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Create Constructive Cultures and Impact the World
Over 30 years of research across thousands of organizations using the Organizational Culture Inventory® has shown positive relationships between Constructive cultural norms (that is, expectations for members to behave constructively in order to “fit in”) and motivation, engagement, teamwork, quality, external adaptability and, ultimately, profitability.
Constructive cultures are those in which members are encouraged to interact with people and approach tasks in ways that will help them meet their higher order satisfaction needs. Constructive “norms” measured by the culture survey include:
Achievement—Members are expected to set challenging goals, establish plans to reach those goals, and pursue them with enthusiasm.
Self-Actualizing—Members are expected to enjoy their work, develop themselves, and take on new and interesting activities.
Humanistic-Encouraging—Members are expected to be supportive, helpful, and open to influence in their dealings with one another.
Affiliative—Members are expected to be friendly, cooperative, and sensitive to the satisfaction of their work group.
Unfortunately, the behavioral norms that prevail in most organizations are Defensive rather than Constructive:
Passive/Defensive Cultures:Members believe they must interact with people in self-protective ways that will not threaten their own security (with norms requiring Approval, Conventional, Dependent and Avoidance behaviors).
Aggressive/Defensive Cultures: Members are expected to approach tasks in forceful ways to maintain their status and security (with norms requiring Oppositional, Power, Competitive, and Perfectionistic behaviors).
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