A fundamental shift is occurring in across the business world. We are moving progressively further away from
a world in which national business were relatively isolated from each other by barriers by distance, time zones and language; and by national culture differences, and business systems. And we are moving toward a world in which
national culture is merging into an interdependent global culture system. It rapidly raises a multitude of issues for business both large and small. It creates opportunities for business. But one question has thrown up about
individual organisation culture. How organisation cope with this globalisation of culture?
The learned community always says, a company is by people not machines, you just concentrate on your men and it will be them who will
be after your machines, thus will save most of your precious time.
In the stammering summer of may this year, I was busy with my research work on a similar subject in one of the oldest working cement plant in the Indian
industry, to be fortunate enough I had the opportunity to meet a Japanese delegation out there, the fact that when it comes to productivity no one may doubt the Japanese efficiency, the difference they found in the Indian
counterpart was of "organisational work culture", Where completion of the allocated job is given prime importance, the Indian counterpart believes in working for 8 hours, people come at 8 in the morning to go back at 5 in
the evening. Why children walk to school & run to home is what I could associate with this.
Just a year before to this incidence, I was on to my research project for one of India's leading pharmaceutical company, sharing
his thoughts on the company, an employee says, "the culture of my company is vulture", though further discussions revealed that the reasons for this dissatisfaction were personal not professional as he was into a job of
chance not of choice, though his arguments to his comment were that when I return from this cruel, brutal & merciless world, my boss eagerly waits for me to return just to exhibit his bossism, is this not the story of all
Indian employees, but does this means that all organisations have a vulture culture, that when employee fails to perform he is lazy & when boss does the same he is too busy, no probably not.
Ø Sir Roussie Modi once
stated his success secret that there were thousands of employees in TISCO & he knew all of them with their first name.
Ø Sir Narayan Murty from INFOSYS says, my assets come at 9 & go back at 5
Ø Sir G.D. Birla broke a
strike, simply by saying to his employees that, I am your father & you are my children, no injustice will be done to you so now go & resume your work, & things went off smoothly thereafter.
Talking more about
culture, people are due to be influenced by the culture they grow & live in , for instance a kid of middle class family will be brought up with values, ethics, morals e.t.c. while a boy belonging to the upper class is being
taught the lesson of materialism right from his childhood. The same applies to an organisation & its members, the only difference being that a society has social culture while an organisation has an organisational culture.
Organisation culture thus starts up with a common life style adopted by its members in form of shared learning, behaviours, values & interests & provides the employees with a clear understanding of the way things are
done around them in their organisation thus guides their further actions. It is considered to be a common perception held by the employees regarding their organisation.
Culture in an organisation plays at different levels,
dominant culture which is shared & accepted by the majority of the organisations members, the next level to come are the subcultures that exist at the micro level that reflect the common problems & situations faced by every
member in the organisation within his own group or department. A culture adopted in the organisation may be quite possibly based on the national culture or even the local societal & religious norms.
Thus in a
nutshell view it may said that the organisational culture is a social glue that helps to hold the organisation together.
To me culture is nothing else than a managerial jargon given by the society of few learned people, if
we simply try to follow the basics of life we may find management is none other than an art of governing functions in a systematic manner, where the management is just like mother who despite knowing all the problems manages to
bring a million dollar smile on her face simply to keep her child away from tensions, is this not what culture asks for? In a nation like India where the slogan is unity in diversity, is this not the resemblance of organisational
culture where different people strive for a common goal under one single flagship thus, is an organisation not the reflection of society? Don't we know that the best way to get things done from someone is by treating him with
dignity respect & humanity, which is the first lesson to be taught to build a healthy culture? Then what is so special about organisational culture, it is all about a systematic effort to manage people and channelise their
efforts for the attainment of organisational goal by providing them with congenial conditions to live think & work.
The next thing to be discussed is how does an organisational culture comes into existence, all this
starts with the philosophy of the father figure & the founders of the organisation, who then try to recruit & select the manpower of their desires who match their frequency when it comes to the thoughts, philosophies,
values & beliefs, thus here we are with a group of people standing in hierarchy with a common state of mind, & this is the stage we may describe as the socialisation (adapting a culture among members of the
As all good businessmen are always concerned with the benefits derived from phenomena more than the phenomena itself, let us try to analyse how does organisational culture benefits an organisation? It has
direct links to the performance of an individual, although if you impose a culture on your men the results will never cross the confined boundaries of minimum specifications as enforcement kills creativity and makes the job
monotonous. On the other hand you let your men to derive their own culture, which makes them feel at ease & then monitor the response.
You will be shocked to note that the performance has raised like anything, this is
all because of the freedom enjoyed by your men which is the most dominating factor for the improvement of their creativity, sense of belonging to the job & the organisation & obviously to their happy & delighted mood
that uplifts their performance, behind all this there is one single factor which is none other than the concern for people & not for the results, as a matter of fact, it will be people now who will play a crucial role for the
attainment of results & not you as it is their responsibility which they will realise soon as you realise concern for them as your responsibility.
Imagine something happening in your organisation & you are not aware
of it, will you be able to contribute best of your potential later when asked to do so, the answer will probably be no, this may be the possible story of every common man, thus this is what organisational culture tells
to avoid, a healthy organisational culture is not individual in nature rather a grouped effort which brings common benefits to all, a slightest mistake might lose the man and his sense of belonging for ever so when magic words of
organisational culture start they start with openness.
It becomes very essential to know all the factors that decide the validity of your culture for the objective attainment of the organisation because creating a culture is
not tough, what actually counts is can you sustain it? "Yes" responses to these questions indicate your culture is prepared for any challenges coming in the way of the organisation
1. Do employees have high energy levels?
2. Do all employees feel that they can supply input to the decision makers?
3. Does everyone on the staff understand the "big picture?"
4. Can any employee speak directly
to any other employee without have to go up and down the "chain of command?"
5. When things happen quickly, does the staff maintain a positive attitude?
6. Is top management "visible?"
7. Are problems addressed as soon as they appear?
The more enthusiastic your "yes," the better prepared you are. "No" responses are indicators of organizational issues that require immediate attention.
A healthy organisational culture rests on eight strong pillars of "OCTAPACE" referring to openness, confrontation, trust, authenticity, proactive, autonomy, collaboration & explicitness.
In the current
scenario of a cut throat competition, made worse with the emergence of liberalised globalised & privatised economic era where the domestic industries find it tough to face the competition posed by the multinational companies
from developed nations with superior technology resulting in better output at lower prices, many people argue that technology is the field where most of the Indian companies lag, but I strongly comment that even if one has a
superior technology but not proper manpower to exploit & cultivate it what may be the use of holding such advanced technology, one might acquire the best of the man power but what is the guarantee that they will strive for the
Yes the healthy organisational culture with an open environment, filled with the feeling of mutual trust & confidence, with added flavour of authenticity, sense of collaboration, freedom &
autonomy added to the responsibilities, proactive measures, loyalty, surrendered personal interests before organisational interests and above all a treatment with respect and humanitarian consideration for each employee provides
Once all such features become the regular features of Indian industries, I hope wish & prey that we too will enjoy a mark for ourselves in the global trade arena.