Organizational Culture

Organizational Culture

2004Working Paper No. 1847

Organizational culture Organizational culture is embedded in the everyday working lives ofall cultural members. Manifestations ofcultures in organizations include formal practices (such as pay levels, structure ofthe HIERARCHY,JOB DESCRIPTIONS, and other written policies); informal practices (such as behavioral norms); the organizational stories employees tell to explain “how things are done around here;” RITUALS (such as Christmas parties and retirement dinners); humor (jokes about work and fellow employees); jargon (the special language of organizational initiates); and physical arrangements (including interior decor, dress norms, and architecture). Cultural manifestations also include values, sometimes referred to more abstractly as content themes. It is essential to distinguish values/content themes that are espoused by employees from values/content themes that are seen to be enacted in behavior. All ofthese cultural manifestations are interpreted, evaluated, and enacted in varying ways because cultural members have differing interests, experiences, responsibilities and values.