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Organizational Culture

Organizational Culture

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Organizational Culture

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  1. Organizational Culture "is the behavior of humans who are part of an organization and the meanings that the people attach to their actions. Culture includes the organization values, visions, norms, working language, systems, symbols, beliefs and habits. It is also the pattern of such collective behaviors and assumptions that are taught to new organizational members as a way of perceiving, and even thinking and feeling. Organizational culture affects the way people and groups interact with each other, with clients, and with stakeholders."

  2. Managing Culture: The Invisible Barrier to Strategic ChangeJay W. Lorsch • Culture: shared beliefs top managers in a company have about how they should manage themselves and other employees, and how they should conduct their business. • These beliefs are often invisible to the top managers but have a major impact on their thoughts and actions. • Strategy for the use of this article is defined as: the stream of decisions taken over by the top managers, which, when understood as a whole, reveal the goals they are seeking and the means used to reach these goals.  • Strategic repositioning has historically been a complex and long-term process and one that is heavily influenced by the company's culture. • These changes involve many actions which can require months and years to accomplish. • What can managers do to speed up the process in an era which demands more rapid adaptation to constantly changing realities? • Make your beliefs visible and put them into writing, make your implicit beliefs explicit. This can make it less likely that you are blinded by your beliefs and assist in being able to recognize and act when a change is needed. • One way to do this is perform a cultural audit. If the audit is successful, top managers will have made the once invisible barrier of the culture visible. In that case you can deal with it more rapidly in the face of change, retaining beliefs which are still valid and discarding those which are not. • The challenge is to encourage flexibility while respecting the culture and valuing the culture of your organization. Awareness of these beliefs critical to survival.

  3. Organizational Culture: Can it be a Source of Sustained Competitive Advantage?Jay B. Barney • This article explores the question of whether organizational culture can be a source of competitive advantage (sustained superior financial performance. • Organizational culture needs to be valuable, rare, and imperfectly imitable. • A firm's culture is one of the several attributes that differentiate it from others.

  4. Leading by leveraging CultureJennifer A. Chatman and Sandra Eunyoung Cha • Managing culture requires creating an environment in which people are encouraged and empowered to express creative ideas and do their very best. • To have a culture that is relevant and strong, it must emphasize innovation and change. • Culture needs to be clear, consistent, and comprehensive. • Culture will form in an organization/dept./or work group. Whether that culture is one that helps or hinders the organization's ability to execute its objectives is too important to leave to chance. • A strong culture will boost performance by shaping employees' behavior. • Group norms shape employees' behavior more powerfully than either monetary rewards or physical work environments. • "Relying on formal rules, policies, and procedures will not result in outstanding anything, be it customer service, innovation, or quality." • 3 tools to manage and change org. culture: 1) recruiting and selecting people for culture fit, 2) managing culture through socializing and training, 3) managing culture through the reward system.

  5. Exercise 1 • Group Exercise: Assessing the Organizational Culture at Your BusinessObjectives1. To provide you with a framework for assessing organizational culture.2. To conduct an evaluation of the organizational culture at your business.3. To consider the relationship between organizational culture and organizational effectiveness.IntroductionAcademics and consultants do not agree about the best way to measure an organization’s culture. Some people measure culture with surveys, while others use direct observation or information obtained in interviews/workshops with employees.  This exercise uses an informal group-based approach to assess the three levels of organizational culture. This approach has successfully been used to measure organizational culture at a variety of organizations.InstructionsYou will divide the group into groups of four to six people. Each group member should then complete the Cultural Assessment Worksheet by him- or herself. It asks you to identify the artifacts, espoused values, and basic assumptions that are present at your current business. When everyone is done, meet as a group and share the information contained on your individual worksheets.  Create a summary worksheet based on a consensus of the cultural characteristics contained at each level of culture.  Next, compare the information contained on the summary worksheet with the cultural descriptions contained in Table 3–1 and discuss what type of culture your business possesses. Again, strive to obtain a consensus opinion. Finally, the group should answer the discussion questions that follow the Cultural Assessment Worksheet.

  6. Culture Assessment WorksheetArtifacts (physical or visible manifestations of culture; they include jargon, heroes, stories, language, ritual, dress, material objects, mascots, physical arrangements, symbols, traditions, and so forth)Espoused Values (the stated values and norms preferred by the organization)Basic Assumptions (taken-for granted beliefs about the organization that exist on an unconscious level)Questions for Discussion1. What are the group’s consensus artifacts, espoused values, and basic assumptions? Are you surprised by anything on this list? Explain.2. What type of culture does your business possess? Do you like this organizational culture? Discuss why or why not.3. Do you think the organizational culture identified in question 2 is best suited for maximizing your business?  Explain your rationale.4. Is your business in need of any cultural change? If yes, discuss why and recommend how the business’s leaders might create this change. The material on embedding organizational culture would help answer this question.This exercise is helpful for realizing the culture of your organization, where it is strong and where it can be improved. It is critical to understand the culture of your business. This article can help explore aspects of your culture and facilitate communication among different levels of your organization regarding culture.

  7. Exercise 2 • This activity is for one individual or small groups of two to three people. Multiple groups might work simultaneously if you want to do this exercise with a larger group.Duration 20 minutesActivity Complete the worksheet by answering the following two questions per section:Typical behavior patterns-If someone came fresh to our workplace, what would particularly strike them? -How would we characterize how people interact at our organization? Stated values-What do we say we value in our organization? -Do we always live up to these values, or are different values sometimes displayed in what we do? Fundamental assumptions-What views and attitudes do we take for granted? -What assumptions underlying our work are simply not questioned? Reflection Which aspects of your culture do you think are enabling you to innovate? Which aspects of your culture are inhibiting or obstacles?Sharing In the comments section of this activity, we encourage you to share something that you learned or something that surprised you.