Chapter 2: Organisational culture: definitions, distinctions and functions
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Company success or failure is often attributed to organisational culture. Embodied in the values, norms and deeply held beliefs of employees, and visible in corporate practices, statements, symbols and artefacts, organisational culture shapes employee behaviour and influences firm performance. Linked to everything from shareholder value and higher sales growth to improved implementation of processes to reduced employee turnover and higher levels of employee satisfaction, commitment and wellbeing, organisational culture has been widely studied. Yet it remains a complex and controversial concept. This chapter charts the study of organisational culture and discusses the function and significance of organisational culture to research and practice. In doing so many of the inter-related and often contentious debates about organisational culture are presented. The chapter summarises varied frameworks, theories and definitions of culture, distinguishes the related concepts of sub-cultures, strength and climate, and offers some future directions for studies of organisational culture.

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