A Definition of Organizational Culture
Organizational culture refers to a system of shared meaning held by members that distinguishes the organization from other organizations. Seven primary characteristics seem to capture the essence of an organization’s culture
Innovation and risk taking
The degree to which employees are encouraged to be innovative and take risks. 2.
Attention to detail
The degree to which employees are expected to exhibit precision, analysis and attention to detail. 3.
The degree to which management focuses on results or outcomes rather than on the techniques and processes used to achieve them. 4.
The degree to which management decisions take into consideration the effect of outcomes on people within the organization. 5.
The degree to which work activities are organized around teams rather than individuals. 6.
The degree to which people are aggressive and competitive rather than easygoing. 7.
The degree to which organizational activities emphasize maintaining the status quo in contrast to growth.
Creating and Sustaining Culture
An organization’s current customs, traditions, and general way of doing things are largely due to what it has done before and how successful it was in doing it. This leads us to the ultimate source of an organization’s culture: its founders. Free of previous customs or ideologies, founders have a vision of what the organization should be, and the firm’s small size makes it easy to impose that vision on all members. Culture creation occurs in three ways. First, founders hire and keep only employees who think and feel the same way they do. Second, they indoctrinate and socialize these employees to their way of thinking and feeling. And finally, the founders’ own behavior encourages employees to identify with them and internalize their beliefs, values, and assumptions. When the organization succeeds, the founders’...
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