culture

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culture

The norms and shared attitudes that pervade an ORGANIZATION. It may be expressed in symbols, rituals and the language used by organization members. It thus constitutes the distinctive characteristics of an organization. In recent years managerial interest in organizational culture has grown enormously It is believed that the culture will influence how individuals behave at work and hence will affect both individual and organizational performances.

A number of types of culture have been identified in this respect:

  1. power culture, characterized by an emphasis on personal charisma, risk-taking and a low level of respect for procedures. This might be found in a small entrepreneurial organization, where power tends to be concentrated in the entrepreneur;
  2. rôle culture, characterized by well-defined procedures and job roles, and an emphasis on conformity. This might be found in an established BUREAUCRACY for example government administration;
  3. task culture, characterized by an emphasis on problem-solving by expert teams. Groups are formed to deal with particular problems. Once the task is completed the group may be disbanded. Here the culture is one which attaches importance to expertise, though in fact expertise may be less developed in organizations of this sort than in role culture organizations, where job roles are more specialized. Task culture places a much greater emphasis on flexibility and creativity than does role culture;
  4. person-oriented culture, characterized by an emphasis on meeting the needs of individuals in the organization. This is often found in small, ‘alternative’ organizations. It may also characterize small organizations composed mainly of PROFESSIONALS, such as small consultancy companies, where it is deemed important that individuals be given some freedom to shape their jobs so that they can pursue particular professional or other ‘acceptable’ outside interests (for example, being a local councillor).

A concern of many managers in recent years has been that the prevailing culture of their organization is inappropriate, or even obstructive, to a desired change in objectives. For instance, a role culture, where jobs are specialized and well-defined, could obstruct creativity and hence prevent an organization from becoming more entrepreneurial. As a result much attention recently has been devoted to changing cultures. It is doubtful, however, whether managers can actually achieve dramatic cultural change in the short term. Culture is influenced by a complex of factors, such as the character and background of the workforce, many of which are to some extent independent of managerial action. See MANAGEMENT STYLE. MECHANISTIC AND ORGANISMIC, EXCELLENCE CULTURE.

References in periodicals archive ?
paragraph]Un cultre de pergamino con una devocion estoriada.
paragraph]Un cultre chequito, de pergamino, de letra muy menuda, de la oracion de san Leon.
From these exiguous descriptions--which probably refer to no more than four objects, assuming that items 1-2 and 3-4 (at least) share an identity-- Ruiz Garcia deduces that a cultre must have been an "objeto de devocion que, a modo de amuleto o escapulario, se solia llevar impuesto o bien se aplicaba sobre una parte del cuerpo en caso de necesidad" ("a devotional object which, like an amulet or scapular, was usually borne devotionally or applied to a given body part in case of need").
In a preliminary discussion of item 6, for example, she glosses cultre as "una variedad de soporte portatil emparentado morfologicamente con el amuleto" ("a kind of portable medium structurally akin to the amulet"), explaining that the Oracion de san Leon--here copied on parchment in a diminutive hand--circulated widely in Spain (and throughout Europe) as a textual amulet until it was banned by the Inquisition in the middle of the sixteenth century.
vn cultre de oro largo esmaltado con vna cadena e vna P de oro con siete diamanticos e vna perla pinjante e vna pomita de oro de quatro verguitas llena de anbar que peso todo junto medio marco e vna ochaba e tomin e medio.
otro joyel de una P llena de diamantes con un lomito en medio, cada uno que hace talle de P y una perla pinjante y en las espaldas una P y una H, y esta la dicha P asida en un cultre de oro que tiene un pergamino dentro con muchos misterios, que peso con una cadenica tres oncas y seis ochavas e tres tomines y esta el dicho cultre esmaltado de unas florecicas de trasflor y en lo alto y en lo baxo unos tornillos y el cultre es como coluna.
The etymology of the word cultre remains unresolved.