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What Is the Relationship Between Organizational Culture and Behavior?

An organization that provides onsite daycare may have more productive workers.
One of the effects of organizational culture and behavior can be seen in the way the leadership of an organization relates with its employees.
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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2014
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Organizational culture and behavior are two separate yet wholly related concepts. The type of established and shared values that shape the activities of an organization is known as the organizational culture. Organizational behavior is the way the employees or the human elements in the organization behave as a consequence of the organizational culture in place in an organization. Both organizational culture and behavior are critical to the workings of a company because they can help determine whether an organization is successful or not.

One of the effects of organizational culture and behavior can be seen in the way the leadership of an organization relates with its employees. The manner in which CEOs and other management relate with the employees that are lower in the hierarchy of an organization can affect the way the employees within that organization behave. If the organizational culture in place means that the CEO is out of reach to everyone but the top management, the employees might not feel the impact of his or her leadership in the same way they would a more accessible leader. This may make the job seem more impersonal, and it might affect the motivation of the workers.

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Another effect of organizational culture and behavior is in the area of operational practice. If the operational practice in an organization encourages everyone to be a team player, the behavior of those employees will be different from that of employees in a place where individual initiative is valued. The employees who are team players may be more integrated than those who are individual achievers. This is because those who are individual players might be very competitive among themselves.

Organizations that have a culture in which the welfare of the employees is taken seriously will produce a different behavior than that of an organization that does not treat its employees as well. For instance, a company that has a daycare center within its premises for the busy workers will definitely benefit in terms of increased performance and more dedication from mothers and fathers who do not have to rush through their jobs in order to go and pick up their children from daycare. This will also make the employees feel valued and be more willing to give their best for the success of the organization. The opposite might be the case for an organization with an appalling worker welfare package. The employees will almost certainly not be as motivated as those with a good welfare package.

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browncoat
Post 3

@indigomoth - The company can foster competition without making it cutthroat though. I mean, you don't really want your employees driven to the point where they feel the need to break laws.

Look at the demise of some of the media giants in Britain. They must have put huge pressure on their employees if they were willing to go to the point of breaking the law in order to get details on a story.

And not only breaking the law, but also violating what people would consider standard moral values.

Not to mention, as it says in the article, corporations can foster competition but also do things to make you feel secure in your job, like providing child care.

I think if they get the balance right, the behavior of their employees will repay almost anything they can spend on them.

indigomoth
Post 2

@bythewell - I don't think it's as simple as that though. A cutthroat environment is only bad if you need cooperation in your work. If you are in a job like investment, where really the individuals are going to gain much more through competition with each other than cooperation, then I think that kind of organizational culture has its place.

If you're in a job where everyone needs to work together to achieve a goal, like programming or something, then yeah, I think the company is better off fostering a sense of community rather than instability.

But, I don't think that that is always the best environment. There are people who enjoy being in competition all the time and won't thrive if they aren't given that kind of stimulation.

bythewell
Post 1

I was recently applying for a particular graduate degree program and I heard very conflicting accounts about the culture of the school.

Some people said it was a completely cutthroat environment, and was a terrible place to study. Some people said it was very relaxed and friendly and that everyone was supportive.

It took me a while to figure out why there were two such very different stories. Apparently originally this program had limited funding, so only a handful of students each year received full scholarships. As critical analysis is a big part of this course, the students would all try to rip each other to pieces, in order to prove that they were the best and worthy of the funding.

Now the school has full funding for every student (although it is still better or worse depending on your perceived ability) they are much more supportive of each other, because they can afford to be.

I think this is very similar to the environments that happen when a corporate culture is encouraged which idolizes competition over cooperation. I'd much rather work with people who are going to support me than stab me in the back.

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