Organiztional Culture

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Beliefs and values are linked. What about understand
ing? In the article, “Organizations as Culture-
Bearing Milieux,” Meryl Reis Louis wrote that, “any social group, to the extent that it is a distinctive
unit, will have some degree of culture differing from
that of other groups, a somewhat different set of
common understandings around which action is organized
, and these differences will find
expression in a language whose nuances are peculiar to that group.” These three descriptions of
organization culture find root in collectiv
ely held individual thinking processes.
In their piece titled, “The Role of Symbolic Manage
ment,” Caren Siehl and Joanne Martin argued that
“culture consists of three components: context, forms, and strategies
.” This description suggests a
more systemic description of culture with both internal and external components. In
Riding the
Waves of Culture
, Fons Trompenaars offers another system
ic model and described three levels of
culture; 1) the explicit layer made up of artifacts and products
and other observable signs, 2) the
middle layer of norms and values
and 3) the implicit layer, which is comprised of basic assumptions
and beliefs
. In
Corporate Culture and Performance
, John Kotter and James Heskett acknowledge
internal and external components of culture, too. Th
ey see organization culture as having “two levels,
which differ in their visibility and resistance to ch
ange.” The invisible level is made up of shared
values that tend to persist over time
and are harder to change. The visible level of culture includes
group behaviors and actions
, which are easier to change.

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