Organizational Culture

Organizational Culture
the basic pattern of shared assumptions, values and beliefs governing the way employees think about and act upon a situation or problem
When did organizational culture become a contemporary strategy in North America?
In the 1980’s after the Japanese car companies were increasing their market share with a perceived competitive advantage of their organizational culture
National Culture
knowledge, language, values, customs and material objects passed from person to person through generations in a human group. Defined through norms and values. The strictest norms are taboo.
5 Features of National Culture
1. learned 2. Cumulative 3. transmitted 4. shared 5. product of human interaction
Hofstede Dimensions of National Culture
power distance, individualism vs. collectivism, feminine vs masculine, time orientation, uncertainty avoidance
Corporate Culture
Different from organizational culture in that its created by management executives as a part of strategy and then transmitted down to subordinates. Sees employees as “culture takers” where as organizational culture involves employee in the culture making process – “culture makers”
What are the Fundamental Levels of Organizational Culture
Artifacts (the visible aspects of the organizational culture: buildings, technology, art, uniforms), Values (non visible but influence behavior ex. does the company value quality or quantity of work), Basic Assumptions (non visible, unconscious, the essence of human nature, ex. do people try to be the best they can be?)
Managerial Functionalist Perspective
assumes an organization “has” a culture, one that can be changed and utilized by management to get the best out of their employee. Assumes the world is stable and predictable and therefore organizational culture can be used as a competitive advantage. management can create the right culture to align with company goals.
Critical Perspective
Culture is something an organization “is” it can’t be purposefully manipulated by management. Sees organizations as a socializing controlling force. Three types: symbolic Interactionist, Conflict, Feminist
Symbolic Interactionalist: Critical Perspective
culture is the vehicle for shared meaning. culture is produced by the interaction of coworkers and managers in face to face “interaction”. Organizational culture is produced through daily social interaction.
Conflict: Critical Perspective
organizational culture is developed to sustain senior management’s power and control in the organization. views societal groups as engaged in a continuous power struggle for the control of scarce resources
Feminist: Critical Perspective
Organizational culture is characterized by power inequality and sexuality. Focus on significance in gender in understanding and explaining the inequalities that exist amongst men and women
Example Application for TAE
Discuss how the japanese car companies in the 1980’s were much more collectivist and therefore had a flatter structure which promoted more group work in their organizational culture therefore mirrored this collectivism. the american car companies saw this as their competitive advantage and using the managerial functionalist approach decided they could shape their organizational culture to mimic that of the japanese to increase their efficiency so they flattened their structure and began to utilize organizational culture as a management tool
Example of Evaluate for TAE
I believe the managerial functionalist approach to organizational behavior gives the greatest insight into organizations (give pros) however, it must be noted that not all individuals within the same workplace will internalize the organization’s culture in the same manner and in addition there have been arguments made that culture, even inside and organization, is such a complex thing that it cannot be created or destroyed by a manager

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