What is Your Organizational Culture? Does It Favor Those Deemed Superior or in Power or Only Those With a Voice?

thextraordinarionly organizational culture of todays work place blog by Hazlo Emma

Does the Culture of Your Organizational Portray Who You Really Are? How to Optimize Information Processing For Efficiency in Employee Communication

Critical and Post Modern View of an Organizational Culture

The culture of the organization describing the critical and post-modern view is best explained by Hatch & Cunliffe (2013).  Issues of domination associated with organizational culture (power, voice, and status quo) are examined.

The basis of this article is an organizational culture that is always passing across information that other races are not inferior to white and black people.

For more insight, read Book Review Demystifying HR Concepts For Present-Day Organization Culture – Collaborate, Engage, Retain Gen Y

You will notice the integration of information across the organization so that stories do not favor those deemed superior or in power if they have adopted this critical and postmodern culture. The management supports the interests of the organization in addition to all staff to cope with organizational problems on a continuous basis.

thextraodinarionly play hard work smart quote in blog post by Hazlo Emma

Can you relate to any of these traits?

Let’s explore other core traits of corporate culture and how they can propel your organization (irrespective of the size or number of staff) to increased productivity.

How Is Communication affected by the PostModern View Organizational Culture?

The crucial and postmodern view of corporate culture affects communication in any organization as it brings out an important holistic concept of using knowledge for power (Creswell & Poth, 2017). It also highlights the importance of language and how it reflects reality.

For example, Mumby & Ashcraft (2017) show that subordinate staff address the top executives as either ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’ or ‘Doctor’ (and not Doc)  since they are seen to be in power. These titles highlight power, authority, and reaffirm their status.

Moreover, all employees are aware as long as they exceed customers’ expectations, the organization performs extraordinarily. The result is the realization of the organization’s objective, increased effectiveness, and additional profits.

Space Allocation In The Dynamics of Organizational Culture

The layout within a company affects communication in the coordination of activities.

Top executives in most organizations usually have large desks of superior quality and swinging chairs, notwithstanding larger office spaces where they sit alone. It is not mandatory for them to wear a uniform.

On the contrary, subordinates share office space with smaller workstation sizes that are less decorated.

One work station may have access to more than one employee. Junior staff follows a mandatory office dress code of branded apparel that represents the organization. Today, there is less distance between staff workspaces within a department despite the introduction of telephones and the internet.

Face to face stands out as the best mode of communication as stipulated by Hatch & Cunliffe (2013).

The top executives also have their parking space and receive personalized secretarial services. It symbolizes their superiority, affirming both the interpretive and the postmodern approach to organizational culture.

thextraordinarionly working together as a team quote in blog post by Hazlo Emma

Check out your office.

  1. Is there a clear division of labor where a group of employees focuses on a particular task, that is, receipt of orders, packing final product, cashier, et Cetra?
  2. Are similar actives carried out by groups of people in demarcated departments? These include the marketing department, accounting department, human resources department, the board of directors who occupy different space allocations.

Bulletin Boards and Walls

The foundation of the association between physical structure and organizational identity is status, group boundaries, and corporate image (Putnam & Fairhurst, 2015). Bulletin board and wall displays in the office represent the culture, attitude, different position, and status of the employees.

Trust me. There is a notable difference between bulletins and boards of top executives to their juniors.

Post items include views of the employees within a department, in addition to the organizations. Hatch & Cunliffe (2013) point out that for the senior executives, the bulletin boards, displays, and portraits that primarily emphasize the organization’s corporate image and identity.

Artifacts, Family Photos, and Personal Items

Artifacts displayed on desks or walls mark territories with personal belongings that show ownership of workspaces. These include personal items like photos of mentors or close relations (spouse, children, distant relatives), their children’s homework drawings.

The majority of the main office walls have artifacts and photos that are organizationally related. Those on the walls are theme-based, concerning organizational identity and perceptions of outsiders to the organization.

Corporate image influences the experiences of staff and their beliefs of the organization as a whole (Hassard et al., 2017)


Common Areas, Like Board Rooms and Wash Rooms

Common rooms allow the integration of staff at all levels (Putnam & Fairhurst, 2015).

Senior executives have extra privacy and walk very short distances to their washrooms, desks for tea, and board rooms. The junior executives share and use the same resources and conflict is very likely to arise.

