How can you match your strategy and context with your culture?
The Multi-focus Model® helps you to categorise organisational cultures in a handy and operational way, and it tells you how the model can be used to your advantage whether you are a practitioner, teacher or student.
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Strategy is comprised of everything that will give guidance to management in order to realise what it wants, such as mission, vision, core values, purpose and objectives.
The context in which an organisation operates will limit the options management has to come up with their optimal culture of choice. Thus, if central government has imposed many of laws and directives on a particular sector, for example in the case of pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical companies cannot score higher on Dimension D2: Internally versus Externally driven than between 50 to 60. The exception is when management of such companies are up for a confrontation with central government or they are able to bend the rules.
Unless stated otherwise, we mean organisational culture when using the word culture. Next to organisational culture you can distinguish many other types of cultures, such as national cultures, regional cultures and professional cultures.
We make a distinction between actual culture, i.e. the culture as it is now, and optimal culture, i.e. the culture, which, if put in place, will enable the realisation of your objectives in the best possible way.
Organisational culture is defined by Geert Hofstede as the way people in an organisation relate to each other, to their work and to the outside world compared to how it is done in other organisations.
Work should not be taken too literally. It comprises all kind of activities for which people come together at a regular basis to make things happen together, such as learning at school, singing in a choir and participating in a religion.
Core values are widely used nowadays, but it is questionable whether the introduction of core values will create any actual added value. This question can be raised for the following reasons:
Based on our findings, core values seem to be especially useful if it is the intention of top management to appease stakeholders and win them over to their side. The question is whether or not you can always appease everybody simultaneously. Note that we have not used the word “fool,” instead of “appease,” in order to not upset you.
On one hand, many top managers are aware of the importance of the concept of culture in staying or in becoming successful. If asked why then they so rarely use it as an additional tool of management, many answered that the concept is too fluffy. On the other hand, many among them look for simple solutions.
This model has been developed during the mid-eighties by Professor Geert Hofstede and colleagues.