By Mercedes Galíndez
When we approach the implementation of an Organizational Culture Audit we should remember what is meant by Organizational Culture, which is a key element in the strategic development of Institutional Communication.
Organizational Culture defines all the ideas, values, needs, policies, expectations, beliefs and rules carried out by the members of an organization that create different interpretive contexts by which these members will give meaning to their everyday actions.
It helps as a reference and it guides corporate behavior, influencing the motivation and commitment of those who make the company, providing an idea of what the internal dynamics are like.
Organizational Culture provides a homogeneous conception of reality and, therefore, can reach consensus, becoming, in a sense, a self-regulating mechanism of power. As a result of the meaning given in the interpretive contexts, cultural issues emerge. These issues have a major impact on the attitudes of the members, the jargon and language used, stories, rumors and jokes told, the identification of friends and enemies, the logic applied, the vision of the future, etc.
Key Functions of Organizational Culture directly aim to facilitate integration, cohesion and commitment of all members inside and outside of the organization.
Organizational Culture Audit
It consists of an information matrix that helps to process and identify the different levels that form the culture of an organization. An Organizational Culture Audit will follow 8 steps that will be developed below:
1) Identify the Mission, Vision, Values, Signs and Symbols of the concerned Organization, present in all the discourses, channels and, tangibles and intangibles supports that should be clearly known in order to establish the initial state of the observed Organizational Culture.
2) Cultural Typology: to be able to analyze the organizational culture, a hypothesis based on what it is observed should be formulated. One way to categorize our observations is by establishing typologies of culture, in other words, defining key variables to determine how we could classify the organization. To do so, we will work with the concept of Ideology and its different typologies: Power Culture, Role Culture, Task Culture and Person Culture, by which the organization will be adapted to the various circumstances that it has to face.
3) Stages of Development, according to the different stages:
Creation and first steps of development
Maturity and decline
in which the organization is, the Organizational Culture will play a different role
4) Corporate Mentality: considering the opening, closing, change and innovation variables and the established order, a matrix can be constructed. This matrix represents the degree of openness or isolation that the company has with its environment and the degree of innovation and change regarding the established order, depending on which of the four basic, commonly known cultural archetypes: Narcissistic Mentality, Tribal Mentality, Exploratory Mentality or Booster Mentality, it matches.
5) Relationship with the Market, two typologies will be considered in this key relationship for this process:
Risk-Feedback Typology: Mature corporate cultures, Heroic, Process and Youth.
Morphology Product Market Typology: define the competitive intensity of each sector.
6) Current Cultural Model: is a matrix that allows the processing of dataobtained from the analysis of organizational culture, providing the information needed to make a diagnosis and a future classification and reclassification of the various alternatives that show up in the Organizational Culture.
7) Cultural Intervention: is the process by which the entire organizational culture or part of it is modified in order to drive it towards a New Cultural Model (NMC) that will be defined according to the organizational strategy, dysfunctions found, functions that culture must comply with and the organization context.
Our intervention will take place from the different angles (visions, perspectives, attitudes, technology, human resources, regulations, rituals, traditions, beliefs, etc.) in which the analysis of the Organizational Culture Audit focuses, trying to encourage and facilitate the processes of Creation, Interpretation, Adaptation and Change so as to enable the creation of an Internal Communication Network to achieve the Cultural Change.
8) Monitoring and evaluation: End of the game. Once approved and implemented the intervention process in organizational culture, it is necessary to perform ongoing monitoring and periodic evaluations of that process to make the necessary and proper adjustments for a context that is constantly changing.
Applications: Processes of Mergers and Acquisitions, Design of Visual Identification System, Strategic Institutional Image & Communication Plan, Internal Communication Support, Cultural Change Programs, Knowledge Management.