Organization Development

Sep 08, 2022 6 min read

Cultural Lens

Man is a cultural entity in addition to being a social animal. Because of culture, man's social existence is conceivable. He has raised above the level of an animal to the heights of a man thanks to culture. Without culture, man cannot exist as a human being. It stands for all of humanity's achievements. The culture of generosity, hard work, self-determination, solidarity, and shared purpose, as well as our arts, music, and steadfast traditional values, has had a significant impact on our incredible efforts and accomplishments to date. 

  We see the world around us through the changing lens of culture. In 1943 psychologist Abraham Maslow laid down five levels of human needs and motivations for each. Culture, a fuzzy entity, is deeply rooted in these needs. It varies from one demography to other. In one demography it is individualistic while collectivistic in another demography. Each form of these cultures is motivated by the need of achieving the apex actualization of true potential. Professor Harry Triandis of the University of Illinois defines culture as a human-made part of the environment. Such a culture propagates through every human and induces the behavioral aspects of development.

  When an individual becomes part of an organization, he/she brings his/her culture to this system. Just like in economics demand and supply curves tend to be in equilibrium, and two cultures also tend to be in equilibrium. An individual has certain options when becoming part of an organizational culture like complaining, conflict, or conforming. Any form of cultural misunderstanding need gets nullified for the mutual development of the organization and individual. For example, even if an individual is accustomed to a patriarchal society, conforming to the gender diversity culture of the organization will instill a more responsible attitude. Work culture needs to be such that it promotes an open-door policy, and unblocked communication sends clear signals of mutual trust and bond. Pillars of the culture in the society are the treasury of knowledge, personality, intact social relationship, the broad outlook of an individual, and the creation of new needs.

  British author Richard Barret has significantly advanced our knowledge of the crucial but ambiguous subject of organizational values and culture through Barrett Model. One of the most recent examples can be found in the tragic COVID-19 pandemic. Mostly due to social exclusion and travel restrictions, it had a disastrous effect on Africa's cultural and heritage sectors. At the same time, it brought attention to the crucial roles that African culture, tradition, and heritage play in advancing human development by raising awareness of public health issues, employing traditional medicines as potential treatments for medical problems, and reducing the pandemic's negative effects on social and mental health. 

  Any organization which expects to have sustainable and healthy growth will need its employees to become part of its culture. This will help everyone to become a person of culture with tremendous potential in their profession. It is also observed that there is a need to support the development of human potential through values. Culture, therefore, plays a key role in socio-economic aspects of society by fostering human growth.



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