Organization Culture and Environment: The Constraints
The components of an organization’s culture are as complex as the different aspects of an individual’s personality. Today’s managers must understand how the forces of an organization’s internal and external environment influence, and sometimes constrain, its productivity. Managers must realize that organizational culture and organizational environment have important implications for the way an organization is managed. Two perspectives concerning the role that managers play in an organization’s success or failure have been proposed.
The omnipotent view of management maintains that managers are directly responsible for the success or failure of an organization. This view of managers as being omnipotent is consistent with the stereotypical picture of the “take-charge” executive who can overcome any obstacle in carrying out the organization’s objectives. When organizations perform poorly, someone must be held accountable and according to the omnipotent view, that “someone” is management.
The symbolic view of management upholds the view that much of an organization’s success or failure is due to external forces outside managers’ control. The influence that managers do have is seen mainly as a symbolic outcome. Organizational results are influenced by factors outside of the control of managers, including the economy, market changes, governmental policies, competitors’ actions, the state of the particular industry, the control of proprietary technology, and decisions made by previous managers in the organization. The manager’s role is to create meaning out of randomness, confusion, and ambiguity. According to the symbolic view, the actual part that management plays in the success or failure of an organization is minimal. Reality suggests a synthesis; managers are neither helpless nor all powerful. Instead, the more logical approach is to see the manager as operating within constraints imposed by the...
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