Leadership Shaping Organizational Culture

Subject: Corporate Culture
Pages: 8
Words: 2246
Reading time:
9 min
Study level: PhD


An organizational culture entails unique values and behaviors that explain the self-image of an organization and the people in it. The culture delineates the bond that exists between workers of an organization, and it expresses the existing values and beliefs. A stranger can always interpret the organizational culture by the way employees behave. Although team players can create, maintain, and transform the organizational culture, leaders play a vital role in shaping and facilitating the culture. Leaders have the capacity to create a healthy working environment, as well as promote the invention and innovation of new ideas that work towards the growth of the organization. They have a crucial role in maintaining a positive work environment through shaping the culture of the workplace. They formulate informal rules that employees adopt whenever they become part of the workforce. Regardless of the level of difficulty, employees with definite cultures find possible ways to handle difficult situations. Apparently, organizational culture plays a great role in determining the level of employee satisfaction. Since employee dissatisfaction leads to high turnover rates, leaders must ensure that there is trust, empowerment, consistency, and mentorship within the organization. In so doing, they instill positive cultural traits that work towards the positive development of the organization. Leadership plays a great role in shaping and supporting a strong organizational structure, which is very vital in the sustainability of the organization.


Organizational culture comprises of beliefs and values that employees of a particular organization adhere to in their errands. In many cases, certain values and beliefs exist in organizations for a prolonged period to the extent of influencing the employees’ behaviors. Culture is the way of life that entails the material, social, aesthetic, or language of a people in a workplace (Neck & Houghton, 2006). Therefore, new entrants will always find a way to learn and adopt the cultural behaviors of the existing employees. The traditions, ceremonies, and set of opinions differ from one organization to another, where, dominant values within a setting influence employees’ behaviors, relationships, and the level of service (Mitut, 2010). The most important aspect of organizational culture is that it influences the way employees to relate to one another, the way they relate with customers and the way they relate with the entire society. Culture plays a great role in realizing, feeling, and solving problems within an organization.

It is worth noting that leaders have the power to adjust the culture of any organization to a better or inferior situation. Leaders take charge of the employees and facilitate the existence of a harmonious working environment. Great leaders have the capacity to influence their employees to follow the right pathway to success. They will make a critical analysis of the organization, and impose values that work towards achieving the organizational vision and goals (Northouse, 2013). Depending on the viewpoint of the leaders, they will identify strong cultures that enhance internal and external integration of the stakeholders of the organization. Leaders literally manipulate the organization to determine the capacity of employees to accept change, have a strong commitment to innovation, and have some measure of trust in the organization. This paper will give a detailed description of the various ways in which the role of leadership shapes organizational culture.

Employee motivation

Motivation plays a great role in encouraging workers to employ efforts in making inventions and innovations that promote the growth of the organization. Leaders should portray their transformational leadership traits to encourage employees to deliver their best. In so doing, leaders will influence the beliefs and attitudes of the employees, who will always believe that the organization values them (Kane, 2006). Motivational leaders will always recognize unique employee contributions to the organization. Apparently, the most successful companies offer handsome rewards to employees who have exceptional performance in the organization. In fact, some companies demote non-performing employees, and when the situation worsens, they fire them. Organizations with such cultures obligate their employees to exhibit senses of vision and purpose. Leaders that motivate their employees encourage growth and development instead of embarking on the status quo. In such cases, employees adopt the culture of developing their full potential instead of focusing on remuneration.

Leaders have the responsibility of developing a technique of recognizing the tireless efforts that employees deliver to the organization regardless of their rank. Each unit in an organization is extremely important, and employees ought to be comfortable with the rank and the position that they hold in the organization. Role culture is highly significant in any organization, and leaders have to ensure that organizations have clearly defined job descriptions. With clearly defined policies and procedures, the leaders should evaluate the players accordingly using justified tools. Leaders have a challenging role in investigating the existing culture, fostering system values, and promoting healthy teams within the organization. Leaders will always promote healthy organizations whenever they employ their motivational power in a rightful manner.

Employee empowerment is yet another method of motivating employees. Leaders ought to develop a culture of empowering their employees through training, mentorship, and appreciation of every effort employed. Employee empowerment plays a great role in increasing self-confidence and a sense of self-worth. Leaders can raise the self-confidence of employees by involving them in the decision-making and problem-solving processes. In spite of an organization having a specific committee to make company decisions, leaders must find a way to ensure that employees air their views with regard to the policies and procedures of the organization. Empowerment helps in improving the attitude of employees, which facilitates the achievement of organizational goals.

Passive power culture

Most organizations have a management structure that describes the level of authority for every player. In such a case, trust and personal communication are vital in maintaining an excellent work environment. The topmost leaders have the responsibility of ensuring that minimum bureaucracy exists within the organization (Jen-Te, 2007)). Whenever staffs work in a culture that insists on manageable rules, few policies, defined procedures, and minimum supervision, they deliver their best, as they feel trusted.

Leaders have the power to delegate duties to the organizational employees. It is important for the leaders to adopt the task culture, which assembles people with the right knowledge to perform a certain task. To experience maximum results, the leader must ensure that the group has the right equipment, right information, and resources necessary for the successful completion of the duties assigned to them. In some cases, leaders have the power to dictate the dressing code, reporting, and departure time among other rules. However, leaders have to be cautious when coming up with rules and codes of conduct that might raise anxiety. Strict regulations might change the behavior patterns of people in an organization, which will describe the observational level of culture. A decent dressing code, for example, will always describe the level of seriousness and the type of services that an organization offers. However, when making decisions and regulations in relation to employees’ mannerisms, leaders should always involve the employees. Such approaches increase trust and decrease the feelings of work alienation.

