The Effects of Group Culture on Decision Making in Business


Organizational culture relates directly to the values of those within the organization or the beliefs that are shared. Culture also relates to the behavior of the people in the company. Within the larger organizational culture are subcultures, or groups, that share the organizational behaviors and beliefs, but whose members are connected by some common factor. For example, one subculture may be older workers. As older workers this subculture is concerned with organizational issues affecting them directly. Consequently, group culture has a significant impact on decision making in business.

Value and Subgroups

Every subculture within a business must believe that it is valued. A sense of value is directly related to the self-esteem of workers. Self-esteem is connected to how workers function, which in turn impacts how the business operates. If the members of a subculture do not feel that they are valued by the organization, that subculture has the ability to negatively change the overall organizational culture. Therefore, management must consistently demonstrate that all subcultures within the organization have value and include considerations for each of those subcultures in the decision-making process.

Needs and Subgroups

Every subgroup or subculture within a business is aware of the needs of its members. A disabledworker subculture may be concerned with equipment and tools needed to perform tasks, for example. A subculture of single moms may be concerned with work-center day care. Consequently, when management makes decisions about budget cuts, workplace improvements or organizational change, managers must take into consideration the needs of these subgroups or run the risk of alienating the subgroup members throughout the organization.

Teams and Culture

Organizational teams are created by management or leadership to accomplish a specific task within a company. Although team members may not initially have anything in common except for their function, over time it is that function that may turn a team into a subculture. When this occurs, the team members are often tightly knit and very supportive of one another. Together, the team members share beliefs about the company, including which organizational goals are important. It is this common cultural belief that may sway management in the decision-making process, changing goals, or the focus of the organization altogether.

Culture and Rebellion

Many managers walk into the workplace and decide that they need to make swift and widespread changes without any consideration for the groups or cultures in the organization. When this occurs, the members of subgroups may become rebellious toward management or toward the organization itself. Rebellious subgroups then have the potential to slow production, change attitudes in the larger organizational culture or negatively impact customer support for the company. With this knowledge in mind, managers must take the time to understand each of the cultures within an organization and consider them in decision-making. Without this consideration, managers will experience resistance, which is counterproductive to achieving organizational goals.

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