Occasionally, meetings are held on a regular basis with the staff of all levels and hierarchies in the organization to applaud, recognize, and award the extraordinary ones in one of the meeting rooms or auditorium. Likewise, the organization’s vision, mission, and values are reiterated and emphasized in these meetings.

Communication of Employees With Each Other

(Tones, Frequency, Content, Type, and Mode of Communication)

Employees in an organization are as a community.

Emphasis exists on employee motivation, involvement, and communication of team goals, predominantly formally. Emails are shared for staff meetings every week. Mumby & Ashcraft (2017) discusses formal and informal communication of employees within departments, in order of hierarchy (up and down), and laterally.

Emails are escalated at each level but copied to every member of a department. Unique scenarios include when selected staff members form a committee to achieve a target or objective of a project. In this case, the information they communicate with each other whether formal or informal is passed on amongst this project, until they realize the goal and objective.

A meeting is called via email, and notice given accordingly. One of the project members then shares the information with relevant departments of the whole organization. Informal communication is widespread especially in the midst of staff members within departments, or similar grades across the entire organization.

Each category of staff, whether junior or senior have their informal way of communication that they only understand, commonly known as jargon. It is such that if a senior staff participates in an informal discussion with a group of junior staff, then messages passed across are taken in a relaxed manner. A junior employee takes a more formal tone when communicating with superiors.

In addition to the above, Hasard, et al., (2017) emphasize seamless communication amongst staff for complex tasks. Overall, communication is written for milestone reviews, personal objectives, and goals while verbal communication exists amongst staff within related departments and levels or ranks in an office.

Rules and regulation that govern both formal and informal communication guides how information flows during tasks such that all employees depend on one another.

thextraordinarionly organizational culture how to optimize communication for effectiveness and efficiency blog post by Hazlo Emma PIN


Dissemination And Distribution of Information

Hierarchy in the organization show who reports to who in the organization. For instance, Hatch & Cunliffe (2013) discusses that when information is moved downwards on meeting goals and objectives of the organization, subordinates are told what to do by seniors, managers, including top executives.

On the other hand, when information is moving upwards, juniors report back to management with details of they will personally meet those goals and objectives. Consequently, the organization has a unity of community where employees report to several senior staff.

Social Culture in the Workplace

Employees within an organization socialize outside the workplace. Smaller groups of staff within the organization have different interests and tend to socialize together. Putnam & Fairhurst (2015) emphasizes that employees learn from each other in more relaxed environments, whether they work in similar or different departments.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”The closer the hierarchy and rank, the higher the chances of social interaction outside of the workplace.” quote=”The closer the hierarchy and rank, the higher the chances of social interaction outside of the workplace.”]

Other factors that play a role in out of workplace interactions include demographics, lifestyles, social moments, beliefs, history, traditions, values, knowledge, information, skills, expertise, neighborhood, legal, political affiliations. As the employees socialize out of work, social legitimacy improves.

Employees are encouraged to socialize outside their workplace to further expand their knowledge. The postmodernist theorists are skeptical of hierarchy, control, centralization, and integration (Hatch & Cunliffe, 2013). When they socialize together, they come up with their concepts of interaction to counter the differentiation they perceive to have taken place at work.

Do You Have Rituals At Your WorkPlace?

All employees socialize before joining any organization at childhood and teenage voluntarily or in a group. After college, employees let go of these old roles and values and adapt to the expectations of the team they find at the workplace according to Putnam & Fairhurst, 2015).

Intensive learning takes place through observation, asking questions, over the hearing, and interactions. The employee is accepted as an insider.

Movement from this level involves the mutual withdrawal of those staying and those who leave. One option is to move to either another similar position or a higher position within the same or different department. The other movement is an exit due to turnover, retirement, or sudden death. This is the ritual in the organization, irrespective of their rank.

Heroines and Heroes Social Culture plus Co-cultures

The heroines and heroes that are held up as role models are the protagonists who are strong, competent, and exceptional. They break free from established identities and construct new ones by the expansion of their consciousness (Putnam & Fairhurst, 2015).

