Creating an Organizational Culture Should be No Accident

Posted: 08/01/2017 by broadyesl in leadership, Uncategorized

Read We’re Thinking About Organizational Culture All Wrong at https://hbr.org/2017/01/were-thinking-about-organizational-culture-all-wrong

Excerpt:

Fundamentally, a culture is not a set of (marginally) shared values; it’s a web of power relationships in which people are embedded and that they use to meet both personal and collective goals but that can also restrict their ability to achieve goals. Those power relationships can function to pull people together, but they also can pull them apart because they are the product of differential access to resources. And differences in power influence how we respond to and think about values espoused as being shared by members of a group.

Reliance on culture as a way to create unity can mislead those in positions of power into thinking that the core values expressed by the organization are actually uncritically accepted by employees. This can lead to false beliefs that publicly expressed conformity with corporate values reflects personal acceptance of those values. It also obscures the fact that people may align themselves with core values not because they agree, but because they see other values, such as job security, as more important to achieving their personal goals.

The idea that unity can be generated among employees by fixing or creating an organizational culture relies on a naïve assumption that culture unambiguously brings people together. But the reality of culture is that it represents a tremendously complex variable that can both bring people together and pull them apart — or do both at the same time.

 

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