Organizational culture is a concept in the field of Organizational studies and management which describes the attitudes, experiences, beliefs and values of an organization. It has been defined as “the specific collection of values and norms that are shared by people and groups in an organization and that control the way they interact with each other and with stakeholders outside the organization.”
This definition continues to explain organizational values also known as “beliefs and ideas about what kinds of goals members of an organization should pursue and ideas about the appropriate kinds or standards of behavior organizational members should use to achieve these goals. From organizational values develop organizational norms, guidelines or expectations that prescribe appropriate kinds of behavior by employees in particular situations and control the behavior of organizational members towards one another.”
Organizational culture is not the same as corporate culture. It is wider and deeper concepts,
something that an organization ‘is’ rather than what it ‘has’ (according to Buchanan and
Huczynski). 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.