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Organizational Culture & External Adaptation Issues

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An overview on what prevents organizations for adapting their culture to external environmental issues

An overview on what prevents organizations for adapting their culture to external environmental issues

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  • References:Schein, E. (2010). Organizational Culture and Leadership.(4th Edition).Schein, E. (1996). Three Cultures of Management: The Key to Organizational Learning Sloan Management Review. 38 (1):, p9-20.
  • EntrepreneurLeaders are the main architects of cultureCulture once its formed, it influences and shapes Leadership.If elements of the culture become dysfunctional, leadership can and must do something to speed up culture change
  • Culture Formally Defined:“A pattern of shared basic assumptions learned by a group as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, which has worked well enough to be considered valid and therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct may to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems.”Schein, E. (2010),Organizational Culture and Leadership, p9-18.
  • The definition of organizational culture tells us about culture from the structural point of view, but it does not tells us about its contents – what cultural assumptions are all about:Survival in and adaptation to the external environment (focus of this chapter)Integration of the internal processes to ensure the capacity to continue to survive and adapt 
  • ALL organizations – regardless of their size – have external and internal assumptions that affect and essentially make up their culture. Becoming aware of these assumptions can help an organization better manage outcomes, recognize what may be “unspoken,” and ultimately ensure their survival.Note: These assumptions are at play and making an impact whether they are recognized or not. Recognizing them can support effective leadership. This chapter illuminates aspects of culture formation, or “group identity,” that are essential to a company’s survival thus requiring adaptation to the external environment.
  • Culture formation and group formation are one in the same. Patterns of thought, Beliefs, Feelings and Values that result from common experience and common learning become the “culture” of a group. Group Shared Experiences + Leadership + Common Learning = Shared Assumptions = Group Culture Conclusion: Group Growth and Culture Formation are the two sides of the same coin
  • THE PROBLEMS OF EXTERNAL ADAPTATION AND SURVIVAL Mission & StrategyGoalsMeansMeasurementCorrection
  • Mission & Strategy: Obtaining a shared understanding of core mission, primary task, and manifest and latent functions. (i.e. Shared Assumption for the “reason to be” in business, why the organization exists, long range)These are timeless and long rangeManifest functions are the public acknowledgement of “who we are” and the reason-to-be for the company or group. Shared assumptions about “who we are” are a key element of the organization’s culture and to some degree limits the strategic options available to the organization.Latent functions are the shared and unspoken assumptions, their importance only become apparent (or rise to the surface) when an organization or group is in times of crisis or become threatened.
  • Goals: Developing consensus on goals, as derived from the core mission (i.e. short term activities to carry out the mission and strategy – short term) These are precise and tactical, with immediate and short-term execution in mind and solidify the mission and facilitate the decisions on means (i.e. resource allocation, prioritization of project or activities, etc).The process of goal-setting can unearth unresolved issues or a lack of subculture consensus on deeper issues. Only when consensus is reached, the goals can reveal cultural elements of an organization.
  • Means: Developing consensus on the means (or artifacts) to be used to attain the goals, such as the organization structure, division of labor, reward system and authority system. (i.e. Skills, Resources, Structure, Systems and Processes)The “How’s”: How things will be done, how the mission is achieved, etc. These can be some of the most important yet most invisible assumptions of an organization.When leaders succeed in imposing artifacts (such as structure, systems and processes) and consensus is reached, these can become part of the organizational culture. The downside is that when the artifacts become elements of the culture, these are hard to change. Consensus on the means creates behavioral regularities that can eventually become visible manifestations of the culture.
  • Measurement: Developing consensus on the criteria to be used in measuring how well the group is doing in fulfilling its goals, such as the information and control system. (i.e. Error Detection and Correction Systems – KPIs, Performance Reviews) Note: This step involves the cycle of obtaining information, getting that information to the right place within the organization, and synthesizing it so that appropriate corrective action can be taken.Consensus must be reached on what to measure, what to measure and what to do when corrections are needed.These are primary focus of current members of an organization as well as newcomers because these measurements are linked on how they perform in doing their jobs.  
  • Correction: Developing consensus on the appropriate remedial or repair strategies to be used if goals are not being met. (i.e. Change Management Process) Consensus is crucial for survival – what kind of action to take if a change in course is required and how to make that change.When crisis arises underlying assumptions surface.Crisis situations reveal whether workers’ subcultures have developed around restriction of output and hiding ideas from management or whether these subcultures support productivity goals.
  • CONLCUSION:Culture ultimately reflects the group’s effort to cope, learn and adapt, therefore the implications for us leaders are:External Problems for adaptation and survival should be their primary focus, even when the group was formed before his/her time.Successful management of these external problems is most often how the success orfailure of a leader is measured.
  • Transcript

