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Establishing a Positive Organizational Culture: Management’s Role, Criticisms, and Benefits

The ideas, beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, and practices held in common by members of an organization are referred to as its culture. Culture is what gives an organization its identity and helps create its character. It is a powerful force that influences how employees connect with customers and other stakeholders and how employees see their work and the organization (West, 2020). A positive organizational culture is characterized by a set of beliefs and practices that generate a sense of community, trust, and support for its members and enhance the health and well-being of its employees, employee engagement, and job satisfaction.

It is impossible to exaggerate how vital it is for an organization to have a healthy culture. Research has indicated that businesses with positive cultures tend to have employees that are more satisfied and engaged overall, as well as reduced turnover rates, improved financial performance, and higher levels of customer satisfaction (West, 2020). In addition, healthy cultures can provide a competitive edge by attracting and retaining top personnel, promoting innovation and creativity, and adjusting to change and unpredictability.

This study aims to investigate the arguments in favor of and against establishing a positive organizational culture and management’s role in establishing and upholding such a culture. The article will have the following organization: First, it will argue that organizations ought to work toward creating a positive culture. Second, it will argue that fostering a positive culture can involve deceptive practices. In the final section of this paper, we will address management’s role in developing an organization’s culture. We will incorporate the four management functions that Robbins and Judge (2013) outlined in this part of the debate. In addition, the study will investigate how global managers may need to adapt their strategies to account for a greater number of factors and surroundings while doing business in international markets.

According to Robbins and Judge (2013), an organization’s culture can impact not just the attitudes, motivation, and behaviors of its employees but also outcomes such as the business’s level of performance, innovation, and customer satisfaction. They contend that managers play a significant part in developing and maintaining a constructive organizational culture and that this position requires them to plan, organize, lead, and exercise control over the activities and resources of the organization. This study aims to understand better how businesses can develop environments that promote employee well-being and organizational success by examining management’s role in establishing a good culture.

Section 1: Organizations Should Strive to Create a Positive Culture

Organizational success is tied to a culture where workers feel appreciated, safe, and appreciated (West, 2020). Community, trust, and support are hallmarks of this model, characterized by shared values and practices that boost employee happiness, engagement, and satisfaction. When a business has a healthy culture, its employees are cared for and motivated to do their best.

Benefits of positive organizational culture

Employees and businesses can reap many rewards when they foster a positive culture. First, in productive workplaces, the happiness and satisfaction of workers are a top priority. The result is an improved outlook on the workplace and more job satisfaction (Schein, 2010). Workers who believe they make a difference for the company are more invested in their jobs. Better company outcomes may arise from this boost in staff enthusiasm and output.

Moreover, productive cultures can give businesses an edge in the marketplace. Attracting and keeping top personnel is crucial in today’s cutthroat business environment. To recruit and keep the best employees, companies should foster a culture that values their employees’ health, happiness, and professional development (Schein, 2010). Positive work environments inspire people to go beyond the box by speaking out and trying new things. This can result in ground-breaking new goods, services, and techniques that put a company miles ahead of its rivals. Optimistic cultures, in the end, can better deal with uncertainty and change, which is crucial in the modern economic world. A thriving company culture is crucial to lasting success.

Examples of successful, positive organizational cultures

Numerous organizations have served as examples of successful attempts to cultivate good cultures. Google and Zappos are two companies that come to mind as examples. The company Google is famous for its culture of innovation and positivity. The company prioritizes innovation, teamwork, and its staff members’ overall health and happiness. As a result, it provides various benefits, including no-cost meals, on-site child care, and flexible working hours. According to Saks and Gruman (2021), Google also encourages its employees to explore their passions outside of work by instituting programs such as “20% time,” in which employees are encouraged to spend 20% of their time on projects that are unrelated to their job responsibilities.

Another company that has established a profitable and happy culture is the online shoe and clothes retailer The organization places a high value on the happiness of its employees. It places a high priority on the well-being of its employees through efforts such as providing a work atmosphere that is pleasant and supportive, holding regular team-building events, and putting an emphasis on personal growth. Recent research (Cameron & Quinn, 2019; Saks & Gruman, 2021) has shown that businesses that emphasize cultivating a positive culture tend to have higher levels of employee well-being and engagement, as well as superior financial performance (Cameron & Quinn, 2019; Saks & Gruman, 2021). These findings lend even more credence to the contention that businesses should work to foster more positive organizational cultures.

