ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR AND GROUP DYNAMICS
July 20, 2010
Organizational Culture is the system of shared actions, values, and beliefs that has developed within an organization and guides the behavior of its members. Organizational Development consists of special applications of knowledge gained from behavioral science to create a comprehensive design to improve organizational effectiveness. Through the collective experiences, the members of an organization solve two important survival issues. The first issue addresses external adaption which deals with reaching goals, how they are to be accomplished, the methods to be used to achieve these goals, and methods of coping with success and failure. The second is internal integration which answers questions like, how do members of an organization resolve the daily internal problems associated with living and working together. Individuals at an organization will (1) separate priorities, (2) develop and measure their accomplishments, and (3) conclude why their goals are not always met. Organization shared internal shared values are important to the survival of an organization. Shared values are an understanding of what the firm stands for, often embodied in slogans; a concern for people, recognition of heroes, who stand for the company’s shared philosophy and concerns; a belief in ritual, rites ceremonial shared beliefs building a common identity. An example of rites and rituals might be a Japanese worker who may start their day with rites such as singing group company songs, or group exercising; together these rites form a ritual. Other shared values is the understanding of informal rules and expectations so that employees and managers understand what is expected of them; and a belief that what an employee does and what managers do is important, and that is important to share information and ideas. Building a strong company culture can be good for the organization, but sometimes a strong culture and value system can reinforce a singular view of the organization and its environment. This can make it difficult to make changes if they are needed. In the example of General Motors, GM has a strong culture, but it would be very challenging for the firm to adapt its ways to a dynamic and high competitive environment. Within the organization, the people need to know what the mission of the company is. Through interacting of the company’s employees, the employees will begin to establish an understanding of how they contribute to the overall company mission. This human interaction can be the driving force that helps the success of the organization, or employees may see themselves as just a number in a large corporate machine. A first level concerns observable culture, which depicts “the way we do things around here.” An organization’s history and day to day practices make up the unique organization identity. In many organizations, philosophy is supported by organizational myths. These are myths that unproven and unstated beliefs that are accepted. These myths help executives to redefine impossible problems into manageable ones. An example of a myth might be Verizon’s claim to its coverage. In a commercial that shows AT&T and Verizon side by side on a digital map, Verizon shows it has more coverage in more areas and AT&T does not have coverage is most areas. But, under further investigation, Verizon does not show this only applies to 3G coverage, ignoring AT&T's existing 2.5G network, which is sufficient for email and other tasks portrayed in the commercials. The bottom line is, the ads are accurate in terms of 3G, but neglect to tell the whole story. Is that misleading? Is it myth? Observable Organized cultures may be managed directly by executives, by nurturing shared values of employees which is a major challenge for executives. Good managers can...
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