What Is Organizational Culture?

Organizational culture has been described as the shared values, principles, traditions, and ways of doing things that influence the way organizational members act. In most organizations, these shared values and practices have evolved over time and determine, to a large extent, how “things are done around here.”

Definition of culture implies three things. First, culture is a perception. It’s not something that can be physically touched or seen, but employees perceive it on the basis of what they experience within the organization. Second, organizational culture is descriptive. It’s concerned with how members perceive or describe the culture, not with whether they like it. Finally, even though individuals may have different backgrounds or work at different organizational levels, they tend to describe the organization’s culture in similar terms. That’s the shared aspect of culture.

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