Strategic Management

Topics: Organizational culture, Edgar Schein, Organizational studies Pages: 9 (3230 words) Published: December 25, 2012
It is a necessity for a company when launches to have its own culture which defines its characteristics. Looking at a company, corporate culture is the first element that empresses outsiders. A corporate culture does not only represent a company’s own features but also differentiate them and their strategies with others in the market. As a result, every company spends lots of time on study its culture to reach to an appropriate business strategy and eventually, to achieve succeed. Culture as well supports the company to have a clear understanding about the chances and limitations that it might face, from which they could take advantage or overcome.

In this essay, the matter of what an organizational culture is will be discussed. And how this corporate culture plays such an important role to the business strategy is as well enlightened. In addition, the cultures of the Microsoft and Apple Company are analysed and compared so as to support these arguments above. The reason for choosing these two companies is because they are holding the persistent position in the IT market of the world. Both companies have wide ranges of consumers all over the world which requires of them enormous employees from different countries from various cultures. Thank to wise managements and the abilities of combining many cultures working together within an environment, Microsoft and Apple Company have been leading their companies to a firm succeed and it is promised to develop more and more.

Organizational Culture and related issues:

Definitions of organizational culture:
There are many ways in which an organizational (corporate) culture can be defined. Edgar H. Schein, who has published many books that examined about corporate culture, defines organizational culture: A pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its 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 the correct way you perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems (Schein 2010a, p.17). According to this statement, an organizational culture is the elementary concept which is spread and understood by all the employees in the organization, from the management to the front-line staffs. This concept might be termed as guidelines, instructions which have showed themselves to be useful for the organization to overcome the struggles caused by inside and outside influences. And due to the advantages brought to the organization, it is kept through generations of the company, used like an apparent solutions in all circumstances as well as valued as a great asset. Another definition mentioned by Marty Parker states that the corporate culture is “the only sustainable competitive advantage an organization has; it is the only pure thing that differentiates your company, thereby driving your performance” (Parker 2012, p.21). There is no doubt that each company’s culture is its own speciality that cannot be fraudulent by any others. It is because each company has different management with distinct strategies that open the company’s particular path to accomplishment. Even if another organization attempts to mimic it, there are laws to protect it against being copied, because corporate culture is considered as one of the organization’s patent assets. There are three levels of culture which are explained by Schein: artifacts, espoused values and underlying assumptions (Schein 2009a, p.21). This means it is a possibility to determine a company’s culture by looking at first at its noticeable structures and processes. This is obvious, so it could not be counterfeit. The next level is the invisible values that are formed by the management. It could be the company’s unique strategies to access to customers, or specific goals that are set to be achieved. The last level, also the most important one is the underlying consumptions. Because...
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