The impact of culture on leadership

Lecture plan The significance of culture for organisations Internal / corporate culture External culture: culture in a global context Some useful questions .

‡ Peters and Waterman·s influential book In Search of Excellence (1982) argued that the most successful companies had ¶strong· cultures.The significance of culture for organisations ‡ Roots in anthropology ‡ Shifts ¶attention· away from scientific approaches (Taylorism) to focusing on ¶non-rational· aspects of organising. .

stories.· (Smircich. These values or patterns of belief are manifested by symbolic devices such as myths. It expresses the values or social ideals and the beliefs that organisation members come to share. legends and specialised language. rituals.What do we mean by ¶culture·? ¶Culture is usually defined as social or normative glue that holds an organisation together. 1983: 344) .

Alternative ways of thinking about organisational culture Distinction between saying that organisations have culture and that organisations are cultures (Smircich 1983) Culture as an independent variable -¶corporate· culture (internal ) -national culture (external) Culture as a way of thinking about organisations: organisations as cultures .

Alternative ways of thinking about managing culture Can we manipulate culture? Are we powerless to affect culture? Do we participate (actively or passively) in creating and sustaining culture? .

Schein·s iceburg Artefacts Visible behaviour Underlying assumption (often unconscious) .

Practices Policies Assumptions about organisational life .Applied to organisations«.

‡ But very influential all the same. ‡ In which he surveyed employee attitudes in 66 divisions of IBM between 1966-1973.Culture in a global context ‡ The field of cross-cultural management is dominated by Hofstede·s research. . ‡ Often criticized as being simplistic and based on poor research.

. Communalism And later on a 5th dimension he called ¶Confucianism· on long term versus short term orientation. Femininity Individualism v.Hofstede·s dimensions ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Power distance Uncertainty avoidance Masculinity v.

rules or relationships?) Individualism vs. emotional (Do we display our emotions?) Specific vs. ascription (Do we have to prove ourselves to receive status or is it given to us? Sequential vs. particularism (What is more important. external control (Do we control our environment or are we controlled by it?) . collectivism (communitarianism) (Do we function in a group or as individuals?) Neutral vs.Trompenaars and HampdenTurner·s dimensions Universalism vs. synchronic (Do we do things one at a time or several things at once?) Internal vs. diffuse (How separate we keep our private and working lives) Achievement vs.

‡ Has been extremely influential (HSBC ads for example). ‡ Demonstrates the importance of taking culture into account and not just assuming that all people think alike or that there is ¶one best way· of managing.Usefulness of the ¶dimensions· approach ‡ Puts cultural differences ¶on the agenda·. ‡ Provides an initial schema for beginning to think more deeply about these differences .

‡ Primarily focused on national or regional cultures rather than professional cultures.But««. religious cultures. ‡ Regards cultures as ¶fixed· and unchanging rather than always in flux. . ‡ Criticized for being over-simplistic: ignores the many differences within cultures. ethnic cultures etc which may have very different boundaries.

geert-hofstede.What do you think? .

‡ Involves using anthropological methods such as attention to rituals. how they continue to create cultural meanings within organisations« . stories.. ‡ And asking what underlying ideas and values are being expressed by them.Applying these ideas to studying organisations«. ways of talking. pictures etc. clothing. ‡ And.

Some useful questions ‡ What are the cultural norms that are sustained in my organisation? ‡ How are they sustained? ‡ What underlying ideas and values do they express? ‡ How do they change over time? .

(1982) In Search of Excellence Harper Row ‡ Schein. L. (1991) Cultures and Organizations McGraw Hill ‡ Morgan.J. and Waterman. F. (1991) Images of Organization Sage ‡ Peters. C. G.References ‡ Hofstede. T. G. (1983) Concepts of Culture in Organizational Analysis. (1992) Organizational Culture and Leadership San Francisco: Jossey Bass ‡ Smircich. (1997) Riding the Waves of Culture: Understanding Cultural Diversity in Business Nicholas Brealey . and Hampden-Turner. in Administrative Science Quarterly 28: 339-358 ‡ Trompenaars. E.H. R.

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