by Jami Miedema

Until learning about organizational culture in my management class, I did not know what it was, or how important it is in the workplace environment.  Organizational culture is a shared set of beliefs, expectations, values, norms, and work routines that influence how members of an organization relate to one another and work together to achieve goals (Jones 95).  When these sets of beliefs and values are not common among the members of a team, the workplace has weak organizational culture.  Similarly, if these are shared by the people of a workforce, their work environment is one with a strong culture.  Organizational culture also determines the atmosphere of the workplace, whether it is formal or informal, strict or laid-back, conventional or cutting-edge.  It is largely determined by the personalities of the employees, especially the top managers.  An organization’s culture can be maintained and communicated in many ways (Jones 95-96).

Here at Whittaker Associates, we realize the importance of our culture and we try to foster it through many means.  One of the means I particularly enjoy is monthly teambuilding events.  Whether we go sailing, play games, have a company picnic, or do community service projects, we continually learn from and about one another, and find commonalities that help us build relationships.  In turn, we collectively create our organizational culture, which ultimately affects the way we relate to one another and to those with whom we do business.

Jones, Gareth R., and Jennifer M. George. Contemporary Management. 4th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2006.