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Keywords:

  • culture;
  • employee satisfaction;
  • management;
  • organizations;
  • role of manager

Aim  The present study addresses the importance of the manager's role in the development and maintenance of organizational culture. It describes the types of cultures that exist and manager characteristics that are essential to facilitating a healthy workplace.

Background  While many managers do not deny the importance of organizational culture in employee satisfaction, few fail to realize the direct impact they have in shaping it. It is oftentimes believed that cultures are predetermined; however, this is a false assumption. It is crucial that managers at all levels are aware of their roles and responsibilities in upholding positive workplace environments that can increase employee satisfaction. Dissatisfaction is the major cause of turnover and can have detrimental cost and environmental effects on the agency.

Evaluation  Four critical components of culture (i.e. trust and trustworthiness, empowerment and delegation, consistency and mentorship) are discussed, as is the role of managers in turning these into positive cultural traits. The viewpoints of several authors, such as Stephen Covey, Mark McCormack and Charles Handy, are explored in relation to the development of organizational culture. Additional theories – Kanter's ‘Theory of Organizational Empowerment’, Locke's ‘Goal-setting Theory’ and the ‘Social Exchange Theory’– supplement these viewpoints.

Conclusions  Managers are always under the magnifying glass, with each action carefully scrutinized by subordinates. They must exercise caution when making decisions, ensuring that fairness and equitability exists among staff, and that ethical standards are upheld on a continual basis. The four cultural components, viewed as managerial traits of trust and trustworthiness, empowerment, consistency and mentorship coexist at all times regardless of the type of culture. Managers must put support systems and other mechanisms into place that allow employees the opportunity to empower themselves and to flourish, thus increasing their own effectiveness as well as that of the organization.