Organisational culture is an idea in the field of Organisational studies and management which describes the psychology, attitudes, experiences, beliefs and values (personal and cultural values) of an organisation. It has been defined as "the specific collection of values and norms that are shared by people and groups in an organisation and that control the way they interact with each other and with stakeholders outside the organisation."
This definition continues to explain organisational values, also known as "beliefs and ideas about what kinds of goals members of an organisation should pursue and ideas about the appropriate kinds or standards of behavior organisational members should use to achieve these goals. From organisational values develop organisational norms, guidelines, or expectations that prescribe appropriate kinds of behavior by employees in particular situations and control the behavior of organisational members towards one another."
Organizational culture and corporate culture are often used interchangeably but it is a mistake to state that they are different concepts. All corporations are also organizations but not all organizations are corporations. Organizations include religious institutions, not-for-profit groups, and government agencies. There is even the Canadian Criminal Code definition of "organized crime" as meaning "a group comprised of three or more persons which has, as one of its primary activities or purposes, the commission of serious offences which likely results in financial gain." Corporations are organizations and are also legal entities. As Schein (2009), Deal & Kennedy (2000), Kotter (1992) and many others state, organizations often have very differing cultures as well as subcultures. Corporate culture is the total sum of the values, customs, traditions, and meanings that make a company unique. Corporate culture is often called "the character of an organization", since it embodies the vision of the company's founders. The values of a corporate culture influence the ethical standards within a corporation, as well as managerial behavior.
Senior management may try to determine a corporate culture. They may wish to impose corporate values and standards of behavior that specifically reflect the objectives of the organization. In addition, there will also be an extant internal culture within the workforce. Work-groups within the organization have their own behavioral quirks and interactions which, to an extent, affect the whole system. Roger Harrison's four-culture typology, and adapted by Charles Handy, suggests that unlike organizational culture, corporate culture can be 'imported'. For example, computer technicians will have expertise, language and behaviors gained independently of the organization, but their presence can influence the culture of the organization as a whole.
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