Organizational Culture and Leadership

Topics: Culture, Sociology, Organizational studies Pages: 7 (1579 words) Published: September 13, 2014
Dallas Hasty
Dr. Dutch
July 28, 2014
Organizational Culture and Leadership

Behind every successful leader is a vibrant culture that engages and energizes employees. In almost every case, that culture has been defined, shaped and personified by the leader. Shaping a culture is a formidable task, since many of the valuable qualities a leader might have are never taught in a classroom. Culture is defined as "the set of key values, assumptions, understandings, and norms that is shared by members of an organization and taught to new members as correct." In a culture-driven company emotional maturity, authenticity, and a strong character are all necessary for a leader to be effective. All of these things can be learned through lessons and life experience. There are three levels that culture consist of; artifacts, expressed values, and underlying assumptions. Leaders must understand these levels if they are to institutionalize the values that led to the success that the company is involved in. Cultures serve two important functions in an organization. It integrates members so that they know how to relate to one another and it helps the organization adapt to the external environment. Not only do leadership and culture coexist inside an organization, but it also exist through connections and new marketplaces as more and more organizations expand their sales around the globe; not only to the other side of the United States, but also to the other side of the world through global teams. Leaders need to be conscience of culture if the are to lead. Otherwise they will only manage a group of people rather than lead them. Organizational culture and leadership are very important to each other. Leaders need a strong culture to produce a well knit team; culture allows a team to develop internal integration, external adaptation, and cultural leadership.

Organizational culture is the behavior of humans within an organization and the meaning that people attach to those behaviors. Organizational culture is defined by all of the life experiences, strengths, weaknesses, education, upbringing, and so forth of the employees. While executive leaders play a large role in defining organizational culture by their actions and leadership, all employees contribute to the organizational culture. Organizational culture throughout the past several years has began to become a field of its own. According to Edgar Schien, author of Organizational Culture and Leadership, organizational culture has "drawn from themes such as anthropology, sociology, social physiology, and cognitive physiology". This culture is a pattern of thoughts and actions that helped an organization solve problem and therefore the organization believes that is it correct enough to teach the new members these patterns of thoughts and actions. There are three values of organizational culture; artifacts, expressed values, and underlying assumptions. Artifacts include anything that can be readily observed, such as technology, office layout, or slogans. Expressed values are deeper and are not easily seen. This may be observable patterns. Lastly, Underlying assumptions are even deeper then expressed values. They are "values and shared understands that are held by an organization" (Daft). These examples of culture on all three levels are important because they help integrate members so they can relate to one another and they help the organization adapt to the environment outside of their own walls.

Internal integration is a very important quality that a business or organization should posses to be successful. Internal integration assist members, old and new, to develop an identity that is collective and know how to work together effectively. In today's' world many "organizations are putting emphasis on developing strong culture that encourages teamwork, collaboration, and mutual trust" (Daft). A major problem that all groups can run into that will cause them to fail is internal...
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