The Paradigm Shift
"Culture of Chance to Culture of Choice"


Prof. Dileep Kumar M.


Culture is the 'operating system' of an organization. It is the living, dynamic interplay of all of the shared beliefs, values, norms, and practices that are operating both consciously and unconsciously within an organization. Culture guides what people consider important and how they think, act, feel and work. Culture is the unwritten message that fills in the gaps between what is formal and what actually takes place. It influences the behavior of all individuals and groups within the organization.  Culture affects the quality of decision-making and action taking, which in turn affects work group morale and performance.

The critical resource in today's competitive world is human resource. Finding and keeping the best people to move forward an organisation with fidelity and accuracy, is the biggest challenge business organisations facing today. Attracting and retaining talent is integral to business success and survival. It is not solved just with higher salaries and more perks. The solution involves sorting out the best values and beliefs that are suitable to the organization to create an environment where people motivated to contribute and stay. The big challenge is to create the "Culture of Choice".

Building the 'Culture of Choice'

Building the 'Culture of Choice' consists of identifying the existing culture, clarifying business goals and strategy, defining the desired culture and then targeting change initiatives to eliminate the gaps.

The culture consequences has far reaching implications clearly indicates the need of the hour to develop a value system that meets human expectation and organizational goal. The deep rooted behavioral consequences spells out the significance of socio technical and psycho- social dimensions which create building blocks in the development of high performance culture. These behavioral consequences to be perceived as a changes in human relations due to the changes in the socio-technical psycho-social and socio political spheres necessitated by global changes. No culture of organization free from the change process. In the fast paced ever-changing market environment its imperative that an organization should be structured to facilitate the strategic policymaking and its implementation. The ongoing process of liberalization and globalization started to influence industrial settings more and more. As a result there is drastic change in the organizational value system especially human resources of the organization. To cope up with the global and organizational change it is inevitable to redefine, restructure and integrate work culture for better human relationship and quantity, quality, productivity and profitability.

Culture development is a strategic intervention in which organizations purposefully channelise all material and human resources to achieve organization vision mission and goal by developing a value system, which is shared by the majority members. Culture creation is a one-man task. As it lies on deep-rooted beliefs assumptions and practices one cannot evolve a culture simply by introducing new and new policies. Major factor highly influenced by this culture evolving process is human resources. Human expectations, human sentiments, willingness, cooperation, collective consciousness etc significantly influences the culture creation and development and sustenance process.  Tangible evidence of strong culture contribution is member's high motivational behaviour. To get best out of employees, an organization should create a culture in which individual identify themselves to the organizational approach and philosophy. It should develop a culture of working environment where the employees personally feel connected to the organization and confident about their potentialities. They should capable enough to contribute to the system. The culture of control that permeated to the last decade, to be changed to information sharing and consultation in which, opinions and ideas are shared openly and freely. Here management style play critical role in determining the culture of the organization.

The success of an organization depends on the work culture, which is widely held by the organizational members. The research outcome clearly indicates that the work culture has direct effect on the employees and employers behaviour. Human resource managers who concentrate on strategic decision-making should fully aware of the significance of human factor in the organization. What is important is, understanding the human relationship in the organization.

A paradigm shift that is to be initiated by the Human Resource Management in the organisations where the culture is formed by chance thorough better management approaches and leadership culture that leads to a culture where performance, productivity and profit the 3 P's can be ensured. The paradigm shift can be summarized as follows:

* From Soft culture to synergetic culture
* From Long term plan to short term plan
* From Reactive orientation to proactive orientation
* From Task orientation to task and relationship orientation
* From Individual effort to Team effort
* Individual consciousness to collective consciousness
* From Power orientation to relationship orientation
* From Task intensive to labour intensive
* From Rigid rules and regulations to flexible functional orientation
* From Centralization to decentralization
* From Authoritarian leadership to co-leadership and empowering leadership
* From Subjective feedback to objective and continuous feed back
* From seniority to meritorious recognitions
* From Uncertainty to certainty
* From Closed communication to open communication
* From Punitive measures to mentoring, coaching and counseling
* From Marginalization and victimization to participation
* From Vertical structure to flat structure
* From Downsizing to redeployment measure
* From Consistent focus on adding value rather than being busy
* From Status quo to search for improvements
* Identify the dissimilarities and find out possibilities for similarities


The concept of culture is particularly important when attempting to manage organization-wide change. Culture spans the range of management thinking and organizational culture has been one of the most enduring buzzwords of popular management. To develop a 'culture of choice', knowing what aspects that support 'retention' of work force and allows an organization to build a work culture, that keep its most talented people align with the business expectations needs to be ascertained. It is imperative to do, every organization, a thorough assessment of existing work culture there by to know exactly how various aspects of culture are represented.  Once the existing culture is known, it can be compared to an ideal culture designed to support the strategic needs of the organization.  This comparison will reveal exactly where the gaps are and what aspects of culture need attention.

Prof. Dileep Kumar M.

Source: E-mail March 04, 2006


Back to Articles 1-99 / Back to Articles 100-199 / 200 onwards / Faculty Column Main Page


Important Note :
Site Best Viewed in Internet
Explorer in 1024x768 pixels
Browser text size: Medium