It is important to have a good understanding of what corporate culture is when managing it at an international level.
Corporate culture is the “how we do things around here” ideology that exists in every company. The norms of company founders may initially influence an organisation’s culture. However, as a business grows, other behavioural norms are likely to evolve.
The Society for Human Resources says most corporate cultures are based on assumptions around:
Effectiveness: what metrics indicate the business is doing well? This needs to be supported by an effective mission statement and strategy that ties in with the organisation and desired culture.
Appropriate emotions: what emotions should employees express and which should be repressed?
Human nature: Do we react in advance of a situation arising or wait until there is a problem? An organisation’s views on these assumptions will impact how people interact within the organisation but also how customers and suppliers are treated.
Fostering the right company culture is an essential part of many company’s competitive advantage.
Animation giant Pixar have created a company culture that:
- Puts people first
- Encourages self-expression
- Focuses on purpose
They had to go through some pain to get to that point, including overworking employees to the point that it impacted their welfare. The lesson was learned and Pixar now put their people ahead of any one film. The result is a happier workforce who continually create animations that are box-office hits.