Basically, organizational culture is the personality of the organization. It is one of those terms that are difficult to express distinctly, but everyone knows it when they sense it. For example, the culture of a large, for-profit corporation is quite different from that of a hospital, which is in turn quite different from of a university. You can tell the culture of an organization by looking at the arrangement of furniture, what they brag about, what members wear, etc. -- similar to what you can use to get a feeling about someone's personality A number of studies have shown that organisational culture does make difference with respect to long-term performance. For this to happen, the culture must be rare, adaptable and non-imitable. Even though Organisational culture is manageable, the direction and impact will not always be subject to full control. This will imply that many leaders need to rethink how they view the organisation, how they set the strategic direction, and how they manage people processes in their organisation. This assignment will focus on organisational culture in Astra Zeneca, Lund, Sweden. Theories of organisational culture
Organisational researcher originally focused strongly on the surveying of the corporate climate, but in the 1980s, the organisational climate concept was to some extent replaced by concept of organisational culture. Climate was redefined as the visible expression of organisational culture. Organisational culture is said to mean, for example, an organisation’s values, an organisation’s generally accepted system of meaning or an organisation’s operating philosophy.
According to Schein’s theory, organisational theory, organisational culture is defined as “A pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved it problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as a correct way to perceive, think and feel in relation to those problems. According to Schein, organitional culture is the learned result of group experiences, and it is to a large extent unconscious. Schein considers culture to be in three-layer phenomenon (see fig. 1).
Figure 1. Schein’s (1992) model of organisational Culture
As figure 1 show, organisational culture can be examined on different levels. The first level of culture consists of visible organisational processes and various artefacts. For example, dress codes and the general tidiness of the workplace are the artefacts that tell something about the organisation’s culture. According to Schein, this level is difficult to interpret, however, because it represents the most superficial culture phenomena, i.e. only reflection of the true corporate culture. For example, behaviour, which is a cultural artefact, is also influenced by countless factors other than a company’s culture. Cultural artefacts can be considered to include accident statistics, sick leave etc. The interpretation requires effective and diverse research methods and an understanding of the internal dynamics of the culture.
The second cultural level in Schein model consists of the organisations espoused values. These are apparent in, for example, the organisation’s official objectives, declared norms and operating philosophy; however, this does not always reflect a company’s everyday operations.
Underlying assumptions relate to the group’s learned solutions to problems relating to external adaption and internal integration. These solutions gradually become self-evident assumptions. Problems related to external adaptation concern views of an organisation’s tasks and objectives as well as the means to implement and assess them. A solution has to be found for them so that the organisation can function and succeed in its environment. Problems related to internal integration and to maintain operating capacity concern the creation of a common...
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