Leaders and Organizational Culture

Every organization, whether it is intentional or unintentional, has a unique culture, and that culture determines, in varying degrees, the level of success the organization achieves. Culture is the personality of an organization, and represents the assumptions, values, and beliefs held by the employees. (Kane, 2006, p.188) These shared components among those in a given organizational culture create a consistent framework where members react, process, evaluate, and interpret situations in collective way. (Mahalinga, 2012, p.688) Culture is the social glue that holds an organization together. (Kane, 2006, p. 188) This social glue, or personality, directly affects the level of satisfaction enjoyed by the employees while they are a part of the organization. (Kane, 2006, p.188) Employee satisfaction translates into whether or not morale is high, which impacts the quality of an organization’s good or service provided by the employees. This is why it is vital leaders pay attention to what sort of culture they are fostering within their organization, and are intentional about building the culture that is desired, rather than manage a culture they are passively inheriting.

Whether a leader realizes it or not, cultural development within his organization originates from the leader himself. Fostering a culture that a leader desires begins with the level of trust the leader gives to the employees, and receives from the employees. It is vital that leaders themselves “value traits of trustworthiness and trust, empowerment and delegation, consistency and mentorship”; for these are the building blocks of any organization and the culture it exists within. (Kane, 2006, p.190) As the leader extends trust to employees, and in return receives trust, it allows the leader to shape the culture of the organization in a desirable way, leading to desired outcomes.

How can leaders grow in their level of delegation and empowerment?


Kane-Urrabazo, C. (2006). Management’s role in shaping organizational culture. Journal of Nursing Management, 14(3), 188–194. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2934.2006.00590.x

Mahalinga Shiva, M., & Suar, D. (2012). Transformational Leadership, Organizational Culture, Organizational Effectiveness, and Programme Outcomes in Non-Governmental Organizations. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary & Nonprofit Organizations, 23(3), 684–710.

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