organisational culture

Topics: Sociology, Organizational studies, Organizational culture Pages: 14 (3164 words) Published: October 31, 2013

Students what do you all think Organizational Culture is ? Can you all define it in your own way….
In the 1980's, we saw an increase in the attention paid to organizational culture as an important determinant of organizational success. Many experts began to argue that developing a strong organizational culture is essential for success. While the link between organizational culture and organizational effectiveness is far from certain, there is no denying that each organization has a unique social structure and that these social structures drive much of the individual behavior observed in organizations. We will leave the question of the relationship between culture and effectiveness for another discussion.

What is organizational culture?
A single definition of organizational culture has proven to be very elusive. No one definition of organizational culture has emerged in the literature. One of the issues involving culture is that it is defined both in terms of its causes and effect. For example, these are the two ways in which cultures often defined.

1. Outcomes- Defining culture as a manifest pattern of behavior- Many people use the term culture to describe patterns of cross individual behavioral consistency For example, when people say that culture is “The way we do things around here,” they are defining consistent way is in which people perform tasks, solve problems, resolve conflicts, treat customers, and treat employees. 2. Process- Defining culture as a set of mechanisms creating cross individual behavioral consistency- In this case culture is defined as the informal values, norms, and beliefs that control how individuals and groups in an organization interact with each other and with people outside the organization. Both of these approaches are relevant to understanding culture. It is important to know on what types of behavior culture has greatest impact (outcomes) and how culture works to control the behavior of organizational members. We will address these two questions later in the module.

Functions of organizational culture
1. Behavioral control
2. Encourages stability
3. Provides source of identity
Draw backs of culture
1. Barrier to change and improvement

2. Barrier to diversity
3. Barrier to cross departmental and cross organizational cooperation 4. Barrier to mergers and acquisitions
What Types of Behavior Does Culture Control?
Using the outcome approach, cultures are described in terms of the following variables: • Innovation versus Stability- The degree to which organizational members are encouraged to be innovative, creative and to take risks.

• Strategic versus Operational Focus- The degree to which the members of the management team focus on the long term big picture versus attention to detail. • Outcome versus Process Orientation- The degree to which management focuses on outcomes, goals and results rather than on techniques, processes, or methods used to achieve these results.

• Task Versus Social Focus- The relative emphasis on effect of decisions on organizational members and relationships over task accomplishment at all costs • Team versus Individual orientation- The degree to which work activities are organized around teams rather than individuals

• Customer Focus versus Cost Control- The degree to which managers and employees are concerned about customer satisfaction and Service rather than minimizing costs
• Internal verses External Orientation- The degree to which the organization focuses on and is adaptive to changes in its environment
Cultural Control Mechanisms
How does organizational culture control the behavior of organizational members? If consistent behavioral patterns are the outcomes or products of a culture, what is it that causes many people to act in a similar manner? There are four basic ways in which a culture, or more accurately members of a reference group representing a culture, creates high levels of cross individual...
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