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Organization Culture. Defining culture Does it matter? Describing culture Acquiring culture Changing culture. Defining Culture. What is it? “...the shared patterns of thought, belief, feelings, and values that result from shared experience and common learning” “system of shared meaning”

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Organization culture l.jpg
Organization Culture

  • Defining culture

  • Does it matter?

  • Describing culture

  • Acquiring culture

  • Changing culture


Defining culture l.jpg
Defining Culture

  • What is it?

    • “...the shared patterns of thought, belief, feelings, and values that result from shared experience and common learning”

    • “system of shared meaning”

    • “The social glue that holds the organization together”

  • Characteristics:

    • Holistic

    • Historically determined

    • Socially constructed (perceptions)

    • Soft

    • Difficult to change


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Climate vs. Culture

  • Climate = actual events

  • Culture = individuals’ perception of events


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Does It Matter?

  • Enhances group members’ ability to adapt and survive

  • Reduces uncertainty about what to do and how to do it (and thus, reduces anxiety)

  • Provides sense of mission

  • Strong or widely-held culture may lead to high performance (jury’s out on this one)


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Single or Multiple Cultures ?

  • Multiple cultures may be a sign of conflict

    • Mergers

    • Top-down attempts to “manage” culture

  • Subcultures (core culture + adaptations)

  • Countercultures


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What is Included?

  • Common language and conceptual categories

  • Group boundaries and criteria for inclusion and exclusion

  • Power and status

  • Intimacy, friendship, and love

  • Rewards and punishments: what is rewarded and punished, as well as what rewards and punishments are

  • Ideology and “religion”: that is, how to manage the unmanageable and explain the unexplainable


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Events:

Rites

Ceremonials

Rituals

Communications

Myths

Sagas

Legends

Stories

Folktales

Things

Symbols

Language

Gestures

Physical setting

Artifacts

Really minor distinctions among these

Recognizing Culture


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Rituals

Heroes

Values

Layers of Culture

Symbols

Practices


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Cultural Dimensions (Hofstede)

  • Process vs. results

  • Employee vs. job

  • Parochial vs. professional

  • Open vs. closed

  • Loose vs. tight

  • Normative vs. pragmatic


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Cultural Dimensions (another perspective)

  • Innovation and risk-taking

  • Attention to detail

  • Outcome orientation

  • People orientation

  • Team orientation

  • Aggressiveness

  • Stability


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Yet Another Perspective….

I. Managing change

II. Achieving goals (how effective)

III. Coordinated teamwork

IV. Customer orientation

V. Cultural strength



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Sources of Culture

  • Founders

  • Historical events

  • Industry

  • National culture


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Acquiring Culture

  • Selection process

  • Socialization of new members

  • Rites and ceremonies

    • Rite of passage

    • Rite of renewal

    • Rite of integration


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Changing Culture

  • Can it be changed?

    • In a new organization: The founder effect

    • Maybe yes?

    • Maybe no?

  • Should it be changed?

    • Strong culture can be a barrier to innovation, growth and change


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