What Is the Relationship Between Organizational Culture and Effectiveness?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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The relationship between organizational culture and effectiveness is often identified as being a cause and effect situation. Essentially, this view holds that the culture found within a business, non-profit, or other type of organization will have a direct impact on how well the entity is able to meet its stated goals. The careful cultivation of a culture that is nurturing, encourages interaction between those participating in the operation, and fosters the establishment of an environment that is considered positive will in turn lead to a high level of effectiveness.

One of the ways that organizational culture and effectiveness are bound together is that neither can really remain unchanged without the input of the other. The culture of the organization must be conducive to promoting creativity, encouraging productivity on the part of those involved with the organization, and provide logical and reasonable policies and procedures to aid people in achieving the stated goals. At the same time, unless the efforts of those involved are generating the desired results, the organizational culture will of necessity have to change, either to adjust to new realities or in an effort to provide increased incentive to work toward those stated goals. In many organizations, this means the particulars of what compose the culture and help determine the effectiveness of the organization do change with some regularity, prompting the need to always look for ways to hang onto that which works while being willing to adapt or change that which is no longer useful.


In the best of circumstances, the relationship between organizational culture and effectiveness is exemplified by routinely reaching goals and possibly even exceeding them. For example, in a factory setting in which employees feel empowered to offer suggestions and enjoy healthy dialogue with coworkers and supervisors, chances are that creative ideas on how to increase production without resulting in a decrease of quality will be developed. Within this culture, the potential to implement new ideas will often lead to employees who feel more invested in the company and its success, and choose to go above and beyond the minimum required to make that happen. The end result of understanding the link between organizational culture and effectiveness is a welcoming sense in the workplace that encourages attendance and decreases absenteeism, and also leads to more efficient completion of tasks during the working day.

There is no way to avoid the reality of a strong relationship between organizational culture and effectiveness within that culture. Creating the right environment, both in terms of procedures and the selection of participants, can go a long way toward making any situation more pleasant and productive for everyone concerned. While sometimes more of a goal than a reality, it is possible to incrementally adjust an organizational culture so that it does become more effective over time, with those changes sometimes occurring so discreetly that participants don’t really notice them until the impact begins to be felt throughout the organization.


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