Organizational culture and its impact on company performance and productivity has long been debated – with many polarizing opinions. Some believe that you need to have a strong culture in place first in order to achieve maximum performance levels. Others believe the only way to achieve optimum productivity is to have an organizational structure in place first, with culture being defined later. For reference, organizational structure is a system used to define a hierarchy within an organization. It identifies each job, its function and where it reports to within a company.
A recent Forbes article examined the two different schools of thought. It centered on a study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior titled “Which comes first, organizational culture or performance?” In the study, researchers investigated 95 different automobile dealerships over the course of six years, analyzing culture and performance data.
The analysis showed that for those dealerships with a strong culture, performance levels were higher than those without. According to the article the results from the analysis supported the researcher’s hypothesis that culture has priority over their core organizational pillars. The researchers wrote, “Overall, department culture was found to consistently predict higher subsequent levels of customer satisfaction ratings and vehicle sales, with no evidence obtained for a reciprocal performance-to-culture feedback loop. In addition, the positive effect of culture on vehicle sales was mediated by customer satisfaction.”
According to the Forbes article “put simply, an engaged culture marked by high levels of involvement, consistency, adaptability, and a transparent mission improved sales and customer satisfaction.”
At CCA we’ve always believed that culture is at the core of what we do. Our motto has always been “clients rule and culture is king.” We have created an atmosphere rooted in empowering and trusting our teams to think beyond the initial ask. And that doesn’t just go for client work; it’s also about how a person wants to develop their career. Our no titles, no walls approach allows people to take control of their own career path and not feel limited by hierarchy. We take pride in our culture and believe – like many others – that culture improves productivity, creativity and helps define our agency’s ethos.
Whether or not culture is king will continue to be debated, but CCA’s stance is clear – culture will continue to reign.
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