Organizational Theory and Practice

Topics: Organizational culture, Culture, Organizational studies Pages: 10 (3043 words) Published: July 28, 2008
Organizational Theory & Practice

Previously people were less interested in an organizational culture. Cultural perspectives were not really important. When it comes to cultural change, leaders used to take an action at the end, at the time where company was facing bankruptcy, and they were not succeeded. Unlike now, culture is significantly important aspect in an organization. It shapes how people think and behave. Once an employee gets hired, firstly he or she tries to identify existing culture. This is important for a new employee because he or she will be able to adopt themselves to the new environment. On top of that, the practice of cultural change has become different. Leaders now, start changing an organizational culture to avoid bankruptcy occurs.

Question 1
What do you understand by ‘corporate culture’?
There are many definitions that I can draw on to illuminate and deepen my understanding of the concept of corporate culture. Organizational culture or corporate culture can be defined as a personality of the organization. It consists of the attitudes, experiences, beliefs and values of an organization. (Carter McNamara, 2002) Generally it is concerned with beliefs and values of how people interpret experiences and behave, individually and in groups. Organizational Culture is, “A system of shared meaning held by members that distinguishes the organization from other organization”. (Stephen P. Robbins, 2004) Another definition of organizational culture can be defined as atmosphere or environment that exists in large corporations which is reflected in people's dress, conduct, and ways of communicating. (

Gareth Morgan, professor at York University Toronto, takes a much better broader view of organizational culture when he writes: “When we talk about corporate culture, we are typically referring to the pattern of development reflected in a society’s system of knowledge, ideology, values, laws, and day-to-day”. (Culture, 2002) The term “corporate culture” can also be described as a system which includes 2 basic elements. They are inputs and outputs. Inputs are the feedback from, e.g., society, professions, laws, stories, heroes, values on competition or service, etc. The process is based on our assumptions, values and norms, e.g., our values on money, time, facilities, space and people. While outputs of a culture consist of organizational behaviors, technologies, strategies, image, products, services, appearance, etc. (Carter McNamara, 2002) The most widely definition of organizational culture is offered by Edgar Schein (1992), a professor at MIT who is considered one of the “founders” of organizational psychology, in his excellent book Organizational Culture and Leadership. He proposes that culture can be formally defined as: “a pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned 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 of those problems”. Organizational culture consists of three important characteristics. First, organizational culture is transferred to new employees through socialization process. Second, as a result, the behavior of an employee gets influenced at work. The last characteristic is, organizational culture functions at different level. The theory of culture helps leaders to manage organization-wide change. Those who have practiced the theory realized that, changing the corporate culture is important besides changing structures and processes of organization. As defined above, depending where you look and who you listen to, organizational culture can be defined as any of the following.

The way we do things around here.
A set of norms that create powerful precedents for acceptable behavior within the...

References: • Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision, Carter McNamara, 2002, Authenticity Consulting- LLC
• Organizational behavior, Stephen P. Robbins, 2004, Prentice Hall
• Culture, John Middleton, 2002, Capstone Publishing
• Management and Organizational Behavior, Laurie J. Mullins, 2002, Prentice Hall
• Building corporate culture in the connected workplace, Peg C. Neuhauser, Ray Bender, Kirk L. Stromberg, 2000, J. Willey
• Organizational culture and leadership, Edgar H. Schein, 1992, Jossey-Bass
• The corporate culture survival guide: sense and nonsense about culture change, Edgar H. Schein, 1999, Jossey-Bass
• Corporate cultures: rites and rituals of corporate life, Terrence E. Deal, Allan. A. Kennedy, 2000, Perseus Publishing
• Managing Change: across corporate culture, Fons Trompenaars, Peter Prud’homme, 2002, Capstone Publishing
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