Corporate Culture


Introduction
Corporate culture is the shared values and meanings that members hold in common and that are practiced by an organization’s leaders. Corporate culture is a powerful force that affects individuals in very real ways. In this paper I will explain the concept of corporate culture, apply the concept towards my employer, and analyze the validity of this concept.
Research
As Sackmann\'s Iceberg model demonstrates, culture is a series of visible and invisible characteristics that influence the behavior of members of organizations. Organizational and corporate cultures are formal and informal. They can be studied by observation, by listening and interacting with people in the culture, by reading what the company says about its own culture, by understanding career path progressions, and by observing stories about the company. As R. Solomon stated, “Corporate culture is related to ethics through the values and leadership styles that the leaders practice; the company model, the rituals and symbols that organizations value, and the way organizational executives and members communicate among themselves and with stakeholders. As a culture, the corporation defines not only jobs and roles; it also sets goals and establishes what counts as success” (Solomon, 1997, p.138). Corporate values are used to define corporate culture and drive operations found in “strong” corporate cultures. Boeing, Johnson & Johnson, and Bonar Group, the engineering firm I work for, all exemplify “strong” cultures. They all have a shared philosophy, they value the importance of people, they all have heroes that symbolize the success of the company, and they celebrate rituals, which provide opportunities for caring and sharing, for developing a spirit of “oneness” and “weness”(Weiss, 1994). Organizations that stress competition, profit, and economic or self-interests over stakeholder obligations and that have on morally active direction often have cultures that are in trouble.
The founders of an organization set the tone for the beginning stage of what a company’s culture will be. The practices of the founders and first employees begin the rituals, the corporate stories, and norms. Ethics are a major factor in the development of a positive or negative culture. If companies allow unethical acts to occur, this behavior will perpetuate itself through the life of the organization. Promotions and raises also affect the type of culture a company has. Is everyone given a chance to excel or are there picks and choose as to who will get the promotion? This type of behavior creates mistrust among employees of a company, thus causing an intense environment.
Ethics are an important role in how everyday activities are carried out. The struggle that most people have today is implementing ethics into their daily life is the question, “Will it benefit the Company?” or “Is it right?” The method used to get on the right tract towards ethics is the decision that one may make. There are many different questions asked about guidelines of how to create and maintain a strong corporate culture. One may be able to set up a goal or future vision to help strengthen his or her environment. This idea can help create an environment, which focus on enhancing the founders’ mission and objectives (Weiss, 1994). Communication also affects the strength of weakness of a culture. It is essential that management communicate the accomplishments as well as the failures of the departments of the organization, not only vertically but horizontally as well. Reward criteria, conflict tolerance, and control are dimensions of a corporate culture.
The culture of a company is very influential in daily transactions. It establishes what can and cannot be done. Some practices may be written down or may not be written down and are learned through observation. Planning, leading, organizing, and controlling are functions that are affected by the strength of weakness of a culture. Satisfaction of a job well done, benefits, and other factors apply to the effectiveness of a culture. If leadership focuses on not only the well being of the organization but its members as well, this will encourage full participation from its members.
Corporate cultures affect the internal and external activities of a company on a daily basis. The culture creates the environment that sets the mode for the total practices of an organization. A culture may be strong or it may be weak; strong cultures share a common goal and have a positive environment.