ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE

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ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE

Culture consists of beliefs and behavior. It is cultivated behavior in the sense that it is learnt from the other members of the society. According to Henry Mintzberg, an internationally renowned author on Business and Management, “culture is the soul of the organization – the beliefs and values, and how they are manifested. I think of the structure as the skeleton, and as the flesh and blood. And culture is the soul that holds the thing together and gives it life force.” These lines portray how critical is a culture in an organization.

Some theorists looked upon organizations as having many of the features of cultures (Brown, 1995). Martins and Martins (2003) defined organizational culture as “a system of shared meaning held by members, distinguishing the organization from other organizations”. Arnold (2005) indicated “that organizational culture is the distinctive norms, beliefs, principles and ways of behaving that combine to give each organization its distinct character”. These two definitions suggest that organizational culture distinguishes one organization from another. According to Brown (1998), organizational culture is “the pattern of beliefs, values and learned ways of coping with experience that have developed during the course of an organization’s history, and which tend to be manifested in its material arrangements and in the behaviors of its members”. Due to this, organizational culture is articulated in the organization in order to shape the way in which its members should behave. In the same way, Harrison (1993) defined organizational culture as the “distinctive constellation of beliefs, values, work styles, and relationships that distinguish one organization from another”. In other words, organizational culture includes those qualities of the organization that give it a particular climate or feel.

The distinct qualities of an organization may manifest through four dimensions of culture. Charles Handy, in his

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