Organizational Culture and Its Importance

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There is no single definition for organizational culture. The topic has been studied from a variety of perspectives ranging from disciplines such as anthropology and sociology, to the applied disciplines of organizational behaviour, management science, and organizational communication. Some of the definitions are listed below: A set of common understandings around which action is organized; finding expression in language whose nuances are peculiar to the group (Becker and Geer 1960). A set of understandings or meanings shared by a group of people that are largely tacit among members and are clearly relevant and distinctive to the particular group which are also passed on to new members (Louis 1980). A system of knowledge, of standards for…show more content…
The explicit social products produced by subcultures within organizations can be widely diverse and even result in countercultures. Countercultures can have both productive and unproductive outcomes. Perhaps the key to a counterculture's success (i.e., the promulgation of its ideology, values and norms) is the group's ability to demonstrate how its idiosyncrasies are consonant with the core ideologies, values and norms of the dominant culture. THE SYMBIOSIS BETWEEN THE ORGANIZATION'S OVERALL CULTURE AND ITS SUBCULTURES Some people may debate which comes first in an organization: the organizational culture or the organization's subcultures. The question that is relevant to the definition of Organizational Culture is how do the ideologies, values, and norms of subcultures compliment the organizational culture advocated by leadership? Explaining this relationship requires an understanding that cultures provide members with a reliable means to interpret a highly ambiguous environment. It is the leader's responsibility to specify the features of the environment that are relevant to the organization and then provide the supporting assumptions and rationale for its operating strategies. The leader's cultural messages should address ambiguities that are beyond the scope of any organizational subculture to explain to employees. Leaders should recognize that their cultural messages should specifically address cultural
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