Organisation and Culture

Topics: Organizational culture, Organizational studies, Organization Pages: 8 (2623 words) Published: January 26, 2013
Understanding Organisation.
Explain how an organisation culture develops overtime and how managers then try to understand, control and after cultures. To what extent might an organisation be considered to have a fragmented and divided set of culture? You should make reference to theory and practise in your answers.

What is the meaning and definition of organisation culture?
In an anthropological term, culture refers to underlying values, belief and codes of practice that makes a community for what it is. Basically, organizational culture is the personality of the organization. Culture is comprised of the assumptions, values, norms and tangible signs (artifacts) of organization members and their behaviours. Members of an organization soon come to sense the particular culture of an organization. Culture is one of those terms that are difficult to express distinctly, but everyone knows it when they sense it. For example, the culture of a large, for-profit corporation is quite different than that of a hospital which is quite different than that of a university. You can tell the culture of an organization by looking at the arrangement of furniture, what they brag about, what members wear, etc. similar to what you can use to get a feeling about someone's personality. Organisations are diverse as a chruch, a hospital and IBM have characteristics in common. Accoding to Richard L. Daft authur of the book “Organisation theory and design”(seventh edition; P.12) definition of an organisations,“are social entities that are goal directed, are are designed as deliberately structured and coordinated activity systems, and are linked to the external environment”. To examine cultural development first we need to know what you mean by the term “culture”. There are dozens of different definitions and measures of culture in the literature. Jim Harris, Ph.D. and Joan Brannick, Ph.D., co-authors of the book Finding and Keeping Great Employees (AMACOM, 1999), describe one way of defining culture. According to Harris and Brannick, a company’s culture is defined by its core purpose or core value and companies that successfully attract, hire, and retain top talent, align their recruitment and retention practices with their core culture. They go on to describe four distinct culture categories – Customer Service, Innovation, Operational Excellence, and Spirit. Organizational culture grows over time. People are comfortable with the current organizational culture. For people to consider culture change, usually a significant event must occur. An event that rocks their world such as flirting with bankruptcy, a significant loss of sales and customers, or losing a million dollars, might get people's attention. Reference to research of Geert Hofstede has shown that cultural differences between nations are especially found on the deepest level; i.e. on the level of values. In comparison, cultural differences among organisations are especially identified on the level of practices. Practices are more tangible than values. Organisational Culture can be defined as "the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one organisation from others" Hofstede’s research shows that organisational cultures differ mainly at the level of practices. These are more superficial and more easily learned and unlearned than values forming the core of national cultures. As a consequence, the Hofstede dimensions of national cultures cannot be used by comparing cultures of organisations within the same country. The two models describe different layers of our reality. National culture is one of the many factors shaping organisational culture next to such factors as personality of founder, feelings of insecurity, expectations of stakeholders and type of technology in use. Thus, organisations in the same country are normally shaped by the same national culture, unless regional cultural differences are...
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