"What is an organizational culture? Explain both how the culture of an organization might evolve and why an understanding of organizational culture is important?

Essay by safreeUniversity, Bachelor's October 2006

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A culture is a pattern of assumptions and beliefs deeply held in common by members of an organization (Schein, 1985).

Culture comprised of assumptions, values, norms and tangible signs such as artifacts of organization members, slogans, logos and observable behaviors. It is difficult to express culture distinctly but you can tell the culture of an organization by looking at the member's clothes, the arrangement of the furniture and how they communicate with each other. Different organization has different culture. Culture is vital in an organization as it laid the foundation of the organizational internal environment and it also plays a significant role in shaping managerial behavior. Organizational culture can be defined as the set of values, behaviors, customs, and attitudes that help the member of the organization to understand what it stands for, how it does things and what it considers important (Griffin,2002). Culture, thus are seen as a significant drive of the organization's success or failure.

The culture of an organization can evolve through vision. The vision is the foundation upon which the organization's mission is built, it should help the organization to organize and focus internal resources to bring the vision into reality. Vision usually comes from the organization's leadership. For example, Richard E. Synder, the president and C.E.O of Simon & Schuster, a well established New York based publisher, has a vision of changing his traditional company from a publisher of general interest books (sold in book stores and other retail outlets) into America's largest educational publisher. He manages by setting long-range strategies and setting bold objectives as his vision is to entail investment worth $60 million to become the first truly modern larger publisher in the industry where at that time it was popular to use typewriter. He then introduced computer and specially designed software in...