This archive file of HSM 230 Week 6 Discussion Question 1 comprises:
Post your response to the following: List examples of tangible and intangible forms of organizational culture. Which form of organizational culture is the most powerful agent for influencing ethical behavior by employees in human service organizations? Justify your answer.
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Organizational culture refers to the shared values, beliefs, norms, and practices that shape the behavior and attitudes of individuals within an organization. It can be manifested in both tangible and intangible forms. Tangible forms of organizational culture are visible and easily identifiable aspects, while intangible forms are more abstract and difficult to measure.
Examples of tangible forms of organizational culture include physical layout and design of the workplace, dress code, rituals and ceremonies, and formal policies and procedures. These elements can be observed and experienced by individuals within the organization, and they contribute to shaping the overall culture.
On the other hand, intangible forms of organizational culture are more related to the values and beliefs that guide the behavior of individuals. These aspects include the organization’s mission statement, leadership styles, communication patterns, decision-making processes, and shared assumptions and beliefs. Intangible forms are less visible but have a significant impact on the behavior and attitudes of employees.
When it comes to influencing ethical behavior by employees in human service organizations, the most powerful agent is arguably the intangible form of organizational culture.
The intangible aspects of culture, such as values, beliefs, and shared assumptions, have a profound impact on individual behavior and decision-making. When employees share a common set of ethical values and are aligned with the organization’s mission and vision, they are more likely to exhibit ethical behavior. This alignment of values and beliefs creates a strong sense of purpose and a shared understanding of what is considered right and wrong within the organization.
While tangible forms of culture, such as policies and procedures, can contribute to ethical behavior, they are often seen as external controls rather than intrinsic motivations. It is the intangible aspects that shape attitudes and provide a framework for ethical decision-making.
For example, if an organization has a strong culture of transparency, accountability, and respect for clients, employees are more likely to behave ethically in their interactions and decision-making processes. On the other hand, if the organization’s culture emphasizes profit maximization at the expense of ethical considerations, employees may feel compelled to compromise their ethical values to meet organizational goals.
In conclusion, while both tangible and intangible forms of organizational culture play a role in shaping behavior, the intangible aspects, such as shared values and beliefs, have a more profound impact on influencing ethical behavior by employees in human service organizations. It is the alignment of these intangible elements with the organization’s mission and vision that creates a strong foundation for ethical behavior.