Criticisms of positive organizational culture

According to a recent article by Cameron and Spreitzer (2020), critics of positive organizational culture argue that companies are more concerned with projecting a positive image than their employees’ well-being. Organizations that place a premium on culture risk stagnating because their members need to be more comfortable with the status quo to embrace change. One such argument against firms with positive cultures is that they may be shallow, prioritizing superficial activities like relaxed dress codes and enjoyable office events over tackling more fundamental problems like excessive workloads and stress. Moreover, positive cultures can sometimes result in group thinking, where workers are prevented from voicing opinions or ideas contradicting the status quo.

Analysis of criticisms

Although these objections are legitimate, it does not necessarily follow that they invalidate the benefits of having a positive culture. Businesses must be authentic in cultivating a healthy culture and resist the temptation to become complacent or shallow. Additionally, businesses can strive toward cultivating an atmosphere of psychological safety in the workplace, where the prevalence of group thinking does not inhibit employees but rather makes them feel comfortable expressing various opinions and ideas.

Discussion of possible solutions

Cameron and Spreitzer (2020) recommend a few actions companies might take to counter the objections against positive organizational cultures. To begin, businesses may conduct regular employee surveys to evaluate the level of happiness among workers and locate areas in which they could make improvements. This helps to guarantee that the firm is engaged in the well-being of its employees and is not just projecting a favorable image for the sake of doing so. Second, employers may help employees avoid becoming complacent by offering them professional development and progress opportunities, which can foster an environment more conducive to innovation.

Thirdly, fostering open communication and employee input can help cultivate a culture of psychological safety, enabling employees to voice thoughts contrary to the status quo and question the legitimacy of existing practices. In conclusion, businesses can now prioritize genuine projects that tackle more fundamental problems, such as work-life balance and employee stress, rather than concentrating on surface-level advantages, such as casual dress regulations and enjoyable office activities. Organizations can work toward the creation of a good culture that is real, meaningful, and that promotes the well-being and engagement of employees by implementing these measures.

Section 2: The Role of Management in Establishing Organizational Culture

Management is accountable for planning, organizing, leadership, and controlling resources to accomplish organizational goals and objectives. When establishing an organizational culture, management is burdened with developing a constructive culture that aligns with the organization’s objectives and principles.


Planning is the initial duty of management, and an important part of it is establishing positive goals and objectives for the organization’s culture. Employee input is required for this function to guarantee that staff members’ core values and beliefs are congruent with the objectives outlined by management. According to Robbins and Judge (2013), planning entails choosing the most effective action to achieve one’s goals and aims.


Organizing entails developing a framework that may provide support for a constructive culture. The corporation’s management is responsible for aligning the organization’s values, goals, and structure. In the context of this function, “designing job roles” refers to constructing communication channels and developing policies and procedures that foster a healthy culture. According to Robbins and Judge (2013), organizing entails arranging activities, individuals, and other resources to meet the goals and objectives that have been set.


Being a leader requires not just demonstrating positive behaviors but also providing employees who demonstrate positive behaviors with feedback and recognition when they do so. The management team needs to set an example for the rest of the company by behaving congruently with the culture they want to foster. It is imperative to provide employees with feedback and appreciation to urge them to continue demonstrating positive behaviors. Robbins and Judge (2013) state that effective leadership requires motivating and persuading others to work toward accomplishing shared goals and aims.


Controlling entails monitoring the culture and modifying it as required to ensure that it continues to be beneficial. To fulfill this job, management must address any issues that may develop that could have a detrimental effect on the culture. For instance, if there is a communication breakdown, management must take the necessary steps to improve communication channels. Robbins and Judge (2013) state that controlling entails monitoring performance, comparing actual performance to desired goals and objectives, and taking remedial action as required.

Adjustments for Global Management

While global managers carry out the same fundamental duties as domestic managers, functioning in a foreign market may need them to adapt to various factors and conditions. Consider how recognizing cultural variations and conforming to various regulatory requirements may be necessary when intending to export. Control of linguistic barriers or different legal requirements and achieving the desired aims and objectives may require a different strategy. Global managers need to be adaptable and change their strategy to fit the nation’s culture where they are doing business.

