BUS 272 Study Guide - Ombudsman, Organizational Culture, Dominant Culture
SchoolSimon Fraser University
Course CodeBUS 272
Chapter 10: Organizational culture
Organizational culture: the pattern of shared values, beliefs, and assumptions considered to be the appropriate way to
think and act within an organization.
shared by the members of the organization
helps member solve and understand the things that it encounters, both internally and externally
valid and taught to new people who join
the assumptions, beliefs and expectations strongly influence how people perceive think, feel and
behave within the organization
Levels of culture
Artifacts: aspects of an organization’s culture that you see, hear, and feel. (Readily observable)
Beliefs: the understandings of how objects and ideas relate to each other.
Values: the stable, long-lasting beliefs about what is important.
Assumptions: the taken-for-granted notions of how something should be. (Difficult conceive of another
way of doing things)
Characteristics of culture- the degree to which…
Innovation and risk- employees are encouraged to be innovative
Attention to detail- employees are expected to work with attention to detail.
Outcome orientation- management focuses on results or outcomes
People orientation- management decision take into consideration the effect of outcomes on people
Team orientation- activities are organized around teams rather than individuals
Aggressiveness- are people aggressive and competitive or easygoing and supportive
Stability- organizational activities emphasize maintaining the status quo in contrast to growth
A boundary-defining role b/c it creates distinction b/w one organization and others
Conveys a sense of identity to members
Helps create commitment to something larger than an individual’s self-interest
It enhances stability; hold the organization together by providing appropriate standards
Serves as a control mechanism that guides and shapes the attitudes and behavior of employees
Do organizations have uniform cultures?
Dominant culture: A system of shared meaning that expresses the core values shared by a majority of the organization’s
Subcultures: mini-cultures within an organization, typically defined by department designations and geographical
Core values: the primary, or dominant, values that are accepted throughout the organization.
Strong culture: a culture in which the core values are intensely held and widely shared
Reading an organization’s culture:
Rituals: repetitive sequences of activities that express and reinforce the key values of the oranzaiton
Material symbols: material benefits are distributed to executives, separation b/w exe. and employees
Language: ex starbucks: short, tall, grande
Creating and sustaining an organization’s culture
1.Philosophy of organization’s founders
2.Selection criteria: hire individuals who have the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the jobs
3. Top management: have a major impact on the organization’s culture
4. socialization: the process that adapts new employees to an organization’s culture
Prearrival stage: the period of learning in the socialization process that occurs before a new employee joins the
Encounter stage: the stage in the socialization process in which a new employee sees what the organization is really
like and confronts the possibility that expectations and reality may diverge.
Metamorphosis Stage: the stage in the socialization process in which a new employee adjusts to the values and
norms of the job, work, group, and organization.
Outcomes: productivity, commitment, turnover
The liabilities of organizational culture
A barrier to change
A barrier to diversity: hire people who are not like the majority of the members creates a paradox
A barrier to mergers and acquisition: employees from two different companies together cause friction
Assimilation: entire new organization take on one of the culture of the merging organizations
separation: organizations remain separate and keep individual cultures
Integration: new culture is formed by merging parts of each of he organizations
Bicultural audit: an examination of the differences between two potential merger partners prior to merger to determine
whether the cultures will be able to work together.
Changing Organizational Culture
Creating an ethical culture
1. Be a visible role model
2. Communicate ethical expectation
3. Provide ethics training
4. Visibly reward ethical acts and punish unethical
5. Provide protective mechanism ex: appointing an
ethics counselor, an ombudsperson
Creating an positive organizational culture: a culture that emphasizes building on employee strengths, rewards more
than punishes, and emphasizes individual vitality and growth.
Building on employee strengths
Rewarding more often than punishing
Emphasizing vitality and growth