Ratgeber für MicroUnternehmen

Definition and Use of Symbols in Cultures

Cultural system of an organization will become easy to understand if one has collected information related to that particular organization. It may include understanding of various reactions and actions of system members like what they think, how they interpret and shape every member's understanding.

This is impossible without having proper attention towards Organizational Symbols.

Symbols plays important role in construction of a better organization. A symbol means a thing that has some idea stored in it. In any organization symbols are known to have meanings defined by cultural and social conventions and interactions. Symbols can depend from situation to situation. For example display of product poster on walls in words or picture form for publicity purpose or handshakes and other gestures to greet members around the world acts as symbols.

An Organization can define their own symbols to have systematic and similar behaviour among its members present at different locations around the world. This includes greeting gestures, décor and clothing's etc. It is very important to understand and adapt to organization standards. Symbols can be categorized on the basis of its valuable functionality. Definition and use of symbols in cultures can be very well established by organization and its members. Like if they have decided to set prestige image of that organization as an icon then they can set by using a symbol. This will reflect company image which would be envisaged and impregnated automatically in the minds of employees, customers and visitors without even speaking a word.

Decent behaviour can act as a trigger to perform any action to increase the value organization culture. In general usage of symbols in culture defines various aspects of culture, generating emotions and responses on something from members associated with organization and representation of values and assumptions of organization.

So no matter whether it is a symbol or the language that you use in an organization, it must be considered that it doesn't affect the sentiments of any group or the environment must be so developed that one knows well of cultural and religious tolerance. Certain hand gestures are a very good example i.e. in America extending the thumb from the fist communicates the approval of an action while for other culture it may be very offensive. Communication skill also acts as a symbol to interact with organization members. It can be in any form oral or written. Different cultures may have different languages or variations in languages.

For example American and British have same roots but may have different meaning for same word. It also helps to identify which one is from outside of that particular region. Symbols help to identify relationships within organization members. It's a well known fact that if you met with someone and extend your hand then you are supposed to shake hands as a gesture of greetings. Different organizations can have different culture and thus they may think on this that what to do in that situation. It is important that one uses any symbols and gestures in a culture carefully so it is not misinterpreted.


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