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Organizational behavior 4th by MShean chap016

16

Organizational
Culture
McGraw-Hill/Irwin

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Corporate Culture Hits Schwab
Executives at Charles
Schwab & Co.
underestimated the
influence of organizational
culture on behavior when
they acquired U.S. Trust

AP/Wide World Photos.

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e


Slide 16-2

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Organizational Culture Defined
The basic pattern of
shared values and
assumptions governing
the way employees within
an organization think
about and act on
problems and
opportunities.
AP/Wide World Photos.

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

Slide 16-3

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Elements of Organizational Culture
Artifacts





Stories/legends
Rituals/ceremonies
Organizational language
Physical structures/décor

Visible

Shared values
• Conscious beliefs
• Evaluate what is good or bad, right or
wrong

Invisible
(below the surface)

Shared assumptions
• Unconscious, taken-for-granted
perceptions or beliefs
• Mental models of ideals
McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

Slide 16-4

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Meaning of Cultural Content
• Cultural content refers to the relative ordering of beliefs,
values, and assumptions.
• Example: Software company SAS Institute has an employeefocused culture that emphasizes work-life balance.
• An organization emphasizes only a handful of values out of
dozens or hundreds of values that exist.

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

Slide 16-5

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Organizational Subcultures
• Located throughout the organization
• Can enhance or oppose (countercultures) firm’s dominant
culture
• Two functions of countercultures:

– provide surveillance and critique, ethics
– source of emerging values

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

Slide 16-6

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Mayo Clinic Deciphers its Culture

Courtesy of the Mayo Clinic

To decipher its culture and identify ways to reinforce it at the
two newer sites, the Mayo Clinic retained an anthropologist
who shadowed employees, joined physicians on patient
visits, and posed as a patient to observe what happens in
waiting rooms.

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

Slide 16-7


© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Artifacts: Stories and Legends
• Social prescriptions of desired (undesired) behavior
• Provides a realistic human side to expectations
• Most effective stories and legends:
– Describe real people
– Assumed to be true
– Known throughout the organization
– Are prescriptive

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

Slide 16-8

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Artifacts: Rituals and Ceremonies
• Rituals

– programmed routines
– (eg., how visitors are greeted)
• Ceremonies

– planned activities for an audience
– (eg., award ceremonies)

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

Slide 16-9

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Artifacts: Organizational Language
• Words used to address people, describe customers, etc.
• Leaders use phrases and special vocabulary as cultural
symbols

– eg. Referring to “clients” rather than “customers”
• Language also found in subcultures

– eg. Whirlpool’s “PowerPoint culture”

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

Slide 16-10

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Artifacts: Physical Structures/Symbols
• Building structure -- may shape and reflect culture

– Example: Oakley’s “interplanetary headquarters” looks
like a vault, representing the eyewear and clothing
company’s protective culture
• Office design conveys cultural meaning

– Furniture, office size, wall hangings

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

Slide 16-11

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Benefits of Strong Corporate Cultures
Social
Control
Strong
Organizational
Culture

Social
Glue
Improves
Sense-Making

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

Slide 16-12

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Problems with Strong Cultures
1. Culture content might be misaligned with the
organization’s environment.
2. Strong cultures may focus on mental models
that could be limiting
3. Strong cultures suppress dissenting values from
subcultures.

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

Slide 16-13

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Adaptive Organizational Cultures
• External focus -- firm’s success depends on continuous
change
• Focus on processes more than goals
• Strong sense of ownership
• Proactive --seek out opportunities

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

Slide 16-14

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Org Culture and Ethics
• Executives view org culture as one of three main influences
on business ethics
• Organizational culture also an ethical problem when it is very
strong --corporate cults

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

Slide 16-15

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Bicultural Audit
• Part of due diligence in merger
• Minimizes risk of cultural collision by diagnosing companies
before merger
• Three steps in bicultural audit:

1. Examine artifacts
2. Analyze data for cultural conflict/compatibility
3. Identify strategies and action plans to bridge
cultures

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

Slide 16-16

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Merging Organizational Cultures
Assimilation
Deculturation

Acquired company embraces
acquiring firm’s cultural values
Acquiring firm imposes its culture on
unwilling acquired firm

Integration

Cultures combined into a new
composite culture

Separation

Merging companies remain
separate with their own culture

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

Slide 16-17

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Strengthening Organizational Culture

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

Slide 16-18

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Whole Foods Spreads its Culture

When expanding operations, Whole Foods Market maintains its
culture through a ‘yoghurt culture’ strategy. This is a socialization
process in which current employees who carry the grocer’s
unique culture are transferred to new stores so recently-hired
employees learn and embrace that culture more quickly.

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

Slide 16-19

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Organizational Socialization Defined

The process by which individuals learn the values,
expected behaviors, and social knowledge
necessary to assume their roles in the organization.

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

Slide 16-20

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Socialization: Learning & Adjustment
• Learning Process

– Newcomers make sense of the organization’s
physical, social, and strategic/cultural dynamics
• Adjustment Process

– Newcomers need to adapt to their new work
environment
• New work roles
• New team norms
• New corporate cultural values

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

Slide 16-21

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Stages of Socialization
Pre-Employment
Pre-Employment
Stage
Stage

Encounter
Encounter
Stage
Stage

Role
Role
Management
Management

•• Outsider
Outsider

•• Newcomer
Newcomer

•• Insider
Insider

•• Gathering
Gathering
information
information

•• Testing
Testing
expectations
expectations

•• Changing
Changing roles
roles
and
and behavior
behavior

•• Forming
Forming
psychological
psychological
contract
contract

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

•• Resolving
Resolving
conflicts
conflicts

Slide 16-22

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Pre-employment Socialization Conflicts
A: Firm “sells” the job and
company, hides negative info
B: Applicant polishes up the
résumé to look good

Individual
Attracts
Organization
B
C

C: Applicant avoids asking
important questions that may
be awkward (e.g. pay)
D: Company avoids using valid
selection tests that might
scare away applicants

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

Organization
Attracts
Individual

D
A

Individual
Selects
Organization

Slide 16-23

Organization
Selects
Individual

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Realistic Job Previews
• A balance of positive and negative information about the job
and work context
• Benefits of RJPs
– Less turnover, higher job performance
– Less reality shock
– Vaccination effect
– Builds loyalty

McShane/Von Glinow OB4e

Slide 16-24

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


16

Organizational
Culture
McGraw-Hill/Irwin

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


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