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Organizational culture

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Organizational culture is generally understood as all of a company’s beliefs, values and attitudes, and how these influence the behaviour of its employees.

Culture affects how people experience an organization—that is, what it’s like for a customer to buy from a company or a supplier to work with it. It shows up in company policies such as dress code and office hours. It also informs things such as workspace design and employee perks. Culture is usually set by a company’s leaders.

Companies don’t tend to define their cultures explicitly; they tend to emerge from what people believe, how they think, what they say and what they do. Culture shapes what behaviour is acceptable or unacceptable. Culture may help define values and core principles that guide organizational behaviour.

More about organizational culture

In periods of organizational change, culture can either be a help or a hindrance. For example, an organization with a culture of collaboration and adaptability may embrace change, while a less flexible, more bureaucratic culture may not respond well to transformation. Leaders need to be aware of this when guiding their organization through periods of change.

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