There is a distinct relationship between the culture of an organization, its performance, and its ability to accept change (Acar & Acar, 2014; Hogan & Coote, 2014; Jacobs, Mannion, Davies, Harrison, Konteh, & Walshe, 2013; Uzkurt, Kumar, Kimzan, & Eminoglu, 2013). The relationship is a pronounced one in many organizations, from those operating in the fiscal sector to those operating in the healthcare industry, like the Children’s Hospital previously discussed (Acar & Acar, 2014; Uzkurt et al., 2013). The Children’s Hospital has been in operation for more than fifty years. It’s administrators pride themselves on fostering an organizational culture that works to promote innovation, ensure that all feel welcome, and which places an emphasis on performance, implementing Shein’s multi-layered model of organizational culture as a means of fostering the desired behaviors and norms within the context of the organizational setting (Hogan & Coote, 2014).
Looking to The Children’s Hospital, it becomes possible to see the characteristics and culture of the organization as a whole. Shein’s multi-layered model of organizational culture can be viewed as a pyramid, with the basic assumptions at the bottom of that pyramid, the espoused values of the organization as the middle layer, and, at the very top, the artefacts of that organizational culture are displayed (Hogan & Coote, 2014). Each of these different layers is present, but of these, the one that is most commonly thought of, perceived, or identified is that of the tip of the pyramid, or of the iceberg, if that metaphor is preferred (Hogan & Coote, 2014). The basic assumptions that are made refer to the actions that are taken for reasons that people are most commonly unaware of or those that are taken because of unarticulated perceptions (Hogan & Coote, 2014). The espoused values of the organization are those present in the mission or vision statement of that organization, as well as the values of the organization as a whole, those that they strive to represent (Hogan & Coote, 2014). Finally, the artefacts refer to the physical evidence of those values and beliefs, displayed throughout the day and in the routines of the workers (Hogan & Coote, 2014).
At The Children’s Hospital, the organizational culture is focused on healing and performance. Employees are constantly identifying new ways to improve and streamline the organization. These suggestions are taken to their superiors once fully conceptualized where steps can then be taken to work to determine the feasibility of implementation. The focus is always placed on the patients and their families, working to provide the highest standard of care while at the same time working to make sure that the patients and their family members are as knowledgeable regarding their conditions and as comfortable as possible. Every effort is made to ensure that the whole of the patient and his or her family is cared for, as opposed to concentrating solely on the illness or injury experienced by the patient. As if this were not enough, the organizational culture is such that the staff are focused on results, driven by results, working to make all efforts toward a reduction in secondary infections, a decrease in the number of fatalities to the degree possible, and a decreased rate of re-admittance for the same condition.
These characteristics of organizational culture work to foster a culture of innovation, one geared toward optimal performance. These same characteristics work to foster an organization that has a focus toward learning, in addition to the aforementioned characteristics. Without learning and adaptation, a culture of innovation, one focused on the continued provision of the best patient care possible, would not be possible, as failure to address learning would not allow for the application of the most recent knowledge in the healthcare field. These components and considerations work to foster a strong environment for the promotion of change (Acar & Acar, 2014; Jacobs et al., 2013).