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Primary methods of maintaining organizational culture

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 1913 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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An organization’s culture is made up of comparatively stable characteristics. It grows over many years and is rooted in intensely held values to which employees are forcefully committed. In addition, there are number of forces are successfully operating to maintain a given culture.

These include written allegations about the organization mission and philosophy, the design of physical spaces and buildings, the dominant leadership style, hiring criteria, past promotion practices, entrenched rituals, popular stories about key people and events, the organization’s historic performance evaluation criteria, and the organization’s formal structure. Significantly, the organizational culture includes values, assumptions, goals and Industry demands. So the culture has been maintained through Attraction-Selection-Attrition (ASA), Employee on-boarding (socialization), Leadership (Top management) , and organizational Reward systems. It determines what types of people are hired by an organization and what types of people are left out.

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Attraction-Selection-Attrition (ASA) :

First, employees are attracted to organizations where they will suit in. According to Judge statement, the employees with distinctive personality traits find different cultures attractive.[1]For example, out of their individual traits, employees who illustrate neurotic personalities were less likely to be attracted to inventive cultures, whereas those who had openness to experience were more likely to be. By ASA process, While selection, candidates and corporations both are looking for people who will fit into their current corporate culture.[2] Considering southwest airlines and Google are the best example for that. Attrition refers to the instinctive process, where the candidates who do not fit in will go away from the company. Research indicates that person-organization incompatibility is one of the important reasons for employee turnover.[3]

New Employee On-boarding :

On-boarding pertains to the process through which new employees learn the attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviors required to function effectively within an organization.[4] When the organizational employees socializing the new people, inviting as a part of their family, they will feel accepted by their peers and confident regarding their ability to perform, and also they can share the assumptions, norms, and values that are the part of the organization’s culture.

This understanding and confidence is making the new employees to perform their ability and traits in a excellent way. As well as it gives higher job fulfillment, Effective organizational commitment, and long period of time experience within the company for them. Organizations can also engage in different activities to facilitate on-boarding, such as implementing orientation programs or matching new employees with mentors. These processes are expanded by the nature of the company.[5] (refer Exhibit 1-1)

Leadership :

Leadership’s are significantly helpful in creating and modifying the organization’s culture. There is a direct agreement between the leader’s style and an organization’s culture. For example, when leaders motivate and praise the employees in the firm by their knowledge , skills, initiatives, the corporate culture tends to be

more supportive and people-

oriented. Consequently, the leaders are providing rewards, contingent on performance, again it tends to be more performance-oriented and competitive also to them.[6] Likewise, the leaders will influence directly to the cultures of their organizations.

Apart from the leader’s influence, the role model is another tool (Charismatic). Research have suggested that leader behavior, attitudes, and decision-making, the consistency between union policy, leader actions and role modeling determine the degree to which the organization’s culture emphasizes ethics [7]. The leader’s own behaviors will influence each individuals to understand what is acceptable behavior and what is unacceptable. In an organization, in which high-level leaders make the effort to involve others in decision making and seek opinions of others, team diversity is more likely to evolve. By acting as role models (charismatic), leaders send signals to the organization about the norms and values that are expected to guide the actions of its members. Leaders also proves their success from reactions to the actions of others in the organizational culture. Through their day-to-day actions & improvements, leaders shape and maintain the organization’s culture Effectively.

Reward Systems :

The Organizational reward system offering pliability and motivation for maximum effectiveness from the employees rather than being hard and rude. Usually, the company culture is formed by the type of reward systems and based on the kinds of behaviors and outcomes it chooses to reward and punish. One relevant element of the reward system is whether the organizational rewards either behaviors or outcomes. In some companies, the employees rewards system highlights intangible elements of performance also it’s looking like easily accessible metrics. In these companies, supervisors and peers may evaluate the workers performance by seeing the person’s behaviors as well as the results.

In such companies, we may expect a culture that is comparatively both either people-oriented or team-oriented, so the employees can act as part of a family [8]. However, in companies in which goal attainment is the sole criterion for reward, there is a focus on measuring only the results without much regard to the process. In these companies, we might supervise result-oriented and competitive cultures. A company culture evolves to determine which behaviors are deserved, which ones are penalized, and which are ignored by them. A reward system is a major tool managers can exert when undertaking the controlling function.

