What is the Relationship Between Leadership and Organizational Culture?

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Relationship Between Leadership and Organisational Culture

Have you ever wondered why people consider or inquire about an organization’s culture before applying to work there? Why, after all, is understanding organizational culture important? Does it matter to anyone? Surely it does. Organizational culture refers to the core principles, shared convictions, written and unwritten rules, daily rituals, symbols, and assumptions that guide an organization. A positive and strong culture can boost employee morale, improve organizational performance, and enhance employee engagement. Whereas, a negative culture can result in reduced productivity, internal conflict, and stagnation. Thus, to ensure a positive culture it is essential to have effective leadership. For this, we need to understand the relationship between leadership and organizational culture, which is covered in the subsequent sections of this blog. Keep reading for more!!

Also Read: Professional Ethics and Code of Conduct

What is Organisational Culture?

Organizational culture refers to a set of values, attributes, belief systems, rules, practices, symbols, and assumptions that guide the working of an organization. Furthermore, organizational values influence the growth and development of the business. Here are the different ways in which organizational culture impacts an enterprise:

  • Communication patterns among employees.
  • Norms related to maintaining a balance between work and personal life.
  • Implicit expectations during challenging situations.
  • Employee sentiments towards their work.
  • Tolerance for errors and the acceptance of mistakes.
  • Collaborative dynamics within teams and across different departments.
Source: Denison Consulting

Also Read: Workplace Ethics: Meaning, Examples, Significance

What is the Relationship Between Leadership and Organisational Culture?

The relationship between leadership and organizational culture is pivotal because it is the leaders that shape the functioning and drive the success of an organization. Impactful and effective leaders actively shape and design a new culture or reshape an existing culture to make it conducive for employees. 

Here is how leaders contribute to organizational culture:

1. Creation of work environment

People in leadership roles set the tone for the workplace environment through their decisions, actions, and communication styles. Leaders with better soft skills and hard skills go on to create an inclusive culture. Also, leaders reshape the culture through their responses to critical incidents, reward systems, and their conduct. 

2. Alignment of core values of the organization

Besides, effective leaders align their leadership style and decisions with the core values of the organization. This alignment helps in maintaining and strengthening the desired organizational culture. Also, leaders who promote organizational values contribute to a positive culture.

3. Articulation and realization of the vision and mission of the organization

Furthermore, leaders propound the vision and mission of an organization, which influence the organizational culture by offering a sense of purpose and direction. To realize the vision, in reality, an effective leader lays down a transparent communication channel. This channel is headed by leaders who need to ensure that the message reaches and is understood by everyone in the organization.

4. Stand out as a role model

In addition, leaders serve as role models for employees. Their behavior, work ethic, and values set an example for others to follow, influencing the overall culture. However, contradictions in leaders’ words and actions can result in the breakdown of the desired organizational culture.

5. Beacon of change

Additionally, leaders play a vital role in driving an organization toward growth through changes. A leader’s ability to adapt the culture to evolving circumstances is essential for long-term success. Furthermore, a leader who is open to change is resilient and can face market challenges in turbulent times. Also, these leaders quickly adapt to technological advancements and legal changes. 

6. Source of motivation

On top of that, leadership practices also influence employee engagement and motivation, which are significant components of organizational culture. Therefore, leaders who emphasize employee development, recognition, and well-being contribute to a vibrant and optimistic work culture. 

Source: Heart Management

Also Read: Top 10 Ways to Demonstrate Leadership at Work

How is Leadership Communication Important for Organisational Culture?

As we are talking about the relationship between organizational culture and leadership, it is essential to understand the role of communication in an organization. While each organization has a unique culture, a shared characteristic among strong cultures is the presence of effective leadership communication. Here is how effective communication from leadership can shape the culture of an organization:

  • Understand your audience: Be aware of the knowledge level of your audience. Also, know about which challenges or doubts they are dealing with. Additionally, you must know which aspects of business and organization are important to your audience.
  • Clarify the purpose of your message: Further, you must define the purpose of your communication. You must ensure that your message has the intention of inspiring your audience. Also, your intent must be to impart information, obtain suggestions, and seek approval from the target audience. 
  • Tailor your message: While deciding the content of your message, ensure that you customize it according to the preferences of your audience.
  • Present your message in a formal tone: Finally, you must be inclusive and professional in your tone and style of message delivery. It is often suggested that any leadership communication must include the 6C’s of Margolis and Mayo. These are as follows:
  1. Clarity
  2. Compassion
  3. Conviction
  4. Connection
  5. Conciseness
  6. Courage

Also: Importance of Teamwork and Leadership in an Organisation

FAQs

Q.1. What is organizational culture?

Ans: Organisational culture refers to the core principles, shared convictions, written and unwritten rules, daily rituals, symbols, and assumptions that guide an organization. 

Q.2. What are the 6 Cs of Mayo and Margolis of Leadership Communication?

Ans: Here are the 6 Cs of Mayo and Margolis of Leadership Communication:
1. Clarity
2. Compassion
3. Conviction
4. Connection
5. Conciseness
6. Courage

Q.3. What is the relationship between leadership and organizational culture?

Ans: The relationship between leadership and organizational culture is pivotal because it is the leaders that shape the functioning and drive the success of an organization. Impactful and effective leaders actively shape and design a new culture or reshape an existing culture to make it conducive for employees. 

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