Hlecture3 - 1 ORGANIZATION CULTURE Professor Bruce Fortado...

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ORGANIZATION CULTURE Professor Bruce Fortado MAN 4301/6305 University of North Florida * What is an organization culture/philosophy ? It should be kept in mind that there are a number of different views. Culture can be studied in three basically different ways. (1) One can look for the overall common themes. (2) One can study the common themes in the various component subcultures. (3) Lastly, one can study the varied interpretations of the same events within a culture (learning by examining the variability rather than the common themes). The first approach is the most common, and the last is the least explored (Martin, 1992). Before delving into organization culture specifically, one should first grasp what the term culture refers to more generally. Some anthropologists say a person cannot really understand culture until one visits a foreign country. Feeling like "a fish out of water" makes all the various aspects of culture more apparent. Typically one thinks of differences in language, dress, songs/ music, cuisine, art, rituals, religion, customs, mores, and so forth. In general terms culture can be thought of as accumulated knowledge , what makes a group distinctive , and patterns of belief, values and action . Culture is often defined as being learned , shared , transgenerational , symbolic , patterned , and adaptive . Now we can think more specifically in terms of what culture means in organizations. Can CEOs (presidents, top managers) easily and considerably manipulate the culture of their organizations? There is ample evidence in the literature, as well as managers' comments and actions, indicating they believe they can do so (Moore, 1988). Kurt Lewin talked about considering the forces striving to maintain the status quo, and those pushing for change. By weakening the forces supporting the status quo, or increasing the forces for change, one could start a three step change process: namely, unfreezing, moving and refreezing (Dessler, 2009: 179). More recently, one is instructed to establish a sense of urgency, do a joint problem diagnosis, create a coalition, develop a shared vision, communicate the vision, progressively make changes, produce short-term wins, consolidate and anchor the changes, and finally monitor the situation (Dessler, 2009: 180). Elements of Organization Culture * How can one create shared values? Many managers have spent large amounts of time and resources on booklets, cards and pamphlets that outline the organization's espoused shared values, superordinate goals, and/or slogans (Schein, 1987; Dessler, 2009: 271). For example, IBM has stressed "respect for the individual" as one of the three core values it subscribes to. Magnets may be created in the shape of a key, stating "quality is the key," and a foot stating "I
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This note was uploaded on 07/29/2011 for the course MAN 4301 taught by Professor Fortado during the Fall '09 term at UNF.

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Hlecture3 - 1 ORGANIZATION CULTURE Professor Bruce Fortado...

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