Organizational culture matters – From the Editor
“Company culture eats strategy for breakfast,” according to Peter Drucker (cited in Kesterson, 2015, p. 56). Therefore, this issue of Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation (JEMI) entitled “Company culture matters” presents studies that extend the current body of knowledge regarding company culture pattern recognition, promotion, implementation, and execution. The main inspiration for all of the studies included in this issue was the assumption that most of a company’s challenges in present times are rooted in company culture.
A company’s strategy is an ambitious plan that requires motivated people for it to be implemented successfully. Company culture is the pattern of behavior that is accepted and promoted within an organization to foster the company’s aims and achievements. Moreover, it determines actions and influences many critical areas of management, such as human resources (Jurek & Besta, 2019). As Basinska and Dåderman (2018) stated, self-efficacy, personality, and different affect states in entrepreneurs and managers are essential factors for effectiveness and well-being. Undoubtedly, company culture influences it (Juchnowicz & Sienkiewicz, 2016). Company culture is the social and ‘normative glue’ that enables a strategy to be effective. Working in multicultural teams seems to be a real challenge (Lewis, 2006; Stankiewicz, & Ziemiański, 2015). This special issue focuses on the relations between human resources and strategic management in the context of company culture, like overall corporate performance (Idris et al., 2018) and finance (Aziz et al., 2019), knowledge management (Zieba & Schivinski, 2015), entrepreneurship, innovativeness (Matricano, 2018), and many other areas of organizational activities that strongly depend on the organizational climate. Company culture is so worth investigating.
In the context of strategic management, culture is very often claimed principally as a constraint to deep-seated organizational change. A smart city idea is a good example of an innovative approach that requires a cultural, mental change (Orłowski et al., 2016). But it must also be admitted that not even the most dynamic, motivated, and development-oriented culture can implement a poorly formed or ill-conceived strategy and deliver an excellent performance. It happens surprisingly often that managers develop strategies their companies cannot perform without making significant changes to their corporate cultures. Bedford and Kucharska (2020) pointed out three reasons for this: 1) some executives do not consider the time and energy required to match strategy and culture; 2) others lack the soft skills necessary for successfully managing strategy and culture together; 3) some change either strategy or culture but do not change both at the same time. Consequently, weak strategies, plans or policies, and fragile cultures make for weak performance. Also, a perfect strategic plan alone cannot create organizational excellence. Neither can culture. Culture and strategy alignment are needed. It requires open-eyed management by well-trained executives who have professional skills and soft management skills. So, authors of studies selected to the presented Issue contributed to it by their more-in depth investigations.
The first paper, written by Goncalves, Bergquist, Bunk, and Alänge (2020), investigates “cultural aspects that enable organizational agility” in the automobile industry. Their findings suggest that cultural differences affected the studied automakers’ ability to develop organizational agility, which enabled their innovation capability. Moreover, the authors reveal that the hierarchy and the general culture of the market matters for incumbents inhibited innovation capability. At the same time, startups adopted a “Clan and Adhocracy” culture in a way that enabled continuous innovation growth. The authors introduced this phenomenon as an “Agile culture.”
The second paper was written by Abdalla, Suresh, and Renukappa (2020) to explore the organizational cultural transformation needed for managing knowledge in the context of smart cities. Their article entitled “Managing knowledge in the context of smart cities: An organizational cultural perspective” presents a systematic review, covering publications on smart cities, KM, and organizational culture. The findings revealed three key themes important for smart-city idea implementations: the organizational perspectives of smart cities; organizational change, innovation, digital transformation; and the relationship between corporate culture and KM. The paper concludes that the cultural transformation required for the development of smart cities needs to facilitate the ability to integrate, create and reconfigure both internal and external competences to manage knowledge that originates from within and beyond project boundaries. This study provides an insight into urban policymakers, planners, and scholars, so they can prepare for the challenges that organizations face in their efforts to manage and implement smart cities successfully.
In the next paper, entitled “Does employer branding beat head hunting? The potential of company culture to increase employer attractiveness” Barbaros (2020) introduced a vital for company culture, the theme of human resources. She investigates the combined effort of the HR Department and the Marketing and Communication Department to define and implement employer-branding strategies. To achieve this aim, qualitative research was designed that enabled the establishment of the relationship between employer attractiveness, organizational attractiveness and company culture, and to identify to what extent company culture can be communicated through employer branding. Therefore, firstly, the study clarifies the links between employer branding, employer attractiveness, company culture, and these concepts’ boundaries. Then it examines how employer branding works concerning company culture attributes. The paper draws some interesting conclusions that will address practical implications in the form of employer brand management.
This topic was developed next by Boudlaie, Mahdiraji, Shamsi, Jafari-Sadeghi, Daneshvar Hakimi Meibodi, and Garcia-Perez (2020), who identified the strategic objectives and design of the strategy map of human resource management (HRM) with the stakeholder approach from the perspective of the company culture based on the balanced scorecard. Their research proposed redesigning the strategy map and balanced scorecard of human resource management by adopting the combined process of the thematic analysis and the construction of the related big narratives and with the stakeholder approach, and from the company culture perspective.
