Societal Culture vs. Organizational Culture

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In previous readings of Organizational Behavior (2011), the authors, Stephen P. Robbins and Timothy A. Judge discussed, at length, the many elements of societal culture. Of those elements, the roles of personality, values, and their effect on the group dynamic, dominated the discussion. The following, however, will discuss how societal culture relates to structure of organizations, particularly as it pertains to work design. The relationship between societal culture and organizational culture will also be examined. Lastly, the issue of values will, once again, be addressed as a proponent for organizational change. Robbins and Judge define Organizational Structure as “how job tasks are formally divided, grouped, and coordinated” (Robbins & Judge, p. 488.) There are six basic elements that support the proper design for organizational structure: work specialization, departmentalization, chain of command, span of control, centralization and decentralization, and formalization. Work specialization refers to the degree to which one activity is divided in to multiple jobs. Departmentalization is the strategic gathering of different jobs into groups. The line of authority to which lower level employees must report is the chain of command. The number of individuals efficiently, and effectively lead under a manager determines the span of control. Centralization and decentralization determine where the authority to make decisions lie. Lastly, formalization refers to the degree to which employees, and managers, and directed by rules and regulations. Cultural aspects such as nationality, and regionalism, greatly determine how organizations are structured. The idea of small business is very popular in the individualist driven U.S. because of the simplicity of its structure. The simple organization structure “has a low degree of departmentalization, wide spans of control, authority centralized in a single person, and little formalization” (Robbins & Judge, p. 495.) The idea...
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