Corporate Culture, Environment, and Strategy

In: Business and Management

Submitted By MICK
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Corporate Culture, Environment, and Strategy

The purpose of this article is to discuss the nature of a corporate culture in terms of the systems that are designed to support it.

While it is true that cultures cannot be designed, the point we make is that the various control systems of the organization can work to shape through judicious reinforcement and feedback the desired attitudes and behaviors that are consistent with a particular strategic direction.

The "culture" of the organization can therefore be defined as the emergent pattern of beliefs, behaviors, and interaction that uniquely characterize the organization as it operates within an industrial and a societal context.

From a system perspective three levels can be distinguished from the start: (1) the societal level, (2) the industry level, and (3) the organizational level.

Importance of culture in understanding behavior in different societies

From this perspective, then, a "corporate culture" must necessarily be at least minimally consistent with the societal culture it is derived from. Societal exposure and heritage foster a labor force with a given value orientation, beliefs, and expectations about work and the work environment that are the "raw material" of corporate cultures.

These points suggest that, in addition to societal culture, the specific industry a firm operates in is an important context for understanding corporate culture.

While a complex array of internal dimensions affect the corporate culture, the following would seem to be among the most critical:

Size of firm
Stage in product life-cycle
Strategy of growth

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