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 classic literature ?
Brinkworth, who has served in the merchant navy, what sort of specimen of the moral influence of out-of-door life and muscular cultivation
Take the example which we have now in view," pursued Sir Patrick--"the example of an average young gentleman of our time, blest with every advantage that physical cultivation can bestow on him.
I may add, that as some organisms will breed most freely under the most unnatural conditions (for instance, the rabbit and ferret kept in hutches), showing that their reproductive system has not been thus affected; so will some animals and plants withstand domestication or cultivation, and vary very slightly--perhaps hardly more than in a state of nature.
They themselves care only for making money, and are as indifferent as the pauper to the cultivation of virtue.
The school was constantly growing in numbers, so much so that, after we had got the farm paid for, the cultivation of the land begun, and the old cabins which we had found on the place somewhat repaired, we turned our attention toward providing a large, substantial building.
Cultivation and refinement seem but to enhance their warmth of heart and ardent enthusiasm; and it is the possession of these latter qualities in a most remarkable degree, which renders an educated American one of the most endearing and most generous of friends.
It would be well, if there were greater encouragement to lightness of heart and gaiety, and a wider cultivation of what is beautiful, without being eminently and directly useful.
She knew every farmer for miles about: how much land he had under cultivation, how many cattle he was feeding, what his liabilities were.
Collins invited them to take a stroll in the garden, which was large and well laid out, and to the cultivation of which he attended himself.
Such is the nature of this immense wilderness of the far West; which apparently defies cultivation, and the habitation of civilized life.
The narrow canon in which Nablous, or Shechem, is situated, is under high cultivation, and the soil is exceedingly black and fertile.
The two farmers who uprooted the qat from their lands this Tuesday said that they had uprooted qat at their own free will because they were aware of the hazards linked to qat cultivation and were convinced that uprooting qat to grow food crops instead was the right thing to do.