Organisational Culture

J. Steven Ott and Abdul M. Baksh, in their chapter contribution, Understanding Organizational Climate and Culture, in the HANDBOOK OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN GOVERNMENT (2005), assert that climate and culture make up the area wherein an organization's identity, personality, and distinctiveness develop and reside. They collectively determine the areas in which an organization can place claims on employees' energies, enthusiasms, and loyalties. As we all know, a manager can use legitimate authority to issue formal policies prohibiting or requiring specific acts, types of behavior, and compliance. However, we also know that few managers can use authority to mandate positive attitudes, creativity, or respect or to mandate risk taking on behalf of an agency or its clients.

Organizational Culture usually refers to how people feel about the organization, their perception of management and the authority system, and the degree of employee involvement and commitment to attainment of organizational goals. Managers need to learn that where culture may matter most is in its impact on the strategy and structure pitted against employee behaviour.; with a view to effectively enhance organizational performance. The simplest definition is 'Culture is how things are done around here' (Drennan, 1992). Therefore, organizational culture is the life blood of an organization because it shapes and directs behaviours towards the desired destination of the organization.

However, in this instance, it should be noted that 'organizational cultures will vary in strength and stability as a function of the length and emotional intensity of their actual history from the moment they were founded' (Schein, 2010).

Eric Delle, in his contribution to the European Journal of Business and Management (, 2013, posited 'Researchers in the field of industrial and organizational psychology and organizational behavior have become interested in the concept of Organizational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB) because of the positive consequences such attitudes have on organizational success (Hemdi & Nasurdin, 2005; Turnispeed, 2003). Thus, OCB is a key driver of organizational survival (Organ, 1988). OCB is characterized as behaviours that transcend the call of duty (Jahangiri, Akbar & Haq, 2004). Similarly, Organ (1988) described such behaviours as discretionary in nature and often outside the normal and prescribed roles an employee is required to perform in the organization. The performance of such behaviours does not attract any reward in the organization. People do not just engage in OCB. One variable which has been found to facilitate positive workplace behaviours is organizational culture. Culture has been found to significantly influence commitment, performance and OCB in organizations (Baum, 2006; Cheung, 2006; Deal & Kennedy, 1982; Peters & Waterman, 1982).'

At the operational level, in his book 'Organizational Culture and Leadership, 4th Ed: 2010) Schein posited:

'As leaders who are trying to get our organizations to become more effective in the face of severe environmental pressures, we are sometimes amazed at the degree to which individuals and groups in the organization will continue to behave in obviously ineffective ways, often threatening the very survival of the organization. As we try to get things done that involve other groups, we often discover that they do not communicate with each other and that the level of conflict between groups in the organizations is often astonishingly high.'

It should be noted therefore that group and organizational theories distinguish two major sets of problems that all groups, no matter what their size, must deal with: (1) Survival, growth, and adaptation in their environment; and (2) Internal integration that permits daily functioning and the ability to adapt and learn (Schein, 2010). By implication, a good corporate culture enhances cooperation and team spirit which are needed for organizations to succeed.

This paper will discuss the bearing which organizational culture and climate have on both management and employee behaviours. The paper will also define key terms such as organizational culture and climate, organizational citizenship behaviours (OCB) and counterproductive workplace behaviours (CWB). The paper will proffer examples of counterproductive workplace behaviours from organizations such as NewZiana, the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) and Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital. A conclusion will be derived in support or not in support of the assertion that organizational culture and climate can have a bearing on employee behaviors. Recommendations regarding what should be done to foster and sustain supportive/productive organizational culture and climate will also be given.

Organizational Climate

In order to contain the discussion of the subject matter in context, one needs to understand and appreciate the various definitions proffered by scholars and researchers in the field of organizational behavior. For purposes of this answer the team has adopted the following definitions:

Organizational Culture

Organizational Climate

Organisational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB)
'Individual behaviour that is discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system and that in the aggregate promotes the effective functioning of the organization.' (Organ, 1988)

Due to its discretionary nature, not necessarily recognised within the organizational reward system, OCB has been conceptualized as a multidimensional construct with five components identified as: altruism, conscientiousness, sportsmanship, courtesy, and civic virtue (Organ, 1988). Altruism refers to behaviours directed towards helping or cooperating with other employees in face to face interactions on organizationally relevant issues (e.g., helping new colleagues and freely giving time to others). Conscientiousness (i.e. general compliance) involves employees going beyond the minimum requirements of the organization (e.g., efficient use of time and going beyond minimum expectations). Sportsmanship has to do with the willingness of an employee to tolerate the inevitable inconveniences and impositions of work without complaining (e.g., avoids complaining and whining). Courtesy deals with employee's actions directed toward the prevention of problems encountered by work associates (e.g., advance notices, reminders, and communicating appropriate information). Civic Virtue this has to do with an individuals' participation in the political life of an organization in a responsible manner (e.g., attending meetings, keeping up with the changes in the industry that might affect the organization). All these supportive behaviours add up to enhancement of efficiency and effectiveness of the organization.

Counterproductive Workplace Behaviour (CWB)
According to, CWB is employee behavior that goes against the legitimate interests of an organization. These behaviors can harm organizations or people in organizations including employees and clients, customers, or patients. It has been proposed that a person-by-environment interaction can be utilized to explain a variety of counterproductive behaviors. For instance, an employee who is high on anger trait is more likely to respond to a stressful incident involving a superior at work with CWB.

Individual attributes that lead to the breakdown of OCB in organizations include; emotions, values, attitudes, perceptions and personality.

According to corruption is described as cheating, collusion, bribery or bid to rigging. It is the abuse of public resources or misconduct for personal and private gain. It is further noted that 'corruption thrives in societies where religious, traditional, ethical teaching and standards are weak and where punishment is weak'.' The most common reasons for paying a bribe in Zimbabwe is to speed up things and to ensure that one gets services.

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