1 Culture Chang - H ow can culture affect an organizations...

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How can culture affect an organization’s performance (2007)? (weak answers lacked depth and empirical support – stronger answers emphasized motivational factors and link with performance) - organizational culture; widespread literary growth recently; strategically relevant and source of competitive advantage thus surely must affect performance; whether it is something managed/controlled is another matter; performance will also depend upon other factors (outsourcing, accounting problems; issues outside cultural control); several ways it can affect, most important is comp advantage - Handy (1995); culture “felt and perceived”; culture is difficult to define; Schein (1984) gives blueprint of three main cultures; Handy (1995) four – power/role/task/person. Role culture popular now (Pret, Google) flat power base, friendly, casual - despite ambiguities, Barney (1986) “provide sustained superior performance”; widely accepted. Dispute over the ease of adopting/copying cultures; distinction between what organizations perceive/want culture to be, and what it is, often blurred; can it be controlled or emerges? - Smircich (1973) argued culture can change, managed, copy. Company “has” a culture, rather than is. Counterargument- Meek (1988) culture is not deliberate, and emerges from company. Truth probably somewhere in between. You can use similar cultural aspects (room, workforce, symbols) but never truly achieve duplicate. Simply copying successful cultures will not work. Brown (1994) makes the point that you have culture before you join workforce - if we accept it can affect organizations performance, how can we show this empirically? Hofstedes (1980) research for Danish IBM managers did show that country culture affects organization. But his work only based on handful of people (not necessarily typical) so shouldn’t be overestimated. Problem is whereas it’s easy to measure performance, it’s relatively impossible to measure/define culture. - Barneys (1986) paradox of how it can be a competitive advantage; resource (1991) valuable, rare, imitable, copying would erode sustained superior performance over rivals. Philosophical debate, disputed in real life situations (cultures not perfectly imitable) - cultures certainly affect organizations and many believe they increase productivity of workforce; Ouchi (1981) warned that US firms shouldn’t copy Jap techniques totally, but use as basis. Southwest Airlines example;
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This note was uploaded on 04/12/2010 for the course ECON DEAM taught by Professor Vines during the Spring '10 term at Oxford University.

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1 Culture Chang - H ow can culture affect an organizations...

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