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Organisational and corporate cultures

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Corporate culture

Corporate, or organisational culture is a broad term used to define the unique personality or character of a particular company or organisation and includes such elements as core values and beliefs, corporate ethics, and rules of behaviour. Corporate culture can be expressed in the company's mission statement and other communications, in the architectural style or interior decor of offices, by what people wear to work, by how people address each other, and in the titles given to various employees.

corporate_metronome_smallCulture in organisations is often described as the set of values, beliefs and attitudes of both employees and management that helps influence decision-making and guides behaviour. At its most basic, corporate culture describes the personality of an organization, or simply as "how things are done around here." It guides how employees think, act, and feel. Each organisation has a unique culture, which defines how that organisation works. Culture is not static. It can change as personnel do or as the aims and objectives of the firm evolve or the competitive forces in the market alter.

Clearly the style adopted by the management will be highly influential on the culture of an organisation. The strength and longevity of an organisational culture will depend upon the degree of unity of the staff behind the values, beliefs and attitudes of the organisation. A strong culture exists and will endure if it has the backing of those who work for the organisation.

Think about the culture within your own school or college. Where does it come from? Is tradition important? Is the head teacher or principal a driver of new ideas or the protector of older values? Is competition driving change, or are the demands of the curriculum responsible for alterations in the structure of the school or college? How important are the other stakeholders, such as the parents, governors and students? Are all views equally valued or is the culture more autocratic? Is there a student council, and does it have major influence? Will the culture of the school remain even when all the present students leave and a replaced with others; if so, why?