yaChapter 1: Why Bother?
Why is it important to understand culture?
* First, culture and leadership are two sides of the same coin and one cannot understand one without the other. * We have to understand that organizations are cultural units that have within them powerful subcultures based on occupations and common histories. * We have to recognize that organizations exist within broader cultural units that matter in today’s global world because mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and special projects are often multicultural entities who must have the ability to work across cultures. * We have to understand that the culture issues are different in young, mid –life and older organizations. Leadership and Culture Are Intertwined
* The interplay of culture creation, reenactment, and reinforcement creates interdependency between culture and leadership. * When new leaders take over existing organizations, they find that the existing culture defines what kind of leadership style is expected and accepted, based on past history and the beliefs, values, and assumptions of earlier leaders. If the new leader has been promoted from within, he or she will have some sense of the cultural issues that need to be dealt with. However, if the new leader comes from outside the organization, he or she will have to choose among several options. * Destroy the existing culture by getting rid of the key culture carriers, usually the top two or three echelons of executives, and attempt to implement his or her own beliefs, values, and assumptions by arbitrarily imposing new behavioral rules on the remaining employees. * Fight the existing culture by attempting to impose his or her own beliefs, values, and assumptions on the existing members of the organization. * Give in to the existing culture by abandoning his or her own beliefs, values, and assumptions on the existing members of the organization. * Evolve the culture by initially adapting...
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