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Sample Question: Organizational Culture

What are the elements of organizational culture? Please explain and provide a references.

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"Organizational Culture

In the past 25 years, the concept of organizational culture has gained wide acceptance as a way to understand human systems. From an "open-sytems" perspective, each aspect of organizational culture can be seen as an important environmental condition affecting the system and its subsystems. The examination of organizational culture is also a valuable analytical tool in its own right.

This way of looking at organizations borrows heavily from anthropology and sociology and uses many of the same terms to define the building blocks of culture. Edgar Schein, one of the most prominent theorists of organizational culture, gave the following very general definition:

The culture of a group can now be defined as: A pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems. (Schein 373-374)

In other words, as groups evolve over time, they face two basic challenges: integrating individuals into an effective whole, and adapting effectively to the external environment in order to survive. As groups find solutions to these problems over time, they engage in a kind of collective learning that creates the set of shared assumptions and beliefs we call "culture."

Gareth Morgan describes culture as "an active living phenomenon through which people jointly create and recreate the worlds in which they live." For Morgan, the three basic questions for cultural analysts are:

What are the shared frames of reference that make organization possible?
Where ...

Solution Summary

The solution talks about the elements of organizational culture. Reference is included.

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