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Economics and Organisations Week 9

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1 Economics and Organisations Week 9
Organisational Culture – and the Effects of National Culture

2 What is Organisational Culture?
Basic Definition – Gareth Jones “A set of shared values and norms that controls organisation members’ interaction with each other, and with suppliers, customers and others outside the organisation”

3 Alternative Definitions
“Culture is a system of publicly and collectively accepted meanings operating for a given group at a given time. This system of terms, forms, categories and images interprets a people’s own situation to themselves” – Pettigrew, 1979 “…organisational culture can be thought of as the glue that holds an organisation together through a sharing of patterns of meaning. The culture focuses on the values, beliefs, and expectations that members come to share” - Siehl and Martin, 1984 “The pattern of basic assumptions that a given group has invented, discovered or developed in learning to cope with its problems of external adaptation, and internal integration, and that have 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 these problems” - Edwin Schein, 1985

4 Examples of Contrasting Cultures
Hewlett Packard v ITT HP has history of collaboration, invention and teamwork since 1940s – Never ‘hire and fire’ – cut hours not cut staff – Trust and cooperation; ‘locked door’ example ITT led by Harold Geneen – considerable success under ruthless management – intensely competetive, every action challenged, management based on ‘unshakable facts’ Coca-Cola vv Pepsi Cola Apparently identical products, markets and everything! BUT Coke has long tradition of highly participative management, whereas, Pepsi is highly authoritarian management

5 Functionalist Approach to Organisation Culture
Organisational Values Terminal Values Desired end states or outcomes Instrumental Values Desired modes of behaviour Specific norms, rules and SOPs

6 Factors that determine Organisation Culture
Property Rights System Organisational Culture Organisational Structure Characteristics of people OrganisationalEthics

7 Characteristics of People
Different cultures attract different sorts of people – Cultures are different because people are different Organisations select staff with matching personality characteristics Staff in any organisation become more similar over time This is one of major problems for organisation change

8 Organisational Ethics
‘Organisational ethics are moral values and rules that establish the appropriate way for organisational stakeholders to deal with one another and with the organisations environment’ Organisational ethics are composed of: Societal ethics – from society at large Professional ethics – very strong in some professions Individual ethics – some people would never take a pencil whereas others fiddle their expenses all the time!!

9 Property Rights System
“The rights that an organisation gives its members over the resources of the organisation” Property rights include: Managers – ‘golden parachutes’, stock options Employees – Lifetime employment, generous severance payments, pensions and benefits Shareholders – secure dividends, increase in value Property rights can be a restraint on change

10 Organisational Structure
Different structures are associated with different cultures - cause or effect? Mechanistic v Organic Machine Bureaucracy v Adhocracy

11 Other Theories of Organisational Culture
More recent theories tend to be from outside the Functionalist paradigm Schein’s Theory Symbolic-Interpretive Post-Modern Modernist

12 Schein’s Model of Organisational Culture
Beliefs and Assumptions Visible but often undecipherable Artifacts Values Greater level of awareness Assumptions Taken for granted assumptions

13 Assumptions - Examples
With regard to its environment does the organisation perceive itself to be: Dominant, Submissive, Harmonising, Searching a niche How do we define what is ultimately true: By pragmatic test, By reliance on wisdom, By social consensus Is the best way to organise society on the basis of individuals or groups Is the best system of authority: autocratic/paternalistic or collegial/participative

14 Norms and values “Values are social principles, goals and standards held within a society to have intrinsic worth”- e.g. freedom, loyalty honesty, democracy etc “Norms are closely associated with values. They are the unwritten rules that allow members of a culture to know what is expected of them in a wide variety of situations” – clothes you wear; how you address your boss; when to seek help

15 Artifacts “..are the remains of the culture left strewn about on the surface of a culture….” Examples: Company logo, layout of office Clothes worn Traditions, customs and rituals Stories, myths and traditions Jargon Well known jokes and anecdotes

16 How Culture Works in Schein’s Model
Assumptions Values Artifacts Logic is inside moving outwards New members are selected, attracted because they share the values Reverse is also true

17 Symbolic-Interpretive Theory of Organisation Culture
Clifford Geertz Culture is a socially constructed reality – “webs of significance that man himself has spun” How are these realities constructed? People make use of and interpret symbols and this constructs a culture Culture is thus understood by the observation of symbol construction – e.g. ethnography Culture is found through the perspective of many members of a culture, not an individual

18 Organisation as a set of sub-cultures
Societal culture Organisational culture Organisational sub-cultures

19 Types of Sub-Culture - 2 approaches
Relation to dominant culture Enhancing sub-cultures – Support the dominant cultures values Countercultures – oppose the dominant cultural values Orthogonal sub-cultures – maintain their own values alongside the dominant culture Occupational or functional sub-cultures Engineers v Accountants v Marketing v etc Professional managers (MBAs) v worked-way-up

20 Post-modern and Modern Approches
Post modern approach focuses on ways in which cultures are inconsistent, ambiguous, multiplicititous, in a constant state of flux Often described as ‘Fragmentation Perspective’ In contrast, Modernists view culture as a tool for management, the culture as a variable to be manipulated as a means to gain the desired performance or behaviour

21 Analysis of National Culture
Geert Hofstede devloped this analysis in late 1970s, based on a study of IBM worldwide; widely used since then. Four measurable dimensions: Power Distance Uncertainty Avoidance Individualism Masculinity

22 Power Distance – extent to which members of a nation are prepared to accept unequal distribution of power, wealth, prestige Low power distance = more equality e.g. Denmark Uncertainty Avoidance – ways in which society has developed methods to deal with uncertainty. E.g. using technology to defend against earthquakes. Uncertainty avoidance high in Greece, Portugal and Japan Low in Singapore, Hong Kong

23 Masculinity – refers to clear separation of gender roles
Individualism – involves the degree to which individuals in a culture are expected to act independently of other members of the society Individualism v Collectivism In US individualism seen as source of well-being In China and Mexico it seen as undesirable or alienating Masculinity – refers to clear separation of gender roles Highly masculine cultures, men are expected to be more assertive and women nurturing Low masculinity favours work goals concerning interpersonal relations, service and physical environment

24 Power-distance v Individualism
Indivdualism Power Distance

25 Masculinity v Uncertainty avoidance

26 An Example of National and Organisation Culture
Murray Sayle Observed features of Japanese organisation culture include: Collectivity – belonging not just working Collaboration – like a village or commune Interdependence shared concerns, mutual support Life-long commitments – in famous large companies Authoritarian/paternalistic – traditional and deferential Strong links between welfare of individual, corporation and state

27 Sayle’s Explanation Two sets of values are melded into a corporate culture, based on national values of: ‘rice field’ and ‘samurai’ Rice field: Work is precarious virtually impossible Work is therefore cooperative Product of work is shared with protectors Samurai: ‘men of service’ leaders in bureaucratic society Parallel to modern clans and elites Close cooperation between powerful groups Deferential and submissive to Samurai

28 Comment Sayle’s explanation fits post war advance of Japan, but does not deal so well with problems of 1990s Also contrast UK social culture – class conflict etc, with the corporate cultures Good Reading ‘Images of Organisation’, Gareth Morgan, chpts 5 and 6 plus chpt 10 case study Gareth Jones M J Hatch

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