The events the hero(ine) experience lead to a new life; a new life with outstanding admirable qualities. They could be lured or carried away or proceed voluntarily to achieve a task within the organization. A hero(ine) who refuses the call to adventure turns into a victim, but the one who continues crosses beyond the threshold of their world to the unfamiliar and eventually to astonish his/her workmates.

Creswell & Poth (2017) state that the dominant social culture has defined, chosen, and recognized heroes and heroines within the cultural boundaries identified through a filter. Therefore, their accomplishments are compatible with the emphasis on culture, for example, Steve Jobs of Apple Co. cultures are not identified in this write-up.

thextraordinarionly organizational culture of heroes and heroines blog post by Hazlo Emma pin by Hazlo Emma


Any team culture evolves from the practical view of top management and leadership managing and designing the culture of employees for a purpose. In a different setting, an organization may adopt the emergent, created and developed a culture of networks of various subcultures (the interpretive view).

At the current view of the critical and post-modern view, an organization’s identity to facilitate the commitment of employees differentiates it from others in the same field. Firstly, high complexity in the demand of products results in a high level of certainty of the environment of the organization.

The resultant stable environment depicts a successful organization that uses mechanical and organic structures like innovation that assist the organization to meet its demands (Hatch & Cunliffe, 2013). Secondly, a cultivated organizational culture creates realities that offer a choice to get away from the ‘cultures’ employees in the organization do not like.

Hence, the postmodernist perspective for any organization may embrace technological innovation to satisfy different environmental demands. Employees strive to consistently create a sustainable environment (Creswell & Poth, 2017). Norms, laws, and values are embraced.

Thirdly, all employees in an organization behave sustain-ably due to the persistent message communicated of thoughts that the organization is sustainable. A structural change of five phases; the entrepreneurial, collective, delegation, formalization, and collaborative takes place.

Office and out of workplace routines, ideologies, and perceptions change by improvisation, innovation, and creativity. In this digital age of the Internet of Things, the adoption of computer-based technologies and social media transforms communication, both laterally and vertically across the organization. Therefore, the organization’s perception evolves with each different environment.


Creswell, J. W., & Poth, C. N. (2017). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Sage publications.
Hatch, M. J., & Cunliffe, A. L. (2013). Organization theory: modern, symbolic, and postmodern perspectives. Oxford university press.
Hassard, J., Hyde, P., Wolfram Cox, J., Granter, E., & McCann, L. (2017). Exploring health work: a critical-action perspective. Journal of Health Organization and Management, (just-accepted), 00-00.
Mumby, D. K., & Ashcraft, K. L. (2017). Critical Approaches. The International Encyclopedia of Organizational Communication.
Putnam, L. L., & Fairhurst, G. T. (2015). Revisiting “Organizations as discursive constructions”: 10 years later. Communication Theory, 25(4), 375-392.

What About Your Organization?

What do you think?

What comparisons does your organizational culture have with the one explored in this blog post?

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By Hazlo Emma

Hazlo Emma is a Business Development, Digital Strategist & optimistic personal Coach in the Financial, Writing, and Social Media Space for Startups and Small Businesses.  She has a knack for numbers with an advisory role to a tech-averse clientele. Emma is an inspiration to solopreneurs, newbies, founders, CEOs, and B2B enthusiasts, challenging each one to impact their world, a step at a time with innovative strategies. Her mantra is creating lasting memorable experiences consistently, with the delivery of excellent and faster results (offline and online) for higher returns on investment, whilst exceeding the expectations of prospects.   Currently pursuing further studies in the security niche, she is a team member at http://www.thextraordinarionly.com where they test affordable DIY innovative business tips, social media marketing tips, tweaks, hacks, strategies, … that improve engagement, branding, and share their experiences. Formatting, proofreading, copy editing, line editing, comprehensive and substantive editing manuscripts comes second nature to her. even ghost writing in the nonfiction genre as a side hustle. Hazlo Emma follows real-time trends in Small Business, Startup World, Social Media, Social Impact Matters, Leadership, Fin-tech, Big Data, Analytics, Robotics, IoT, Artificial and Hybrid Intelligence, in addition to frequently answering questions on Quora! She is a Global Juror of the 5th Global Entreps Awards & 5Gcitizens International Congress nominating exceptional and outstanding individuals under the guidance of the United Nations’ SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). Hazlo Emma is a co-author of Crawl Outta Debt Now.

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