Understanding your organisation's culture
Understanding your organisation's culture

The following In-house Advisor practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Understanding your organisation's culture
  • What do we mean by culture?
  • How to find out about your organisation's culture

What do we mean by culture?

There are many things which go to make an organisation’s culture, but to understand more about these it is perhaps worth gaining a better understanding of what we mean by 'organisational culture'. Culture is at the very heart of businesses; it is essentially what the organisation is all about. It is also a generally shared understanding of the organisation. It affects our perceptions of a business and the way in which it operates and consequently can have an impact on how we engage with the business and interact with colleagues, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.

When we talk about culture, there is not usually one factor which makes this up and it is not normally something set in stone; it is something which is generally understood and shared and it is normally derived from a number of things including:

  1. history/legacy

  2. experiences and stories exchanged between employees, eg success stories, disasters

  3. control and power, eg influencers within the company, where control and power are perceived to lie within and organisation (regardless of hierarchy)

  4. symbols, eg logos, behaviour, physical symbols

  5. structure, eg is there a hierarchical or flat struc

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