Organisational Culture

Topics: Organizational culture, Organizational studies, Geert Hofstede Pages: 12 (2501 words) Published: April 9, 2013

What is Organisational Culture
• The basic paTTern of shared values and assumpTions governing The way employees wiThin as organisaTion Think abouT and acT on problems and opporTuniTies

A system of meaning shared by the organization’s members Cultural values are collective beliefs, assumptions, and feelings about what things are good, normal, rational, valuable, etc.

Aspects of culture
Values Symbols



Cultural Diversity

Why doesn’t McDonald’s sell hamburgers in India?

Coca-Cola’s name in China was first read as “Kekoukela”, meaning “Bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax”, depending on the dialect.

Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent “kokou kole”, translating into “happiness in the mouth.”

Culture and the workplace (Hofstede)
 Purpose: understanding of business situations across-cultures  MUST understand own culture AND other culture(s)

Geert Hofstede – sampled 100,000 IBM employees 1963-1973 Compared employee attitudes and values across 40 countries

Isolated 4 dimensions summarizing culture: 1. 2. 3. 4. Power distance Individualism vs. collectivism Uncertainty avoidance Masculinity vs. feminity

Managerial Implications
Ethnocentrism vs Polycentrism Must a company adapt to local cultures or can corporate -- often home-country dominated -- culture prevail? Cross-cultural literacy essential Do some cultures offer a national competitive advantage over others?

Organisational Culture at people soft
 PeopleSoft is one of the loopiest places on the planet. The Pleasanton, California, business management software company has mini golf tournaments in the hallways.  Dress-down day is every day of the week. A white collar is usually a T-shirt. The gourmet coffee are free. Having fun is so ingrained.  In other words, give the bagel delivery guy the same respect as the company president. PeopleSoft is also extreme on technology and flexible customer service. Job applicants use an automated voice response system to accept their job offer. On the first day of work, newcomers are outfitted with a notebook computer and a backpack. They also receive tools for posting personal web pages on the company intranet.  This corporate culture has contributed to PeopleSoft’s success. The company has grown faster than SAP and Oracle and is now the second largest provider of business management software (after SAP). “Our true competence is our culture,” explains Dave Duffield.  “That’s what attracts people and keep them here. It also helps sell customers. Customers  want to work with companies that are competent, trustworthy, and fun.



How Employees Learn Culture/ How it is “reinforced” Material Symbols


Oakley, Inc.’s headquarters symbolizes a corporate culture in which employees believe they are at war with competitors.

Oakley’s combat-ready headquarters symbolizes a corporate culture that attacks such rivals as Nike with gladiator glee. The lobby of the two-year-old, $40million building looks like a bomb shelter. Its huge, echoing vault is straight out of Star Wars. Sleek pipes, watertight doors, and towering metallic walls studded with oversize bolts suggest a place that is routinely subjected to laser fire and floods. Ejection seats from a B-52 bomber furnish the waiting area. Oakley’s culture is also apparent in its annual report, which reads more like the Art of War than a financial report. “We’ve always had a fortress mentality,” says Colin Baden, Oakley’s vice president of design. “What we make is gold, and people will do anything to get it, so we protect it.”

Examples of few culture

Innovation and risk taking (3M) Outcome orientation (Bausch & Lomb) Aggressiveness (Microsoft)

Culture’s Effects on Managerial Process
Decision Making (Central/Decentralization) Safety vs. Risk Individual...
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