The development aid organization
The development aid organization
Elements of Organizational Culture
Values as the Elements of a Strong and Healthy Culture
Definition of "culture"
comprised of the shared values, customs, traditions, rituals, behaviours and beliefs shared
by a social group (national, ethnic, organizational, etc.).
Cultures also share languages, or ways of speaking. From a communication perspective, cultures are made
and remade through the words we use to describe our world. Culture
represents a common set of values (“shared meanings”), shared by members of a
population, a organization, a project/programme purpose unit or a profession
(e.g., engineers versus scientists). Culture with the times but the speed at which the
culture of different institutions change varies widely.
Culture represents a common set of values (“shared meanings”), shared by members of a population, a organization, a project/programme purpose unit or a profession (e.g., engineers versus scientists). Culturechange
with the times but the speed at which the culture of different institutions change varies widely.
culture plays several important roles.
culture unites (brings together) employees by providing a sense of identity with the organization.
culture enables organizations to differentiate themselves from one another.
culture often generates commitment, superceding personal interests.
culture sets organization norms, rules and standards. Thereby, culture enables employees to function in an organization, by teaching them how to behave.
culture becomes especially important in a program/project based organization. In such a organization, the hierarchy is flat and decision-making is moved to the project/programme purpose units and departments. In this context, culture provides the guiding light towards achievement of goals and objectives.
Elements of Organizational Culture
Organizations (e.g., project/programme purpose
organizations) develop their own culture. The culture of a organization
consists of elements that are valued and practiced.
Organizations (e.g., project/programme purpose organizations) develop their own culture. The culture of a organization consists of elements that are valued and practiced.The emerging challenges for communicating and organizing in a global/local operational environment (think globally, act locally) are based on understanding the interrelationships among cultural differences, communication behaviors, and organizational relationships both within and outside of the organization. The challange for a manager is to examine the current culture and style of communication operating within an organization and to develop communication skills that will allow for the insight, sensitivity, vision, versatility, focus, patience, and global-localism called for in todays complex work environment.
The following list outlines some of the key elements of organizational culture:
· Values: The goals, views, and philosophies that an organization shares. Example: The organizations mission statement.
· Programme purpose environment - see the projectized organization
Celebrations, performances, and activities that foster and reinforce
teamwork, esprit de corps, and a sense of inclusion. They are what
make employees feel part of something bigger than themselves, that that
something is worth being a part of. These can include annual parties, sales
meetings, organizational retreats, or any other group activities..
seeOrganizationally sanctioned Social events
· Heroes: Members of the organization who personify its values and highlight its vision.
· Communication Networks: Informal channels that relay both work and social messages. These networks not only convey information necessary to get the job done, but also provide for necessary social interaction among employees. Even though the primary task in any organization is to do our jobs, the organization is also a social outlet. It is important to acknowledge and even nurture the social interaction that is part of any organizational or organizational culture. Communication networks also indoctrinate new members into the culture, and reinforce the cultural messages in the organization.
· Norms: The ways of doing things in an organization; the rules, tasks and standards of the organization. Examples: Dress codes or ways of addressing superiors/subordinates, leading ethics, etc.
· Stories, Myths, and Legends: The organizational history and other stories that embody the organizational culture and emphasize what the organization values. .
· Organizational/Communication Climate: The atmosphere of either supportiveness or defensiveness that people feel within the organization itself. Do they feel safe? Protected? Appreciated? Are they confidant that their opinions count? Do they know that when they have something to say, they have a way to say it so that it will be heard, and that people will listen and take their ideas or comments seriously? The overall organizational climate also includes the organization’s communication climate—how free people feel to communicate at work, especially about bad news or negative information. When people feel they cannot communicate bad news for fear of reprisal, the organization loses valuable information about how it operates.
The basic assumption of this
manual is that the best managerial style for a
development aid organization is of designing and managing itself and its
culturein such a way as to make itself :
and that these three features are subsidiary in achieving effectiveness of activities as well as generating a healthy communication climate and a strong team spirit that motivates internal and external stakeholders in cooperating towards the achievement of cooperation objectives.
