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Essay about Organizational Culture


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Organizational Culture

Organizational culture is defined as a system of collective assumptions, values, and beliefs that portrays what is suitable and unsuitable behavior (Cosh, Fu and Hughes, 2012).  The values have a huge impact on employee behavior and organizational performance. Organizational culture is linked to a company’s performance.  Also, it is important for an organization to have a culture that matches the demands of its environment. Collective values are important to the company also, the its culture may have a huge impact on its performance (Cosh, Fu and Hughes, 2012). Having a good culture can have a positive impact on the company, however, having a wrong culture may have negative impact on its performance.  A company should have a culture that encourages innovativeness, and adaptability.

Nevertheless, a company in the same sector with a culture that is supports stability, high respect for tradition and a huge preference of following rules and procedures have a low chance of succeeding (Cosh, Fu and Hughes, 2012).  For example, US-based Hydro Generation is a specialized power plant. Although it had power plants in sixteen countries, its project in Uganda is the first one in Africa. It was planning to construct a dam in Uganda, therefore, its culture should match what its business sector. It should influence change in Uganda power sector. However, the company’s CEO Lawrence Lovell who played a huge part in building the company’s culture believed that business activities should uphold Christian values. He also believed that subordinates should make and implement decisions, however, they should be held responsible for the outcomes. Martin, on the other hand, did not follow the organization culture, his behavior was different. James Green, Hydro Generation’s vice president was concerned with Martin’s style.

Therefore, Hydro Generation’s organizational culture issue is that although Martin is a competent employee and has different skills, he does not adhere to the company’s culture. Organizational culture theory will help in understanding the culture issue affecting Hydro Generation. First, to understand culture one needs to divide it into three levels. Huczyski et al. (2013) highlights the three dimensions of culture. Artifacts is one of the levels, it is also known as cultural forms. It is made up of tangible behavior patterns that are constantly viewed in a company. Artifacts portray visible organisational structure and processes.  They are also indicators of the cultural values and norms of the company.  Artifacts are represented through the company’s physical and social reality. They are more visible compared to other dimensions, therefore, it can easily be accessed and managed. It can be accessed through self-reporting questionnaires as it is made up of the most palpable and visible aspects of the organizational culture.

For instance, in Hydro Generation’s case, the visible artifacts include its structure and processes. The company’s structure has diverse layers that consist of managerial heads. They have the CEO, Lawrence Lovell and Vice president, James Green. Its values are based on its CEO’s Christianity beliefs. The Vice president makes decisions while the CEO was involved in creating the company’s culture. He was also involved in developing the company’s mission. Also, its culture allows the subordinates to make and implement decisions. Therefore, Martin can make decisions and implement them. Nevertheless, he is responsible for the outcomes of the decisions. Hence, the company artifacts help in understanding its culture.

Espoused values are another level that helps understand organizational culture. It includes various aspects such as the company’s slogan and mission as well as vision (Huczyski et al., 2013). It also includes visible organizational norms and individual values. They present the anticipated outcome that the company’s leaders need to attain through the employees’ activities. The outcomes are said to have huge impact on how the decisions are made in the company. They include the company’s strategies, objectives, and goals. Hydro Generation is specialized power plant and its objective is to build power plants in diverse countries. Another objective is getting an employee who would help in gaining local allies in Uganda. Therefore, one of the main facets of Martin’s task was to get ensure that the company gains and keeps the allies. However, his approach raised a lot of concern for the company’s management.

Although Martin was focused on connecting with the locals, he seemed to forget about the company’s culture. His business approach was based on Uganda’s cultural approach. The strategy may have huge repercussions on HG. The company did not have lifestyle guidelines for their expatriate managers. However, its culture required their employees to have living standards that uphold its values of a successful international company. Martin did not maintain the standards instead, he preferred living in the middle-class Uganda neighborhood. Also, he did not frequent areas that fellow expatriates visited, for instance, churches and clubs. Therefore, Hydro Generation’s goals and strategy approaches should be portrayed in its recruitment processes. It ought to employ individuals who will fill Martin’s place in case he cannot perform his tasks. They should reconsider the idea that Martin cannot e replaced.

Basic Assumptions are other dimensions that make up organizational culture. It includes the company’s core beliefs and assumptions that every member depends on when interpreting its values (Huczyski et al., 2013). They also select the behavior that would be appropriate based on the company’s cultural perspective. It is considered as the most difficult level to analyze as the cultural elements are not visible and members are not aware of them. They include perceptions feelings, as well as beliefs for Hydro Generation. For instance, the company’s culture is guided by Christian beliefs and values. Also, the company’s Vice President holds the belief that Martin cannot be replaced. Such beliefs may affect the company’s success in Uganda. Therefore, it is important that it reconsiders the belief and get a person that would handle Martin’s job effectively. Hydrogen Generation should consider an employee who upholds its culture. It will help in ensuring that the company succeeds in Uganda. Organizational culture plays a huge part in the success of a company.

The group task was a great experience for me, as I had a chance to work with different students. Our group was required to focus on organizational culture issue, leadership, and ethics and CSR. Every group member was given an issue that they needed to identify in the given case study. Our group had active members who were focused on doing research on the issue and helping one another. Therefore, we had great teamwork skills that contributed to the effectiveness of the group work. However, at times it was hard to make decisions that pertained the work. Every member had their opinion, some were right while others did not match with what we were required to do. Therefore, we had to make sure that we solved the issues as they threatened to affect our work.

Therefore, there various aspects that need to be improved in future group works. First cooperation among the group members should be guaranteed. It will help in making sure that the group work is a success. Additionally, it is important for the team member to understand ways of managing issues that may arise during group work.

The paper focused on organization culture issues identified in the case study. Based on research organizational culture theory is made up of three dimensions that include Artifacts, Values, and Assumptions. They play a huge part in developing Hydro Generation culture. it is important that it reconsiders the belief and get a person that would handle Martin’s job effectively. Hydrogen Generation should consider an employee who upholds its culture. It will help in ensuring that the company succeeds in Uganda. Organizational culture plays a huge part in the success of a company.


Cosh, A., Fu, X. and Hughes, A., 2012. Organisation structure and innovation performance in

different environments. Small Business Economics, 39(2), pp.301-317.

Huczynski, A., Buchanan, D.A. and Huczynski, A.A., 2013. Organizational behaviour (p. 82).

London: Pearson.