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 ?
Because a little part of me believed the critics who had the cultureless crass understanding of Dubai, I was surprised to see so many people queue up, sit quietly through complex foreign and sometimes inaccessible films and have a genuine conversation during the Q&A's after.
Thus, we suggest strengthening the theoretical treatment of the idea of culture in LD research as solely ideational and add a material (process-oriented) model of culture that permeates not only individuals' action and thinking programs, but also the institutions and practices of individuals historically deemed to be cultureless (i.
The rich old lady articulates how the empire perceives the colonies; the West Indies are seen as cultureless and without a distinct language.
Wholeheartedly loving her parents, she also relays and explores her constant feeling of abandonment: "Even after coming out of my adolescence and crescendoing into adulthood, however, I remain cultureless, being redefined daily for who and what I am.
Working to overcome the image of Dubai as a soulless and cultureless commercial center has earned the fair staunch support from Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid.
Russia's relatively modest official war propaganda drew on existing cliches to promote, apparently without much success, the image of the cultureless, neopagan, militaristic German.
Africans were unutterably strange, impulsive and depraved, cultureless, lacking both commonsense and history, imbued with animalistic body-build and childish conduct.
In one of the film's more revealing moments, a local UNESCO official, Hubert Charles, tells us that not so long ago "people were of the view that Barbados was a cultureless society.
Business people have been reported to view such English communication as a cultureless code; (8) they see their particular discourse community as the relevant cultural group in a business context, e.
Ever wondered what happened to those soulless, cultureless and tasteless buffoons who destroyed Seinfeld's appearances on British TV by messing with its timeslot every week?
As Myrdal wrote, "It was a basic means of satisfying white men's needs to justify slavery and white superiority that the 'dark continent' be regarded as a place of cultureless savagery.