Organisational culture is an important aspect of organisational life and a term that has become a mainstay among business leaders. The work of HR, L&D and OD influences and is influenced by organisational culture because every organisation is made up of human relationships and human interactions.

Despite its dominance, the language of culture is often unclear and difficult to define, meaning it is also hard to measure. Consequently, real culture change is near-impossible if we can’t actually pin down what we’re looking to change. Rather than culture, focusing on organisational climate – the meaning and behaviour attached to policies, practices and procedures employees experience – is a much more specific, tangible way to positively influence the workplace.

This factsheet explores why organisational culture is a popular but limited construct, and why shifting to organisational climate is much more effective for employers.

Explore our viewpoint on organisational culture in more detail, along with actions for government and recommendations for employers.

This factsheet was last updated by Jake Young: Research Associate, CIPD

Jake’s research interests cover a number of workplace topics, notably inclusion and diversity. Jake is heavily involved with CIPD’s evidence reviews, looking at a variety of topics including employee engagement, employee resilience and virtual teams.

 

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