Modern management theories state that corporate culture is one of the building blocks of efficient company performance. Without established physical, moral, and ethical standards of practice, employees and businesses might experience challenges adhering to the rigid demands of the competitive environment. All successful companies have well-developed and progressive corporate cultures. This fact is often overlooked and underestimated by small businesses. Establishing new standards of practice is impossible without altering the existing working climate in one way or another. The process of change often brings negativity and breeds opposition, which hurts quality performance. The purpose of this discussion post is to analyze the positive and negative impacts of corporate cultures on quality performance.
The Relationship Between Corporate Culture and Quality Performance
According to Lapina, Kairisa, and Aramina (2015), there is a direct correlation between the nature of corporate culture and quality performance in businesses and organizations. Positive corporate cultures that promote creativity, responsibility, and high ethical standards are associated with an increase in quality performance, whereas negative corporate cultures are characterized by its decline. Therefore, the pros and cons of corporate cultures must be evaluated based on the positive and negative aspects of individual cultures.
Pros of a Positive Corporate Culture
A corporate culture based on high ethical and moral standards has many advantages to itself. Employees raised in a positive ethical environment are less likely to engage in acts of sabotage, corporate theft, and poor behavior. According to Mitra (2016), individuals tend to adhere to high standards of quality and service if the majority of the workforce around them is doing the same.
Another benefit of positive corporate culture for quality improvement lies in the openness to ideas. Both managers and employees provide each other with feedback, which helps increase the quality of service and understanding of the processes involved. Google provides an example of a positive corporate culture, which is one of the critical factors in maintaining a competitive edge (Mitra, 2016).
Cons of a Negative Corporate Culture
Negative corporate culture is associated with reduced quality performance. According to Hickman and Silva (2018), a negative corporate culture invariably involves low ethical standards and dubious business practices. The duplicity between announced and actual values reduces employee concerns for the quality of their work. If the company allows unethical behavior to exist, managers and employers often do not see any reasons to act otherwise.
Negative corporate cultures are also resistant to change. High-quality standards require more effort and work, which is why managers and employees alike would refuse to perform beyond the norm without the additional motivation of any kind. They are also likely to engage in willing or unwilling sabotage to prove the inefficiency of the new system, which would result in a quality drop. Walmart is an example of a company with a weak corporate culture. Unethical decisions made by its managers caused several scandals revolving around poor-quality goods finding their way to the market shelves (Hickman & Silva, 2018). Also, Walmart has been accused of treating its suppliers unjustly and establishing a regional monopoly, forcing smaller shops out of business.
The concept of corporate culture as a whole is directly related to quality performance. Positive aspects of a corporate culture help improve the quality of services and products, whereas negative aspects result in underperformance. Fostering a healthy culture based on high moral and ethical standards would benefit the company in the long run.
Hickman, C. R., & Silva, M. A. (2018). Creating excellence: Managing corporate culture, strategy, and change in the New Age. New York, NY: Routledge.
Lapina, I., Kairisa, I., & Aramina, D. (2015). Role of organizational culture in the quality management of university. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 213, 770-774.
Mitra, A. (2016). Fundamentals of quality control and improvement. (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.