Retail employees' experiences of organisational culture
During the 1980's the focus on corporate culture had received revived attention. The key to corporate success was a strong unified culture and it soon became a secret weapon to gain a competitive advantage. Aligning corporate culture to the organisation's strategy is crucial in enabling organisations to respond to the rapid and ever-changing internal and external demands. Organisational culture is considered the glue that keeps an organisation together due to the impact of the culture on the organisation's survival. The objective of this research was to determine how employees experience organisational culture and how it manifests within a retail organisation. A purposive (n = 13) was taken of managers on different managerial levels within a South African retail company. All participants attended a strategic leadership intervention that was implemented. Data gathering was conducted by means of interviews based on the phenomenological approach. The interviews were transcribed and data analysis was carried out by means of content analysis. The results showed that the old culture of the organisation was typified by the power and role cultures as identified by Harrison and Stokes, whilst the new culture is typified by a move towards the performance culture with some elements of the support culture. The management style in the old culture was very autocratic with closed lines of communication. People relationships were formal and the focus was on individualism, where people were not regarded in the organisation. The new culture is very people focused and people feel a sense of belonging. There is a culture of continuous learning and there is a move towards collectivism. People live the values of the organisation. Age, race, gender or years of service in the company did not significantly influence employees' experiences of organisational culture. There were no significant differences in the cultural experiences of employees on different managerial levels. Recommendations for future research are made.