Determinants of Organization Culture

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ESPOO 2002

VTT RESEARCH NOTES 2140

Group
forms
s Set

Defines

Core task

Influences

Field

the

ies dar oun b

Criteria for survival in

Culture
Definition of current culture:
- values - practices - artefacts - def. of core task The current definition of Validity of current assumptions

Environment
Model of core task:
- critical content of the work - critical demands of work

Teemu Reiman & Pia Oedewald

The assessment of organisational culture
A methodological study

VTT TIEDOTTEITA – RESEARCH NOTES 2140

The assessment of organisational culture
A methodological study
Teemu Reiman & Pia Oedewald
VTT Industrial Systems

ISBN 951–38–5893–6 (soft back ed.) ISSN 1235–0605 (soft back ed.) ISBN 951–38–5894–4 (URL: http://www.inf.vtt.fi/pdf/) ISSN 1455–0865 (URL: http://www.inf.vtt.fi/pdf/) Copyright © VTT 2002

JULKAISIJA – UTGIVARE – PUBLISHER VTT, Vuorimiehentie 5, PL 2000, 02044 VTT puh. vaihde (09) 4561, faksi (09) 456 4374 VTT, Bergsmansvägen 5, PB 2000, 02044 VTT tel. växel (09) 4561, fax (09) 456 4374 VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Vuorimiehentie 5, P.O.Box 2000, FIN–02044 VTT, Finland phone internat. + 358 9 4561, fax + 358 9 456 4374

VTT Tuotteet ja tuotanto, Tekniikantie 12, PL 1301, 02044 VTT puh. vaihde (09) 4561, faksi (09) 456 6752 VTT Industriella Systems, Teknikvägen 12, PB 1301, 02044 VTT tel. växel (09) 4561, fax (09) 456 6752 VTT Industrial Systems, Tekniikantie 12, P.O.Box 1301, FIN–02044 VTT, Finland phone internat. + 358 9 4561, fax + 358 9 456 6752

Technical editing Marja Kettunen

Otamedia Oy, Espoo 2002

Reiman, Teemu & Oedewald, Pia. The assessment of organisational culture. A methodological study. Espoo 2002. VTT Tiedotteita – Research Notes 2140. 39 p. Keywords organisational culture, safety culture, cultural assessment, nuclear power industry, organisational research

Abstract
This report examines the assessment and development of organisational culture in complex organisations. It covers definitions of organisational culture and safety culture, and the research that has been conducted. The common definition of organisational culture is adjusted with the aid of the core-task concept. Organisational culture is defined as a solution created by an organisation for the demands set by the core task. The development of an organisation’s operations requires an understanding of the overall dynamics (culture) of the organisation’s activities, but also an assessment of the impact of culture on operational efficiency. The criteria of organisations’ operational efficiency must be determined on a case-by-case basis. The Contextual Assessment of Organisational Culture (CAOC) methodology proposed in the report uses both qualitative and quantitative methods. Determining the culture prevailing in a company at some moment in time requires the study of the company’s values, practices, artefacts and of the core task defined by them. By comparing these elements an attempt is made to clarify the underlying assumptions prevailing in a company. Core-task analysis, on the other hand, helps to determine the main content of work and the critical demands it sets for working practices. The research requires close cooperation with target groups and covers both the practical problems and the resulting research problems which one strives to resolve. One aim is to commit personnel to ponder and reflect on their own work and in this way to reduce opposition to change and to create the conditions for the continuation of internal development work also after the research is completed. Operational development seminars organised during the research deepen the researchers’ picture of the culture and act at the same time as a practical channel for operational development and as a chance for personnel to exert their influence. methodology has been developed particularly for application in improving the efficiency of complex organisations and communities of practice,...
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