Organizational Culture: Leadership and Behavior


What is organizational culture?

This is a set of beliefs that exists in an organization and determines how the employees interact with each other as well as how the workers respond to certain situations. The culture, like in any other society, defines issues and expected responses to them. It is worth saying that the culture is not written down somewhere but it exists and controls the behavior of the organization. There are some values that the organization holds and for one to be seen as a “compliant” member of the larger group, you need to act in line with the expectation (Black 108). As individuals, we have our personality that is different from others; the same happens with organizations, they have an organizational personality that can be termed as the organizational culture. As we grew we found ourselves with different personalities that were developed/developing into us right from birth, they define who we are. The same happens with an organization. Right from the time, it was established, there are some values, beliefs, behavior, and attitude that it initially took. As time goes the culture so adopted becomes part of the organization (Scort 151). A certain language is developed, signs and symbols start defining the situation in the organization. As much as there is no set way of punishing those who don’t act in line with the culture, it is self-reinforcing. The culture after it has developed is very hard to change. The entire entity seems to have deep roots in the culture and anybody who goes against is seen as an outcast and does not interact smoothly with the other colleagues. There are different issues of organizational culture and have different effects on the leadership of the organization as well as the conduct of the employee. This paper discusses various contemporary issues of organizational culture within the context of leadership and organizational behavior.

The methodology

To attain the above objective, and secondly, due to the fact that different organizations embrace different styles of organizational culture, I am going to interpolate different styles and relate (them) to how they affect the leadership as well as the team conduct.

Power culture

This is a culture that is mostly associated with organizations that have a dictatorial form of leadership. Here, the assumption is that the boss has the sole wisdom, and decisions are only made by the boss. Under the culture, the man or woman in authority is the determinant of everything. On the other hand, the team members are not supposed to air out their contribution to the higher authority. They are seen as mere tools of command. The culture here is that the employee has to follow the laid down rules without questioning (Mullins 722). The leaders of these organizations are characterized as powerful and controlling. The juniors are de-motivated. These are the organizations that are static to change. There are early warnings to new entrants that the policy of “untouchable” boss exists. In meetings, the views of the boss are always supported without questioning. As the employees live in fear and always wish to impress the boss, they abide by the principles to a level that they can see things going wrong and don’t talk. Customers of this kind of organization hold no trust in the juniors and will prefer their issues handled by the boss only. Handwork is not rewarded and promotions are given out according to the royalty that the employee has to the boss.

Roles culture

These are organizations that have a well-structured system of the job description. They are in places that the leadership cannot be effectively practiced by a central position. In this culture, right from the first day, there is a defined expectation that a certain entrant is supposed to meet. There are values that the employees are supposed to hold when conducting their duties (Pease and Fook 123). The powers here are given to the extent of the level of responsibility that the employee is supposed to hold. In these organizations, royalty is more seen in the team leader but the higher management is seen as a set of power that is exercised through the individual team leader. In these organizations, the higher management makes strategic decisions and gives guidelines to the junior leaders. Promotion is based on how well the employee can play the role given. The entire organization’s performance is determined by how well roles are played and the level that they don’t conflict (Connolly 80).

Task culture

This is the culture whereby the individual employee is supposed to play a certain task in the organization. Here, the job is seen to be divided into different tasks or projects and it is the employee’s responsibility to effectively perform the task he is mandated to do. On the other hand, the employee can make a decision but only the ones that affect his area of jurisdiction. There may be small teams that perform different tasks or it may take different individuals to do certain things. Here when one comes into the organization, he is given specifications on what task he is supposed to play and the level that the tasks affect the organization is explained. Here there is no flexibility but improvement of an individual task is encouraged (Thornhill 67). There is job specialization in various sections. When the organization has good targets and goals, this form of culture yields high results since the individual teams have enough time to improve the weaknesses of the process they undertake. There are departmental meetings and at the time the departments are seen to be different. This culture gives room for various group cultures to be developed within the larger culture (Jashapara 187).

Freelance Culture

This is a culture that embraces a system that the employees feel free to air their views to the higher leadership. In large organizations, there can be a division into various departments and the departments are supposed to face a certain area. As much as there are departmental meetings and departments are supposed to come up with their own way of doing things, there are meeting with the larger managements that are not restricted to the team managers alone. Views from all including the juniors are weighed equally and no one is supposed to be seen as the sole holder of wisdom (Watson 40). Though decisions in this type of organization take a long time, in most cases they make informed decisions. They are firms that embrace change and keep changing gradually. Innovations in the organizations are seen as the order of the day and entrants are highly encouraged to be innovative (Plessis 23).

The management has to define the destination of the organization and it is the employee to drives the entire firm to that destination. When conflict arises these are the organizations that embrace dialogue. Employees here are highly motivated and can make decisions, however, controlled by the management (Arnold and Silvester 578). In a computerized organization, the rights are given in the amount of data or information that a certain employee can access from the system. When an issue arises, some go directly to the higher management, and those that employees are not supposed to escalate to the management. They are supposed to be held in full by the junior staff. Many are the times that the customers may feel not satisfied by the decision of the junior, and go to the higher leadership upon the issue, in most cases leader reinforces the decision of the junior. The reward is given according to the individual performance. The organizations are highly competitive and seen to emerge with time (Denton 123).


There are different organizational cultures that different organizations embrace and all of them are important to the specific organization. There is no perfect form that can be said to be capable of applying to all organizations. Leaders who are outsourced into the organization should take time first to learn the culture before he/she starts to implement his style of leadership. After he has understood, he should not aim at changing the culture but should approach it from an angle that won’t seem to conflict with the culture. Then, with time, he can induce the culture that he would like in the organization gradually. This will see his leadership embraced.

Works Cited

Arnold, John and Silvester, Joanne. Work psychology: understanding human behavior in the workplace. Washington: Prentice Hall/Financial Times, 2005.

Black, Richard. Organizational Culture: Creating the Influence Needed for Strategic Success. Boston: Universal publishers, 2003.

Connolly, Thomas. Institutional Transformation through Best Practices in Virtual Campus Development. Washington: Advancing E-Learning Policies, 2006.

Denton, John. Organizational learning and effectiveness‎. Washington: Taylor & Francis, 1998.

Jashapara, Ashok. Knowledge management: an integrated approach. Washington: Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2004.

Mullins, J. Laurie. Management. Washington: Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2004.

Pease, Bob, and Fook Jan. Transforming social work practice: postmodern critical perspectives. London: Routledge, 1999.

Plessis, Marina. The impact of organizational culture on knowledge management. Indiana: Chandos, 2006.

Scort, Tim. Health Care and organization culture. Washington: Radcriff publishers, 2003.

Thornhill, Adrian. Managing Change. London: Pearson Education, 2000.

Watson Tony J. Sociology, work, and industry. London: Routledge, 2003.

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