What are you
expected to learn?
- Describe institutionalization and its
relationship to organizational culture
- Define the common characteristics making up
- Contrast strong and weak cultures
- Identify the functional and dysfunctional
effects of organizational culture on people and the organization
- Explain the factors determining an organization’s
- List the factors that maintain an organization’s
- Clarify how culture is transmitted to employees
- Outline the various socialization alternatives
available to management
- Describe a customer-responsive culture
- Identify characteristics of a spiritual culture
Institutionalization? What is Organizational Culture?
Institutionalization = when an
organization takes on a life of its own, apart from any of its members, and
acquires immortality. The org is valued
for itself, not just for what it produces or sells. (Ex: Disney, McDonalds, Sony)
Organizational culture = A system of
shared meaning held by members that distinguishes the organization from
Characteristics of an Organizational Culture:
and risk taking. The degree to which employees are encouraged to be
innovative and take risks.
to detail. The degree to which employees are expected to exhibit
precision, analysis, and attention to detail.
orientation. The degree to which management focuses on results or outcomes
rather than on technique and process.
orientation. The degree to which management decisions take into
consideration the effect of outcomes on people within the organization.
orientation. The degree to which work activities are organized around
teams rather than individuals.
- Aggressiveness. The degree to which people are
aggressive and competitive rather than easygoing.
- Stability. The degree to which organizational
activities emphasize maintaining the status quo in contrast to growth.
is a descriptive term, that is, it is not evaluative. Organizational culture is
concerned with how the characteristics of the company/organization are
perceived – NOT if they are liked or disliked.*
It is not about job satisfaction.
Organizations Have Uniform Cultures?
culture represents a common perception held by the organization members.
culture expresses the core values that are shared by a majority of the
are “minicultures” which tend to develop in large organizations to reflect
common problems, situations, or experiences. These usually are defined by
department or geographical separations.
Values or dominant (primary) values are accepted throughout the
Strong = cultures in which the
core values are intensely held and widely shared
Often, rules and regulations re: performance are transmitted
through culture – they do NOT need to be formally (explicitly) written in order
to function. Thus, culture can act like
formalization in some ways.
vs. National Culture
National culture has more influence on employees than org
culture – so, for multinational orgs, the goal could be to hire applicants who
fit the organizational (dominant) culture
Cultures “Do”?.....Culture’s Functions
Culture is the social glue that helps
hold an organization together by providing appropriate standards for what
employees should say or do.
It has a boundary-defining role.
It conveys a sense of identity for organization members.
It facilitates the generation of commitment to something
larger than one’s individual self-interest.
It enhances social system stability.
It serves as a "sense-making" and control
mechanism that guides and shapes the attitudes and behavior of employees.
Culture as a
Barrier to change
Barrier to diversity
Barrier to acquisitions and mergers
- How a culture begins: founders,
vision set the pace. First – hire and keep employees who match the vision
– then socialize individuals – then the founders’ behavior acts as a role
model and the “personality” of the organization (ex: David Packard of
Hewlett-Packard, Bill Gates of Microsoft, Herb Kelleher of Southwest
Airlines, Mary Kay of Mary Kay Cosmetics, etc)
- How to keep it alive?: There are
many ways…First, it’s reflected and sustained via HR policies – selection
(after minimum qualifications are established, then hire for “fit”), perf
evaluations, training and career development, promotions, reward those who
support culture, remove those who do not. Next, top management
behavior exemplifies culture (norms filter down – is risk taking
desirable? How much freedom do managers give employees to make decisions?
What should we wear to work? What behaviors get rewarded and lead to
promotions?, etc). Finally, socialization methods (the process that
adapts employees to the organization’s culture) are key (pre-arrival,
encounter, metamorphosis stages).
- Stories –
(ex. Nordstrom and car tires, Microsoft and “calling in rich”, and Krispy
Kreme’s “minister of culture”)
- Rituals –
repetitive sequence of activities expressing and reinforcing key values
(ex. Getting tenure, Mary Kay cosmetics annual award meeting)
Symbols – convey to employees what is important, who holds power and what
kinds of behavior are appropriate (ex. Limousines, jets, offices, dress)
– identifies members of cultures or subcultures, if used by all then it’s
accepted and preserved (ex. Slang used by companies like Boeing)
People With Cultures
(friendliness) and solidarity (task orientation) dimensions can be used to
understand different “types” of culture: networked, mercenary, fragmented
or communal. Note: Recall the
Ethical Organizational Culture
- Be a
visable role model
reward ethical acts and punish ethical ones
“customer” focused individuals
- Use a
structure with a low level of formalization (flexibility to deal
- Use good listening
“helping” or Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB)
and Organizational Culture
spirituality: The recognition
that people have an inner life that nourishes and is nourished by meaningful
work that takes place in the context of community. Ex) strong sense of purpose,
individual development, trust and openness, employee empowerment, tolerance of
Implications for Managers
form an overall subjective perception of the organization based on such
factors as degree of risk tolerance, team emphasis, and support of people.
overall perception becomes, in effect, the organization’s culture or
- These favorable
or unfavorable perceptions then affect employee performance and
satisfaction, with the impact being greater for stronger cultures.
- Just as
people’s personalities tend to be stable over time, so too do strong
makes strong cultures difficult for managers to change.
- One of
the more important managerial implications of organizational culture
relates to selection decisions. Hiring individuals whose values
don't align with those of the organization is not effective for long term
employee's performance depends to a considerable degree on knowing what he
should or should not do – socialization provides much of this type