Corporate culture

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[edit] Introduction

Corporate culture is the set of collective values and standards that govern the behaviour of a company’s employees. These beliefs and fundamental principles are developed within the company in a shared learning process. Particular rules and patterns of thought, such as communicative behaviours and rules of general etiquette, are derived from these principles. Corporate culture provides direction and significantly shapes the perceptions and actions of employees and managerial staff and a company’s structures and processes.

[edit] Facts

Collective beliefs develop in a learning process out of the experiences of people in the company, evolve on an ongoing basis, and are transmitted, consciously or unconsciously, to new staff members. These values are internalised to such an extent that they are often no longer questioned; instead views and perceptions are accepted as self-evident.

On the one hand, corporate culture is subject to constant value shifts resulting from changes in the Zeitgeist or within society; on the other it must retain the collective beliefs that underlie it. Corporate culture is always a collective phenomenon and never resides within a single individual. As such, there can be no talk of a change in corporate culture unless the beliefs of the entire group have changed.

Today, corporate culture is a key concept in discussions around the functioning of corporate entities and employee motivation, although there is no direct proof of a link. It is argued that a positive corporate culture has beneficial effects across various areas of a company, strengthening employee identification with the company, supporting a sense of belonging, reducing staff turnover, increasing competitiveness, and more. It is very difficult to provide scientific evidence of these links, however, particularly as research can only involve asking about values and standards and observing behaviours.

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