Organizational Culture and Belief

Organizational culture and belief is the binding force that holds people together in a working environment. Generally, there are 4 popular culture and belief systems that are widespread in an organizational setting; namely, the clan culture, adhocracy culture, market culture and hierarchy culture. Clan culture, while being the least competitive in an organizational setting, happens to be the most collaborative due to its tribe centric goals and values, acting as a commonality.The Adhocracy culture, is mostly founded on the grounds of flexibility and the ability of individuals to adapt to quickly changing situations in a corporate context.The Market culture fosters both internal and external competitiveness while the hierarchy culture is built upon clearly defined corporate layers, structure and levels of authority within the organization. However, in most cases, an organization embodies a mixture of different elements from all of these categories, in various proportions.

While each of the 4 types of organizational culture and belief system impacts the group dynamics,motivation and the tendency of the team members to either love or dislike their workplace, there will always be individuals that personally thrive in specific settings over others,even within an already predominant organizational culture. So the concept of expecting everybody to flourish under the blanket influence of a specific cultural dynamic within an organization, seldom works.

On the other hand, the very notion of imposing an organizational culture and belief system through authoritative leadership seems like a dysfunctional approach even before setting out to implement it. This is due to the ambiguity of the interaction of several tangible and intangible variables within an organizational context. For example, highly motivated and productive individuals who prefer working in a competitive organizational setup might not necessarily enjoy a clan culture. Similarly, professionals who desire constant flexibility and an informal social dynamic in their workplace, are likely to feel out of place in a hierarchical organizational culture. Other variables include the interplay of counterpart dynamics, motivation for work, patterns of existing behaviour among individuals, employees alignment or misalignment with the company’s vision or ideals, ability or inability of the organization’s management to recruit qualified individuals etc.

Also, culture and belief cannot be established by internalizing the heavy usage of external symbolism alone(eg. Infrastructure,artifacts etc), because ultimately its the individuals that collectively embody a certain social, psychological and physical display of attitude and behaviour, out of their own accord, as soon as they step into their workplace; irrespective of how the organization’s leaders envision them to be or feel. Hence, in a way, culture and belief is the essence of an organization that cumulatively grows along with it, through the interplay of several variables, over a long period of time. It can neither be changed through forced intervention, nor be fostered through rewards and major overhaul efforts.

Lastly, if any institution wants their existent organizational culture and belief to add to their comparative advantage among other competitors, they need to reflect on the nitty gritties of what it is that really gives their organization the essence that it currently exudes, in what frontier does the management desire visible changes, how can they influence those changes and how can long standing beliefs and habits of people change over time; and there’s no better timing to begin reflecting on these questions and initiate the process of change, than now!