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Chapter 14

BUS 272 Chapter 14: Ch14 Organizational Culture

Business Administration
Course Code
BUS 272
Sam Thiara

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Ch14 Organizational Culture
Organizational culture consists of the values and assumptions shared within an
organization. It defines what is important and unimportant in the company and,
consequently, directs everyone on the organization toward the “right way of
doing things.
Culture concepts:
Culture is a system of shared meanings, including the assumptions vales and
beliefs of the organizational members.
Culture is the personality of an onorganization.
LO1 Elements Of Organizational Culture
Organizational culture consists of shared values and assumptions. Values are
stable, evaluative beliefs that guide our preferences for outcomes or courses of
action in a variety of situations. They are conscious perceptions about what is
good or bad, right or wrong. On the context of organizational culture, values are
discussed as shared values, which are values the people within that organization
or work unit have in common and place neat the top of their hierarchy of values.
Organizational culture also consists of share assumptions—a deeper element that
some experts believe is the essence of corporate culture. Share assumptions are
nonconscious, taken-for-granted perceptions or ideal prototypes of behavior that
are considered the correct way to think and act toward problems and
opportunities. Shared assumptions are so deeply ingrained that you probably
wouldnt discover them by surveying employees. Only by observing employees,
analyzing their decisions, and debriefing them on their actions would these
assumptions rise to the surface.

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Espoused verses enacted values
Espoused valuesthe value that corporate leaders hope will eventually become
the organizations culture, or at least the values that want others to believe guide
the organizations decisions and actions. Espoused values are usually socially
desirable, so they present a positive public image. Even if top management acts
consistently with the espoused values. Lower-level employees might not do so.
Employees bring diverse personal values to the organization, some of which
might conflict with the organization’s espoused value.
An organizations culture is defined by its enacted values, not its espoused values.
Values are enacted when they actually guide and influence decisions and
behaviour. They are values put into practice. Enacted values are apparent when
watching executives and other employees in action, including their decisions,
where they focus their attention and resources how they behave toward
stakeholders, and the outcomes of those decisions and behaviour.
Shared values
Conscious what is
Good or bad
Right or wrong
Could be what the organization says is does
Shared assumptions
Sub-conscious, taken for granted perceptions or beliefs
Mental models of ideas
Content of Organizational Culture
See it shifts much like the spectrum—can be through the eyes of the beholder.
Organizations differ in their cultural content, that is, the relative ordering of
shared values.
Organizational culture
Characteristics of the dimension
Experimenting, opportunity seeking, risk taking, few rules,
low cautiousness
Predictability, security, rule-oriented
Respect for people
Fairness, tolerance
Outcome orientation
Action-oriented, high expectations, results-oriented
Attention to detail
Precise, analytic
Team orientation
Collaboration, people-oriented
Competitive, low emphasis on social responsibility
Organizational Subcultures
When discussing organizational culture, we are really referring to the dominant

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culture, that is, the values and assumptions shared most consistently and widely
by the organizations members. Organizations are composed of subcultures
located throughout their various divisions, geographic regions, and occupational
Subcultures, particularly countercultures, potentially create conflict and
dissension among employees, but they also serve two important functions
1. They maintain the organization’s standards of performance and ethical
2. As spawning grounds for emerging values that keep the firm aligned with
the evolving needs and expectations of customers, suppliers, communities,
and other stakeholders.
LO2 Deciphering organizational Culture through Artifacts
Artifacts are the observable symbols and signs of an organization’s culture, such
as the way visitors are greeted, the organization’s physical layout, and how
employees are rewarded.
Symbols of culture—most times visible
Rituals and ceremonies
Physical space and structure
Organizational stories and legends
Organizational stories and legends serve as powerful social prescriptions of the
way things should be done. They add human realism to corporate expectations,
individual performance standards, and the criteria for getting fires. Also produce
emotions in listeners, and these emotions tend to improve listenersmemory of
the lesson within the story. Stories have the greatest effect on communicating
corporate culture when they describe real people, are assume to be true, and are
known by employees throughout the organization. Also prescriptive—they
advise people what to di or not to do.
Organizational language
The language of the workplace speaks volumes about the company’s culture
Captures less complimentary cultural values
Rituals and ceremonies
Rituals are the programmed routines of daily organizational life that dramatize
an organization’s culture. Include how visitors are greeted, how often senior
executives visit subordinated, hoe people communicate with each other, how
much time employees take for lunch, and so on. These rituals are repetitive,
predictable events that have symbolic meaning as a reflection of underlying
cultural values and assumptions.
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