Management by culture

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Management by culture involves influencing: technique and technology, organizational structure, human resources, ethical norms, beliefs, attitudes and behaviour of people in company. Within the system of symbols, corporate culture is a kind of language, identity of the company, dress code for employees, interior design, specific activities or its trademark.

Managing by organizational culture involves various managerial activities aimed at positive change in culture, which in turn helps to gain more customers, profits and increase in competitive advantage.

Shaping the culture of organization

Most scientists believe that creating a culture of the organization is main role of its managers. Managers must adhere to common organizational beliefs and spread them. In the first phase of the life cycle of the organization - important role plays vision and energy of leaders. In the second phase - manager may affect employees by: his own example, recruiting the right people, urging at informal meetings to perform specific behaviours. In the phase of stabilization and growth leader should grow with the organization or look for suitable successors. In the phase of transition managers and employees must unlearn behaviours that badly affect the organization and understand the need for cultural change.

Fig.1. Management by culture should begin with evaluation of organizational culture (Source: based on Žukauskas, Vveinhardt, Andriukaitienė 2017)

Peters and Waterman have created a list of the attributes of correct organizational culture, they are: focus on the action, close contact with the customer, productivity through people, simple structure, putting business in the first place, creating a climate of tolerance.

Tools that allow the manager to influence the culture, are:

  • Direct impact, that is to convince employees to adopt certain cultural patterns,
  • Indirect impact, change of the procedures, regulations, distribution of facilities and equipment.

In the literature, more is said about a change of organizational culture rather than its initial formation. Below are the steps to change the organizational culture by Geert Hofstede:

  • diagnosis of culture, taking into account the opinion of employees and managers,
  • making strategic choices, assessment of: strengths and weaknesses of culture, compliance with the organization's strategy, opportunities, costs, benefits of the change,
  • appointment of people with enthusiastic attitude to changes,
  • development of structural changes,
  • development of procedural changes,
  • adaptation of procedures and tools of personnel management,
  • monitoring of the organizational culture.

Culture of the organization should be of interest to any manager. This is because it decides on the accuracy and efficiency of working with people, the accuracy of decisions and pace of organizational development.

See also:

Examples of Management by culture

  • Google: Google has a corporate culture that allows employees to work in a relaxed environment, encourages collaboration, and rewards creativity. Employees are encouraged to work on projects of their own choosing, and they are free to work outside of the normal nine-to-five workday. They also have access to a variety of amenities, such as free snacks and meals, and a concierge service that helps them with tasks such as getting tickets to a show or running errands.
  • Apple: Apple has a corporate culture that emphasizes innovation, creativity, and customer service. Employees are expected to be proactive and think outside of the box, and they are encouraged to take risks and come up with innovative solutions. Employees are also given flexible hours, and the company provides training and mentorship programs to help them develop their skills.
  • Disney: Disney has a corporate culture that emphasizes customer service and creating a magical experience for its guests. Employees are expected to be friendly and welcoming, and they are encouraged to use their imaginations to create unique experiences. Disney also provides employees with perks such as discounts on park tickets and merchandise, as well as access to employee-only events.

Advantages of Management by culture

Management by culture has many advantages that can help organizations achieve their desired objectives. These include:

  • Increased productivity: Working within a cultural framework provides employees with the motivation and confidence to deliver their best and strive for excellence, leading to higher productivity.
  • Improved communication: A clear understanding of the company’s culture encourages better collaboration between teams, departments and divisions, resulting in improved communication.
  • Higher morale: A strong culture of care and respect for employees can result in a positive working environment, leading to higher morale and job satisfaction.
  • Greater efficiency: A culture that values efficiency and encourages continuous improvement often leads to better decision-making and faster completion of tasks.
  • Enhanced customer service: A strong corporate culture often results in better customer service, as employees are more motivated to provide a high-quality experience.
  • Attracting talent: Companies with strong corporate cultures often find it easier to attract and retain talented employees, as they are seen as desirable employers.

Limitations of Management by culture

Management by culture has several limitations. These include:

  • Difficult to measure: Corporate culture is a complex and often intangible concept, making it difficult to measure and track.
  • Costly to implement: The implementation of a culture management system can be costly, as it requires significant investments in resources and personnel.
  • Time consuming: It takes time to develop a corporate culture and ensure it is consistently applied throughout the organization.
  • Risk of stagnation: If a culture management system is implemented but not regularly monitored and updated, it may lead to stagnation and a lack of innovation.
  • Resistance to change: Employees may be resistant to changes in the corporate culture, making it difficult to implement and maintain.
  • Negative effect on morale: If the corporate culture is too rigid and restrictive, it can have a negative effect on morale and productivity.

Other approaches related to Management by culture

Management by culture is a management approach that focuses on the culture within an organization, and how it can be used to influence and improve performance. Other approaches related to Management by culture include:

  • Empowerment - Empowerment is the process of giving employees within an organization more autonomy, responsibility and authority to make decisions and take actions that have an impact on the organization.
  • Leadership Development - Leadership development involves creating and maintaining an environment in which employees can develop their leadership skills, such as communication, decision-making, problem-solving, and team-building.
  • Cultural Change - Cultural change involves the process of deliberately shifting an organization’s culture, which can be achieved through a variety of methods, such as policy changes, re-organization, and training programs.
  • Strategic Planning - Strategic planning is a process of setting organizational goals and objectives, and then determining the steps to reach them. It requires an understanding of the organization’s external environment and its competitive position in order to develop an effective strategy.

In summary, management by culture involves the development and maintenance of a corporate culture that can be used to influence performance. Other approaches related to this approach involve empowerment, leadership development, cultural change and strategic planning.

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