Term Paper

Submitted By laurag687
Words: 2964
Pages: 12

According to the Roxanne Emmerich Group, culture is the leading predictor of future growth and profitability (The Bus Stops Here: Creating a Performance-Based Culture That Continually Raises the Bar). Companies like Zappos Inc. and Coyote Logistics LLC are changing the traditional business model and making the workplace a fun environment with their publically claimed cultural mentality of “work hard, play hard” (Zappos Family Core Values) and “no excuses” (Coyote Philosophy). For today’s profit driven organizations, the creation, measurement, and enhancing of workplace culture is increasingly important to foster success and future growth all the while meeting rising customer demands.
This paper will attempt to do four things: first, define organizational culture and the different types of cultures within the workplace and how they are created; then, examine organizational factors that contribute to team effectiveness; thirdly, discuss ways researchers can effectively study organizational cultures and measure their respective performances; and, finally, discuss ways experts attempt to enhance and improve workplace culture.
Defining Organizational Culture
A study by Hulya Julia Yazici, on the Significance of Organizational Culture, examined how an organization’s culture contributes to perceived project and business performance. This study defined organizational culture as the set of values, beliefs, and behavioral norms shared by members of an organization that provide them with meaning and rules of behavior (Schein). Organizational culture describes the complex set of knowledge structures that organizational members use to generate social behavior (Bates). Beyond the broad overlay of organizational culture, the competing values model of organizational culture provides a classification of cultural values that reflects preferred structural characteristics and desired modes of operation (Quinn and Cameron). The competing values model positions organizations along two dimensional groups. The two groups of dimensions are contra-effects and are described as: the demands for flexibility, dynamism, and discretion versus stability, order, and control; and secondly, a focus on internal maintenance versus external positioning, differentiation, and rivalry (Cameron and Quinn). These two dimensions combine to create four sets of values associated with four types of organizational culture: clan, adhocracy, hierarchy, and market cultures. Clan culture, also known as group culture, has a positioning toward collaboration and combines a concentration on flexibility and internal maintenance. Clan culture was also found to significantly contribute to an organization’s effective business performance (Cameron and Quinn). Cost savings, sales growth, and improved competitiveness were found to be linked with clan or group culture as well. Results from Yazici’s study point out that clan or group culture accelerates the process for a cohesive, high performing teamwork environment, and results in improved business performance. Adhocracy culture, also referred to as development culture, combines a concentration on flexibility with an emphasis on competitive positioning. Market culture, also known to as rational culture, combines an emphasis on stability and control with competitive market positioning. Hierarchical culture stresses stability and internal maintenance (Cameron).
As many organizational researchers agreed, culture manifests itself in different layers within an organization from easily observable artifacts to shared values and even outsider stigmas. As described by The Academy of Management review, it is precisely because of the salience of the dirty work stigma that strong culture tend to unite around the occupation as a whole and/or individual workgroups (Ashforth 419). The process through which subcultures are formed is more likely to be realized under certain conditions identified in the group formation and…