Functions of Organisational Culture

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Functions of Organisational Culture

Culture plays a significant role in the working environment of an organization. If an organization has a positive and dynamic working environment, it will lead to the satisfaction of the employees and result in greater productivity.

Organizational culture inculcates a sense of responsibility in the employees. It encourages them to perform well and contribute to the growth of the organization.

Organizational culture works as a ‘social glue’ that keeps the employees united through shared values. The employees are recognized by the name of the organization they work in. Rituals and organizational events help the employees to understand the culture of the organization.

The functions of organizational culture are as follows:

  • Provides employees in an organization with a sense of identity
  • Defines the boundaries for the employees of the organization
  • Generates the commitment and dedication from the employees of the organization
  • Increases social stability in an organization

Strong Culture Perspective

In an organization, a strong culture is evaluated by the responsiveness of employees to its core values, integrity, objectives, and vision. If most of the employees share the same opinion about the core positive values in the organization, then it is considered a strong culture.

Some examples of organizations, having strong cultures are Southwest Airlines, Marriott Hotels, Starbucks, Mcdonald’s, and IBM. On the contrary, in a weak culture, employees do not hold the same opinion about the core values of an organization.

According to Susan Lucas-Conwell, the global CEO of Great Place to Work, strong cultures are important for small businesses because prospective employees often compare the existing culture of the organization to larger and more famous organizations’ cultures.

A strong culture influences the work and behavior of employees. It is also found that strong cultures last longer than weak cultures. It means employees never like to leave organizations that hold strong cultures.

In strong cultures, employees are not only treated with respect but, they also feel more secure about their jobs. This turns them to become more committed and loyal to their work and organizations. Therefore, organizations should develop a strong culture where employees are treated with respect.

Fit Perspective

Cultural fit denotes the possibility of whether a candidate for a job would be able to adapt to the core values and culture of an organization. In other words, it refers to the similarity of an organization’s values, beliefs, and assumptions to that of an employee’s values and beliefs.

Cultural fit helps an organization assess the level of difficulties that it may face while adopting changes. Organizations with a high degree of cultural fit tend to adopt cultural changes more effectively.

According to Furnham, an organizational psychologist, and speaker, a fit is where there is congruence between the norms and values of the organization and those of the person. He further asserts that fit is not only related to employees and organizations but also to co-workers, supervisors, and managers.

Cultural fit is usually assessed during the interview phase of the hiring process as it is all about soft skills and personal goals that a job candidate reflects. The way a candidate answers the questions asked during the interview helps the interviewer decide whether the candidate will prosper within the company’s culture.

Candidates that show the tendency of an appropriate cultural fit are more likely to sustain themselves in the organization, thereby improving productivity while cutting down the costs associated with the replacement of the employees.

Cultural fit is important as the absence of the same may lead to job dissatisfaction, poor productivity, excessive absences, and turnover. John Morse, an organizational psychologist, carried out a study on the effect of cultural fit. He divided the employees of an organization into two groups to study cultural fit and work efficiency. One group was employed in a job they were not good at.

The second group was engaged in a job that suited the individual personalities of the group members. The result showed that the second group was more satisfied with their given job. In addition, it was also observed that the positive cultural fit enhanced the confidence level of the employees thereby, resulting in better productivity.

Adaptation Perspective

An adaptive culture in an organization sees change as an opportunity for growth. If an organization has an adaptive culture, its employees are not afraid of changes and uncertainties; rather, they see these changes as exciting and challenging opportunities.

In today’s world, organizations are likely to be successful only if they have an adaptive culture. An adaptive culture welcomes changes and facilitates management with better decision-making power.

Leaders know how to embrace change as it is not always possible to be prepared for it. Adaptive culture advocates that if you do not know the solution to a problem, it can be figured out and learned.

For fostering an adaptive culture in an organization, top management should obey the following:

  • Encouraging ideas from all the employees
  • Adopting transparency in the organization
  • Developing the leadership skills in employees
  • Guiding employee behavior by making a list of values and beliefs

Adaptive culture values the processes and people who bring change to an organization.

Organisational Culture at Apple Inc.

Apple Inc. is an American multinational corporation that designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. It is famous for its world-class hardware products including the Macintosh line of computers, iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

Apple’s software includes the Mac OS X operating system, the iTunes media browser, the iLife suite of multimedia and creativity software, etc.

From its inclusive aesthetic designs to its unique advertising campaigns, Apple has established an exclusive name in the consumer electronics industry. Today, the organization has a large base of loyal customers.

The success story of the organization cannot be written without its strong organizational culture according to which, self-motivated employees will work harder if they do not have an intervening authority for their every action.

The unique organizational culture at Apple had allowed it to grow and react more quickly to changes than its competitors.

Let us discuss some major aspects of organizational culture at Apple Inc.:

Design is Everything

The employees, who work for Apple, know it better than the company never compromises on product designs. Therefore, the organizational culture of Apple lets its employees absorb the culture where innovation and care of design are the basis for survival.

Apple is Different

After joining Apple, new employees are expected to forget everything they knew about the technology world. This is because Apple does not follow traditional technological knowledge and has a different working pattern for doing anything.

If an employee associates a technology with what he/she has done before, the technology will never be accepted by Apple. The organization considers itself different and never links with anything that is usual or not new.

Nothing Can Beat Apple as an Organisation

Apple as an organization has an immense ego. The organization believes itself as the best organization in the world and it wants its employees too to believe in this philosophy.

Take Mistakes to Heart

As an extremely egoist organization, Apple cannot bear its criticism. Apple does not prefer being told that the organization is doing something wrong. Not only the organization but its employees and consumers are also expected to dislike its criticism.

In true Apple fashion, the organization responds to its criticism with a level of bitterness that other organizations in the industry may never muster.

Always Maintain Secrecy

The discussion on Apple’s corporate culture cannot get completed without describing its fondness for secrecy. According to the organization, secrecy governs success at the company.

Apple’s upcoming updates rarely get leaked and the employees are well aware of the consequences if they disclose any secret information.

Article Source
  • Biswas, R. (2010). Organisational climate and culture. New Delhi: Altar Pub. House.

  • Robbins, S. (2011). Organisational behaviour. Frenchs Forest, N.S.W.: Pearson Australia.

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