The Internal environment within which managers work includes corporate culture, production technology, organization structure, and physical facilities. Of these corporate culture has surfaced as extremely important to competitive advantages. The internal culture most fits the needs of the external environment and company strategic . When this fit occurs highly committed employees create a high performance organization that is tough to beat.
Culture: The set of key values, beliefs, understandings and norms that members of an organization share.
The concept of culture has been of growing concern to managers since the 1980s, as turbulence in the external environment has grown, often requiring new values and attitudes. Organizational culture has been defined and studied in many and varied ways. We define culture as the key values, beliefs, understandings and norms shared by members of an organization . The concept of culture helps mangers understand the hidden complex, aspects of organizational life. Culture is a pattern of shared values and assumptions about how things are done within the organizations. This pattern is learned by members as they cope with external and internal problems and taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel. Culture can be analyzed at three levels as illustrated in Exhibit with each level becoming less obvious. At the surface level are visible, artifacts which include such things as manner of dress, patterns of behavior, physical symbols, organizational ceremonies and office layout. Visible artifacts are all the things one can see, hear and observe by watching members of the organization. At a deeper level are the expressed values and beliefs, which are not observable but can be discerned from how people explain and justify what they do. These are values that members of the organization hold a conscious level. They can be interpreted from the stories, language and symbols organization members use to represent them. Some values become so deeply embedded in a culture that members are no longer consciously aware of them. These basic, underlying assumptions and beliefs are the essence of culture and subconsciously guide behavior and decisions. In some organizations, a basic assumption might be that people are essentially lazy and will shirk their duties, whenever possible, thus employees are closely supervised and given little freedom, and colleagues, are frequently suspicious of one another . More enlightened organizations operate on the basic assumption that people want to do a good job; in these organizations , employees are given more freedom and responsibility and colleagues trust one another and work cooperatively.
The fundamental values that characterizes an organization’s culture can be understood through the visible manifestations of symbols, stories, heroes, slogans, and ceremonies.
A symbol is an object act or event that conveys meaning to others. Symbols can be considered a rich, non verbal language that vibrantly conveys the organization’s important values concerning how people relate to one another and interact with the environment. For example managers at a New York based start up provides Internet solutions to local television broadcasters wanted a way to symbolize the company’s unofficial mantra of drilling down to solve problem . They bought a dented old drill for $2 and dubbed it The Team drill. Each month the drill is presented to a different employee in recognition of exceptional work, and the employee personalizes drill in some way before passing it on to the next winner.
Steel Corp., built a new, pyramid shaped corporate development center to symbolize new cultural values of collaboration , teamwork, and innovation. Whereas designers, engineers, and marketers had previously been located in different buildings, they’re now all housed in the pyramid. The six floor building features an open atrium from ground floor to ceiling with a giant pendulum to remind people of constant change. Open areas and thought stations with white boards encourage brainstorming and the exchange of ideas.
Source: Richard L.Daft
1 1 Chapter 14 Shaping Culture and Values
2 2 Chapter Objectives Understand why shaping culture is a critical function of leadership. Recognize the characteristics of an adaptive, as opposed to an unadaptive, culture. Understand and apply how leaders shape culture and values through ceremonies, stories, symbols, language, selection and socialization, and daily actions. Identify the cultural values associated with adaptability, achievement, clan, and bureaucratic cultures and the environmental conditions associated with each. Use the concept of values-based leadership.
3 3 Culture The set of key values, assumptions, understandings, and norms that is shared by members of an organization and taught to new members as correct
4 4 Ex. 14.1 Levels of Corporate Culture Visible 1.Artifacts such as dress, office layout, symbols, slogans, ceremonies Invisible 2.Expressed values, such as “The Penney Idea,” “The HP Way” 3.Underlying assumptions and deep beliefs, such as “people here care about one another like a family” Deeper values and shared understandings held by organization members Culture that can be seen at the surface level
5 5 Culture Strength The degree of agreement among employees about the importance of specific values and ways of doing things
6 6 Ex. 14.2 Adaptive Versus Unadaptive Cultures Adaptive Organizational Culture Unadaptive Organizational Culture Visible Behavior Leaders pay close attention to all their constituencies, especially customers, and initiate change when needed to serve their legitimate interests, even if it entails taking some risks Managers tend to behave somewhat insularly, politically, and bureaucratically. As a result, they do not change their strategies quickly to adjust to or take advantage of changes in their business environments Expressed Values Leaders care deeply about customers, stockholders, and employees. They also strongly value people and processes that can create useful change (e.g., leadership initiatives up and down the management hierarchy) Managers care mainly about themselves, their immediate work group, or some product (or technology) associated with that work group. They value the orderly and risk- reducing management processes much more highly than leadership initiatives Underlying Assumption Serve whole organization, trust others Meet own needs, distrust others
7 7 Ceremony, Story, and Symbol Ceremony A planned activity that makes up a special event and is generally conducted for the benefit of an audience Story A narrative based on true events that is repeated frequently and shared among employees Symbol A object, act, or event that conveys meaning to others
8 8 Organizational Values The enduring beliefs that have worth, merit, and importance for the organization
9 9 Ex. 14.3 Four Corporate Cultures External focus Flexibility Internal focus Stability Clan Culture Values: Cooperation Consideration Agreement Fairness Social equality Bureaucratic Culture Values: Economy Formality Rationality Order Obedience Adaptability Culture Values: Creativity Experimentation Risk-taking Autonomy Responsiveness Achievement Culture Values: Competitiveness Perfectionism Aggressiveness Diligence Personal initiative
10 10 Ethics The code of moral principles and values that governs the behavior of a person or group with respect to what is right and wrong
11 11 Values-Based Leadership A relationship between leaders and followers that is based on shared, strongly internalized values that are advocated and acted upon by the leader
12 12 Code of Ethics and Chief Ethics Officer Code of Ethics: a formal statement of the company’s ethical values Chief Ethics Officer: A high-level company executive who oversees all aspects of ethics