Organizational Culture and the Development of Organizational Culture



One of the significant elements while discussing about organization development is to discuss its own existing culture as the culture itself is part of organization behavior that gives significant role in shaping organizational sustainability.

Above all there is a need to recognize the right culture for any organization to achieve excellence. Peters and Waterman (1982) clearly described organizational culture as the human side of an organization with managers’ key role being to shape culture by making meaning for employees out of the confusing place that some organization can be. It is no doubt one of the absolute function of any organization is to look into its own existing culture, whether it should be changed or maintained to achieve organization’s missions and objectives.

Since the culture itself is a very subjective subject that involves and dealings with human activities, there always be conflicts and resistance occurs with the progress of introducing a new culture or abolishing the existing and outdated culture.

Organizational development and change have to deal with replacing the existing practiced culture to a fresh new one, which may be not totally acceptable to some members of the organization. Dick and Ellis (2006) stated that we cannot identify one best culture for all organization in all situations. In other words there is not perfect set of organizational culture that can fit to any organization. Rather it should be treated as a unique element of any organization that differs from one another.


There are some operating definitions regarding organizational culture. Gareth R. Jones (1997) defined organizational culture as the set of shared values and norms that control organizational members’ interaction with each other and with people outside the organization. This means that it is the organizational culture that determines how members of an organization communicate internally or externally. This form of communicational and interactive behavior will then portrays as the norms, values and style shared by organization members. The organizational culture itself also plays important role to achieve organizational effectiveness because it is actually a controlling factor of the way organization behave.

Denison (1990) described organizational culture also referred to a set of shared values, belief, assumptions, and practices that shapes members’ attitude and behavior in the organization. The important element when defining organizational culture are understanding what the members of particular organization share, believe in and practice that later considered acceptable and acknowledged by the organizational community.

The organizational culture covers all what values and norms have been shared by organizational members and also include the set of behaviour, interaction and style that every member of particular organization adapts. Gareth R. Jones (1997) described organization’s culture consist of two values; Terminal Value which is a desired end state outcome that people seek to achieve like high quality, excellence, etc and Instrumental Value, a desired mode of pattern of behavior like being helpful, working hard etc.

While norms, according to Gareth R. Jones (1997) is a standard or styles of behavior that are considered acceptable or typical for a group of people. The norms itself are a part of organizational culture.


Comprehensive understanding on what is organizational culture all about and how it can affects the way organization will progress is extremely important due to the fact that organizational culture itself is an essential element of the organization. Changing the organization means having the ability to change the organizational culture that controls the...

References: 1. Peters, T. Waterman, R. (1982). In Search of Excellence. New York & London. Harper & Row;
3. Jones, Gareth R (1997). Organizational Theory. Text and Cases. Second Edition. Addison Wesley Longman Publishing Company;
5. Abdul Rashid, Md Z, Sambasivan, M and Abdul Rahman, A (2003). “The influence of organizational culture on attitude towards organizational change”. The leadership & Organizational Development Journal Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 161-179;
7. Harrison, R (1995), The collected papers of Roger Harisson. London. McGraw-Hill.;
9. Chris Jarvis (2005) - Business Open Learning Archive (BOLA) Harrison: Typologies of Organisational Culture -
11. Brown, Donald R. & Harvey, D (2006). An Experimental Approach to Organizational Development Seventh edition. New Jersey. Pearson Prentice Hall
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