Organizations as Cultures

Topics: Organizational learning, Chris Argyris, Management Pages: 3 (1084 words) Published: October 6, 2009
If one looks at the organization as a human body with a respiratory system, a skeleton, and a brain, the culture of the organization is its face. The organizational culture determines how individuals, both in and outside of the organization, perceive the way business is conducted. The National Defense University Website, in a section called Organizational Culture, highlights several cultural forms including language, use of symbols, ceremonies, customs, methods of problem solving, use of tools or technology, and design of work settings that create the way the organization is perceived (NDU 2009). An example of this idea is a restaurant. Most restaurants divide the business in the “front of the house” and the “back of the house.” People in the front of the house are often hired for personality and appearance and the restaurant will develop codes and enforce the appearance and personality of those workers. This is because the organization is attempting to create a culture of pleasantness. People in the back may not have the same codes of dress and personality of those that work in the front for that reason there culture would be different. John Rough has been hired as the human resource director for Laid Back Enterprises. He is characterized by his former co-workers as a possible obsessive compulsive and a person that adheres strongly to policy. He goes into his new job with the mindset that he will take his first couple of months to observe how the company works; what is going right and things he might be able to improve. On his first day however, he realizes that the human resources department is in need of immediate repair. Paper files are stacked in piles. The people under him often take half days while work piles up around them. Middle management seems unable to have an effect on the people under them or is guilty of the same things that Rough finds to be the problem. What John Rough is experiencing is a change in culture...
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