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ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE

WHAT IS ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE?

Culture is the set of values, guiding beliefs, understanding and ways of thinking that is shared by
members of an organisation and taught to new members as correct.

LEVELS OF ORGANISATIONAL CULTURE

Surface level: Visible artefacts and observable behaviours

Deeper level: Underlying values, assumptions, beliefs, attitudes, feelings

EMERGENCE AND PURPOSE OF CULTURE

Culture provides members with a sense of organisational identity and generates a commitment to
beliefs and values.

FUNCTIONS OF CULTURE

Internal integration: The members develop a collective identity and know how to work together
effectively. It guides day-to-day working relationships and determines how people communicate
within the organisation, what behaviour is acceptable or not acceptable, and how the power and
statues are allocated.

Internal integration considers the following issues:

Language and concepts

Group and Team boundaries

Power and Status


Rewards and Punishment

FUNCTIONS OF CULTURE

External adaptation: How the organisation meets goals and deals with outsiders.

It involves addressing the Mission and Strategy, Goals, Measurement.


CHARACTERISTICS OF CULTURE

Observed behavioural regularities: When organisational participants interact with one another,
they use common language, terminology and rituals.

Norms- Standards of behaviour exists.

Dominant Values: Shared by the organisational members like product quality and price leadership

Philosophy: Policies set forth the organisations beliefs about how employees and customers are
to be treated.

Rules: Guidelines related to getting along in the organisation.

Organisational Climate: This is an overall feeling that is conveyed by the physical layout, the
way participants interact and the way organisation deals with customers and other outsiders.

Chatman and Caldwell (1991) identified seven characteristics of OC.

Innovation and Risk taking

Attention to detail

Outcome orientation

People Orientation

Team Orientation

Aggressiveness

Stability

INTERPRETING CULTURE

People make inferences based on observable artefacts.


Artefacts can be studied but hard to decipher accurately.

ARTEFACTS

Rites and Ceremonies: the elaborate planned activities that make up a special event and are often
conducted for the benefit of an audience.

Types of Rites: Passage, Enhancement, Renewal, Integration

RITES OF PASSAGE: Facilitate the transition of employees into new social roles.

Example: Induction and basic training

RITE OF ENHANCEMENT

RITES OF ENHANCEMENT: Create stronger social identities and increase the status of
employees.

Example: Annual Awards night


RITES OF RENEWAL

Refurbish social structures and improves organisational functioning

Example: Organisational Development Activities

RITES OF INTEGRATION

Example: Office Christmas Party

Social Consequences: Encourage and revive common feelings that bind members together and
commit them to organisation

STORIES

Stories are narratives based on true events that are frequently shared among organizational
employees and told to new employees to inform them about the organization.

About company heroes who serve as models or ideals for serving cultural norms and values.

Legends: Events are historic and may have been embellished with fictional details.

Myths: Consistent with the values and beliefs of the organization but not supported with the facts.

SYMBOLS

A symbol is something that represents another thing. Ceremonies, stories, slogans, and rites are
all symbols.

Physical symbols are powerful because they focus attention to a specific item. Examples: Office
layout symbolizes the companys commitment to values of openness, equality, flexibility and
creativity.
LANGUAGE

The companies use a specific saying, slogan, metaphor, or other form of language to convey
special meaning to employees.

UNIFORMITY OF CULTURE

Organizational culture may not be uniform.

A dominant culture expresses the core values shared by a majority of the organization's members.

At Hewlett-Packard most of the employees share a concern of product innovativeness, product


quality and responsiveness to customers needs.

Subculture of an organisation is the set of values shared by a minority of the organisations


members.
STRONG VERSUS WEAK CULTURE

Strong cultures have a greater impact on employee behaviour and are more directly related to
reduced turnover.

Strong culture can act as a substitute for formalisation.

National culture has a greater impact on employees than organizational culture.

Culture is a barrier to change

Culture is a barrier to diversity

Culture is a barrier to acquisition and mergers

HOW ORGANISTIONS CULTURE STARTS?

Founder has an idea for a new enterprise.

The founder brings in key people and creates a core group that share a common vision with the
founder.

The core group begins to act to create an organisation

The founders own behaviour act as a role model.

The actions of the top management also have a major impact on the organisations culture.
SOCIALISATION

The adaptation process of new employees to the organisations culture is called Socialisation.

Three stages of Socialisation: Pre-arrival, encounter and metamorphosis

Prearrival Stage: The period of learning in the socialisation process that occurs before a new
employee joins an organisation.

Encounter stage: New employee sees what the organisation is really like and confronts the
possibility that expectation and reality may diverge.

Metamorphosis: The new employee changes and adjusts to the job, work group and organisation.

RELATIONSHIP OF ENVIRONMENT AND STRATEGY TO CORPORATE CULTURE

THE ADAPTIBILITY/
ENTERPRENEURAL CULTURE

Strategic focus on external environment through flexibility and change to meet customer needs.

Innovation, risk-taking, creativity are valued and rewarded.

THE ADAPTIBILITY/
ENTERPRENEURAL CULTURE

Example: 3M, a company whose value promote individual initiative and entrepreneurship. All
new employees attend a class on risk-taking where they are told to pursue their ideas even if it
means defying their supervisors.
THE MISSION CULTURE

An organization concerned with serving specific customers in the external environment, but
without need for rapid change.

It is characterized by emphasis on a clear vision of the organizations purpose and on the


achievement of goals, such as sales growth, profitability, or market share, to help achieve the
purpose.

THE CLAN CULTURE

Strategic Focus: Internal, Needs of the Environment: Flexibility

It has a primary focus on the involvement and participation of the organization's members and on
rapidly changing expectations from the external environment.

This culture focuses on the needs of the employees as the route to high performance, involvement
and participation.

THE BUREAUCRATIC CULTURE

Strategic Focus: Internal, Needs of the environment: Stability

It has an internal focus and a consistency orientation for a stable environment.

This organization has a culture that supports a methodical approach to doing business.

Symbols, heroes, ceremonies, support, cooperation, tradition and established policies and
practices are ways

CULTURE STRENGTH

The degree of agreement among members of an organization about the importance of specific
values.
ORGANIZATION SUBCULTURES

Subcultures develop to reflect the common problems, goals, and experience that member of a
team, department, or other unit share.