Organizational Culture and Business Success

To what extent does organizational culture impact on employee’s performance? How does the interplay of varying cultures rob off on employee productivity and does culture affects the organization’s talent attraction and those that do business with the organization?

The leading questions above set the stage for this discussion on organizational culture and its impact on business success. Organizational culture in itself is quite a good element to be considered in the discussion of an organization’s success. This is so because, the prevailing culture in an organization has its pull and push in the different aspect of the organization. How this impact on the success of the business would be seen as you read on.

To help in understanding the concept of organizational culture, let us recline a bit to the work of Edgar Schein, a leading researcher in the field. He sees organizational culture as comprising a number of features, including a shared “pattern of basic assumptions” group members have acquired over time as they learn to successfully cope with internal and external organizationally relevant problems. Group members in this case refer to employees or those who work in the organization that drives its day to day wheel of activities to realize the business goal. Researchers and practitioners alike view organizational culture as “corporate personality. The implication of this shift in perception helps individuals within the organization align their way of behaving to what the organizational culture dictates. This consists of their values, beliefs, and norms which influence the collective behaviour as members of the organization.

At a broader level of the implication of this perceptual shift it influences how people interact within the organization, how knowledge is created and shared in the organization and with internalized culture among employees, it directs how people would resist changes (in the work place as dynamic as the business environment has become) in a more healthy way with organizational growth in sight. This is hinged on the understanding that the organizational culture is in itself healthy.

As a way of understanding the organization’s culture, its cultural elements includes the organization’s vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, environment, location, beliefs and habits. These build up the big picture of an organization’s culture. This big picture in turn influences to a certain degrees type of product, the market it serve and how it is served, technology to engage, strategy, type of employees( talent acquired and those who may even want to get on boarded) and subsequently the management style of the organization. Since Organizational culture pulls this type of string across the organization’s life cycle, then organizations need to be deliberate in how it is created, sustained and pass on to the leadership pipeline of the organization for its future.

How to Create, Sustain and Pass on the Organizational Culture

The culture of a place naturally emerges overtime; drawing upon and consolidating on actions that have led to different levels of successes. However, the foundational level of building an organizational culture involves establishing and clarifying the company’s value system. At a growing stage the key players of the organization such as the founders or partners; typically have great influence in setting this up. But as the organization evolves, having a discussion with different leaders of the organization would help in clarifying the value system. It is the process of setting up and clearly defining the values that makes for great organizational culture. What is seen when one walks into an organization such as symbols, behaviour mannerism, general way of doing things etc. are influenced by the organizational values.

Sustaining the organizational culture begins with identifying and understanding the traits that makes up the organization. These traits manifest in the day-to-day core business processes of the organization and even in its philosophy. From Identification, assessment of these traits is important to show its significance in the overall business objective of the organization. The management teams at different levels are drivers of the organizational culture and should continue to show leadership in this area by demonstrating the right values and cultures of the organization. Showing various cultures or not been on the same page with what the organization holds, may negatively rob off on the employee perception of double standard by the organization. In the long run not motivate employees for productivity as it water down the values set by the organization that leads to productivity. To mitigate this and ensure uniformity in the organizational cultures, a value committee that cut across different levels of employees and that has a direct link to the leadership team would help to maintain and keep the organizational values and cultures alive. Of course, the impact of reward and recognition for the demonstrating the right values, performance management process that clearly outline what is needed by the employee in terms of the values that drive organizational success and also providing feedback cannot be overlooked.

The first step in sustaining and passing on the organizational culture, is hiring the right set of people. The recruitment process as an entire chain should be targeted at putting round pegs in round hole and square pegs in square hole. This means that the process should filter from the pool those who not only possess the right competency for the job. But also the right value and personality trait alignment with what the organization is known for. On flip side, the wrong hire goes with a lot of cost implication for the organization; you can engage IIOP to help your organization get this right with our competent team and bespoke tools. Through the onboarding process amongst other things, employees are taught the organizational culture, as culture is taught to a person by their parent(s). Consequently changing and modeling the right culture for success in the organization.


Some Factors to Consider for Growing Organizational Culture

The factors affecting the growth of an organization’s culture are group into two. Namely internal and external factors. While the internal factors include roles coming from the founders, managers and employees, the external factors are connected to the development and growth of the organizations. For further reading please see


Implication for Employee Performance and Organizational Growth


Organizational culture defines the way employees complete tasks and interact with each other in an organization in delivery the business objectives. The Organizational culture binds the workforce together and provides a direction for the company. Here are some ways identified by the Forbes of how organizational culture can lead to improvement in employee performance and the overall organizational growth:


  • Firstly cultures stress common value and goal. This puts every member of your team on the same page of achieving the business objectives
  • Rich organizational culture leads to innovation in business
  • Organizational culture provides the right focus for greater efficiency
  • Strong organizational culture can lead to better retention of the organization’s talent pool
  • A strong organizational culture promotes a dynamic and rich diversity
  • Organizational culture helps to promote long term commitment to excellence and brand loyalty
  • Lastly a good organizational culture confers market advantage to the organization. Enabling the organization to demonstrate what it cares about to the clients and also showing the degree to which the business is concerned with improving the world around you.


While technology is fully revolutionizing the work place, irrespective your organization’s outlook, building a culture that drives what your business represents is never too late. And as the year 2021 gradually opens up its own uniqueness, been intentional about passing down the business culture to your team should be part of the transition planning for the future of your organization in a changing world.

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