The Understanding and Concept of Organizational Culture

The Understanding and concept of Organizational Culture. The understanding of organizational culture, through the assistance of two texts, for a reader. The extracts in Appendix 1, the first being from Wikipedia (2009) and second from a textbook (2008), has various positive and negative aspects which influence the reader’s ability to understand what is meant by the term Organizational Culture. One influential factor, when evaluating the extent of understanding between the two texts, is the actual content that is presented.

From both texts, the titles suggest that the rest of the information will be focused on either “Organizational culture” – from Wikipedia, or “Cultures and their components” – from the textbook. With text 1, it only starts with explaining what the actual term means, describing the various ways in which it can be interpreted, which for a reader is fairly helpful. However, it is after the second paragraph that the reader becomes confused, as ‘Corporate culture’ is introduced, and the rest of the article discusses what the latter term means.

For a reader, who does not fully understand organizational culture, having the two different types of culture being presented to them, both of which have similar descriptions, it would make it difficult to comprehend the idea of organizational culture. With the second text, the title is very general, and therefore explores the various different cultures, as well as ensuring that there is a link back to organizational culture.

In addition, by defining organizational culture with little use of business terminology ,and then following on to provide examples of differing cultures in various businesses, the second extract puts the idea in perspective for the reader, making them more confident that they understand the term. The content, all the way throughout the second text, develops the definition of culture, by then describing how it can improve the overall performance in the company as it “provides members with guidelines” and by providing a flow diagram it also reinforces to the reader the importance of culture in a business.

Alternatively, despite all the information that is given, including the “components of cultures” extract two only develops the general idea of culture, instead of the individual organizational culture. Therefore, even though this text has more information compared to the Wikipedia extract, both extracts do not make the reader understand the organizational culture existing in a business much further from the definition of the term. However, this will depend on how much of an understanding the reader already has before reading the two texts, and for what purpose they are looking into organizational culture.

For example, if the reader had no understanding at all of the term, then the second text may be more useful in helping to identify where organizational culture operates in a business. Another differing feature of these texts, is their argument on various cultures that exist in businesses, which provide an impact on the reader’s understanding. In extract 1, organizational culture is described as the “psychology, attitudes, experiences, beliefs and values. . . of an organization”, of which “is not the same as corporate culture”.

This extract then continues to describe to the reader that there is a difference between the meanings of the organization and corporate culture, and through the style of the text – bold font, and underlining of words, Wikipedia is trying to make the reader understand the difference between the two types of culture, instead of the term organizational culture itself. Whereas the second text, just has a general overview on the word cultures, meaning that the article does not suggest that there is a difference between the cultures in an organization.

For a reader, having just read the Wikipedia article, and then reading this article, it can confuse them, as they are now unsure of which article they should believe, and therefore they are not completely able to understand what the term organizational culture means. In addition, in terms of concept, it is not only the definition, but also how the application to the subject or area that it is linked to. Therefore, the reader is able to know what organizational culture is, but unable to fully understand to develop their understanding to the world of business and the workplace, as the two articles are suggest two different links.

In conclusion, both of these texts are able to make the reader understand what the term organizational culture is, and also idea’s surrounding it. However, in terms of how far they help the reader in understanding the concept, the second text has presented the information in a way that makes it easier. Despite having a general view on the culture in the business, unlike the Wikipedia article where organizational and corporate culture was distinguished, the reader still had a simple to understand definition, with then examples to help develop their knowledge of this certain type of culture.

However, the extent of the reader’s ability in understanding the concept of organizational culture is dependent on how much knowledge the reader already has, and for what purpose they are researching this concept. In the Wikipedia text, business terminology was used in the definition – such as “stakeholders”, which for a reader with no previous business knowledge would then not fully understand the extent to which organizational culture can affect.

Whereas, the textbook extract gives a definition which is easy to understand, and therefore means that the reader is able to continue reading through the text knowing the link between organizational culture, and the general culture in the business. Conversely, if the reader had business knowledge, and wanted to develop – in particular their knowledge in just organizational culture, then the second text does not help the reader to understand the concept in the way they want.

Using a company, my explanation of organizational culture and the possibility of identifying it from the company Organizational culture, in my opinion, is the way in which operations happen in a business, as a result of various people’s opinions and views. I think that this culture is very important in a business, as it can affect the morale of the staff, which in turn then affects the productivity and labour turnover in that specific business. Organizational culture can include what the business’s views are on the environmental issues, about its employees – which can include all the stakeholders in the business.

To help develop my view on what organizational culture is, and also show how a business can show it, I am going to use the company “Starbucks Coffee”. On the company’s, “Starbucks Coffee”, web-site it includes their mission statement (http://starbucks. co. uk/en-GB/_About+Starbucks/Mission+Statement. htm) which provides an insight into the organizational culture of this company. From their mission statement, it is clear that they seem to aim to please their stakeholders – from the employees to their customers, a factor of their organizational culture.

In the “Our Partners” section they explain how they “always treat each other with respect and dignity” and therefore they feel that “it’s not just a job, it’s our passion”. At “Starbucks” it is obvious that their employees are very important to the company, and as a result, they are not treated as just workers, but also people. This is very important for a company, as it develops the importance of organizational culture, as with happy employees, the company has morale, motivation, which then leads a positive impact onto the other important stakeholders – the customers.

Therefore, in terms of my own definition of organizational culture, it is when the opinions of the employees are taken into account, and then used throughout the business’s operations, from production techniques to how customers are treated. In conclusion, the term organizational culture can be defined as the way that the business handles certain things, as a result of the personality of the stakeholders in the business. Through the “Starbucks Coffee” web site it became obvious that for them, the employees were given the chance to express their views on how the various jobs should be handled, because they then felt the “respect and dignity”.

This example of “Starbucks Coffee” however cannot be used to fully describe the term organizational culture. This is because, despite most businesses having similar cultures, those businesses are all different. Some may not be interested in making a profit, and instead in ensuring that there is fair trade happening, meaning that in their company their culture may not be so much concentrated on the employees working in an office where their opinions might not be valued if they are low down the hierarchy, but instead allowing the employees to help improve the conditions for others – so everyone has equal rights.

Therefore, organizational culture is not a term easy to define.

Bibliography Part A: WIKIPEDIA. 2009. Organizational Culture [Accessed 7 September 2009] also available at http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Organisational_culture Charles W. L. Hill and Gareth R. Jones. Strategic Management. 2001 Houghton Mifflin BODDY, D. 2008. Management: An Introduction (4th edition). Harlow: FT Prentice Hall (pages 85-87) Part B: “Starbucks Coffee” web site : http://starbucks. co. uk/en-GB/ Mission Statement: http://starbucks. co. uk/en-GB/_About+Starbucks/Mission+Statement. htm