What is Corporate Culture?
In six words,
corporate culture is "How we do
things around here."
Corporate culture is the collective behavior of
people using common
habits, working language, systems, and symbols. It is interwoven with
processes, technologies, learning and
significant events. In addition,
different individuals bring to the workplace their own uniqueness,
ethnic culture. So corporate culture
encompasses moral, social, and behavioral norms of your
on the values, beliefs, attitudes, and priorities of its members.
Corporate culture can be transformed, but
leadership to sustain anything that sweeping has to come from "the
Your corporate culture is good only if it fits
its context, i.e. your
business strategy. In today's
rapidly changing economy, "only
cultures that can help organizations anticipate and adapt to environmental
change will be associated with superior performance over the long time."8
Research findings10 show that cultures that are
externally oriented (e.g. risk taking, readiness to meet new challenges)
tend to be more strongly associated with organizational performance
(operationalized using a range of measures) than do those cultures which are
bureaucratic and predominantly internally focused...
Corporate Culture: The Three Levels
Edgar Shein describes the three levels of a
At this level, culture is both enacted and reinforced through
visible appearances and behaviors, such as physical layouts, dress
codes, organizational structure, company policies, procedures and
programs, and attitudes.
Middle Level: Here, culture is
manifested through our
beliefs and values.
At this level,
culture is manifested through
basic assumptions – our long-learned, automatic responses and
The spiritual center of Toyota is Toyota
City, a huge company town of 400,000 people outside the industrial city
of Nagoya. Once in a while, Toyota employees
from around the globe come to the company's Toyota City plant near
Nagoya, Japan for indoctrination in the "Toyota Way."
commitment to teamwork is exemplified on the factory floor, where
workers grab parts from trolleys that move with the line, one of many
timesaving innovations proposed by the workers themselves. Slogans
written by employees hang from the ceiling, and each production team has
its own melody that rings out when a member needs to catch management's
attention. Toyota's devotion to "Kaizen,"
continuous improvement, shows up
throughout the company and is a lesson that will serve all managers.11
competitive advantage is based on a
corporate philosophy known as the
Toyota's philosophy of
empowering its workers is the centrepiece of a human resources
management system that fosters creativity, continuous improvement, and
by encouraging employee participation, and that likewise engenders high
levels of employee loyalty...