What is Organizational Culture?

Legal Definition
Organizational culture encompasses values and behaviours that "contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization." According to Needle (2004), organizational culture represents the collective values, beliefs and principles of organizational members and is a product of such factors as history, product, market, technology, strategy, type of employees, management style, and national culture; culture includes the organization's vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, beliefs, and habits.

Business executive Bernard L. Rosauer (2013) developed what he refers to as an actionable definition of organizational culture: "Organizational culture is an emergence – an extremely complex incalculable state that results from the combination of a few simple ingredients. In "Three Bell Curves: Business Culture Decoded" Rosauer outlines the three manageable ingredients he says guides the culture of any business. Ingredient #1 - Employee (focus on engagement) #2 The Work (focus on eliminating waste increasing value) waste #3 The Customer (focus on likelihood of referral). The purpose of the Three Bell Curves methodology is to bring leadership, their employees, the work and the customer together for focus without distraction, leading to an improvement in culture and brand. Reliance of the research and findings of Sirota Survey Intelligence, who has been gathering employee data worldwide since 1972, the Lean Enterprise Institute, Cambridge, MA, and Fred Reichheld/Bain/Satmetrix research relating to NetPromoterScore.

Ravasi and Schultz (2006) wrote that organizational culture is a set of shared assumptions that guide what happens in organizations by defining appropriate behavior for various situations. It is also the pattern of such collective behaviors and assumptions that are taught to new organizational members as a way of perceiving and, even, thinking and feeling. Thus, organizational culture affects the way people and groups interact with each other, with clients, and with stakeholders. In addition, organizational culture may affect how much employees identify with an organization.

Schein (1992), Deal and Kennedy (2000), and Kotter (1992) advanced the idea that organizations often have very differing cultures as well as subcultures. Although a company may have its "own unique culture", in larger organizations there are sometimes co-existing or conflicting subcultures because each subculture is linked to a different management team.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
Principles and practices that define the unique atmosphere within an organization.