Organizational Culture

Topics: Organizational culture, Organizational studies, Organization Pages: 4 (1194 words) Published: September 9, 2006
Organizational culture influences many aspects of workplace life. A workplace with strong beliefs, values, behaviors, ideas and expectations define an organization. Well-communicated beliefs, values, ideas and expectations influence employee's behavior and determine how employees communicate with others throughout the organization, thus defining the organization's culture. Over the years, the topic of organizational culture has been studied in many disciplines from anthropology to sociology. A prominent theorist of organizational culture, Edgar Schein (2004), provided the following general definition of organizational culture: A pattern of shared basic assumptions that was learned by a group as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems. (p. 17) Understanding an organization's culture can help understand why change does not take place or why a project is not successful. Understanding the culture can also help determine where to make changes (Schachter, 2005). Making changes to an organization's culture can determine the survival of the organization; therefore, modifying a culture can be sensitive and should be approached with caution.

Typically organizations approach a cultural change through a planned method of intentional, goal-orientated changes. The deliberate attempt by employees or managers to improve the function of teams, departments or the entire organization is known as planned organizational change. Economic and organizational development is two approaches an organization can take to make modification to their culture (Hellriegel, 2004). The economical approach focuses the change on structure and strategy within the organization with the attempt to increase profits. Last year, our Board of Directors made a significant change to our organizational chart...

References: Babcock, Pamela. (2005, September). A Calling for Change. HR Magazine. Retrieved May 31, 2006 from
Hellriegel, Don & John W. Slocum, Jr. (2004). Cultivating Organizational Culture. In Jack W. Calhoun (Ed.), Organizational Behavior (pp. 376 – 400). Cover to Cover Publishing, Inc.
Hellriegel, Don & John W. Slocum, Jr. (2004). Guiding Organizational Change. In Jack W. Calhoun (Ed.), Organizational Behavior (pp. 404 – 428). Cover to Cover Publishing, Inc
Schachter, Debbie. (2005, June). The Importance of understanding organizational culture. Information Outlook. Retrieved May 31, 2006 from
Schein, Edgar. (2004). Organizational Culture and Leadership. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Swist, Jennifer. (1996, November). Consulting Windowpains: Addressing the Challenges of Executive Change. Retrieved from
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