Gary and Mitchell Rouse the Crowd

Organizational culture is one of the enterprise environmental factors. Like countries, regions, and other groups of people, organizations develop their own cultures. A culture consists of share beliefs and accepted behaviors. Within an organization, it includes formalized rules like policies, vision statements, work hours, and codes of conduct. There are also informal understandings like shared values, beliefs, expectations, attitudes toward the work, and risk tolerance. Some aspects of organizational culture are derived from the broader culture -- regulations, laws, language, etc. Still other aspects are determined by the leaders in the organization; these include the mission, motivation and reward systems, hierarchy and authority relationships, decision styles, and work ethic. The organizational culture is developed and reinforced by the rewards (including promotions and accolades), stories, and the broader culture that staff brings into the organization.

Organizational culture will affect who is assigned to a team, the authority allowed to the project and its manager. When working in a new organization, a project with multiple organizations, or project that for other reasons does not have strong culture yet, it may be useful to be explicit about the project norms. See ground rules for a list of some areas where team norms may be useful. And the organizational structures that are the norm will also be an relevant part of the culture.

Related: organizational change management, objective

See section 2.1.1 of the PMBOK, 5th edition, for the PMI description of organizational cultures and styles.

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