In order for a reward system to be effective, the rewards must hold some importance for the employees. Reward systems should focus on positive reinforcement. It is the most effective tool for encouraging desired behavior because it stimulates people to take actions because they want to, because they get something of value (internally or externally) for doing it. An effectively designed and managed reward program can drive an organization’s change process by positively reinforcing desired behaviors.

According to (Thomas,1994) author presents criteria for building effective reward systems that he calls the SMART criteria. These criteria should be used when designing and evaluating programs. The programs should be:

Specific. A line of sight should be maintained between rewards and actions.

Meaningful. The achievements rewarded should provide an important return on investment to both the performer and the organization.

Achievable. The employee’s or group’s goals should be within the reach of the performers.

Reliable. The program should operate according to its principles and purpose.

Timely. The recognition/rewards should be provided frequently enough to make performers feel valued for their efforts.


Ethical managerial leaders and their people take the “right” and “good” path when they come to the ethical choice points. An organizational culture most likely to shape high ethical standards is one that’s high in risk tolerance, low to moderate in aggressiveness, and focuses on means as well as outcomes. Although, the managers in the organization, innovate and take risk to avoid the unbridled competition, and will pay attention to “How” and “What” goals are achieved.[9]

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Considering the Johnson & Johnson employees culture, have become to know how their strong organizational culture it is. If the culture is strong and supports high ethical standards, definitely it should have a very powerful and positive influence on employee behavior. Even though, sometimes a strong culture can make an unethical behavior because of aggressive culture between the employees. Research suggesting that, some of the practices that management can undertake, Being a visible role model, Communicating ethical expectations, providing ethical training, Visibly rewarding ethical acts and punishing unethical ones, and finally providing protective mechanism can help the employees to be more active into the organizational culture.

According to Turknett research, process that can help to ensure that the organization has an ethical culture and that has the leaders who lead with character. Investing in a process that seeks to infuse an ethical culture is especially important in the case where there is an ethical infringement. And by his three Cs, merely developing a cultural character into the people. Code, Character and Conversation providing a good framework for thinking about infusing ethics into organization culture. By using his model called Growing Leadership Character can also use to cascade these concepts deep into the organizational ranks.

Moreover, his theory expressing the three basic character into the human. thus, providing an ethical behavior. When someone has character, usually it also mean that they are the people who work hard, get results, and are the people always Responsible. They also, however, ground all action in a solid base of Integrity, and they treat people with respect and Equity.[10]

Nevertheless, Dr. Charles D. Kerns illustrates in his various research, how the values are influencing ethical behavior into the human. It could say clearly that VABE’s (Values, Assumptions, behaviors, Emotions) seems to be a subset of virtuous values that align with ethical behavior.[11]

Values —> Attitudes —> Ethical Behavior

In Martin Seligman’s, Authentic Happiness, has reviewed these core virtuous values that influence ethical behavior and appear to have universal appeal. Wisdom and Knowledge, Self Control, Justice and Fair Guidance, Transcendence, Love and Kindness and Courage and Integrity are giving personal values accordingly.However, there are some USA Based Indian companies are providing an ethical training into the employees, Significantly could illustrate as an example, Sierra Atlantic (California-Based software company) Hyderabad, trains its Indian employees in various aspects of U.S culture. As a result, they won a bid with an American firm over an Indian competitor because the Sierra employees were viewed as a better cultural fit. Such successes make it likely that companies with foreign clients will either adopt or continue to use cultural training.[12]

Mary-Jo Kranacher is recommending some more values, to build an ethical culture into the organization, effectively. Developing ethics policies, Implementing controls, Establishing penalties and rewards, Communicating policies and procedures to others from top management to bottom, Enforcing policies consistently are included in his major suggestions.[13] As a result, the purpose of an ethics policy is to support a culture of openness, trust, and integrity in a company’s management and business practices.


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