chapter  12
45 Pages

Culture

ByJos Marcus, Nick van Dam

Culture is best expressed through the behaviour employees demonstrate to the ‘outside world’. The word culture originally derives from the word ‘cultura’, itself derived from ‘colere’. Buildings speak volumes about organisational culture. The way in which space is put to use serves as an insight into the type of organisation and work processes concerned. Rituals are essentially superfluous but are very important to the organisation and its culture from a social perspective. Values are the deepest layer of a culture, and are invisible. The various levels of culture are not separate entities, but in fact influence each other. Relevant theory describes various approaches to or typologies of organisational culture. Changing an individual’s undesirable organisational behaviour is possible if one ‘steers’ the individual’s group towards a different culture. In reality, there are few, if any, organisations that are entirely constructed according to the central metaphors or myths, but some subcultures in organisations may fit the bill.