Organizational Culture Compared

Topics: Organizational culture, Culture, Organizational studies Pages: 5 (1464 words) Published: September 15, 2010

Organizational Culture Compared


Organizational culture is an idea in the field of Organizational studies and management which describes the psychology, attitudes, experiences, beliefs and values (personal and cultural values) of an organization. It has been defined as "the specific collection of values and norms that are shared by people and groups in an organization and that control the way they interact with each other and with stakeholders outside the organization." (Hill and Jones, 2001) This definition continues to explain organizational values, also known as "beliefs and ideas about what kinds of goals members of an organization should pursue and ideas about the appropriate kinds or standards of behavior organizational members should use to achieve these goals. From organizational values develop organizational norms, guidelines, or expectations that prescribe appropriate kinds of behavior by employees in particular situations and control the behavior of organizational members towards one another."(Hill and Jones, 2001) Organizational culture is not the same as corporate culture. It is wider and deeper concepts, something that an organization 'is' rather than what it 'has'. Corporate culture is the total sum of the values, customs, traditions, and meanings that make a company unique. Corporate culture is often called "the character of an organization", since it embodies the vision of the company’s founders. The values of a corporate culture influence the ethical standards within a corporation, as well as managerial behavior. (Montana and Charnov, 2008) To understand organizational culture, it is imperative to first understand culture. Culture can be defined as “the beliefs, customs, practices, and social behavior of a particular nation or people; a particular set of attitudes that characterizes a group of people; or a group of people whose shared beliefs and practices identify the particular place, class or time to which they belong” (Encarta).             Secondly, one must value the meaning of culture in the work place in order to comprehend its advantages. “The ability to interact effectively with members of other cultures often translates into financial gain, increased employment, and better advancement prospects” (Devito 26). The next step in understanding organizational culture is to know the exact definition. Edgar Schein defines it as:             A pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, which has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way you perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems (Nellen).             Schein describes the culture of an organization as consisting of three levels. “At the fundamental level are the core beliefs and assumptions that members of a culture see as truth” (Cheney, 78). Under this level are the ideas that the system is run by the “invisible hand,” that it is necessary for the system to grow, and that workers must be supervised.             The second level consists of values and behavioral norms. In this section the organization beings to recognize its involvement in the culture; it becomes aware of its culture.           Artifacts are the third level of organizational culture. Artifacts are the portion of the organization that involves the five senses. They are visible and tangible. An example of a culture’s artifact is its building or the dress code.

Deal and Kennedy defined organizational culture as the way things get done around here. They measured organizations in respect of: * Feedback - quick feedback means an instant response. This could be in monetary terms, but could also be seen in other ways, such as the impact of a great save in a soccer match. * Risk - represents the degree of uncertainty in the organization’s activities. Using these...

Bibliography: Charles W. L. Hill, and Gareth R. Jones, (2001) Strategic Management. Houghton Mifflin.
Montana, P., and Charnov, B. (2008) Management (4th ed.), Barrons Educational Series, Hauppauge:NY
Cheney, George,
Encarta World English Dictionary (2005)
Deal T. E. and Kennedy, A. A. (1982) Corporate Cultures: The Rites and Rituals of Corporate Life, Harmondsworth, Penguin Books.
Handy, C.B. (1985) Understanding Organizations, 3rd Edn, Harmondsworth, Penguin Books.
Parker, M. (2000) Organizational Culture and Identity, London: Sage.
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