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Chapter 10

MGM102 Textbook Chapter 10- Organizational Culture.docx

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Dave Swanston

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Chapter 10- Organizational Culture What is Organizational Culture (OC)? • Organizational Culture- The values and assumptions shared within an organization  Directs everyone in the organization toward the “right way” of doing thins  Frames and shapes decisions that managers and other employees should make and the actions they should take • Organizational Culture assumptions, values, and artifacts: Shared Values • Values are stable, evaluative beliefs that guide preferences for outcomes/courses of action in a variety of situations • Shared values are values that people within the organization or work unit have in common and place near the top of their hierarchy of values • Two types of values: 1. Espoused values which represent the values people say they use and think they use even if they don’t 2. Enacted values represent the values people actually rely on to guide their decisions and actions Shared Assumptions • Assumptions are unconscious perceptions/beliefs that have worked so well in the past that they are considered the correct way to think and act toward problems and opportunities • Shared assumptions are the most difficult to change Content of Organizational Culture • Organizations differ in their cultural content; the relative ordering of values and assumptions • Some writers and consultants have attempted to classify organizational cultures into several categories:  Seven categories: attention to detail, outcome orientation, people orientation, team orientation, aggressiveness, stability, and innovation and risk taking  Eight cultures organized around a circle, indicating that some cultures are opposite to each other; example: a rules oriented culture is opposite to an innovation culture • Managers like to use these organizational culture models because they are handy templates when figuring out what kind of culture they currently have and what kind of culture they want to develop Organizational Subcultures • Organizations also have subcultures located throughout their various divisions, geographic regions, and occupational groups • Some subcultures enhance the dominant culture by espousing parallel assumptions/values/ beliefs • Other subcultures are called countercultures because they directly opposed the organization’s core values and create conflict are dissent among employees; serve two functions: 1. They maintain the organization’s standards of performance and ethical behaviour  Encourage constructive conflict and more creative thinking about how the organization should interact with its environment  Help organization to abide by society’s ethical values instead of blind following 2. They are the spawning grounds for emerging values that keep the firm aligned with the needs of customers, suppliers, society, and other stakeholders Deciphering an OC • Artifacts- The observable symbols and signs of an organization’s culture; important because:  They represent best source of information about a company’s culture  They reinforce and potentially support changes to an organization’s culture • Discovering an organization’s culture involves observing workplace behaviour, listening for unique language in everyday conversations, studying written documents, and interviewing staff about corporate stories • Surveys can reveal some information about a company’s culture but managers should not reply on that information alone to understand the company’s culture • Four broad categories of artifacts: Organizational Stories and Legends • Stories and legends articulate values of the organization through demonstration of these values • Not all are positive, some are communication to demonstrate what is wrong with the dominant corporate culture • Stories are importance artifacts because they personalize the culture and generate emotions that help people remember lessons within these stories Rituals and Ceremonies • Rituals- The programmed routines of daily organizational life that dramatize the organization’s culture; how visitors are greeted, how people communicate with each other, etc • Ceremonies- Planned activities conducted specifically for the benefit of an audience; publicly rewards (or punishing) employees, celebrating the laugh of a new product or new contract, etc Organizational Language • Language speaks volume about company’s culture; how employees address coworkers, describe customers, express anger, and greet stakeholders are all verbal symbols of cultural values • Language also highlights values held by organizational subcultures Physical Structures and Symbols  • The size, shape, location, and age of building might suggest the company’s emphases on teamwork, environment, friendliness, flexibility, or any other set of values Is OC Important? • The effect of organizational culture depends partly on its strength; corporate vulture strength refers to how widely and deeply employees hold the company’s dominant values and assumptions • A strong corporate culture increases company’s success by serving three functions: 1. Control System- Culture is pervasive and operates unconsciously 2. Social Glue- Bonds people together an makes them feel part of the organizational experience; way to attract new staff and retain top performers 3. Sense Making- Assists the sense making process; helps employees understand what goes on and why things happen in the company Organizational Culture Strength and Fit • Strong cultures are good for business but there is a weak relationship between culture strength and success because:  Strong culture increases organizational performance only when the cultural content is appropriate for the organization’s environment  Strong culture creates a greater risk because culture strength indicates that a
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