Organizational culture is a shared belief system with respect to one’s organization. Organizational culture is intangible and recognized as the collectivist shared values, which people follow in an organization or are expected to follow in the context of new recruits. The shared value will affect the employees, the management, and other stakeholders within the organization (the internal stakeholders). How the person acts, responds to situations, conducts themselves in the workplace and much more are dictated by organizational culture. Organizational culture not only has an impact on such elements, but also affects the general emotional connections one has with the workplace, the sensitivities to one’s cultural background, inclusion and more are also discussed in conjunction with organizational culture. Organizational culture as defined by Hofstede (1990) is a construct that is holistic. It is historically determined and relates the key anthropological concepts. The construct is soft and socially developed and is usually difficult to change as organizational culture is formed over the years. The below is a diagram on some components of organizational culture.
Manifestation of the culture of an organization based on their heroes, values, symbols and rituals can be understood as six dimensions which are the process oriented vs. results oriented dimensions, the employee vs. job orientation, the professional vs. parochial, the open system vs. closed system, the tight control vs. loose control and finally the pragmatic vs. normative (Neuijen, 1992).
The Aldi organizational culture as presented by Brandes (2004) follows a strong sense of mission to deliver low prices and quality products to their customers. Aldi gives attention to every business task and opposes any form of bureaucratic undertaking. They encourage employees to think like the customer. Brandes (2004) analyses Aldi and states that Aldi almost acts like an ascetic, “Ascetism and low profile there is no place – anywhere in the hierarchy – for personal vanity. Extreme frugality is a must. Waste is prohibited” (p. 80). They are customer oriented and do not make use of marketing ploys to entice the customer. They make use of simple everyday systems that make shopping easier for the customer (Brandes, 2004). The key symbol of Aldi is almost a poorly furnished shop, but this sense of asceticism is what helps Aldi maintain its low costs. Aldi focuses on a frugal and simple culture, but in its actions, shows a strong tendency towards satisfying customers. This increases overall trust in the shop. The Hero of Aldi is none other than the founder of Aldi, Theo Albrecht. Simplicity and an attention to practical details in their working is the basic ritual of Aldi. Finally, the Aldi culture is one that is strong on experimenting, and getting the task done. This shows a corporate culture that is result oriented and driven, but practical with loose controls. It naturally falls under an open system.