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Chapter 5

Niesya Putri

All groups and organizations face two

archetypical problems:
1.survival in and adaptation to the external
environment, and;
2.integration of the internal processes to
ensure the capacity to continue to survive and
The process of culture formation is identical to
the process of group the shared patterns of
thought, belief, feelings, and values that result
from shared experience and common learning.

The Problems of External

Adaptation and Survival for
1. Mission
understanding of core mission, primary task, manifest
functions, and latent functions;
2. Goals: Developing consensus on goals, as derived from
the core mission;
3. Means: Developing consensus on the means to be used
to attain the goals, such as the organization structure,
division of labor, reward system, and authority system;
4. Measurement: Developing consensus on the criteria to
be used in measuring how well the group is doing in
fulfilling its goals, such as the information and control
5. Correction: Developing consensus on the appropriate
remedial or repair strategies to be used if goals are not
being met.

Shared Assumptions About

Strategy, and Goals

In most business organizations, this shared

definition revolves around the issue of
economic survival and growth, which, in turn,
involves the maintenance of good relationships
with the major stakeholders of the organization:
1.the investors and stockholders;
2.the suppliers of the materials needed to
3.the managers and employees;
4.the community and government; and,
5.the customers willing to pay for the product or

Many studies of organizations have shown that the key to

long range growth and survival is to keep the needs of
these constituencies in some kind of balance, and that the
mission of the organization is usually a reflection of this
Most organizations have multiple functions reflecting the
multiple stakeholders and that some of these functions are
public justifications, while others are latent and, in a
sense, not spoken of.
Mission relates directly to what organizations call strategy.
To fulfill its manifest and latent functions, the organization
evolves shared assumptions about its reason to be and
formulates long - range plans to fulfill those functions.

Shared Assumptions About

Goals Derived from the

Consensus on the core mission and identity does not

automatically guarantee that the key members of the
organization will have common goals.
To achieve consensus on goals, the group needs a
common language and shared assumptions about the
basic logistical operations by which it can move from
something as abstract or general as a sense of mission to
the concrete goals of designing, manufacturing, and
selling an actual product or service.
Goals can be defi ned at several levels of abstraction and
in different time horizons. Is our goal to be profi table at
the end of next quarter, or to make ten sales next month,
or to call twelve potential customers tomorrow?

Shared Assumptions About

Means to Achieve Goals:
Structure, Systems &
Some of the most important and most invisible elements of an
organizational culture are the shared basic assumptions about
how things should be done, how the mission is to be achieved,
and how goals are to be met. As indicated before, leaders
usually impose structure, systems, and processes, which, if
successful, become shared parts of the culture. And once
processes have become taken for granted, they become the
elements of the culture that may be the hardest to change.
Consensus on the means to be used creates the behavioral
regularities and many of the artifacts that eventually come to be
identified as the visible manifestations of the culture. After these
regularities and patterns are in place, they become a source of
stability for members and are, therefore, strongly adhered to.

Shared Assumptions About

Measuring Results and
Correction Mechanisms
All groups and organizations need to know how
they are doing against their goals and periodically
need to check to determine whether they are
performing in line with their mission.
Consensus must be achieved on what to measure,
how to measure it, and what to do when
corrections are needed.
Once the group is performing, it must have
consensus on how to judge its own performance
to know what kind of remedial action to take when
things do not go as expected.

Consensus must be achieved both on the

criteria and on the means by which
information is to be gathered.
The methods an organization decides to use
accomplishments the criteria it chooses
and the information system it develops to
measure itself become central elements
of its culture as consensus develops around
these issues.

Shared Assumptions About

and Repair Strategies

The final area of consensus crucial for

external adaptation concerns what to do if
a change in course is required and how to
make that change. If information surfaces
that the group is not on target sales are
off, market share is down, profits are down,
product introductions are late, key
customers complain about product quality,
key staff people or managers leave, or the
like by what process is the problem
diagnosed and remedied?

Effective remedial action requires consensus

on how to gather external information, how to
get that information to the right parts of the
organization that can act on it, and how to
alter the internal production processes to take
Organizations can become ineffective if there
is lack of consensus on any part of this
information gathering and utilization cycle.
After remedial or corrective action has been
taken, new information must be gathered to
determine whether results have improved or

Summary and
The group s ultimate mission, goals, means used to
achieve goals, measurement of its performance, and
remedial strategies all require consensus if the group
is to perform effectively. If there is conflict between
subgroups that form subcultures, such conflict can
undermine group performance.
How these external survival issues are worked out
strongly influences the internal integration of the
group. Ultimately all organizations are socio technical systems in which the manner of external
adaptation and the solution of internal integration
problems are interdependent and intertwined.

The most important conclusion to be derived

from this analysis is that culture is a
multidimensional, multifaceted phenomenon,
not easily reduced to a few major dimensions.
Culture ultimately reflects the group s effort
to cope and learn; it is the residue of that
learning process. Culture thus not only fulfills
the function of providing stability, meaning,
and predictability in the present but also is the
result of functionally effective decisions in the
group s past.

The implications for leadership are several.

First, the external issues described are
usually the formal leader s primary
concern in that it is the leader who creates
the group and wants it to succeed. Second,
it is the successful management of these
several functions that is usually the basis
on which leaders are assessed. If they
cannot create a group that succeeds, they
are considered to have failed as leaders.