Graczyk-Kucharska and Erickson’s (2020) in-depth study investigated the human-resources factor of company culture and explored a remarkably interesting topic entitled “A person-organization fit Model of Generation Z: preliminary studies.” They provide a clearer understanding of the links between a person-organization fit and an organization’s culture. The literature review presented by the authors suggests that Generation Z appears to be both more demanding and more flexible about workplace preferences. They are willing to work in different environments, including remotely, and on different schedules. They are open to international work. Simultaneously, they have specific communication preferences and expect their employers to have strong, transparent values, particularly in areas such as environmental sustainability. As they become more prevalent in the workforce, what do we know about how they will “fit” with the organizations employing them? Particularly when one considers the guidance of this person-organization fit model. They presented numerous individual and organizational factors that matter for personal-organizational alignment. Based on a substantial sample of students at technological secondary schools in the Wielkopolska Region of Poland, the authors provided evidence of the workplace preferences for this cohort. For this region, Generation Z has variable individual needs and wants, some of which can be easily identified (gender, profession), but some of which may be less clear. In designing appealing workplaces, organizations need to consider the nature and communication of what they have to offer, as well as how they can be flexible in adapting these offerings to unique individuals.
Continuing the human resource, Generation Z and company culture relations studies, the research given by Szeluga-Romańska and Modzelewska (2020) entitled “The managerial role in organizational culture as perceived by management students” offers a more in-depth investigation of the new generational cohort’s perception of the managerial position in the organization. The authors reveal how skill-demand is seen in the manager’s position today by young managers and soon-to-graduate management students. Their investigation brings new light on how organizational leaders’ expectations are formulated by those who have just entered or are entering into the labor market. The authors captured the “perfect manager” picture taken by the cultural lens of these young people’s generation (age) whose perception may surprise. Hence, in the broad context of their findings, we learn that an organizational culture shaped by shared experiences and expectations, matters for organizational unity and cross-generational co-operation. The study identifies the key problems and concerns of management students, and highlights the knowledge needed for better adaptation in the workplace. Moreover, it highlights that organizational culture matters in the whole management process, and it may foster the adaptation of conditions in the workplace.
I do hope that our distinguished readers find the selected papers inspiring. Most of them, based on qualitative studies, deliver many interesting insights worthy of more in-depth investigation. Company culture matters for each part of the organizational activity – so there is considerable space for scientific exploration given by all the authors. Moreover, I do believe that the presented set of studies offers many interesting practical guidelines, which may also reach a more extensive range of readers, not only researchers but also practitioners and company culture enthusiasts. Finally, I am grateful to Anna Ujwary-Gil, Editor-in-Chief, for her trust, and to all the authors and anonymous reviewers for their precious contribution to make this Special Issue so enjoyable.
Basinska, B.A., & Dåderman, A.M. (2018). Be fearless: Positive affect as a mediator between venturesomeness and self-efficacy in future entrepreneurs and managers. European Review of Applied Psychology, 68, 171-180. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erap.2018.08.001
Bedford, D.A.D., & Kucharska, W. (2020). Relating Information Culture to Information Policies and Management Strategies. Pennsylvania, United States: IGI Global.
Idris, S., Wahab, R., & Jaapar, A. (2015). Corporate cultures integration and organizational performance: A conceptual model on the performance of acquiring companies. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 172, 591-595.
Jurek, P., & Besta, T. (2019). Employees’ self-expansion as a mediator between perceived work conditions and work engagement and productive behaviors. Current Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-019-00241-w
Juchnowicz, M., & Sienkiewcz, Ł. (2016). Organisational culture as a creator of human capital. Research papers of Wrocław University of Economics, 422, 61-71. https://doi.org/10.15611/pn.2016.422.05
Kesterson, R.K. (2015). The Basics of Hoshin Kanri. New York: Francis & Taylor.
Lewis, R.D. (2006). When Cultures Collide. Boston-London: Nicholas Brealey International.
Matricano, D. (2018). The state of the art of open innovation culture. In P. Formica & M. Curley (Eds.), Exploring the Culture of Open Innovation
(pp. 139-162). Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing.
Orłowski, C., Ziółkowski, A., Orłowski, A., Kapłański, P., Sitek, T., & Pokrzywnicki, W. (2016). Smart cities system design method based on case based reasoning. In N. Nguyen, R. Kowalczyk, C. Orłowski, & A. Ziółkowski (Eds.), Transactions on Computational Collective Intelligence XXV. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 9990. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
Stankiewicz, K., & Ziemiański, P. (2015). To work or not to work… in a multicultural team?. Journal of Intercultural Management, 7(4),
Zieba, M., & Schivinski, B. (2015). Knowledge management driven leadership, culture and innovation success – an integrative model. In Proceedings of IFKAD 2015: 10th International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics: Culture, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Connecting the Knowledge Dots (pp. 1193-1202). Bari, Italy: Institute of Knowledge Asset Management.
Wioleta Kucharska, Ph.D. Eng., holds an Assistant Professor position at the Management Department of the Management and Economy Faculty of Gdańsk University of Technology, Gdańsk, Poland. She is involved in multiple knowledge cultures, knowledge management, including tacit knowledge sharing international scientific projects. She has published many peer-reviewed studies with Wiley, Springer, Taylor & Francis, Emerald, and IGI Global. Her recent study entitled “How to achieve sustainability? An employee’s point of view on company culture and CSR practice” was awarded the ‘Top Downloaded Paper 2018–2019’ Wiley certificate. She was awarded, along with her distinguished Management and Economy Faculty of Gdańsk University of Technology colleagues: E. Lechman and M. Zieba, the ‘Elsevier Research Impact Leaders 2019 Wzie PG.’ Alongside her scientific passion and achievements, she also has 12 years of managerial experience; therefore, her works with theoretical foundations actively refer to management practice. Her recently written book, co-authored with Denise A.D. Bedford, called “Relating Information Culture to Information Policies and Management Strategies” provides a holistic picture of business cultures and strategy challenges and was the inspiration to invite co-authors to contribute to this Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation Special Issue on company culture.
Citation (APA Style)
Kucharska, W. (2020). Company culture matters – From the Editor. Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation, 16(4), 7-12.