Key Characteristics

There is a wide agreement that organizational culture refers to a system of shared meaning held by members that distinguishes an organization from the other organizations. On a closer analysis, this is a set of characteristics  that the organization values.

  1. Individual initiative: responsibility, freedom and independence that individuals have
  2. Risk tolerance: the degree to which employees are encouraged to take initiative, and risk taking
  3. Direction: to what extent the organization creates clear objectives and performance expectations
  4. Integration: the degree to which units within the organization are encouraged to operate in a coordinated manner
  5. Management support: whether managers provide clear communication, assistance and support to their subordinates
  6. Control: the number of rules and regulations, the amount of direct supervision that is used to oversee and control employee behavior
  7. Identity: the degree to which members identify with the organization as a whole rather than with their particular work group or field of professional expertise
  8. Reward system: to what extent the reward allocations (salary increases, promotions, experience) are based on employee performance criteria in contrast to seniority, favoritism, like and dislike and so on
  9. Conflict tolerance: the degree to which employees are encouraged to air conflicts and criticism openly
  10. Communication patterns: the degree to which organizational communications are restricted to the formal hierarchy of authority.

How employees learn culture?
Culture is transmitted to employees in a number of values, beliefs and behavior, for example:

  • Leadership
    Following the leader, patterns of life
  • Length of time
    Attitudes and behavior patterns are more deeply rooted in long serving employee
  • Interaction with colleagues
  • Culture keys Discipline, Trust, Support, Stretch stimulate employees to strive for challenges and raise their expectation

(Source: Essentials of Organizational Behavior, S.P. Robbins)

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