(ORGANIZATIONAL) CULTURE Definitions ’Culture is a shared set of values and beliefs that determine patterns of behaviour common to groups of people.’ ’…each organization evolves a unique profile reflecting the values and beliefs of the collective membership. Corporate culture refers to patterns of behaviour based on shared values and beliefs within a particular firm.’ /David H. Holt, Management, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J. 1990 /
ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE Definitions ’The set of values of an organization that helps its members understand what the organization stands for, how it does things and what it considers important.’ (Ricky W. Griffin, Management, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1990)
A Practical Definition of Organisational Culture ’An organisation’s culture reflects assumptions about clients, employees, mission, products, activities and assumptions that have worked well in the past and which get translated into norms of behaviour, expectations about what is legitimate, desirable ways of thinking and acting. /These/ …are the locus of its capacity for evolution and change.’ (André Laurent in: Human Resource Management in International Firms, P.Evans (ed.) London, Macmillan, 1990)
A Useful Description of Culture ‘A pattern of basic assumptions invented, discovered or developed by a given group as it learns to cope with its problems of external adaptation and internal integration that has worked well enough to be considered valid, and to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to these problems.’ (Ed Schein ‘Organizational culture: What it is and how to change it’ in: Human Resource Management in International Firms, P.Evans (ed.) London, Macmillan, 1990)
Another practical and useful definition of culture ‘Culture comes from within people and is put together by them to reward the capacities that they have in common. Culture gives continuity and identity to the group. It balances contrasting contributions, and operates as a self-steering system which learns from feedback. It works as a pattern of information and can greatly facilitate the exchange of understanding. The values within a culture are more or less harmonious.’ (Charles Hampden-Turner, Corporate Culture, J. Piatkus, 1994, p.21)
Characteristics of Corporate Culture Each organization has behavioral norms for getting things done. Strong culture is a powerful force in the organization, one that can shape the firm’s overall effectiveness and long-term success. As an organization grows, its culture is modified, shaped and refined by symbols, stories, heroes, slogans and ceremonies.
Charles Handy’s (following R. Harrison) culture types
Patron Gods of culture types could be: Power/club culture – Zeus all-powerful head of the gods Role culture – Apollo the god of reason Task culture – Athena the warrior goddess Person culture – Dionysus the god of the individual
Major power sources/bases in culture types Power/club culture – personal, and resource power Role culture – position power Task culture – expert power
Organisations can change their culture Most start as power cultures, e.g. when they are small, as they grow, they may shift to a role culture, when confronted with the need for greater flexibility, can shift to task culture
Different departments - different cultures Within the organization different parts, e.g. departments can have different cultures and all of them can be combined.
Cultural diversity within oganizations: four main activity types (Handy, C.)
Organizational Culture Profiles - Deal and Kennedy
Deal and Kennedy, Corporate Cultures Driving c. – Tough-guy, macho culture Outgoing c. – Work hard/play hard culture Specialist c. – Bet-your-company culture Control c. – Process culture