Organizational Culture Is Within The Control Of Management

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Introduction Interest in the area of corporate culture is said to have originated in the 1970s as a response to the success of Japanese management and the perceived failure of traditional organizational analysis (Hofstede, Neuijen, Ohayv & Sanders, 1990; Ouchi, 1985; Martin & Frost, 1999). Since then, research has flourished, with particular emphasis placed on the link between culture and corporate performance (Kilmann, Saxton & Serpa, 1985). Observations of the most well-known, best run companies, like IBM and Google, seem to suggest that having a unique, cohesive culture can propel a company above the competition (Kilmann et al., 1985). Following from this, it makes sense that figuring out how to control culture to achieve competitive advantage has received a lot of attention from scholars and management alike (Anthony, 1994). In this essay, we will look to explore the extent to which organizational culture is within the control of management. To do this, we will begin by defining culture and shedding light on the debate that culture can be seen in one of two ways – as something that organizations have versus something organizations are (Nord, 1985; Schneider, Ehrhart, & Macey, 2012). This contradiction defines the conversation on whether or not managers can control culture. On one hand, if culture is something an organization has, then we can think of it as a variable that one can control, at least to some extent (Meek, 1992; Baker, 1990). In contrast, those who argue
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