CLD week 3 (1): Culture and Culture Management

Why did Culture Management emerge in the late 1970s?
– to deal with the challenges facing Western management
– the need for innovative production methods
– the rise of the “Japanese miracle”
Which challenges did the Western management face in the late 1970s?
– Growth of service industries
– Demand for customer orientation, employee autonomy
– Limitations of a mechanical ‘Theory X’ approach
– Renewed focus on the ‘soft’ human side of organizing
Which 7 Ss does the art of Japanese Management comprise?
Soft Ss: Shared Values, Style, Staff, Skills
Hard Ss: Strategy, Systems, Structure
What do the Hard Ss of the 7-S Modell of Japanese Management mean?
Strategy: plan of action
Systems: execution
Structure: who reports to whom
What do the Soft Ss of the 7-S Modell of Japanese Management mean?
Style: leadership style
Shared values: company culture, work ethics, etc.
Staff: employees & their capabilities
Skills: core competencies of the company & staff
What do shared values reduce?
internal conflict between managers and workers and between different functions
What is one fallback of Pascale & Athos 7-S Modell?
it only studies the ‘core’ of the Japanese economy (big companies like Mitsubishi, Sony, Toshiba etc), but 75% of the economy was ‘sub-contracted’
What is described in Peters & Waterman’s “In Search of
Excellence (1982)”?
Looked at 62 top performing US firms to see what common features they had i.e. what made them excellent
What is the first of the 8 factors in excellence found by Peters & Waterman?
A bias for action, active decision making – ‘getting on with it’. Facilitate quick decision making & problem solving tends to avoid bureaucratic control.
What is the second of the 8 factors in excellence found by Peters & Waterman?
Close to the customer – learning from the people served by the business.
What is the third of the 8 factors in excellence found by Peters & Waterman?
Autonomy and entrepreneurship – fostering innovation and nurturing ‘champions’.
What is the forth of the 8 factors in excellence found by Peters & Waterman?
Productivity through people- treating rank and file employees as a source of quality.
What is the fifth of the 8 factors in excellence found by Peters & Waterman?
Hands-on, value-driven – management philosophy that guides everyday practice – management showing its commitment.
What is the sixth of the 8 factors in excellence found by Peters & Waterman?
Stick to the knitting – stay with the business that you know.
What is the seventh of the 8 factors in excellence found by Peters & Waterman?
Simple form, lean staff – some of the best companies have minimal HQ staff.
What is the eight of the 8 factors in excellence found by Peters & Waterman?
Simultaneous loose-tight properties – autonomy in shop-floor activities plus centralized values.
When you describe culture with the following characteristics:
– emphasis on consistency
– culture is transmitted by explicit communication
culture is defined as:
a dominant and coherent set of shared values conveyed by such symbolic means as stories, myths, legends, slogans, anecdotes and fairy tales
When you describe culture with the following characteristics:
– there is only One right culture
– importance placed on socialization of new recruits
– emphasis on how culture can affect how people think and feel
culture is defined as:
the pattern of basic assumptions – invented, discovered or developed by a given group as it learns to cope with the problems of external adaptation and internal integration – that has worked well enough to be considered valuable and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think and feel in relation to those problems’
When you recognize the intangibility of culture, you can defined it as:
the knowledge members of a given group share; knowledge that informs, embeds, shapes, and accounts for the routine and not-so routine activities of the members of the culture….
When you recognize the importance of symbolism to represent culture, you can defined it as:
Culture is not itself visible but is made visible only through representation
When you recognize the emphasis on behaviours shaping culture and vice versa, you can defined it as:
A culture is expressed (or constituted) only through the actions and words of its members…
What are the two Levels of Culture?
1. the Observable symbols, ceremonies, stories, practices, dress, physical setting, norms
2. the Underlying values, assumptions, beliefs, attitudes, feelings
What are the Levels of Culture according to Schein?
– Artefacts (visible structures and processes)
– Espoused Values (strategies, goals, philosophies)
– Basic Underlying Assumptions (unconscious, taken for granted beliefs, perceptions, thoughts and feelings)
What is the ultimate source of values and action with regards to the Levels of Culture?
The Basic Underlying Assumptions
What is the corporate culture (Anthony)?
– Defined by top management
– Manager- led
– Formal
What is the organization culture (Anthony)?
– ‘Real culture’
– From below
– Informal
What do you manage with culture management?
the organization, not the corporate, culture
What are the perspectives on the Types of Culture (Martin)?
