Leadership and How it Impacts on Organizational Culture
Organizational culture represents the set of standards and ways in which individuals behave through their words, gestures, and relationships. On the other hand, leadership refers to the act of showing directions to a group of people. It is about guidance, supervision, management, and control. Across the board, leaders play the role of models in which others look up to them for direction and guidance. In an organization, employees look up to leaders or consistency in behavior and in setting the agenda. Since they hold the mantle to achieving an organization’s goal, leaders set the context in which the organization operates and achieve its objectives. It is a leader that an organization develops a given culture; norms, behavior, effectiveness, and significance all arise through and by the strategies employed by the leaders. The thin line between leadership and an organization’s culture either raises or lowers the performance and productivity of a business. Therefore, the performance of a business, the relationship, and ways to which the employees relate within the organization stem from the type or kind of leadership within the organization.
According to Chhoka et al., leaders set the standard of behavior within an organization (2013). The way people think, behave, act, relate, perform, and respond to the needs of a business depends on the type and kind of leadership within the organization. A high-performing team is the direct result of an effective, efficient, and consistent leadership that is anchored on the objectives set forth for the organization by the leader. Chhoka et al., argues that the ethical values, moral etiquettes, and standards of behavior stem from the leader’s philosophy of work and guidance for success (2013).
Organizational culture stems from the strategies, norms, and behavior of people within an organization. An effective and consistent team is because of clearly set out policies and performance agenda brought forth and set out by the leader. Strategies define organizations efficiency and operational norms. These paradigms define the cultural aspect of an organization at any one given time during its lifetime. Through and by the strategies, leadership gives rise to a particular set of behavior and context within which an organization operates. By this, leaders shape the cultural structure and meaning of an organization.
According to Dorfman et al., organizational culture is developed and created through a set of behavior and actions of leaders, what leaders focus on, the rewards and punishments set out and given, and finally, the attention and allocation of resources to particular resources (2012). The leader establishes the tone and sets out what people need to focus on while within the environment of the organization. While organizations differ in their cultural aspect of the practices, the general notion across the board in all agencies is that the leader defines the tone, practice, and values within the work environment, which in turn sets the cultural aspect of the organization (Benevene & Cortini 2010).
The first level of an organization’s culture stems from the visible processes, buildings, furnishings, and facilities within the organization. The leader guides and chooses the type of artifacts an organization will have. For example, the leader will give directives on which type of symbol to use for the facilities, if a dressing code is required, it is the leader to issue guidelines on the color, texture, and way of dressing. On the other hand, the building housing the organization is the right choice of the leader. It, therefore, means that the cultural outlook of the physical aspects of the organization is the direct selection and preference of the leaders (Sarros et al., 2008).
The second level within an organization’s culture represents the promotion or support values of the organization such as goals, mission, strategies, and philosophy. It is the role and mandate of the leader to come up with an organization’s mission statement, strategies, and goals. As the one mandated with the task of guiding the rest of the team, the leader remains a reflection of the organization’s policies, philosophy, and goals thereby influencing the second level of culture directly. Huey Yiing et al., (2009) argues that apart from coming up with the organization’s mission strategies and goals, the leader still has the mandate to instill the necessary work ethical values to achieve the set plans. On the other hand, Dorfman et al., maintain that making plans remains a focal point that a leader has to achieve (2012). In essence, it means that the leadership is a direct reflection of the achievement or the collapse of an organization through set strategies and goals. Observed differently, Jung & Takeuchi argue that the leader is a reflection of the organization’s culture and culture, on the other hand, is the manifestation of the kind of leader the team harbors (2010).
The third level of organization culture arises from what is referred to as “underlying assumptions” covering the perceptions, beliefs, feelings, and thoughts held by the people within the organization. Krapfl & Kruja, maintain that people within an organization from their attitude about the team through the thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions instilled in them by the leader (2015). The leader does this through a series of actions and decisions that reflect their personal and business ethics. For instance, a highly efficient and operational leader will instill discipline, hard work, perseverance, and the ability to cope with difficult tasks all through their duties and responsibilities. In turn, this will instill a positive and strong work ethics amongst the employees that will drive the organization to higher levels of success (Krapfl & Kruja 2015).
All the above cultural levels are the direct result of how an organization is led and nurtured. The leader remains the central aspect of the team in driving change and instilling the necessary values and ethical etiquettes in and amongst the employees. This, in turn, builds the cultural dimension of the organization in which it anchors its operations and public relations exercise. However, other variables such as people focus, technology, and organizations, activities also have a substantial impact on the way in which a leader will influence the cultural aspect of an organization. Effective leaders translate an organization, cultural issue of productivity and for the success of the business. Leaders spur vision, challenge processes, encourage their followers, model the way forward, and help others to work towards the vision of a business. Through such initiatives, a leader builds and brings forth an organization’s culture that will define and offer insight into the future and operations of the organization. A leader comes first, builds, and lays down the culture of the organization. Over the preceding years, the culture established to define the leadership of the organization in addition to branding the organization as a whole.
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