Organizational culture in Finnish startups and growth companies : a leadership perspective
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Organizational culture is an integral part of every organization and has far-reaching influence on how businesses work. The organizational culture of startups and growth companies has been gaining more and more attention during past years as they seem to pay particular attention to their work cultures and show cultures which highly differ from the cultures of large corporations. However, organizational culture in startups and growth companies have not been widely studied before, mostly due to the newness of the context. This study therefore focused to investigate this topic and takes a leadership approach to examine how the leaders in these new and growing companies approach the issue. The emphasis of the study was on how leaders define organizational culture, why they see it as such an important topic, and can culture in fact be somehow led. The research was implemented through interviewing face-to-face 10 leaders of different Finnish startups and growth companies. The companies varied in age, size and industry to provide a comprehensive database. The data collected was analyzed by qualitative research methods, finally resulting in main findings. This study found that among these different startups and growth companies, common views could be found, especially concerning the reasons why these leaders perceived organizational culture as an important topic. It was found that most of the interviewees viewed employee well-being as one of the main factors for focusing on their culture. Additionally, it was seen to also have an effect on working conditions, the company’s performance, and attracting new candidates to the company. Moreover, it was also discovered that these leaders thought that organizational culture can be led only to a certain degree, as it was commonly agreed that people inside the organization create the culture and leaders only have a limited say on the matter. Therefore, the findings provided additional information to theory of organizational culture in this specific context and brought some insights to the discussion from the perspective of leaders of growing companies. ...
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