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Organizational Culture

A system of shared meaning held by members that distinguishes the organization from other organizations. There are seven characteristics of organizational culture 1. Innovation and risk taking The degree of which employees are encouraged to be innovative and take risks. 2. Attention to detail The degree to which employees are expected to exhibit precision, analysis, and attention to detail. 3. Outcome Orientation The degree to which management focus on results or outcomes rather than on the techniques and processes used to achieve those outcomes.
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People Orientation The degree to which management decision take into consideration the effect of outcomes on people within the organization. Team Orientation The degree to which work activities are organized around teams rather than individuals. Aggressiveness The degree to which people are aggressive and competitive rather than easygoing. Stability The degree to which organizational activities emphasize maintaining the status quo in contrast to growth.

Do Organizations Have Uniform Cultures Most Organizations have a dominant Culture and numerous set of Subcultures: Dominant Culture Expresses the core values that are shared by a majority of the organizations members.
Subcultures Minicultures with in an organization, typically defined by department designations and geographical separation.

Core Values The primary or dominant values that are accepted throughout the organization.

Cultures Functions
Culture performs a number of functions with in an organization. 1. It has a boundary defining role, that is, it creates distinctions between one organization and others. 2. It conveys a sense of identity for organization members 3. Culture facilitates the generation of commitment to something larger than ones individuals self-interest. 4. It enhances the stability of the social system Culture is the social glue that helps hold the organization together by providing appropriate standards for what employees should say and do. Finally culture serves as a sense-making and control mechanism that guides and shapes the attitudes and behavior of the employees.

The role of culture in influencing employee behavior appears to be increasingly important in todays workplace. As organizations have widened spans of control, flattened structures, introduced teams, reduced formalizations, and empowered employees, the shared meaning provided by a strong culture ensures that everyone is pointed in the same direction.

The Individual-Organization fit: That is whether the applicant or employees attitudes and behavior are compatible with the culture. This can be ensured by selecting the right kind of employee and having strong culture to ensure the right behavior. Many of its functions, are valuable for both the organization and the employee. Culture enhances organizational commitment and increases the consistency of employees behavior. Culture as Liability Barrier to Change Culture is a liability when the shared values are not in agreement with those that will further the organization's effectiveness. Strong cultures become barriers to change when business as usual is no longer effective.

Barrier to Diversity Hiring new employees who, because of race, gender, disability or other differences, are not like the majority of the organizations members creates a paradox. Strong culture put considerable pressure on employees to conform. Strong culture therefore can be liabilities when they effective ly eliminate the unique strengths that people of different backgrounds bring to the organization. Strong culture can also be liabilities when they support institutional bias or become insensitive to people who are different.

Barrier to Acquistions and Merger Cultural Compatibility has become the primary concern. Whether the acquisition actually works seems to have more to do with the two organizations culture match up.

Creating and Understanding Culture

How a Culture Begins
An Organizations current customs, traditions and general way of doing things are largely due to what it has done before the degree of success it has had with those endeavors. This leads us to the ultimate source of an organizations culture: its founders Culture Creation occurs in three ways Hire and keep only employees who think and feel same Indoctrinate and socialize these employees to their way of thinking and feeling. Founder own behavior acts as a role model

Keeping a culture Alive Many human resource practices reinforce the organizations culture. The selection process performance evaluation criteria, training and carrier development activities and promotion procedures ensure that those hired fit in with the culture reward those who support it and penalize those who challenge it . Top Management The actions of top management also have a major impact on the organizations culture. What they say and how they behave senior executives establish norms that filter down through the organization as to whether risk taking is desirable.

Socialization The organization want to help new employees adapt to its culture. The adaption process is called Socialization. The most critical socialization stage is at the time of entry in organization. Productivity
Pre-arrival Encounter Metamorph osis


How Cultures Form

The Original culture is derived from the founders philosophy. This in turn, strongly influences the criteria used in hiring . The actions of the current top management set the general climate of what is acceptable behavior and what is not.

How employees learn Culture

During the days when Henry ford II was chairman of the ford motor co. one would have been hard pressed to find a manger who hadnt heard the story about Mr. ford reminding his executives when they got too arrogant, that its my name thats on the building. The message was clear: Henry Ford II ran the Company! Stories such as these circulate through many organizations. The stories typically contain a narrative of events about the organizations founders, rule breaking, rage to riches success, reductions in the workforce, relocation of employees, reactions to past mistake and organizational coping

Rituals are repetitive sequences of activities that express and reinforce the key values of the organization, which goals are most important, which people are important, and which are expendable

Material Symbols
It is essentially made up of cubicles, common areas, and meeting rooms. Some corporations provide their top executives with chauffeur-driven limousines and when travel by air, unlimited use of the corporate jet. These material symbols convey to employees who is important, the degree of egalitarianism desired by top management and the kinds of behavior.

Creating an ethical organizational culture

The content and strength of a culture influences an organizations ethical climate and the ethical behavior of its members. combination of practice to create ethical culture.

Be a visible role model

Employees will look to top management behavior as a benchmark for defining appropriate behavior.

Communicate ethical expectations

Ethical ambiguities can be minimized by creating and disseminating an organizational code of ethics.

Providing ethical Training

Set up workshops, seminars and ethical training programs

Visibly reward ethical acts and punish Unethical ones.

Performance appraisals managers should include a point by point evaluation of how his or her decisions measure up against the organizations code of ethics.

Provide protective mechanisms

The organization needs to provide formal mechanisms so that employees can discuss ethical dilemmas and report unethical behavior without fear of reprimand

Creating a Customer-Responsive Culture

Key Variables Shaping Customer-Responsive Cultures
1. The types of employees hired by the organization. 2. Low formalization: the freedom to meet customer service requirements. 3. Empowering employees with decision-making discretion to please the customer. 4. Good listening skills to understand customer messages. 5. Role clarity that allows service employees to act as boundary spanners. 6. Employees who engage in organizational citizenship behaviors.
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Creating a Customer-Responsive Culture (contd) Managerial Actions :

Select new employees with personality and attitudes consistent with high service orientation.
Train and socialize current employees to be more customer focused. Change organizational structure to give employees more control.

Empower employees to make decision about their jobs.

2005 Prentice Hall Inc. All rights reserved.


Creating a Customer-Responsive Culture (contd) Managerial Actions (contd) :

Lead by conveying a customer-focused vision and demonstrating commitment to customers.

Conduct performance appraisals based on customer-focused employee behaviors. Provide ongoing recognition for employees who make special efforts to please customers.

2005 Prentice Hall Inc. All rights reserved.


Spirituality and Organizational Culture

Workplace Spirituality The recognition that people have an inner life that nourishes and is nourished by meaningful work that takes place in the context of the community. Characteristics:
Strong sense of purpose Focus on individual development Trust and openness Employee empowerment Toleration of employee expression
2005 Prentice Hall Inc. All rights reserved. 1618