribute in creating an organizational culture: [34]. Bullying is seen to be prevalent in organizations where employees and managers feel that they have the support, or at least implicitly the blessing, of senior managers to carry on their abusive and bullying behaviour. Furthermore, new managers will quickly come to view this form of behaviour as acceptable and normal if they see others get away with it and are even rewarded for it.

When bullying happens at the highest levels, the effects may be far reaching. That people may be bullied irrespective of their organisational status or rank, including senior managers, indicates the possibility of a negative ripple effect, where bullying may be cascaded downwards as the targeted supervisors might offload their own aggression on their subordinates. In such situations, a bullying scenario in the boardroom may actually threaten the productivity of the entire organisation. David Logan and coauthors have proposed in their book Tribal Leadership that organizational cultures change in stages, based on an analysis of human groups and tribal cultures.

They identify five basic stages: [38].


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This model of organizational culture provides a map and context for leading an organization through the five stages. Corporate culture is used to control, coordinate, and integrate company subsidiaries. Geert Hofstede, Perhaps equally foundational; observing the vast differences in national copyright and taxation, etc. Field data were collected by interviewing Western expatriates and Chinese professionals working in this context, supplemented by non-participant observation and documentary data. The data were then analyzed objectively to formulate theme-based substantive theories and a formal theory.

The major finding of this study is that the human cognition contains three components, or three broad types of "cultural rules of behavior", namely, Values, Expectations, and Ad Hoc Rules, each of which has a mutually conditioning relationship with behavior. The three cognitive components are different in terms of the scope and duration of their mutual shaping of behavior.

Values are universal and enduring rules of behavior; Expectations, on the other hand, are context-specific behavioral rules; while Ad Hoc Rules are improvised rules of behavior that the human mind devises contingent upon a particular occasion. Furthermore, they need not be consistent, and frequently are not, among themselves.

Metaphorically, they can be compared to a multi-carriage train, which allows for the relative lateral movements by individual carriages so as to accommodate bumps and turns in the tracks. In fact, they provide a "shock-absorber mechanism", so to speak, which enables individuals in SW-ICCM contexts to cope with conflicts in cultural practices and values, and to accommodate and adapt themselves to cultural contexts where people from different national cultural backgrounds work together over extended time.

It also provides a powerful framework which explains how interactions by individuals in SW-ICCM contexts give rise to emerging hybrid cultural practices characterized by both stability and change. One major theoretical contribution of this "multi-carriage train" perspective is its allowance for the existence of inconsistencies among the three cognitive components in their mutual conditioning of behavior.

This internal inconsistency view is in stark contrast to the traditional internal consistency assumption explicitly or tacitly held by many culture scholars.

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The other major theoretical contribution, which follows logically from the first one, is to view culture as an overarching entity which is made of a multiplicity of Values, Expectations, and Ad Hoc Rules. This notion of one multiplicity culture to an organization leads to the classification of culture along its path of emergence into nascent, adolescent, and mature types, each of which is distinct in terms of the pattern of the three cognitive components and behavior. Research suggests that numerous outcomes have been associated either directly or indirectly with organizational culture.

A healthy and robust organizational culture may provide various benefits, including the following:. Although little empirical research exists to support the link between organizational culture and organizational performance, there is little doubt among experts that this relationship exists. Organizational culture can be a factor in the survival or failure of an organization — although this is difficult to prove given that the necessary longitudinal analyses are hardly feasible.

A Harvard Business School study reported that culture has a significant effect on an organization's long-term economic performance. The study examined the management practices at organizations over ten years and found that culture can enhance performance or prove detrimental to performance. Organizations with strong performance-oriented cultures witnessed far better financial growth. Additionally, a Corporate Leadership Council study found that cultural traits such as risk taking, internal communications, and flexibility are some of the most important drivers of performance, and may affect individual performance.

