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Outcomes Associated with Constructive Cultural Norms

Constructive cultures generally benefit individual members as well as the organization as a whole. At the individual level, members are satisfied, healthy, and motivated to perform to the best of their abilities. At the unit or department level, norms for coordination, cooperation, and mutual support enable members to rely on one another and work as a team. Through individual initiative, effective teamwork, and inter-unit coordination, the products and services offered by organizations with Constructive cultures tend to be of the highest quality.

Outcomes Associated with
Constructive Cultural Norms

Member Level:
ob satisfaction

Unit Level:
Intra-unit cooperation
Constructive customer service styles
High quality customer service

Organizational Level:
Inter-unit coordination
High quality products and services


Member Level

Job satisfaction. People like to work for organizations with Constructive cultures. Members enjoy their work and feel good when they’re on the job. While job satisfaction is evident in all types of Constructive cultures, it is particularly strong in organizations with Humanistic-Encouraging or Self-Actualizing cultures. Members who work in organizations with these types of cultures report that they:

  • are satisfied with their department;
  • like working for their organization;
  • would recommend their organization to others as a good place to work; and,
  • prefer their organization over other places to work.

Motivation. Constructive norms lead members to assume personal responsibility for the success of their departments and their organizations. Managers are able to rely on employees for creative ideas and extra effort when needed. In general, members of organizations with Constructive Achievement-oriented cultures:

  • personally go out of their way to make sure that customers/clients are satisfied;
  • are motivated to do the best job possible;
  • consistently perform above the level expected;
  • volunteer to do things not required by their job description or contract; and,
  • offer innovative suggestions to improve the work of their department.

Unit Level

Intra-unit cooperation. Members of units with Constructive cultures generally find their coworkers to be reliable and cooperative. Evidence of teamwork in Constructive units (particularly those with strong Affiliative and/or Humanistic-Encouraging cultures) includes:

  • productive work relationships;
  • confidence in coworkers when teamwork is needed;
  • members offering assistance to others facing heavy workloads;
  • cooperation (rather than competition) between coworkers; and,
  • genuine concern for the performance of the team as a whole.

Customer service styles. The way in which members are expected to approach their work and interact with one another has an impact on the way in which they treat clients and customers. Members who are expected to act with integrity (Self-Actualizing), take initiative (Achievement), and communicate openly and directly (Affiliative):

  • make customers feel welcome;
  • take time to listen to customers;
  • provide customers with useful information;
  • deliver what they promise;
  • make decisions that make good “business sense;”
  • genuinely enjoy their contact with customers; and,
  • approach special requests with interest and creativity.

Unit-level service quality. Members of organizations with Constructive cultures take responsibility and pride in the quality of service delivered to internal or external clients by their departments. Regardless of their organizational level or position, each member feels that it is his or her personal responsibility to “win” clients, generate sales, and share information about changing customer tastes and preferences. In general, members of Constructive organizations report that their department or unit:

  • is responsible for customer/client satisfaction;
  • provides the highest quality of products and/or services possible; and,
  • gets repeat business from existing customers/clients (even if viable alternatives are available).

Organizational Level

Inter-unit coordination. Constructive norms facilitate coordination and support between organizational units— whether they be teams, departments, branches, or divisions. Expectations for Humanistic-Encouraging and Achievement behaviors appear to be particularly instrumental in promoting “systems thinking,” where members focus on the “big picture” and work to make the organization as a whole succeed. Members of Constructive organizations report that:

  • the service provided to their own workgroup by other departments is of the highest quality possible; and,
  • there is excellent cooperation between workgroups and departments whose tasks are interdependent.

Organizational level quality. Constructive organizations place a high priority on customer satisfaction. Members are provided with the tools, authority, and support that they need to satisfy their customers. Expectations for Self-Actualizing and Humanistic-Encouraging behaviors are particularly effective in helping organizations attain:

  • substantial repeat business from present customers/ clients;
  • a reputation for superior customer service; and,
  • personal recommendations from employees to potential customers seeking the products or services it provides.

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