Organizational culture is the collection of norms and values shared by groups and people within an organization. These norms and values control interactions among the people within and outside the organization (Hill & Jones, 2001). According to Johnson, organizational culture is described by various elements:
- Paradigm - this includes what an organization does, its mission and its values.
- Control systems - these are the processes that are in place in an organization for monitoring what goes on within it.
- Organizational structures - these are the reporting hierarchies within an organization.
- Power structures - this is concerned with decision making in an organization.
- Symbols - include organizational logos and designs.
- Rituals and routines - this involves the habit concerning things like the frequency of holding management meeting, board reports and so on (Johnson, 1988).
Organization culture of British Petroleum Company, BP, is discussed below:
BP deals with fuels; with its products and services available in more than 100 countries. Its values are to be responsible, progressive, innovative and performance-driven. The BP logo, Helios, named after the great Greek sun god is an important symbol in the organization’s brand, which is the inspiring and unifying spirit for the whole organization (BP, 2010).
Bp runs on a code of conduct that stipulates how BP deals with issues relating to health, security and safety of the employees, in addition to the communities in which they operate as well as environment protection. It also guides the organization on how to relate with business partners, governments and communities with regard to issues such as conflicts of interest, trade restrictions, community engagement, and external communications. In addition, financial integrity as regards to accurate records, reports and protection of company property are governed by the code of conduct.
The organizational and power structure at BP consists of a board of directors under the current chairmanship of Carl Henric Svanberg, who are concerned with oversight of the company on behalf of the company’s shareholders; and an executive management team, currently led by Robert Dudley, the chief executive. The executive team is responsible for the day to day running of the company (BP, 2010).
The directors hold annual general meeting, with the recent one having been held in April 2010, during which the board reports on its corporate performance for the year (BP, 2010).
The BP’s organizational culture has steered it towards realization of growth, since its times as the Anglo-persian Oil to date, when it has a market capitalization of $181 billion as at 31 Dec 2009 (BP, 2010).