Organizational Culture

Essay by ikkyikkymeCollege, UndergraduateB+, March 2008

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Societal "culture" is widely accepted to be a controlling factor in the way that people think, act, and process information. Organizational Culture (OC) is just as influential on members of the organization and on the success of the organization. While various references emphasize different aspects of O.C. the basic definition that Kreitner and Kinicki (2007) write as "the set of shared, taken-for-granted implicit assumptions that a group holds and that determines how it perceives, thinks about, and reacts to its various environments" is widely accepted.

One way of understanding O.C. is to examine it in two regards; fundamental layers and functions. There are three layers to organizational culture, observable artifacts, espoused values, and basic assumptions. (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2007) All three layers must be working in conjunction with each other for the culture to be clear to all members. The different layers of O.C. are similar to building blocks supporting one another.

Observable artifacts are "physical manifestations of an organizations culture". (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2007) In the Coast Guard we have a motto "Semper Paratus" or "always ready", posted throughout most stations and offices. Our motto serves as an observable artifact showing all members that we are to be vigilant, ready to respond in any and all types of storm or other crisis. We also post the Coast Guard's three core values, Honor, Respect, and Devotion to duty, to motivate members to live and work according to a common value system.. While observable artifacts serve an important purpose, the goal of any supervisor should be to "create a strong organizational culture without turning to formalization". (Robbins & Judge, 2007) The way to accomplish this goal is by making sure that all layers of O.C. are as strong as the observable artifacts and that all values match each other. Espoused and...