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Flashcards in Culture and Design Deck (28)
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What is organisational culture?

- Personality of the organisation
- Shared values, beliefs and norms which influence the way employees think and act towards others
- Shared basic assumptions that a group has learned


How is culture not widely understood?

- 12% of organisations truly understand their culture
- 19% of organisations believe they have the right culture


What does organisational culture matter?

- Asset/Liability
- An effective control mechanism
- Need it to enjoy competitive advantage
- Related to increased performance


What are artefact behaviours according to Schein's three levels of culture?

Visible but not always obvious, organisational structures and processes - tangible aspects of culture (surface manifestations)


What are values according to Schein's three levels of culture?

Strategies, goals, philosophies, shared principles and goals (espoused justifications)


What are basic assumptions according to Schein's three levels of culture?

Invisible, not usually stated, unconscious taken for granted beliefs, they lie below awareness (ultimate source of values and action)


How is culture like layers of an onion according to Schein's three levels of culture?

Basic assumptions at the core e.g excellence, values surrounding assumptions e.g integrity, teamwork, diversity and artefacts and behaviours on the surface e.g ceremonies, slogans


What values characterise an organisation's culture?

- Innovative
- Aggressive
- Outcome orientated
- Stable
- People orientated
- Team orientated
- Detail orientated


What are the dimensions of culture?

- Outcome oriented cultures
- Stable cultures
- People oriented cultures


What are outcome oriented cultures?

A culture that emphasises achievement, results, and action as important values e.g Amazon, Dior, Netflix


What are stable cultures?

Companies that are stable are predictable, rule oriented and bureaucratic e.g Police, Universities, Government Bodies


What are people oriented cultures?

These organisations value fairness, supportiveness and respecting individual rights e.g Google, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook


What are the two general types of cultures?

Defensive cultures (inactive and reactive) and constructive cultures (proactive)


What are the characteristics of defensive cultures?

- How people see you is more important than actions
- Focus on blame
- Maintain status quo
- Systematically undermines LT performance
- Turf wars drive decisions
- Win or lose beating associates rather than competitors


How do defensive cultures work in practice?

- Approval - employees expected to gain approval or and be liked by others
- Conventional - employees expected to conform, follow rules
- Dependent - expected to do what they are told and clear decisions with supervisors
- Avoidance - expected to shift responsibilities to others and avoid being blamed for mistakes


What are the characteristics of constructive cultures?

- Fosters innovation
- Reinforces personal responsibility and accountability
- Values performance
- Expected to provide initiative
- Low distortion in communication
- Encouraged to take moderate risks
- Standard of excellence
- Open decision making
- Non political atmosphere


What are constructive cultures like in practice?

- Achievement - employees are expected to set realistic goals and solve problems effectively
- Self actualisation - expected to gain enjoyment from work
- Humanistic encouraging - expected to be supportive, constructive and open to influence in dealing with others
- Affiliative - expected to be friendly and sensitive to the satisfaction of the team


How does an organisational culture form?

1. Philosophy of organisation's founders
2. Selection criteria
3. Top management + Socialisation
4. Culture


How can a culture be kept alive?

- Selection
- Top management
- Socialisation


What are the functions of a culture?

- Glue of the organisation
- Boundary defining
- Conveys a sense of identity for an organisations members
- Facilitates commitment to something larger than one individual's self interest
- Enhances social system stability
- Serves as sense making and a control mechanism


How can culture be a liability?

It can be a barrier to...
- Change
- Diversity
- Mergers and acquisitions


What are the conditions for culture change?

- A dramatic crisis
- Turnover in leadership
- Young and small organisations
- Weak culture


What did Rofcanin et al (2017) find about culture?

That a family supportive culture in the financial credit industry in Mexico led to work engagement and better performance


What are the competing perspectives on culture?

Managerial vs Social Science


What does a managerial perspective believe about culture?

- Has - something an organisation has e.g tool
- Integrated - general mission statement sustains high member commitments, provide guidelines for behaviour
- Managed
- Symbolic of leadership


What does the social science perspective believe about culture?

- Is - something the organisation is, change occurs through natural evolution
- They can be inconsistent, in effectiveness dependent on industry
- Tolerated - deeply held views and values cannot be modified in the short term
- External control replaced with internal control - builds commitment goals


What are the forms of control in the workplace?

- Bureaucratic control (Taylor) - manipulates rewards
- Humanistic control (Mayo) - satisfying or motivating work
- Cultural control (Schein) Manipulation of culture


What is the dark side of culture?

Personality absorbed into organisational mission can lead to neglect of self/others.. Members may be forced to sacrifice their lives. E.g coercive persuasion (communist party of china) and doomsday cults