Organizational Culture and Climate
Organizational Culture and Climate
Lisa R. Gaulden
Organization Communications 3240
Professor Debra Boyd
October 22, 2012
The Correlation Between Organizational Culture and Climate
Organizations are regarded as living, breathing, complex organisms. These organisms are made up of various forces; two of which are organizational culture and organizational climate. An organization must maintain an awareness of not just the dynamics of its culture, but also of its organizational climate. Although theoretically two separate forces, each is closely connected and interdependent upon the other. In essence, an organization’s culture ...view middle of the document...
These cultural outlines are embedded in the training of employees, the expectation of its leaders, and are also an integral part of advertisement and promotion of the organization and/or its product(s). Starbucks’ mission statement can be found on their company website: “Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time” (2011). They further outline their principles in regards to not only their customers, stockholders, and business partners, but also to their community and yes, even their coffee.
It is not uncommon for sub-cultures to develop within organizations. Papa et al. (2008) writes on the subject: “. . . [C]ultures are spun continuously as people within a social system interact with one another and create their own rules and norms” (p. 129). This is apparent in the case of Comcast Cable Corporation’s dispatch operations. Although Comcast outlined core processes and procedures throughout its organization, different locations had addendums to these “universal” procedures that were unique to their geographical area. When one area attempted to cover for another area during times of natural disaster, the inconsistency in how each group functioned affected not only communication but also delayed resolution of issues. “[E]ach subculture is unique because of the particular workers it comprises . . . they also share certain characteristic features and commonly held meanings or interpretations” (Papa et al, 2008, p. 130).
Whereas organizational culture is defined by values and beliefs by which organizational members are expected to operate, on the contrary, an organization’s climate is defined by the conduct of those members and how they perceive the environment in which they work. Many factors can influence the climate of an organization: leadership, communication, and organizational structure, for example.
The Kennedy Group (n.d.) describes leadership as “the single most important determinant of organizational climate . . . [In part,] the leader has a powerful influence on the expectations and behaviors of everyone in the organization” (p. 1-2). Additionally, open, honest, constructive, and timely communication from the leaders is key to a healthy organizational climate. While leaders who possess great leadership skills and have a positive influence on organizational members can make it a desirable workplace, leaders who lack communication skills and exhibit poor leadership skills can have a detrimental impact to the organization. Employees often site their supervisor as their primary reason for ending their working relationship with an organization. Those same employees have spent months, if not years, contemplating their decision to leave, during which time they have shared their negative thoughts and feelings amongst others in their workgroup (some of which possess a mutual perception of the organization and / or its leadership). If not...