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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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01/19/12
Organizational Culture. What is it and how important is it for employees?
Filed under: Position Searching, Job Offer (Situations), First Year on Job, Leadership
Posted by: site admin @ 5:13 pm

One of the things that excellent workshops bring up
and pay attention to for job seekers is the company
culture.

How do things get done around here? 
What is considered important? 
Should I be at every meeting or some specific meetings?
How do things get communicated?  Can there be
disagreements?
What does the CEO pay attention to first– stockholders,
customers, investors, competition, employees, retirees,
even himself?

Many things spill down intentionally, unintentionally and
inadvertently (through inaction), from the wishes, actions
and words of the leadership group.

Reading L. Roney’s article on company culture, I
thought back to many people who I have worked with
and can only recall a handful who examined this factor
carefully.  Two people I know quite well are in positions
after careful consideration and are enjoying their careers,
to the point of calling me to tell what they are doing.
They like their careers so much.  In both cases, this is not their
first position.  They had to do personal soul searching
to figure out what their passions were and gain confidence
to deal with whatever comes their way.  Much is unpredictable.

I believe the Meridian Group offers some insight into
a number of features of corporate culture.  Even there,
I missed a couple in my reading of their site and 
resources.  For example, the customer or customer
interactions, government interactions and regulation and
the competition are not levels of culture in their paradigm.

So if you are interested in the culture of an institution,
consider attending a First year on the job seminar or
Preparation for Life After Graduate School workshop.
It will be illuminating.  [Toronto had one recently.]

One Response to “Organizational Culture. What is it and how important is it for employees?”

  1. site admin Says:


    Emma Hitt
    discusses corporate culture in the
    pharmaceutical industry. Let me quote her:

    “For scientists selecting a place to work in industry,
    several components of a company’s corporate
    culture should be considered,
    some of them unique to a particular company
    (-corporate philosophy,
    -the extent to which employees are allowed to
    act upon their scientific thinking)

    and -some of them standard for the industry (pay,
    benefits, dress code).

    Talking with people and networking are essential
    steps in determining a company’s corporate culture,
    whereas a company’s website is not always the best
    place to get a clear picture.

    Components of Corporate Culture Corporate culture
    is one of those nebulous terms that conjures up a
    variety of images. Some of them may be positive:
    a welcoming environment where people feel secure
    in their jobs, where independent thinking and work-life
    balance are encouraged.
    And some may be not so positive: excessive work
    hours or unexpected changes in job description.

    While no standard definition of corporate culture exists,
    the term typically refers to the overall philosophy and
    environment of a workplace:
    can you wear jeans or is a business suit the norm?
    Does a company focus on innovation or do they try
    to do what they already know?
    What would happen if you showed up 15 minutes late
    or told your direct supervisor that you disagreed with
    his/her ideas?
    The answers to these questions and others constitute
    the unique style and policies of a company. Some of
    the key factors to consider with respect to corporate
    culture include
    - diversity in leadership,
    - philosophy about work-life balance,
    - project range and scope,
    - attitudes about employee development,
    - the mission statement, and
    - tolerance for diverse ideas,
    notes Karen Habucky, the 2008 president of the
    American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
    (AAPS), .”

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