Glue of Organisational Culture

Prof. Dileep Kumar M.
Professor (HRD/OB)
MA, MSW, M.Phill, PGDBA, PGDHRM, PGDCA, DLL, DHA, (UGC-NET), PhD (On Submission)
Sinhgad Institute of Business Administration & Computer Application
Sinhgad Technical Education Society
Kusgaon, Lonavala-410 401 Pune (Dist)



Culture is a concept borrowed from the field of Anthropology. Sociologists, Anthropologists and Behavioural scientists have extensively used the term culture. Culture stands for symbols and values; it is the strong widely shared core values; and it is regarded as the moral spiritual and intellectual attainment of man. Culture facilitates a harmonious and balanced cultivation of all the faculties in man, intellect, emotion, intuition, sense and perception. Culture is the primary and basic thing; it is inside every human being and is what we are. Culture plays the role of a guide, which makes human being confirm to accepted ways of life. It is the flesh as well as the spirit. It liberates as well as enslaves him. It lays down norms of behaviour and provides the mechanism, which secure an individual his personal and social survival.

Taylor E.B (1987) defined culture as that "complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of a society".

Organisational Culture

Man spends major part of his life in the organisations within which he works. When people join an organisation, they bring with them the unique values and behaviours that they have been taught. Any organisation with firmly established organisational culture would be taught the values, beliefs and expected behaviours of that organisation. Just as society moulds human behaviour, an organisation also moulds human behaviour that is in tune with the prevalent set of norms and behaviour. In this process, certain basic attitudes and beliefs about the people and their work situations are slowly but firmly accepted in the organisation, which becomes its 'Organisational Culture.'

A strong culture, which reflects the healthy behaviour, is the keenness to work hard and a strong desire and willingness to contribute to the best. Behaviour towards work-efficiency is largely controlled by internal ability and willingness to work hard. It is based on sincerity of participation, involvement, devotion to duty, earnest desire to work, and discharge of responsibilities with confidence and competence.  Here, 'culture act as a blue print influencing all aspect of life.

Culture around a work place provides a comprehensive framework for understanding the various facets of work behaviour. Human behaviour is the out come of frequent interaction between several value system and pattern of the interrelation of cultural traits. It is not a self-induced phenomenon. Employee's attitudes are reasonably, good predictors of human behaviour and the organisational culture. It provides clues to an employee's behavioural intentions and inclinations to act in a way. The culture of an organisation is precipated through negative and positive attitudes of organizational members. A strong culture, which is widely held by the organisational members, indicates a favourable attitude and a weak culture indicates unfavorable attitude of members towards the beliefs and norms of the organisation. Employee's attitudes are the beliefs and feelings that largely determine how employee will perceive their work environment, commit them to intended actions and ultimately behave.

Strong indicator of cultural variations in work environment then can be observed through human behaviour, which is the precipitation of dominant attitude. Attitudes comprise three elements: affect (feelings, emotions); cognitions (knowledge, beliefs, values); and behaviour. An integral and important component of an attitude concerns the values attributed to its contents. Values reflect how positively or negatively a person feels towards a specific object, event or relationship and, consequently, provide valuable insights into the nature of the employee-work relationship. Human attitude towards prevailing value system is then a factor detrimental to organisational growth, organisational development and success.

Organisational Culture and Ethics

An organization's culture evolves from the values of its members. However, organizational culture and ethics are more than the sum of their parts. Organizations develop a self-sustaining and durable system of ethics that exerts a powerful influence on the actions, decisions, and behaviors of all employees. Ethics in organizations are influenced more by the group ethics system (culture) than by the sum of the individual personal ethics systems. These "group effects" can have a profound effect on the ethical behavior and overall culture of an organization.

Ethics reflects the collection of values and behaviour, which people feel are moral. In other words, a positive work ethics is the collection of the values and actions that people feel are appropriate in the work place. Since ethics is a collection of values and behaviour which people feel are moral, a positive work ethics is the collection of all the values and action that people feel are appropriate in the work place. Ethics at work place is about the standards of proper conduct to be followed by employees and employers in a work place. Ethical values and conduct at work place includes integrity, loyalty, respect fairness, caring and citizenship.

Why a manager should understand the organisational Culture?

Culture is an asset that can also be a liability. It is an asset as it facilitates better cooperation and communication between management and employees. It is a liability when important shared beliefs and values interfere with the needs of the business and of the company and the people who work for it.  Hence,

* An understanding of organisational culture is important in the field of organisational behaviour as it give proper understanding, insight, and feedback to the leaders and management about the present cultural pattern that facilitate, either to development or constraints to organisational development.

* An understanding of Organisational Culture is important because no organization can operate in isolation to its cultural environment. In other words, organizations are social systems that must be inevitably operating to survive.

* An understanding of organisational culture is important as it explore the ethos and managerial practices at work, which would go a long way in developing positive attitudes, which in turn are likely to exert positive influence on performance.

* An understanding of Organisational Culture is significant as it establishes the linkage between culture, leadership and work ethics in building human and social capital and it is trough human beings that organisations can sustain high performance.


Individuals arrive at organizations with variant motivations, experiences, and values.  These natural individual differences tend to direct behavior in numerous, often divergent directions.  An understanding of value expectancy of members in an organisation is fundamental to the understanding of managing organisational culture and behaviour. The value orientation of employees underlies employees and employers behaviour. Major managerial functions and roles are perceived through value driven approaches. Knowledge of culture of organisation may help us to understand the power of culture on human behaviour at work.  It helps in better decision making and control of human behaviour at work.


1. Dhingra, O.P.& Pathak, V. K. (1999), ' Organisational Culture and Managers,' Shri Ram Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, New Delhi.
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5. Keith Davis. (1999), "Human Behaviour at Work" Tata McGraw Hill publishing company Limited. New Delhi
6. Kramer and Foy (1974), 'Organisational Culture, a mode of stabilizing Behaviour', In K.K Ahuja.(1997) 'Organizational Behaviour', Second edition, Kalyani publishers, New Delhi 110 060
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Tailor E.B. (1913) Primitive Culture, 2 Vols, (London)

Prof. Dileep Kumar M.
Professor (HRD/OB)
MA, MSW, M.Phill, PGDBA, PGDHRM, PGDCA, DLL, DHA, (UGC-NET), PhD (On Submission)
Sinhgad Institute of Business Administration & Computer Application
Sinhgad Technical Education Society
Kusgaon, Lonavala-410 401 Pune (Dist)

Source: E-mail June 5, 2005


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