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Ch 10 - Organizational Culture.docx

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COMM 292
Leah Sheppard

Organizational Culture Chapter 10 What is organizational culture?  Provides stability  Understanding of “how things are done around here”  Sets tone for organization’s operations and how people interact within the organization Definition of Organizational Culture  Organizational culture – the patterns of shared values, beliefs, and assumptions considered to be the appropriate way to think and act within an organization  High turnover – unlikely that cultures are developed Key features:  Shared by all members of the organization  Helps members solve and understand the things that it encounters, internally and externally  Members believe that the beliefs, assumptions and expectations are valid because they have worked over time  taught to people who are new to the org.  Strongly influence how people perceive, think, feel and behave Levels of Culture  Below the surface: Beliefs, values assumptions – produces observable aspects of culture at surface o Beliefs – understandings of how objects and ideas relate to each other o Values – stable, long-lasting beliefs about what is important o Assumptions – take-for-granted notions of how something sould be  Artifacts – aspects of org. culture that you see, hear and feel o Material symbols, language used, rituals carried out, stories told to others  If we can uncover the underlying layers, we can understand why organizations do the things that we observe (artifacts). Characteristics of Culture  Innovation and Risk taking – degree to which employees are encouraged to be innovative and take risks  Attention to detail – degree to which employees are expected to work with precision, analysis and attention to detail  Outcome orientation – degree to which management focuses on results or outcomes rather than techniques and processes  People orientation - degree to which management decisions take into consideration the effect of outcomes on other in the org.  Team orientation – degree to which work activities are organized around teams rather than individuals  Aggressiveness - degree to which people are aggressive and competitive rather than easygoing and supporting  Stability – degree to which org. activities emphasize maintaining the status quo in contrast to growth Culture’s Functions  Boundary defining role – due to distinction created between different organizations  Conveys sense of identity to members  Creates commitment to something larger than self-interest  Enhances stability – social glue – by providing appropriate standards of what to say and do  Control mechanism – guides attitudes and behaviors of employees and helps them make sense of the org. o Until newcomers accept and learn the rules, they are not yet full-fledged members  May also influence ethical behavior Do organizations have uniform cultures?  Dominant culture – system of shared meaning that expresses the core values shared by a majority of the org.’s members o Macro view o Gives org. a distinct personality  Subcultures – mini-cultures within an org. o Defined by department designations and geographical separation  Core values – dominant values accepted throughout the org. Reading an Organization’s Culture Strong culture – a culture in which the core values are intensely held and widely shared  Great influence on members due to high degree of shared experiences and intensity to create an internal climate of high behavioral control  High agreement about what the org. stands for  Builds cohesiveness, loyalty & org. commitment In contrast: Weak Culture – employees don’t feel strong commitment towards the org. and their co-workers Stories  Typically told about the org.’s founder – rags to riches story  Reductions in workforce, relocation of employees, reactions to past mistakes, org. coping – provide explanation and legitimacy for current practices Rituals  Rituals – repetitive sequences of activities that express and reinforce the key values of an org. o Which goals are most important o Which people are important and which are expendable Material Symbols  Ex. Types of cars of executives, presence or absence of corporate aircraft, size of offices, elegance of furnishings, exec. Perks, etc.  Logos, signs, brochures, ads  Convey to customers and clients who is important, the degree of egalitarianism desired by top management, kinds of appropriate behavior Language  Way to identify members of a culture or subculture  Members show their acceptance of the c
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