Culture Walk: A View of Organizational Culture
An organizations culture varies as extensively as the products or services it provides. In
today's ever changing corporate environment, the cultural make-up of an organization is
instrumental in the overall success of the company. Meaning it can have either a positive or
negative impact on whether or not the organization is able to achieve its primary objectives
(Eisenberg, Goodall, Tretheway, 2010). In this paper I will explore the concept of organizational
culture, explain the importance of this concept and discuss the current culture of the organization
I am associated with.
Although culture is not an easily defined concept, it is generally described as being made
up of the values, beliefs, and norms expressed in work practices and behavior. Oftentimes it is
this unique mix of values and norms that govern the cultural environment of the organization.
Meaning, an organizations culture is not necessarily a predetermined list of values one can find
in a carefully worded mission statement or available as an appendix in an annual report. Rather,
culture is created by the organization itself (Eisenberg, Goodall, Tretheway, 2010).
Some of the most visible expressions of the culture in any organization are referred to as
artifacts (Eisenberg, Goodall, Tretheway, 2010). These include the architecture and decor, the
clothing people wear, the organizational processes and structures, and the rituals, symbols and
celebrations. Other concrete manifestations of culture are found in commonly used language and
terminology, as well as logos, brochures, company slogans, as well as status symbols such as
cars, window offices, titles, and of course mission statements and priorities. An outsider can
often spot these artifacts easily upon entering an organization. However, for insiders, these
artifacts tend to just blend into the background (Eisenberg, Goodall, Tretheway, 2010).