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In our country it was under estimated and ignored

Senior Vice President
Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd
Consumer Banking Group
Oct 22 - 28, 2001

Corporate Culture can best be described as a combination, admixture, blend and potpouri of rites, rituals, traditions, values, regulations, taboos, myths, mythology, legends, customs, habits, habitat, heroes, values, symbols, cult, artifacts, systems, managerial styles, procedure and processes.

The importance of Corporate culture is recognised the world over. But in our country it was not appreciated in proper perspective. Rather it was underestimated and ignored.

The corporate culture in vogue in our organizations is very rich and second to none, it has a brilliant future. However this Corporate Culture was at times not fully exposed or projected, cast into limbo or lying dormant or derelict. It has re-emerged in recent times which is a healthy sign for our organizational growth. It was not effectively used previously for achieving optimum results or producing employee coherence as well as bringing about improved employee- employer relations.

Corporate culture and 'organization' supplement and complement each other, rather they exist as fish and water. No company or corporate body can afford to live without it, as no fish can exist without water. The basic ingredients which determine and make a Corporate culture as follows:

System of Management
Habitat or work place
Habits - People at work, their attitude & Behaviour.

Now let us look each of them briefly in terms of service industry.

System of Management

The system of management must be based on an open-door policy. It must be both employee-friendly as well as customer-oriented. Through open door policy and glasnost (openness), we can accommodate the hopes and aspirations of the people and channelise their energies for achieving the organisational goals. The System of Management must not be heavily bureaucratic or hierarchical, in which case the employee or work associate is deterred from dialogue with the management. Through Glasnost we can openly discuss the strengths and weaknesses of an individual and the organization as well and come out with a solution to various issues and problems. Besides the System of Management must not be impervious to the demands of customers. It must be tailor-made to satisfy the customers needs and based on marketing concept. It must be sympathetic to the customer care and futuristic in outlook.

Habitat or Workplace

The environment in its Macro-unit (Head Office) and Micro-units (Branches) must be friendly, warm, congenial and impressive. The work associates (employees) must have a life long association and instilled with a feeling of pride in serving the organization. The sense of belonging and appreciation must in built. Besides the Micro-unit must have an amiable and sympathetic atmosphere for the customers. A customer should feel that the organization or the bank is his partner in facilitating his trade, commerce and business. This reciprocity gives rise to brand loyalty. The customers should be made as comfortable as possible and the Branch Staff should provide full hospitality to them. The buzzword should be: A satisfied and happy customer is the best customer.

People at Work

The people must be courteous, have pride in organizational association and must be achievement oriented. The case of banking industry can be cited. Since banking is a service industry, and the person selling the service/and the service itself are inseparable from each other, therefore, customers regard both the service and banker as the one and same: It is imperative that the Banker must be well-versed in his job. Besides the emotional and professional needs of the work associate must be satisfied. Progress, growth and development of an employee is the progress of the organization. The archetypes and paradigms should be changed. A new mindset needs to be formed for excellence in corporate endeavours.

The approach of the organization must be positive and it must strive to have the right number and right kind of people at the right places and at the right time. It must be remembered that self-satisfaction and job satisfaction are the best satisfactions for the employees. By satiating and bolstering the ego of the employees much can be accomplished easily. By providing a healthy working environment and satisfying their needs, employees can be motivated and resultant teamwork can be channelised for the good of the organisation. People must be encouraged to be innovative in their approach to the work and day to day problems. The staff should remain strongly committed to the targets and ideals of the organization. These must be undivided and unconditional. Their loyalty must be unflinching.


It is a fact that both formal and informal communication can be used for effecting changes in the environment and improving upon the existing system. The importance of informal communication and grapevine must not be overlooked. For furthering the aims of the organisation, if there is need, then Perestroika (or Restructuring or Re-organizing) can be adopted and implemented. But to accomplish better results, piecemeal approach is not desirable and should be discouraged.

Corporate Culture is therefore synergy in which coordinated action helps in making the organizational climate and building up its image amongst the customers and general public.