    • 1. ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE Assumptions About External Adaptation IssuesMSEL 532 – Designing Organizational CultureSonia M. FaraceStephanie ArmstrongJan 14th, 2013C-13 Master of Science in Executive Leadership 1
    • 2. Learning Objectives 1. Leaders as entrepreneurs, are the main architects of culture 2. Culture once its formed, it influences & shapes Leadership. 3. If needed, Leadership can & must speed up culture changeC-13 Master of Science in Executive Leadership 2
    • 3. THREE LEVELS OF CULTURE ARTIFACTS Structures & Processes VISIBLE (Formal) • Language/Technology Observed Behavior • Emotional Displays The way we say 1 • Physical Structure we get things (difficult to decipher) • Dress Code done SPOUSED VALUES Theories in Use • Conscious beliefs • Ideologies Values & Attitudes Leadership Style 2 • Rationalization Informal Groupings Power & Politics INVISIBLE (Informal) Non-confrontable Rules of behavior BASIC ASSUMPTIONS • Unconscious, taken for Non-debatable Self-Esteem granted beliefs & Values 3 • Perceptions, Thoughts & Feelings The way we really get things doneC-13 Master of Science in Executive Leadership 3
    • 4. The Process of Culture Formation ...for long term growth 1. Survival in adaptation to the external environment. 2. Integration of the internal processes.C-13 Master of Science in Executive Leadership 4
    • 5. Basic Assumptions Big or small, all organizations have external and internal assumptionsC-13 Master of Science in Executive Leadership 5
    • 6. Culture Formation• Shared Experiences• Leadership• Common Learning Group Growth & Culture Formation are the two sides of the same coinC-13 Master of Science in Executive Leadership 6
    • 7. Problems of External Adaptation &Survival Mission & Strategy Measurement Goals Correction MeansC-13 Master of Science in Executive Leadership 7
    • 8. Mission & Strategy An organization survives & grows when obtains a F shared understanding of U their reason they exist T V U I R S T R A T E G Y I I O M I S S I O N NC-13 Master of Science in Executive Leadership 8
    • 9. Goals...consensus EXECUTIVES ENGINEERING OPERATIONS …of the three culturesC-13 Master of Science in Executive Leadership 9
    • 10. Means...to get things done! SKILLS RESOURCES PROCESSS SYSTEMSC-13 Master of Science in Executive Leadership 10
    • 11. Measurement …improving performance 4.3 4.5 Consensus on the 3.5 criteria to be used in measuring the 2.5 performance of current and members KPI #1 KPI #2 KPI #3 KPI #4C-13 Master of Science in Executive Leadership 11
    • 12. Error Detection &Correction… Reject the ones that don’t work Try many options… Keep the ones that doC-13 Master of Science in Executive Leadership 12
    • 13. Correction …action to take if change in course is needed Consensus on repair strategies…C-13 Master of Science in Executive Leadership 13
    • 14. Conclusion • Focus on the External Problems • Successful management of External Problems will determine your success …Leadership and Culture are intertwinedC-13 Master of Science in Executive Leadership 14
    • 15. "USD is founded and sustained by a belief in the essential goodness of creation, the worthiness of a lifelong commitment to understanding and working on behalf of the human condition." - President Mary E. Lyons

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