Culture Transplant-Nummi Case

Topics: Lean manufacturing, Toyota Production System, Culture Pages: 8 (2992 words) Published: June 21, 2008
A Great Experiment Of Culture Transplant
Cross-culture management, Prof. Alfred Kieser XiaoJun Ma Culture is a set of basic assumptions, which shared solutions to universal problems of external adaptations and internal integration—which have evolved over time and are handed from one generation to the next. This is a general definition of culture. Actually there are many definitions exist, some concentrated on values, others on shared patterns of behaviors and meaning. And what we are going to talk about is the problems of transplanting practices, from one culture into another. There are different types of corporate culture just like there are different types of personality. According to the theory of a business master, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, different types of cultures can be generalized to these four types: academic culture, in which the employees tend to stay in that stable environment, and exercise and develop their skills, and they work mainly for reputations and ranks. Baseball team culture, where the employees are highly skilled, and can get a job some where else easily. This type of industries is usually very fast paced, with high risk, high revenues, like investment banking, stock, futures dealer. Club culture, the most important issue for the employees in this culture is to fit in this culture. Like in most Japanese companies, employees stay in the companies from low position, and later promoted to higher position, usually they work in the companies for their whole career. Fortress culture, in which the companies often undergo massive reorganization, thus the employees will have the opportunities to be promoted or laid off. Corporate culture can be further divided into various types, these four are basic forms. Basically, we can say that organizational culture is the character of an organization. And culture is comprised of the assumptions, values, norms and tangible signs (artifacts), which is the decisive element of the organization members and their behaviors. Members of an organization will come to sense the particular culture of an organization in a short period of time. Culture is one of those terms that are difficult to express distinctly, but everyone knows it when they sense it. For example, the culture of a large, for profit corporation is quite different than that of a hospital, and also is quite different than that of a university or other not for profit organizations like charity organizations. Also culture is quite different between firms from different countries or different culture backgrounds. You can tell the culture of an organization by looking at the arrangement of decoration, what they talk about, what the members are wearing, and so on. It is actually quite similar to the felling which you can usually get from someone's personality. The corporate culture can be seen as a system, it decides how the corporations are going to work. Inputs, for example strategy decisions, together with output, like the value or impact the company created to the society, Outputs or effects of our culture to the corporations are, organizational behaviors, which can be easily addressed because it is easy to see the difference in corporations with different culture backgrounds. And strategies, corporate images and appearances, all of which represent the value recognition. Products, services, are also related to the value of the culture too. When attempting to manage organization, or trying to make a wide change, this is where the concept of culture comes into play. It is not hard for practicants to realize that, no matter in what kind of environment, it is important to change not only the organizational structure and processes, but also changing the corporate culture as well. There's been a great deal of literature generated over the past years about the concept of organizational culture, especially in regarding to learn how to...

References: Cross Culture Management binder content, NUMMI case by Florida and Kenny.
Internet article: Culture, Prof. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld
NUMMI case study, HR management course by Prof. Martin Conyon, ESSEC
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