7 October 2013, Monday
Culture gives you the framework to judge things.
Is it organizational culture positive or negative?
It could be a managerial tool under certain circumstance.
What is organizational culture? What does it consist of?
-Most important things is the values
How do you recognize values?
How people behave, we see values
Example: In Sprott School of business, our mission statement it’s everywhere it an
attempt to articulate values. The way people behave.
Values turn out to be you can see it in the behavior.
Those values people at the top, management leader they are the ones that are most
visible to the public if they don’t enact the values then no use.
-The way you dress up
It is a set of:
• Shared assumptions: we just assume most of you probably sitting on the
same seat or next to same person you first came to class, It’s your habit it
makes you comfortable
• Common values
• Pervasive belief
belief is usually is (believe in a sequence)
equally possible believe..
Alot of these things are accepted they are very rarely discussed usually formal
situation.Are the assumption the guiding behavior the way we do….we don’t want to
stop and reconsider things everyday
These things act as a guide to both thinking and behavior
These are often accepted, but not discussed.
Acts as a guide to thinking and behavior
May promote solidarity
We generally like to socialize into the same people with same interest we will
probably feel easier more satisfied. Exceptions of subcultures:
Some cultures groups within an organization that buy into the culture that have their
own values, their own values will be more important to them than the whole
organization in a whole. If you have big organization of 200 people then you cant
really meet everyone and share values there is a lot of scope of each group behavior in
different ways. If there are 10 people then it’s not easy they can interact with each
other and share culture.
Where are you going to get subculture?
- Different levels in the organization
- Different department
- Shared interest: great story doing some consult in a retreat, organizational
anthropology they found one of the things to do is socio-grand there was multi story
building, there was this one group all different ages all different department they
would gather under a tree subculture of smokers.
Subculture can cause trouble in an organization if their values over ride those\
Counter culture: group of people who reject those values of the overall organization.
Example: government, mergers and accusation, usually a group is marginalized in one
way or in an organization and don’t want to be there.
o Accept general values etc
o Overlay this with their own
o Often around professional values
o Reject general cultural values
o May work to undermine the organization
o Usually implies larger issues
What dos organizational cultures do? Why pay so much attention?
-It sends a signal to people who want to join the organization
What does it do for managerial point of view?
It is an integrated mechanism
Organization has a tendency to fly apart so it keeps it together
Its control system
Functions of Organizational Culture:
o Group responsibility
They know what to do; they feel guilty if they do it they feel like doing it. The group
takes responsibility for making sure people act that way. Some organization takes a lot
of time and money to work on this. Example: IBM one of the things they do is training with same people and takes a lot
of time of training and it’s really expensive.
• Integration: routine decision, what if something comes up that
Strong and Weak Culture
In Strong culture
• Values are clear
• Values and beliefs are widely and strongly held: not just people give lip
service to them, people are able to talk about them but also act
• Organizational culture proves a clear guide for behaviors and attitudes
• Not adhering to cultural values has negative consequences: both in
sense people or the way treats you you feel about yourself.
Example: I was working as a research fellow at a university in Britain
so there was these other 2 research fellows and they would go drink a
beer at a pub during breaks and one day I would walk up to the door
and then let your friends in etc…you get those signals that signals have
In weak cultures values and beliefs are less clear and less important
Thick and Thin Cultures
◊ Thick cultures pervade all aspects of the organization: everything you do
you can even hear people talk about themselves that acknowledges that, if
you see sports then there are people who show this.
◊ May even stretch outside the organization
◊ Thin cultures are less important and only apply to some segments of
◊ The guidance offered by think cultures is limited
◊ As a consequence behaviors are more various and variety is more
It is followed outside the organization it is a way of life, Example: military, if
you are a soldier then that’s what you are. 2. Police, always a cop.
Potential Negative Consequences:
- Resistance to change: you are comfortable you don’t want to change
Why is it a problem for an organization? Don’t we want consistency?
We live in a dynamic world we have to adapt to change.
Example: RIM they didn’t want to change, specially the decision making party did not
change. They were innovative with products but not decisions.
- Once people come into organization then there is a lot of socialization.
• Lack of innovation: some culture are set up that we are going to innovation if
we want to set up
• Lack of diversity in points of view
• May discriminate against certain types of employees • Resistance to change
What do big companies with thick cultures?
They need an outside point of view. They hire consultants.
Indicators of Organizational Culture
What are you looking for as indicators?
-Workspace environment: how things are set up
-Communication styles: how do people talk to each other. Do they email or talk in the
- Promptness: do pe