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How do symbols and stories perpetuate organisational culture?

Symbols and stories perpetuate organisational culture by reinforcing shared values, beliefs, and norms within the organisation.

Symbols are powerful tools in shaping and maintaining organisational culture. They can take various forms such as logos, slogans, uniforms, or even the layout of an office. These symbols serve as constant reminders of the organisation's identity and its core values. For instance, a company that values innovation might use a light bulb as a symbol, reinforcing the idea that new ideas are always welcome and appreciated. Similarly, a company that prides itself on its heritage might display historical photos or artefacts in the office, reminding employees of the organisation's long-standing traditions and values.

Stories, on the other hand, are narratives about the organisation's history, key events, or significant individuals. These stories can be about the company's founding, major successes or failures, or about employees who embody the company's values. They serve to illustrate the organisation's values in action, making them more tangible and relatable. For example, a story about an employee who went above and beyond to help a customer can reinforce a culture of exceptional customer service.

Moreover, stories can also serve as a form of socialisation. New employees can learn about the organisation's culture and what is expected of them through these narratives. They provide a context for understanding the organisation's values and norms, helping new members to adapt and fit in more quickly.

In essence, symbols and stories are powerful tools in perpetuating organisational culture. They serve as constant reminders of the organisation's values and norms, helping to shape employees' behaviour and attitudes. They also provide a context for understanding the organisation's culture, aiding in the socialisation of new members. Therefore, effective use of symbols and stories can significantly contribute to the maintenance and strengthening of an organisation's culture.

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