(1) Outcomes: Defining culture as a manifest pattern of behaviour— Many people use the term culture to describe patterns of cross individual behavioural consistency. For example, when people say that culture is “the way we do things around here,” they are defining consistent ways in which people perform tasks, solve problems, resolve conflicts, treat customers, and treat employees with in the organisation.
(2) Process : Defining culture as a set of mechanisms creating cross individual behavioural consistency—In this case culture is defined, as the informal values, norms, and beliefs that control how individuals and groups in an organisation interact with each other and with people outside the organisation.
Both these approaches are relevant to understanding culture. It is important to know that on what type of behaviour culture has greatest impact (outcome) and how culture works to control the behaviour of organisational members.
Functions of Organisational Culture
(1) Provides behavioural control.
(2) Encourages stability.
(3) Provides source of identity.
Drawbacks of Culture
(1) Barrier to change and improvement.
(2) Barrier to diversity.
(3) Barrier to cross departmental and cross organisational cooperation.
(4) Barrier to mergers and acquisitions.
Types of Behaviour that Culture Controls Using the outcome approach, cultures are described in terms of the following variables:
(1) Innovation versus Stability The degree to which organisational members are encouraged to be innovative, creative and to take risks.
(2) Strategic versus Operational Focus The degree to which the members of the management team focus on the long-term big picture versus attention to detail.
(3) Outcome versus Process Orientation : The degree to which management focuses on outcomes, goals and results rather than on techniques, processes, or methods used to achieve these results.
(4) Task versus Social Focus : The relative emphasis on effect of decisions on organisational members and relationships over task accomplishment at all costs.
(5) Team versus Individual Orientation : The degree to which work activities are organized around teams rather than individuals.
(6) Customer Focus versus Cost Control : The degree to which managers and employees are concerned about customer satisfaction and good service rather than minimizing costs.
(7) Internal verses External Orientation : The degree to which the organisation focuses on and is adaptive to changes in its business environment.
Q.11. What are the various myths about organisational culture?
Ans. Myths of Organisatjonal Culture : There are various myths about organisational culture. Some of them are presented here along with the counter arguments:
(1) Organisatjoa Culture is Same as Organisational Climate : In management literature there is often ambiguity about two concepts — organisational culture and organisational climate. Organisational culture is a macro phenomenon which refers to the patterns of beliefs, assumptions, values, and behaviours reflecting commonality in people working together. However, organisationa climate is a micro phenomenon and reflects how employees in an organisation feel ‘about the characteristi and quality of culture like morale, goodwill, employee relations, job satisfaction, and commitment at the organisational, department or unit level. It refers to the psychological environment in which behaviour of organisationa members occurs. It is a relatively persistent set of perceptions held by organisational members about the organisational culture. Another viewpoint about climate is that various variables get subsumed under the concept of climate, whereas it has unique indicators like symbols, rites, myths, and stories.
(2) Culture is Same as ‘Group Think’: Since culture refers to shared assumptions and beliefs, it is likely to cause confusion. Groupthink refers to group members hiding any differences in how they feel and think and behave in a certain way. The phenomenon of groupthink is mostly used in a face — to — face situation when dealing with small groups. Culture, on the other hand, is a much larger phenomenon characterized by historical myths, symbols, beliefs, and artifacts.