Employee and customer satisfaction

Leadership has everything to do with the manner in which an organization conducts its business, as well as the level of employee and customer satisfaction. A leader is a role model, whom employees emulate in their errands. Inspirational leaders will always stir their employees to work hard towards the success of the organization (Berson & Linton, 2005). They will trigger employees to be keen about the organization’s objectives, and the best way forward to attain them. Leaders who are able to interweave continuity and change are magnetic, as employees will always have a positive mentality about the company. Leaders play a great role in manipulating the minds of their followers, and through all possible ways, employees should never have the mentality that an organization exists to make money at their expense. As much as profit-making organizations desire to make enormous profits, the leaders should be able to appreciate the employees for their tireless efforts. Leaders should develop a culture of rewarding employees once the organization attains a targeted profit.

Once employees feel satisfied, they will always work hard to deliver their best. The beneficially then becomes the customer, who receives exceptional goods and services (Lund, 2003). When customers attain satisfaction, they develop sufficient confidence in the organization. In return, they literally market the organization and influence other customers to be part of the organization. The whole process is cyclical, and the leaders are the core people who initiate employee and customer satisfaction to the advantage of the company.

Crisis and conflict management

Organizations will always have crises from one time to another, and it is the role of the leaders to manage the crises. Leaders play a great role in formulating a crisis management plan that encourages participants to pull together during a crisis (Joyner, Frantz, & Maguire, 2013). As crises are unpredictable occurrences, an organization that has developed a superior culture can always work together and develop creative ideas to deal with a crisis in the presence or absence of the leader. Employees will always have a high level of trust in the organization, as they will always feel safe while working. Their level of satisfaction and productivity increases significantly, and in many cases, they will portray professionalism in performing their duties.

Occasionally, employees can have conflicts within an organization. It is upon the leader to formulate effective models to solve conflicts using effective communication channels. To handle arising issues, leaders must ensure that there is constant communication within the organization.

Principle-centered leadership

One of the most important traits of a good leader is the ability to influence people to follow a certain pathway. Leaders ought to develop a culture of influencing the organizational players to adapt to standard operating procedures. Leaders portray their authoritative power, and in so doing, employees rarely disagree with the set rules. Transformational leadership is very vital in managing organizational culture. Essentially, transformational leaders will always motivate, influence, stimulate, and consider individual views in managing organizational culture (Perra, 2011). In case the change is required, the leader articulates the need for change in the structure, process, or practices within the organization in a professional manner. Leaders will always follow the rightful procedures to impose the change, and if it becomes successful, they establish new modes of practice that symbolize a new culture in the organization. Involving everyone in promoting a cultural change is a professional manner of empowering organizational participants. Great leaders work hard to ensure that they reinforce norms and participants’ behaviors within the organization, and in so doing, they create mechanisms to develop culture. Leaders are models, who play a great role in attracting people to join their organization.

Another characteristic that defines a good leader is flexibility. A leader should readily accept change whenever the need arises. In the contemporary world, there is no omnipotent culture, as what worked previously may be irrelevant after some time. Leaders have the responsibility of embracing change and facilitating a positive work environment. They ought to display their level of competency by making very wise decisions. Once leaders are able to win the trust of their employees, the organization is likely to foresee its success as there is a general commitment towards the success of the organization. Leaders have the responsibility of creating effective business models to solve organizational problems.

Organizational ethics and values

Leaders have a critical role in rewarding or punishing organizational participants according to their actions. The manner in which the leader handles such cases is extremely important, as the internal and external participants are always keen to scrutinize any wicked behavior. The ethics and values that leaders portray in handling situations in the course of duty are cultures that reiterate to affect leadership, just as leadership affects culture. Great leaders will always work hard to ensure that the organizational culture is experimental, and portrays high ethical standards (Kotterman, 2006). They will sideline their ego and personality to become leaders instead of rulers.

Organizational vision and goals

Most flourishing organizations have a clearly defined vision and a set of achievable goals. The leaders have a difficult role in ensuring that the organization operates in a culture that is in line with the vision and the set goals. Essentially, vision is a key factor that determines the character of the organizational culture. Leaders have to ensure that a healthy culture prevails in an organization (Christine, 2006). In so doing, the leader determines the right steps and actions that will drive the organization towards attaining its goals. A healthy culture will always address existing problems and exhibit a sense of direction, purpose, and cohesiveness.


From the discussions, it is evident that leaders are great symbols of organizations. They lead their subordinates, who scrutinize their actions. Therefore, leaders ought to treat their employees without prejudice, and they should exercise caution when making decisions. Leaders should uphold their ethical standards when they employ efforts to empower their employees. Those who undermine the confidence of their employees ought to change and offer an environment in which every person is equally important, as it would be a great approach to increase employees’ commitment and performance. Leaders should always work towards generating employees and teams that work towards attaining the vision, mission, and goals of the organization. They should always mean what they say and be reliable to raise trust within the organization and guarantee successful outcomes. Indeed, leadership plays a very important role in shaping organizational culture.


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