Organizational culture is the expression used to describe the common attitudes,
perceptions, outlooks and beliefs of individuals in organizations. It encompasses a variety of
beliefs and behaviors, including an organizations usual dress code, status symbols and authority,
ceremonies and rituals, customary language, etc.
All of these help define an organization's
"personality" and norms.
An organizational culture that is supportive will maintain high levels of performance and
loyalty from its participants. This is often required in order for the organization to be able to
adapt in the world of business and remain competitive. Organization culture can, however, cause
an organization to become stagnant if it is allowed to become a culture of deep-seated attitudes,
lack of understanding, and weak communication.
Organizational culture is not self - creating, it does not instantly spring to life when an
organization comes into being.
It is formed over time, especially if the organization continues to
be successful, as the staff learns to work together, cope with day-to-day stresses and external
demands and sustain the internal stability of the organization.
Gradually, a set of persistent
attitudes, perceptions, outlooks and beliefs will develop and begin to be taught to newcomers as
well. (Boan, 2003)
In healthcare, organizational culture has been directly connected to several aspects of
organizational accomplishment: financial performance, customer and employee satisfaction, and
In the healthcare environment, organizational culture has also been linked with
several principles of the organizational experience that relate to quality care, such as nursing
care, job satisfaction, and patient safety. (Scott, 2003) (Aiken, 1994)