Furthermore, innovativeness, productivity through people, and the other cultural factors cited by Peters and Waterman also have positive economic consequences. Denison, Haaland, and Goelzer found that culture contributes to the success of the organization, but not all dimensions contribute the same. It was found that the effects of these dimensions differ by global regions, which suggests that organizational culture is affected by national culture.

Additionally, Clarke found that a safety climate is related to an organization's safety record. Organizational culture is reflected in the way people perform tasks, set objectives, and administer the necessary resources to achieve objectives. Culture affects the way individuals make decisions, feel, and act in response to the opportunities and threats affecting the organization. Adkins and Caldwell found that job satisfaction was positively associated with the degree to which employees fit into both the overall culture and subculture in which they worked.

A perceived mismatch of the organization's culture and what employees felt the culture should be is related to a number of negative consequences including lower job satisfaction, higher job strain, general stress, and turnover intent. It has been proposed that organizational culture may affect the level of employee creativity, the strength of employee motivation, and the reporting of unethical behavior, but more research is needed to support these conclusions. Organizational culture also affects recruitment and retention. Individuals tend to be attracted to and remain engaged in organizations that they perceive to be compatible.

Additionally, high turnover may be a mediating factor in the relationship between culture and organizational performance. Deteriorating company performance and an unhealthy work environment are signs of an overdue cultural assessment. When an organization does not possess a healthy culture or requires some kind of organizational culture change, the change process can be daunting.

Corporate culture and Internationalization ‘A case study of Aon’ : UEL Research Repository

Organizational culture can hinder new change efforts, especially where employees know their expectations and the roles that they are supposed to play in the organization. One major reason why such change is difficult is that organizational cultures, and the organizational structures in which they are embedded, often reflect the "imprint" of earlier periods in a persistent way and exhibit remarkable levels of inertia. Culture change is affected by a number of elements, including the external environment and industry competitors, change in industry standards, technology changes, the size and nature of the workforce, and the organization's history and management.

There are a number of methodologies specifically dedicated to organizational culture change such as Peter Senge 's Fifth Discipline. There are also a variety of psychological approaches that have been developed into a system for specific outcomes such as the Fifth Discipline's "learning organization" or Directive Communication's "corporate culture evolution.

Corporate culture and Internationalization ‘A case study of Aon’

Burman and Evans argue that it is ' leadership ' that affects culture rather than ' management ', and describe the difference. When one wants to change an aspect of the culture of an organization one has to keep in consideration that this is a long term project. Corporate culture is something that is very hard to change and employees need time to get used to the new way of organizing. For companies with a very strong and specific culture it will be even harder to change.

Prior to a cultural change initiative, a needs assessment is needed to identify and understand the current organizational culture.

This can be done through employee surveys, interviews, focus groups, observation, customer surveys where appropriate, and other internal research, to further identify areas that require change. The company must then assess and clearly identify the new, desired culture, and then design a change process. One of the biggest obstacles in the way of the merging of two organizations is organizational culture. Each organization has its own unique culture and most often, when brought together, these cultures clash. When mergers fail employees point to issues such as identity, communication problems, human resources problems, ego clashes, and inter-group conflicts, which all fall under the category of "cultural differences".

One way to combat such difficulties is through cultural leadership. Organizational leaders must also be cultural leaders and help facilitate the change from the two old cultures into the one new culture. This is done through cultural innovation followed by cultural maintenance. Corporate culture is the total sum of the values, customs, traditions, and meanings that make a company unique. Corporate culture is often called "the character of an organization", since it embodies the vision of the company's founders.


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The values of a corporate culture influence the ethical standards within a corporation, as well as managerial behavior. Senior management may try to determine a corporate culture.

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They may wish to impose corporate values and standards of behavior that specifically reflect the objectives of the organization. In addition, there will also be an extant internal culture within the workforce. Work-groups within the organization have their own behavioral quirks and interactions which, to an extent, affect the whole system. Roger Harrison's four-culture typology, and adapted by Charles Handy, suggests that unlike organizational culture, corporate culture can be 'imported'.