Guide to Quickly Assessing Organization Culture & Politics

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Organizational Culture

Organizational culture (aka corporate culture or company culture) consists of the values, norms, and behaviour of the people working within an organization and the meaning they attach to their actions and beliefs.

Components of organizational culture include;

  • Branding
  • Symbols (icons, branding, awards, perks, etc)
  • Values (stated and unstated)
  • Beliefs (stated and unstated)
  • Vision and mission statements
  • Systems
  • Traditions and habits

 Organizational Politics

Organizational politics (aka workplace politics or office politics) is when people find ways to gain advantages (e.g. access to resources, preferential treatment, power) that surpass one’s valid authority. Some form of manipulation is usually at the center of organizational politics and thus it is typically referenced in a negative light. The goal of evaluating office politics in a partner organization is not so that you feed into this system by directly participating, but so that you can understand and avoid its pitfalls.

Quick Guide to Assessing Organizational Culture and Politics

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About author

Craig Van Korlaar

Craig specializes in strategy, systems, and metrics. He enjoys cross-pollinating ideas from the nonprofit, government, and business sectors (all of which he's worked in). In addition to heading up topnonprofits.com, his passions include technology, books, social causes, and the global church.

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