1. Integration (consistency and organisation-wide consensus)
2. Differentiation (different interests produce sub-cultures that co-exist in harmony or conflict)
3. Fragmentation (ambiguity is the defining feature, with no consensus)
Strong culture exists when …
… there is a high degree of homogeneity in and of commitment to organizational values
Culture weakens if …
… it is not widely shared or there is little commitment to it
Organizations usually contain sub-cultures (or cultures within cultures) and they are based, for example, on …
… different departments or functions
Counter-cultures represent …
… those values and philosophies that actually reject those of the larger organisation
If culture is strong staff will behave ..
.. consistent with organizational purposes and therefore can be trusted (or ’empowered’) to work with supervision:
– Staff are more productive because they are more motivated
– Staff will strive to maximise quality
– Far fewer managers are needed, saving money
What are the Functions of Culture?
– A boundary defining role
– Conveys a sense of identity (link to individual and organizational identity)
– Facilitates commitment
– Set the rules of the game
What are Culture Management Techniques?
– Recruitment: hire staff already predisposed towards desired cultural values
– Redundancy: get rid of staff unwilling or unable to embrace desired cultural values
– Training: socialize staff into desired cultural values, e.g. training, mentoring, story telling
– Communication: give ongoing prompts for staff e.g. mission statements
– Reward systems (and promotion): Consistent with desired cultural values e.g. team bonus in teamworking culture
Why does Culture Management include the Management of Symbols?
Since culture is intangible, it is always mediated through symbols -> Management of meaning
Which symbols reflect and communicate culture?
– organization names, logos and slogans
– buildings, office layouts and other architectural symbols
– dress codes and physical appearance
What are physical artefacts?
Art/design/logo, buildings, dress, physical layout
What are behavioural artefacts?
Rites, communication, patterns, traditions, rewards /punishments
What are verbal artefacts?
Anecdotes, jargon
With wich rites do employees learn culture?
Rites of:
– passage
– enhancement
– renewal
– integration
– degradation
What are rites of passage?
Recruitment, induction, promotion
What are rites of enhancement?
Award ceremonies, promotions
What are rites of renewal?
Appointment of consultants, project teams, annual
general meeting
What are rites of integration?
Christmas party (see Rosen, 1988), organisation-wide
What are rites of degradation?
Demotions, sackings
Which values are typically sought by Culture Management?
– Customer focus
– Teamwork
– Quality
– Loyalty
– Creative and entrepreneurial spirit
What is the Manageability Debate with regards to culture?
Is culture something in organization ‘has’ or something it ‘is’: can it be managed or is it spontaneous?
How does Smircich (1983) call the two views of culture (has / is)?
– ‘Critical variable’: something an organization has
– ‘Root Metaphor’: something an organization is
With Culture as a Variable, how is culture understood?
– Integrating and stabilizing
– Created at the top (i.e. cultural engineering)
– Can be measured and classified
– Culture as management ‘tool’ to ensure employee efforts directed towards org. goals
With Culture as a Metaphor, how is culture understood?
– Everything in organizations is cultural
– Produced systems of intersubjectivity
– Everyone participates in its construction
-> Focus on understanding rather than offering
prescriptions for change
What are the limits of Culture Management?
– People interpret cultural messages differently, according to personality, social attributes etc.
– People may deliberately resist having values defined for them by organizations
• seems to work best when it is consistent, and unequal rewards or job insecurity tend to prevent consistency
Generally, the basic distinction of formal and informal organization means that some parts of the organization will always lie ‘outside of’ official culture. This means that culture is..
.. not completely manageable
What are metaphors for “culture”?
– Iceberg model
– Onion model
What are the visible and less visible concepts of the iceberg model?
visible: food, dress, behavior, language, etiquette, religion
less visible: customs, assumptions, beliefs, attitudes, values
What are the layers of the Onion Model?
the three outside layers: practices
outside: symbols
next inner: heroes
next inner: rituals
at the core: values
What does the culture onion model simplify?
Structuralist culture model
If an organization says to “have” a culture, what does it mean?
it is the Management perspective
– Culture can be managed
– it is a variable of organizational success
– Goal: align values of employees with organizational goals, idea of a “strong” culture
If it is said that an organization “is” a culture, what does it mean?
– Culture cannot be managed top-down
– Subcultures: department, occupations etc.
– Inconsistency between corporate and organizational culture (over-engineering, sense of fakeness)
What are internal factors of an organizations that “is” a culture?
strategy, structure
What are contextual factors of an organizations that “is” a culture?
mobility, globalization, individualization
What are tools of culture management?
– work shops, Human Resource Development
– scripted rituals (coffee breaks)
– dress codes
– meeting
– rewarding system
– logos, slogans

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