Internal Factors

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe internal factors and their influence on organizational culture

The best part about internal factors is that organizations control them. In this section, we will explore different types of internal factors and examine both how they influence organizational culture and how an organization can influence them.

Employees

A man sitting at a computerPeople are a huge internal factor that impact organizational culture. As we discussed in previous sections, every individual has a unique set of personality traits, backgrounds and experiences. While organizations cannot fully control individuals and the way they act, they can use guidelines and mandated expectations to help guide the behavior of their employees. A mission statement, code of ethics, and policies and procedures guidelines are among a large number of documents and standards organizations use to help foster and direct their employees.

Organizations also have control over who they hire. Even one bad hire has the potential to negatively impact organizational culture. By developing a hiring process that focuses on making smart hiring decisions, organizations are better able to hire individuals that embody the vision and mission of the company. This is crucial to maintaining and promoting a strong culture.

Leadership

A mug with the words "world's best boss" on it. Organizational culture is outlined at the highest level of an organization and then communicated, supported, and enforced throughout every other level. Therefore, leadership is a big internal factor that drives culture. A poor leader can have a detrimental impact on company culture. A bad leader who disregards the rules and behaves as they please sets a terrible precedent and gives permission for other employees to behave the same way. Leaders should lead their teams by example and set the standard for expected behavior. In addition, they should be comfortable to course correct employees who stray from the path of desired behavior and performance.

Capability & Support

As we discussed in external factors, training and development is a big part of a successful organization. The best way for a company to support their employees is to provide them with the support and training necessary to complete their job functions. Employees who are supported and have the capabilities to complete their job are generally happier and more satisfied with their company. By hiring qualified candidates and continuing to support their education and training, organizations can have a positive impact on their culture.

Nature of the Business

Each industry has differing focuses that help to shape their organizational culture. An accounting firm will have different standards and expectations than an art gallery. While certain ethical concerns may be universal, the nuances within each industry will look different. These differences will help to shape the culture within organizations.

Resources & Technology

Providing employees with the necessary resources to complete their job is a non negotiable for a successful company. When organizations are unable or refuse to provide their employees with necessary resources, they are met with disgruntled and frustrated employees. A lack of resources has a negative impact on company culture and can create an unsatisfactory work environment. By providing resources, organizations can better support their employees to complete their jobs more efficiently.

Technology can be considered both an external and internal factor. Internally, technology can play many roles. Since technology is a large part of day-to-day interactions, it is important for organizations to create policies and procedures to clearly outline electronic communication expectations. In addition, technology is a modern resource that is necessary to complete a number of job functions. Providing employees with updated devices, software, technology support, etc. will improve employee morale and create a happier and more efficient culture.

Practice Question

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