Understanding organizational culture offers employees insight for possibilities in an organization whether they are short term or long term members.
The phrase, organizational culture gained prominence in the 1980s when Japan’s manufacturing successes became legendary. Those successes gave credence to organizational behavior and U.S. companies paid attention. Culture in the workplace captured the imagination and competition forced corporations to include the concept into their operations.
Using the idea of culture, management authors, Edgar H. Schein, Gareth Morgan, and Charles Handy proffered that organizational culture is the way in which a group of employees behave. The authors’ definitions were similar. They each emphasized that the term reflected a group’s unique way of getting things done.
Schein, author of Organizational culture and leadership defined organizational culture as the natural artifacts, espoused values and basic assumptions by which organizations function. He indicated that new recruits become members when they are indoctrinated with the organization’s ideas of how to behave.
Gareth Morgan, the author of Images of organizations suggested that organizational culture is the beliefs, values, and norms, together with symbols, events and personalities unique to a group’s behaviors. Morgan described norms as traditions, structure of authority, or routines. He stated that the organization instills their beliefs into the group before the group can truly be successful.
Charles Handy’s explanation went further than the other authors. His text, Gods ofManagement offered four typologies of culture for recognizing organizational practices.
Handy defined the four cultural typologies as, Power, Role, Task, and Person. He postulated that the typologies reflect the organization’s needs and constraints for its operations.
The Power culture typology depicts that