top of page
Integrated management team_edited.jpg
What is your question relating to organisations?

What is an organisation?

In the context of human endeavour an organisation is the cooperation and coordination of two or people to deliver a purpose which is typically the delivery of one or more goods and/or services. Organisations are a complicated mix of conscious, structural, and dynamic elements including personnel, commerce, data, matter, energy, and supplier components in varying amounts. [MSS 1000 definition] Organised body of people with a particular purpose. NOTE 1: The essence of an organisation is consciousness, process and structure and are constantly interacting. NOTE 2: Organisations vary in size, purpose and the way they interact with other organisations and individuals. NOTE 3: Organisations may include sub-organisations including those created for projects.

What is organisation culture?

Organisation culture is a socially driven phenomenon that naturally emerges within organisations and sub-groups over time. It comprises the shared: attitudes, perceptions, beliefs, values, social behaviour, and accepted work practices or norms. People naturally desire to conform to group norms to gain acceptance by the group and receive its benefits. A performance enhancing culture is one in which all staff, from top level management to individual workers; share a commitment to work in a way that positively promotes all facets of the organisation’s performance that equitably satisfies stakeholder's needs, expectations and aspirations. Sub-organisation cultures may exist within the overall organisation culture where the aspects are shared by a particular subgroup. Organisation culture cannot be directly managed or imposed in a similar way to a management system. A performance enhancing organisation culture can only be nurtured by directing and encouraging performance enhancing human behaviours via visible and clear corporate leadership and strict compliance with the management system which must be administered firmly and justly. [MSS 1000 definition] Group shared values and perceptions of acceptable and unacceptable behaviours. NOTE 1: Culture is a socially driven phenomenon where people conform to norms to gain the acceptance of the group and resulting benefits. NOTE 2: Culture cannot be directly imposed by the leaders of an organisation – it establishes over time through the influence of a combination of leadership communication, example and compliance with the implemented management system. Behaviours that are encouraged or enforced over time influence and create the culture. NOTE 3: A positive culture values justice, responsible questioning and equitably satisfying stakeholder needs and expectations.

How can the culture of an organisation be changed?

Organisation culture cannot be changed by direct management intervention. It is socially driven and its nature is to endure. The culture will only slowly change following a sustained change in the group behaviour which can be changed by direct management interventions. The organisation must first identify aspects of its behaviour that need enhancing or inhibiting. Use of ideally universal management system standards, personnel, customer and other stakeholder surveys and interactions, proactive monitoring and reactive incident data can all help the identification process. For each issue the management system must be checked that it is directing and guiding the desired behaviour and if not what are the reasons for personnel non-compliance. An agreed and sufficiently resourced plan of action must then be created to ensure the management system is effectively efficiently directing, guiding and nurturing the desired behaviours. Compliance with the improved management system must then be implemented by clear corporate leadership and example, education and training, proactive monitoring (audit, inspection etc.), reactive incident investigation and management review plus improvement actions as necessary.
bottom of page