Characteristics of Organizational Culture

Welcome to the course "Characteristics of Organizational Culture"!

Introduction- This section of the module will define the courses objective and will help you to understand the definition of Organizational Culture.

Objective

Upon completing this module, you will be able to identify and describe the Seven Characteristics of Organizational Culture.

Organizational Culture

Before we begin, it is important to understand what Organizational Culture is... 

What is Organizational Culture?

Organizational culture is the pattern of shared values, beliefs, and assumptions considered to be the appropriate way to think and act within an organization.

Culture provides stability to an organization and gives employees a clear understanding of the way things are done. Culture sets the tone for how an organization operates and how individuals within the organization interact. 



Click on the link below to help you understand Organizational Culture better! 

Think about an organization you have worked at or are familiar with, how would you characterize and describe the culture?

Seven Characteristics - This section of the module will look in depth at each of the 7 characteristics of Organizational Culture. You will have the chance to enhance your knowledge with 7 Multiple Choice Questions!

Seven Characteristics

There are Seven Characteristics of Organizational Culture

  1. Innovation and Risk-taking
  2. Attention to detail
  3. Outcome Orientation

4. People Orientation

5. Team Orientation

6. Aggressiveness 

7. Stability

Hover over the characteristics on the image below to find out what each means! 

1. Innovation and Risk- Taking:

  • Google - Engineer
  • TD- Bank Teller
  • General Motors - Assembly line worker
"The degree to which employees are encouraged to be innovative and take risks"



Which one of the following organizations exhibits a culture of Innovation and Risk-Taking?

2. Attention to Detail

  • Mc Donalds - Kitchen staff
  • Canadian Tire - Customer Service Agent
  • Four Seasons Hotel - Front Desk Manager

"The degree to which employees are expected to exhibit precision, analysis, and attention to detail."

 

Which one of the following organizations exhibits a culture of Attention to Detail?

3. Outcome Orientation

  • TD - Bank Teller
  • Best Buy - Sales Agent
  • Walmart - Cashier

"The degree to which management focuses on results or outcomes rather than on technique and process."

 

Which one of the following organizations exhibits a culture of Outcome Orientation?

4. People Orientation

  • Walmart - Cashier
  • Starbucks - Barista
  • Remax - Real Estate Agent

"The degree to which management decisions take into consideration the effect of outcomes on people within the organization."

 

Which one of the following organizations exhibits a culture of People Orientation?

5. Team orientations

  • TD- Financial Advisor
  • Southwest Airline - Flight Attendants
  • Sitel - Customer Service Agent

"The degree to which work activities are organized around teams rather than individuals."

 

Which one of the following organizations exhibits a culture of of Team orientations?

6. Aggressiveness

  • Red Cross - relief worker
  • Disney - Innovator
  • Ford - Car Sales

"The degree to which people are aggressive and competitive rather than easygoing."

 

Which one of the following organizations exhibits a culture of Aggressiveness?

7. Stability

  • McDonalds - Manager
  • Kraft Foods - Manager
  • TD- Manager

"The degree to which organizational activities emphasize maintaining the status quo in contrast to growth."

 

Which of the following organizations exhibits a culture of Stability?

Key Takeaway

Key Takeaway!

Culture can be understood in terms of seven different culture dimensions, depending on what is most emphasized within the organization. For example, innovative cultures are flexible and adaptable, and they experiment with new ideas, while stable cultures are predictable, rule-oriented, and bureaucratic. It is the hope that you are able to now able to distinguish each of the characteristics that make up an Organizational Culture! 

Evaluation - To test your understanding of the Seven Characteristics of Organizational Culture there are 5 questions for you to complete!

Match the Scenario to the correct type of Organizational Culture

  • Team Orientation
    A group of disaster relief workers from Red Cross are sent into a city to clean up after a major storm and assist residents.
  • Outcome Orientation
    A Real Estate worker from XYZ Real Estate shows a home to a new home buyer and fails to mention a crack that is noticed in the foundation because the couple seems very interested and are likely to buy the home.
  • Innovation and Risk-Taking
    An Apple Engineer creates a new and exciting product that is in the process of being launched to the public

Out of the culture dimensions described, which dimension do you think would lead to higher levels of employee satisfaction and retention and why?

An Aggressive Organizational Culture is one where the workers are competitive in nature rather than easygoing

  • True
  • False

Fill in the blank with the correct characteristic of Organizational Culture

 is the degree to which employees are expected to exhibit precision and analysis.

Fill in the blank with the correct characteristic of Organizational Culture

is the degree to which organizational activities emphasize maintaining the status quo in contrast to growth. 

Congratulations!!! You have successfully completed the module Seven Characteristics of Organizational Culture!

References

Bauer, T., & Erdogan, B. (2017). Organizational Behavior: Characteristics of organizational Culture. Retrieved from http://catalog.flatworldknowledge.com/bookhub/3?e=bauer-ch15_s02

Denison Consulting: What is organizational culture. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cBN8xH-5Qw

Google Images. Retrieved from https://www.google.ca/search?as_st=y&tbm=isch&hl=en&as_q=test&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&cr=&as_sitesearch=&safe=images&tbs=sur:fmc

Langton, N., Robbins, S. P., Judge, T., Breward, K. (2016). Organizational behaviour: concepts, controversies, applications (7th ed.). Toronto: Pearson.O’Reilly, C. A., III, Chatman, J. A., & Caldwell, D. F. (1991). People and organizational culture: A profile comparison approach to assessing person-organization fit. Academy of Management Journal, 34, 487–516.