See also Evaluation and professional reputation and standards
Values as the Elements generating a Strong and Healthy Culture
Both internal and external stakeholders benefit from a strong organizational culture. In the most general sense: A strong organizational culture provides work community identity, a sense of uniqueness, and sense of connection for all members within the organization.
Internal stakeholders benefit from a strong organizational culture because people are a organizations greatest resource and the way to manage them is by the subtle cues of culture; strong culture helps employees do their jobs better. A strong culture fosters better employee motivation because internal stakeholders are better able to understand what is expected of them and are able to more strongly identify with the organization when the culture is strong.
stakeholders benefit from an organizations healthy culture as well. The organizations
and organizations that do the best job thinking through what they are all about, deciding
how and to whom these central messages should be communicated and executing the
communication plan in a quality way, invariably build a strong sense of esprit within
their own organization and among the many constituents they serve. Knowledge
about an organizational cultureagain, when it is healthy and stronggives
internal and external members a sense of purpose and importance within the organization
because they adopt the organizations shared meaning.
As an organizational undergoes change, as your organization is now doing, the issue
of culture becomes even more critical because it is generally called into question. Nonetheless, managers are still faced with the
challenge of providing some cultural continuity as change is initiated and as an
Knowledge about an organizational cultureagain, when it is healthy and stronggives internal and external members a sense of purpose and importance within the organization because they adopt the organizations shared meaning. As an organizational undergoes change, as your organization is now doing, the issue of culture becomes even more critical because it is generally called into question. Nonetheless, managers are still faced with the challenge of providing some cultural continuity as change is initiated and as an organization grows.
Organizations with strong cultures place a great emphasis on values values and have some fundamental characteristics in common:
The organization stands for something. They have a clear and explicit philosophy about how they go about accomplishing their program purpose objectives. The values explicit in their philosophy help create the identity of the organization and characterize and differentiate it from others organizations.
Management focuses a great deal of attention to determining and fine-tuning these values. This is done so that the organization’s values conform to its project/programme purpose environment. Such a focus also helps communicate these values to people who work in the organization.
Values are understood and shared by all people who work for the organization. Everyone from production workers to the senior management team is familiar with and accepts the values of the organization. The organization’s values create a reality for those who work in the organization. This reality allows employees to cooperate and collaborate to make the shared values effective in their interactions and how they perform their jobs.
Fundamental to value definition and management is the approach to organization development and its focus upon learning in the organization, the communication climate and the modality to generate a team spirit amongst employees at various levels.
See also How to Show Values Through Action
Strong cultures foster better employee motivation because employees are better able to understand what is expected of them and are more able to strongly identify with the organization. They are “part of” something bigger than themselves. Not only that, but they know what it is they are “part of,” and how they contribute to its overall operations and goals. It gives them a sense of purpose and importance within the organization because they adopt the organization’s values.
See also: Image Organization and sector of activity ; definition of change
Organizational and Individual Change Manage Organizational and Behavioural Change
Building a Climate of Trust
Behaviors that Endanger Trust
Placing Training within the Organizational Context
outcomes as behavioral change
Organizational and Individual Change
Leading and Managing - Quatation on leading From Lao Tzu - Real Change Leaders
Four Reasons to Share Power Politics, Power, and Influence Power and you - Power Bases in organizations - Costs and Benefits of Using Power
definition of change
How change happens
Organizational and Individual Change
The ‘Most Significant Change’ (MSC) Technique
Outcomes as behavioral change
Organization and sector of activity
Manage Organizational and Behavioural Change
Case Study: Satellite Systems
Assignments on Organizational Culture
Training: Flash card Organogram Game
Chapter 3, Functions of Culture in Organizations, in Organization, Culture
Clayton, Christensen and Kirstin Shu, What is an
Organizations Culture? Publication of Harvard Business School Publishing,
(Product #9-339-104), 7 pages.
Schein, Edgar H., Are you organizational Cultured?, Personnel Journal, November 1986, 65(11): 82-96.
Schein, Edgar H., The Role for the Founder in Creating Organizational Culture, Organizational Dynamics, Summer 1983, 12 (1): 13-28.
Wilkins, Alan L., The Creation of organization Cultures: The Role of Stories and Human Resource Systems, Human Resources Management, Spring 1984, 23 (1): 41-60.