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Organizational culture does not have a specific definition, and can be interpreted in slightly different ways depending on the organization which is applying the meaning for itself. The most general idea of a company culture could be expressed as the set of common understandings around which action is organized. This can and should include the vision, mission, and values established for the company, and the degree to which the members of the organization or the employees of the company are aligned with these goals. The culture of a company is a difficult thing to alter or change, as it is rooted in the human behaviors of its members.
Organizational culture should be assessed and molded in a regular and intentional way by the management, human resources staff, and executives of the company if there is to be the desired alignment of the employees' goals and the company's goals. This should entail a well thought out and detailed strategy that is consistently and regularly reassessed and followed through on. The time frame for changing the culture in a company will depend largely on the size of the organization. In a small to mid-sized company, measurable results should not be expected before a 1-2 year time frame has passed with intentional implementation. In larger companies this time frame can be much longer, sometimes requiring a decade to see the kind of changes that are significant.
The long-term effects of a properly implemented organizational culture shift are usually extremely positive for the company, yielding higher productivity, higher employee satisfaction, and larger growth for the company.