The concept of organizational cultures was first raised in 1970s, and soon became a fashionable topic. Organizational culture is the shared beliefs, values and behaviours of the group. Theorists of organizations believe that organizational culture represents the pattern of behaviours, values, and beliefs of an organization. Hence, studies around organizational culture have been seen as great helpful and essential for understanding organizations and their behaviours. Additionally, organizational culture has been considered to be an important determinant of organizational success. Therefore, leaders and managers pay more than more attentions on this topic, focusing on constructing and managing organizational cultures.
This essay gives a basic idea of what organizational culture is, and emphasis on the controversial issues of managing organizational cultures. As there are various definitions for organizational culture, and none of them are universally agreed. Therefore, for an easier understanding by readers, the definition of organizational culture given in this essay focusing on levels of culture, and will be discussed t together with Schein's(1983) framework. Before talking about managing organizational cultures, the types will be introduced first. Because, there are some descriptions about managing different types of organizational cultures, in the following content.
The second section of this essay's main body is about managing organizational culture. In this section, the topic about if it is manageable will be discussed firstly from two different opposite aspects. Nevertheless, instead of further questioning on the `unmanageable' theories, this essay takes a managerial aspect approach. This emphasizes on what are supposed to be done to take control on managing and changing organizational culture. However, cultures cannot be fully controlled from any aspect.
Definitions of organizational cultures
There is no standardized definition of organizational cultures. However, most of the writers of organizational cultures would probably agree that organizational culture is the shared beliefs, values and behaviours of the group. Geert Hofstede (1991) has discussed the characteristics of organizational cultures are:
Holistic: referring to a whole which is more than the sum of its part
Historically determined: reflecting the history of the organization
Related to the things anthropologists study, like rituals and symbols :rituals, and symbols
Socially constructed, created and preserved by the group of people who together form the organization: created and preserved by the group of people who together form the organization
Difficult to change : the stronger the culture of an organization is, the more it resistance to change
Many writers have attempted to distinguish visible and invisible components of organizational culture with different levels. Deal and Kennedy (1982:21) believe that...