Throughout an organization’s life, additional norms, behaviors, and practices creep in. This reality is even more pronounced during turbulent times. Positive behaviors may include greater pride, fierce loyalty to the organization, a stronger work ethic, broader collaboration, and boosted collegiality. Negative behaviors may include fear, distrust, and anger that results in hoarding of information and unhealthy internal competition. Together, both positive and negative behaviors change the organizational culture.
Charles Hill and Gareth Jones (2001, 396) define organizational culture as the “beliefs and ideas about what kinds of goals members of an organization should pursue and ideas about the appropriate kinds or standards of behavior organizational members should use to achieve these goals. From organizational values develop organizational norms, guidelines, or expectations that prescribe appropriate kinds of behavior by employees in particular situations and control the behavior of organizational members towards one another.” Unfortunately, countless leaders do not recognize the influence that organizational culture has on the past, present, and future accomplishments of their enterprise. Even more important is their lack of understanding about how they influence the culture.