The Role of Global Managers in Establishing Organizational Culture

Cultural, legal, and economic disparities are only some of the obstacles that global managers must overcome in their work (Robbins & Judge, 2013). In contrast to their domestic counterparts, global managers must effectively oversee employees from various cultural backgrounds in various countries and locations. Managers who work domestically have an advantage because they are already well-versed in the local customs and laws. In contrast, international workers must learn to navigate unfamiliar cultural norms and legal frameworks.

  1. Planning for cultural differences

Managers in international organizations need to anticipate cultural differences among their staff and modify their approaches to leadership and management accordingly (Ghemawat & Reiche, 2017). They must know how cultural norms, attitudes, and beliefs in various locations affect employee conduct. This involves learning how to interact with one another, making decisions, and juggling personal and professional responsibilities (Adler, 2008). In Japan, for instance, it is the norm for workers to put in extra hours and put company loyalty ahead of individual advancement.

  1. Organizing to accommodate diverse perspectives

Managers on a global scale must structure their teams to encourage and support participation from all members. For this reason, it is important to foster an inclusive and welcoming work atmosphere (Hofstede, 2011) and actively seek out and hire diverse staff (Hofstede, 2011). Global managers are responsible for ensuring that the company’s structure allows for effective communication and teamwork among employees of varying cultural backgrounds.

  1. Leading across language and cultural barriers

Managers in international organizations need strong intercultural communication skills. Leaders in today’s globalized world must effectively communicate and lead across cultural boundaries (Robbins & Judge, 2013). One aspect is learning to read and respond appropriately to nonverbal cues from other cultures, such as gestures and body language (Adler, 2008). Cultural differences in how people respond to authority, make decisions, and receive criticism are also important for global managers to be aware of (Hofstede, 2011).

  1. Controlling compliance with diverse legal requirements

Global managers are responsible for adhering to a wide variety of local regulations. This necessitates familiarity with varied legal systems governing employment, taxes, and intellectual property (Ghemawat & Reiche, 2017). Managers on a global scale also have a responsibility to ensure that their company’s values are consistent with those of the countries in which they operate.


In conclusion, this study has presented arguments supporting whether firms should work toward creating healthy corporate cultures. On the one hand, a positive culture can benefit employees, including greater job satisfaction, increased employee engagement, and increased staff productivity. In addition, businesses prioritizing cultivating positive cultures can obtain a competitive advantage over their counterparts prioritizing cultivating negative ones. On the other hand, building a positive culture has been accused of being deceptive and disingenuous, with the potential to result in complacency, a lack of creativity, superficiality, and groupthink. Despite the accusations against management, the four tasks of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling play an essential part in developing a constructive culture in an organization. Management can create an environment in which employees may thrive, and the organization can profit by establishing goals and objectives, establishing a structure that supports a positive culture, modeling positive behaviors, offering feedback and recognition, monitoring and altering the culture as necessary, and delivering feedback and recognition to employees. In conclusion, the benefits of a positive organizational culture must be noticed, and it is the responsibility of management to establish and sustain this culture for the benefit of all parties involved in the organization’s many stakeholder groups.


Adler, N. J. (2008). International dimensions of organizational behavior. Cengage Learning.

Cameron, K. S., & Quinn, R. E. (2019). Diagnosing and changing organizational culture: Based on the competing values framework. John Wiley & Sons.

Cameron, K. S., & Spreitzer, G. M. (2020). The Oxford Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship. Oxford University Press.

Ghemawat, P., & Reiche, S. (2017). National cultural differences and multinational business. Journal of International Business Studies, 48(1), 1-12.

Hofstede, G. (2011). Dimensionalizing cultures: The Hofstede model in context. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 2(1), 1-26.

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2013). Organizational behavior (15th ed.). Pearson.

Saks, A. M., & Gruman, J. A. (2021). The Oxford Handbook of occupational health psychology. Oxford University Press.

Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational culture and leadership (Vol. 2). John Wiley & Sons.

West, M. A. (2020). Effective teamwork: Practical lessons from organizational research. John Wiley & Sons.


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