UNT MGMT 3720 - Organizational Culture (16 pages)

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Organizational Culture

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Organizational Culture


Characteristics of organizational culture, functions and dysfunctions of organizational culture, how to create and sustain it, ethics, spiritual culture, and national culture

Lecture number:
Lecture Note
University of North Texas
Mgmt 3720 - Organization Behavior
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MGMT 3720 Lecture 9 Outline of Last Lecture Chapter 15 Foundations of organization structure I 6 elements of an organization s structure II Characteristics of a bureaucracy III Matrix organization IV Virtual organization V Boundaryless organizations VI How organizational structures differ and contrasting mechanistic and organic models VII Behavioral implications of different organizational designs Outline of Current Lecture Chapter 16 Organizational Culture I Common characteristics of organizational culture II Functional and dysfunctional effects III Factors that create and sustain organizational culture IV How culture is transmitted to employees V How an ethical culture can be created VI Positive organizational culture VII Spiritual culture VIII National culture effect These notes represent a detailed interpretation of the professor s lecture GradeBuddy is best used as a supplement to your own notes not as a substitute Current Lecture Organizational culture a system of shared meaning held by members that distinguish the organization from other organizations This is how we do things here how we reward punish etc that makes us unique Seven primary characteristics that give a good summary or idea of an organization s culture Each of the characteristics exists on a continuum from low to high 1 Innovation and risk taking the degree to which employees are encouraged to be both innovative and take risks 2 Attention to detail the degree to which employees are expected to show precision analysis and attention to detail 3 Outcome orientation the degree to which management focuses on results rather than on processes used to obtain the results 4 People orientation the degree to which management decisions consider the effect of outcomes on people within the organization 5 Team orientation the degree to which work activities are organized around teams rather than individuals 6 Aggressiveness the degree to which people are aggressive and competitive 7 Stability the degree to which activities emphasize maintaining the status quo Organizations differ in at least these ways Four different types of culture based on competing values 1 The collaborative and cohesive clan individuals are linked closely with a common goal or characteristic Job attitudes were especially positive in clan based cultures 2 The innovative and adaptable adhocracy 3 The controlled and consistent hierarchy 4 The competitive and customer focused market Innovation was especially strong and financial performance was especially good in market cultures Culture as a Descriptive Term Organizational culture is concerned with employees perceptions of the characteristics of the culture not whether they like them Does it encourage teamwork Does it reward innovation Does it stifle initiative It differs from job satisfaction Job satisfaction is evaluative Organizational culture is descriptive Do Organizations Have Uniform Cultures Most organizations have a dominant culture and numerous sets of subcultures Dominant culture expresses the core values a majority of members share and that give the organization distinct personality It is the shared meaning aspect of culture that makes it such a potent device for guiding and shaping behavior Subcultures tend to develop in large organizations to reflect common problems situations or experiences that members face Subcultures can influence member behavior too Strong versus Weak Cultures Strong culture core values are intensely held and widely shared The more members accept the core values and the greater their commitment to those values the stronger the culture is The unanimity of purpose builds cohesiveness loyalty and organizational commitment and in doing so reduces employee turnover The stronger an organization s culture the less management needs to develop formal rules and regulations Culture versus Formalization High formalization creates predictability orderliness and consistency Formalization and culture are two different techniques to obtain the same results BOTH formalization AND strong culture effect drive and control behavior What role does culture perform Cultures can be positive or negative for organizations The Functions of Culture Boundary defining role Conveys a sense of identity for members Facilitates the generation of commitment characteristic of spirituality Enhances the stability of the social system Serves as a sense making and control mechanism Defines the rules of the game Today s trend toward decentralized organizations makes culture more important than ever but ironically it also makes establishing a strong culture more difficult When formal authority and control systems are reduced a culture s shared meaning points everyone in the same direction Employees organized in teams may show greater allegiance to their team and its values than to the values of the organization as a whole In virtual organizations the lack of frequent face to face contact makes establishing a common set of norms very difficult Strong leadership that communicates frequently about common goals and priorities is especially important in innovative organizations Individual organization fit that is whether the applicant s or employee s attitudes and behavior are compatible with the culture strongly influences who gets a job offer a favorable performance review or a promotion Culture Creates Climate Organizational climate the shared perceptions organizational members have about their organization and work environment This aspect of culture is like team spirit at the organizational level When everyone has the same general feelings about what s important or how well things are working the effect of these attitudes will be more than the sum of the individual parts A positive overall workplace climate has been linked to higher customer satisfaction and financial performance Climates can interact with one another to produce behavior Example a positive climate for worker empowerment can lead to higher levels of performance in organizations that also have a climate for personal accountability Climate also influences the habits people adopt Example If the climate for safety is positive everyone wears safety gear and follows safety procedures even if individually they wouldn t normally think very often about being safe Positive safety climate decreases the number of documented injuries on the job The Ethical Dimension of Culture Organizational cultures are not neutral in their ethical orientation even when they

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