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Negative organizational culture as a factor in the development of conflicts in the organization

A. A. Vasileva, master student,

ORCID 0000-0002-1126-6184, e-mail: anastasij1407@yandex.ru,

E. V. Zvonova, Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences, Associate Professor,

ORCID 0000-0001-9271-8367, e-mail: zevmgpi@rambler.ru,

Moscow Pedagogical State University,

Moscow, Russia


Organizational culture is a set of norms, rules, values, a unified model of behavior and development strategy of a company, a management style that exists in the organization and allows you to create a common working atmosphere, with the help of which it creates a sense of belonging to the work team at all stages of the enterprise’s activity, therefore, a sense of responsibility for work [5].

Organizational culture is primarily aimed at achieving all the common goals of the organization. It can also be called a hierarchical system, where the highest point is the basic ideas, after which there are already ideals, values and, finally, artifacts [4, 16]. Organizational culture can be represented as a single, complex living organism that changes, develops. Each employee who has his own personal values, needs, makes his personal contribution to the functioning and development of the company. Therefore, organizational culture can be called a dynamic system. General norms, values, attitudes of the organization allow it to achieve certain successes in the market, as well as to endure crisis situations [5, 15].

In accordance with the prevailing common values, attitudes, beliefs, norms and rules, the organizational culture controls the relationship, as well as the behavior of employees in the company [2, 8].

There are various classifications of organizational culture; we will focus on four types of organizational culture:

1. The hierarchical (bureaucratic) type of culture is the most mature culture, which is characterized by bureaucratic rigor, which ensures stable production. Here, much attention is paid to the strategy within the company and a consistent course of action in stable conditions. This type of culture is also characterized by integration, clear distribution of responsibilities for solving problems, procedures and rules of control within the organization.

2. The market type of culture focuses on profitability, outcome and on reducing transaction costs. It is characterized by high dynamism, quite aggressive competitiveness and customer focus. With this type of culture, the organization seeks to achieve high results and take a leading position in the market. As a rule, leaders with a market type of culture are very demanding of employees, confident in themselves.

3. Clan type of culture, the main purpose of which is team building and personality development. It is characterized by cohesion, a sense of “we”, individuality, as well as values and common goals.

4. The adhocratic type of organizational culture, the purpose of which is to provide flexibility and a creative approach to activities in such conditions where there is a feeling of uncertainty or overload of information. With this type of culture, employees take risks, sacrifice themselves for the sake of work, are ready for change, committed to innovation and experimentation. Also, this type is characterized by dynamic, entrepreneurial activity, as well as forecasting. The leader in adhocratic culture is risk oriented [17].

Each of these types has its advantages. A variant of a mixed type of culture in the organization is possible, which in reality can be observed most often.

According to experts, the organizational culture can influence the staff through the conditions and organization of labor, the regulation of labor activity, type of management, etc. [2]. Also, organizational culture plays a decisive role in the development of conflicts.

Conflict (from lat. Conflictus – collision) – a contradiction that arises between people or groups in the process of interaction [1]. Any conflict is associated with individual-personality characteristics between competing people (attitudes, attitudes, values, interests, experience, etc.).

Conflicts are perceived by all participants in the interaction as a negative phenomenon, entailing negative emotions, stress, experiencing, disappointment, loss [14].

In the specialized literature, four types of conflict situations in the organization are identified:

1. Intrapersonal – a conflict within the employee’s personality, which may be associated with contradictions in work (failure to accept the situation, requirements, etc.).

2. Interpersonal – a conflict between employees, which can affect the atmosphere of the whole team, is associated with contradictions in views, with individual characteristics, competition, etc. A conflict can be between a manager and a subordinate, or simply between employees. This type is most often found in organizations.

3. The conflict between the individual and the group occurs if the employee does not accept the requirements of the existing organizational culture.

4. Conflict between groups – a natural phenomenon in the organization, the cause of which is the difference in views, results [11, 12].

In any company, organizational culture is a decisive factor in the development of the organization and in competition in the market. It depends on her the internal atmosphere of the company. Consequently, a culture can be either positive (positive) or negative (negative).

With a positive organizational culture, various problems and productivity are successfully resolved, and also stimulates the effectiveness of the company. There is a desire for employees to develop in the activities of the organization [6].

Negative organizational culture impedes the successful development of the company, its signs are disintegration, instability of the enterprise. Such a culture contributes to resistance and obstruction to a successful decision-making process [6].

The main criteria for negative culture are:

1. Own stay of an employee as a temporary or accidental phenomenon. In this case, the activity is beneficial, but not valuable in terms of self-development.

2. The client’s personal characteristics are not taken into account; chaotic and unsystematic work is observed.

3. Customer misinformation about the hallmark of a competitive company.

4. Luring specialists.

5. Excessive informal relationships among employees, or, conversely, excessive formal interaction, lack of interpersonal relationships. Both that and that advantage negatively influences functioning of the organization.

6. Unavailability of the search for an effective solution to the task, performing simple tasks.

7. The existence in the team of feelings of hostility, indifference, avoidance. Employees avoid being proactive.

8. The company has conservatism, which impedes development.

9. There is a remoteness of management from subordinates [6].

Negative organizational culture contributes to the development of conflict, which can lead to unresolved problems in the company.

It is worth noting that the leader plays a decisive role in the organization. If the company has a negative management style, then this negatively affects the development of the organizational culture, since the leader is a bearer of the values that the organizational norms introduce. Under such conditions, employees, as a rule, lack motivation for activity, there are frequent disagreements, organizational stress, negative emotions (for example, anger), as well as feelings of anxiety and helplessness. Consequently, labor productivity, the desire for development are reduced, discipline violations, frequent layoffs are observed [6].

Thus, we can conclude that the organizational culture, of course, affects the functioning of the organization and is a decisive factor in the development of conflict situations. The internal atmosphere in the team, the emphasis on the individual characteristics of the employee, and in principle on the relations in the team, an effective management style, contribute to reducing the development of conflict situations and their competent resolution. Each leader of any organization should take this into account in order to prevent the development of a negative organizational culture.


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