In this lesson, you will learn how culture is created and sustained in organizations and why it is important for organizations to create and sustain a successful culture in order to succeed in their environment.
Creating Organizational Culture
Buddy 'Brick Head' Buchanan was a defensive end for the Baltimore Barons in the Continental Football League back in the early 1950s. Buddy is still remembered by football fans everywhere for blocking the potential game-winning field goal in the league championship game in 1954, which earned him his nickname and brought Baltimore their first world title.
Today, Buddy owns a chain of successful pizza restaurants known as Brick Head's Pizza. Much of the success of Brick Head's Pizza is due to the strong culture that exists throughout the organization, which places a high value on teamwork and community service. How did Brick Head's Pizza acquire this strong culture, and how does it instill these values into the members of this organization? Let's find out.
How Organizational Culture Is Established
The founder of a business establishes the initial culture of his organization. In order to survive in the marketplace, the founder of a business discovers a distinctive way of providing goods and services to his customer base. Some companies are founded on providing exceptional customer service, and some are founded on providing low prices, but whatever strategy the founder finds success with becomes the right way for this organization to conduct business and is ingrained in the culture of the start-up company.
While Buddy played football, he always gave generously to local charities and he never took credit for his performance on the field. When asked about his accomplishments, Buddy always said that all his success was due to his teammates. In 1959, Buddy tearfully announced his retirement from football and told the media, 'When you are on a good team, you hate to leave.'
Shortly after his retirement, Buddy opened Brick Head's Pizza. To make his restaurant a success, Buddy used what he learned on the football field: the importance of teamwork and of giving back to the community. Buddy's vision was to provide members of his community with a relaxing place to spend time and celebrate special occasions. Buddy hung pictures of the local high school sports teams on the walls of his restaurants and would often provide free pizzas for community service projects and blood drives.
How Organizational Culture Is Sustained
Once the founder has established a type of culture for his organization, he recruits people to work for him whose values will match the core values of the culture of the organization. This is done through a selection process that places a priority on hiring people who have the ability to perform the job adequately but also places a priority on how well the candidate fits into the culture of the organization. The founder then further reinforces the importance of these core values to the people he has recruited.
As Buddy's Pizza business grew, he hired an old teammate, Ted 'the Tank' Tobias, to help manage his business. Buddy knew Tank was a team player and someone who also put a high value on community service, so Buddy knew Tank would be a good fit for his organization. Buddy made sure that Tank understood how important being a team player and giving back to the community was to his business. Tank saw firsthand how the culture of Brick Head's Pizza played an important role in the success of the organization.
Because Buddy learned the importance of teamwork during his playing days he treated every employee at his restaurant as a valued team member. In return, Buddy expected everyone who worked for him to work as a team to provide his customers with the best possible service and to give back to their community. In exchange for their commitment to Brick Head's Pizza, all of Buddy's employees got a 2-week paid vacation and a holiday bonus at the end of the year. New employees quickly learned to adapt to the core values of Brick Head's Pizza through socialization methods, which provide a way to align new members of an organization to the core values of the company. The strong and successful culture that Buddy created and sustained at Brick Head's Pizza provided direction for the organization and led to many years of successful expansion and growth.
Let's review. The founder of an organization plays a key role in establishing the culture for his start-up company. Whatever strategy the founder finds success with becomes an integral part of the culture for that organization.
In order to sustain this culture, the organization uses a selection process when hiring people in order to find people who are qualified for the job but also to ensure that they will fit into the culture of the organization. New employees are taught to adapt to the culture of organizations through socialization methods, which indoctrinate new employees to the way things are done in the organization. Creating and sustaining a successful culture is an important way to keep all members of an organization focused on the core values that bring the operation success in its environment.
After watching this lesson, you should be able to:
- Identify how organizational culture is created
- Recall the reason that it's important to sustain an organized culture
- Express the importance of socialization methods and the selection process as they relate to new employees