Organizational Culture Essay Organizational culture is a complex concept including many different meanings. In this essay, the definition of organizational culture is described as “a set of shared values and norms that controls organization members “interaction with each other, and with suppliers,customers and others outside the organization, given by Gareth Jones. According to Morgan’s theory, metaphor is a method to explain a phenomenon or create meaning by using one element of experience to understand another.
Organizational culture Using this method to analyze culture can be divided into three levels according to Schein’s model of organizational culture, which are artefacts, espoused values and basic underlying assumptions and values so that it is more than material and visible. Using culture metaphor could create a way to even the most rational part of organization. Organizational culture plays a key role in the design of organizational structure. According to Cartwright and Cooper’s four main types of organizational culture i. e. ower culture, role culture, task culture and person culture, in these different types, the structure tends to be influenced by organizational cultures and be changed as the development of organizational culture. To be more specific, in power culture, the organization is likely leaded by one person or a small group. Through managers making informal decisions, the rays of influence start from the central figures to the other employees. In the effect of working of this type organizational culture, the structure is often small and simple not concerning much about formal structure and working processes.
When the external changes occur, the organization can reflect fast and efficiently with small and centralized power. In contrast, if the size of the organization is larger and the structure is more complex, most employees are provided with limited freedom and of long distance from central power. As a result, power culture may fail to adjust under the organization changes and falls apart. In terms of role culture, the figures are as following: firstly, managers specialize jobs of high level and operate the organization with complete system of formalized behaviour and principle.
Secondly, the hierarchy of the organization is clear and vertical communication is taken into account. Moreover, role and job description are more significant than individuals. With this type of organizational culture, the designer may choose functional and decentralized structure, for example, bureaucracy to meet the organization values. The third type of organizational culture is task culture. The core values in the culture is democratic thought and sense of efficiency. It concentrates on group participation and team work.
The individual potentiality and enthusiasm are fully released. In task culture, professional knowledge and creativity ingenuity is highly respected whist power or ranking of position is less effective. With the effect of task culture, the organizational structure is often matrix structures or adhocracy. Especially, this type of organizational culture is likely to exist in the organization with the goal of development and experiment. As a result, the organization may reflect quickly facing organization change. The last type of organizational culture is person culture.
With the culture, the central focus is individual and the organization itself and its structure serve the person. The purpose is to release one’s potential so that the development of individual is primary instead of the group. With the influence of task culture, the organization structure is likely decentralized and informal such as in law office. These four types of organizational culture affect organization structure respectively. In addition, organization structure development and adjustment may enhance dominant culture, create sub-culture and even restrain previous culture partly.
The changes of organization culture contribute to the adjustment of organization structure in turn. National differences are apparent and national culture is important to organizational culture. In this essay, the effects of national culture on organizational culture are analyzed by the five dimensions theory of Geert Hofstede, which includes power distance, uncertainty avoidance index, individualism versus collectivism, masculine versus feminality and long vs short term orientation.
Power distance means the extent to which members of a nation are prepared to accept unequal distribution of power, wealth and prestige. the higher the distance is, the less equality the culture seem to be. For instance, America is a country with lower power distance, employees from America tend to not accept management privilege concept. As a result, organizational culture is more equal between employee and manager and employees are more likely to study and realize personal value. In terms of uncertainty avoidance index, it is ways in which society has developed methods to deal with uncertainty.
In the high uncertainty avoidance society, employees are under sense of tense so that they desire to work hard and gain more. For example, Japan is of high uncertainty avoidance index country, total quality management success in Japanese organizations for high level of participation. The third dimension is individualism versus collectivism. It involves the degree to which individuals in a culture are expected to act independently of other members of the society. In an organization, employees with collectivism are more likely to ask for care of other members meanwhile repay organization with loyalty.
Japan and China are two typical collectivism societies. In the dimension of masculinity, which refers to clear separation of gender roles, men in highly masculine cultures are expected to be more assertive and women nurturing. America is high masculinity society. Important decisions tend to be made by high position managers. Employees change jobs more frequently so that they have less sense of organization identity. The latest dimension is long term versus short term orientation It is a concept of “East versus West”.
Employees in China have more sense of shame and persistence and the organization relationship is more ordered than Eastern culture. According to Gareth Morgan’s theory, power exists in various ways. To be more specific, organization can be considered as political systems. In different culture, power shows in different situations. For instance, leader in the organization has the position power, which is not the nature of personal relationship. It is defined as formal authority. Secondly, organization gain power and control using complete rules and regulations to standardize employees’ behaviour.
Moreover, scarce resources, including promote,increased responsibilities, allocation of work, granting privilege, is another source of power. In addition, control of boundaries, control of technology, control of decision process, control of knowledge and information are all different ways of power exits in the organization. In conclusion, one of the major strengths of the culture metaphor rests in the fact that it directs attention to the symbolic significance of even the most rational pats of organizational life.
According to four types of organizational culture, they affect organization structure in many ways. The structure should fit the organizational culture and improve development each other. With the examples of Japan, America and China, the effects of national culture on organizational culture are described into five dimensions. At last, according to the Morgan metaphor, power exists in different organizational culture in different ways. Bibliography L. Mullins, Management and Organizational Behavior, 9th ed. Prentice Hall G. Morgan (1986), Images of Organization, Sage Publications, Inc.