Why Is Organizational Culture Important?

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Organizational culture is important for establishing norms and standards within organizations that influence all aspects of company life, including times when employees arrive and leave, dress styles and other norms. Organizational culture draws criticism from some, and praise from others. Some view organizational culture as confining and limiting, forcing people to shed individualism for a larger, generic corporate image, while others laud organizational culture for establishing rules and behaviors for employees.

One benefit of organizational culture is that it helps to shape the personalities of individual companies and distinguish them from others. Like people, organizations differ in personalities. Companies have different work atmospheres and moods. Some are casual and low-key, while others strive for success and promote fast-paced working environments.

Organizational culture sets rules and procedures governing actions and conduct of employees to reflect those aspects of business. Some companies, for instance, might adopt standards to have employees leave early on Fridays or work shorter hours during the summer months. Some aspects of organizational culture exist as formal rules and requirements formally documented on paper, while employees simply learn, understand and practice others over time. Organizational cultures affect all workers in a given company, but typically originate from the ideas and values of founders and organizers.