Creating and Sustaining Organizational Culture

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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: John McLaughlin
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.

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