Organizational communication (chapter 5)


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Organizational communication (chapter 5)

  1. 1. OrganizationalCulture(Chapter 5)Dr. Lora Helvie-Mason, COMS 404
  2. 2. Before you read…0 Explore a few writings about the organization you arefollowing this semester.0 What can you determine about the “culture” of thatorganization?0 Why would scholars need more than just the classicaland humanistic theories?
  3. 3. Limited viewsScholars wantedmore…How could youexplain…0 Classical andHumanistic theorieswere too limiting0 Unspokennorms, values, andbeliefs oforganizationalmembers seemed toguide their dailybehavior0 Earlier theoriescould NOT explainall forms ofbehavior0 Disregardeddifferences amongorganizations
  4. 4. Culture!0 Anthropologists study groups of people tounderstand their culture—this leads to abetter understanding of people AND theirbehavior0 Culture provides a lens through whichmembers of a group interpret, interactwith, and make sense of realityThink about it:You belong to a variety of cultures. These culturalgroupings provide you with meanings for routineevents. In your daily life, the values you areenculturated with help you make sense of what isgoing on around you.
  5. 5. Organizational Culture0 Apply this understanding ofculture to an organization (a non-profit, a religious group, abusiness, a school, etc.)0 Researchers in OrganizationalCulture believe an ORGANIZATIONhas the same characteristics as thesocieties they studied – thereforeorganizations can be understoodbest through a cultural lens.Do you see the value in this?Instead of focusing on a misunderstanding, we can develop insight intoorganizational behavior and WHY things happen.
  6. 6. 0 Think about“tradition” – we canvalue and respect ourtraditional heritage0 “Traditions” mayhave been the way anorganization built itssuccess in the past0 But, we can becomeentrenched in ourtraditions0 Change becomesdifficult0 Adaptation begins tobe problematic0 We struggle to fit themarketplaceMisunderstandingsOrganizational culture can explain many parts of ourdaily interactions.
  7. 7. Subcultures0 Within the primary culture, there may be manysubcultures. An organization, like an individual, can bepart of a variety of subcultures.0 As members of different subcultures interact, theymay encounter misunderstandings0 These misunderstandings are based on:0 different values, practices, andmeanings for events and even languageThink about it:List your subcultures—as an individual whichsubcultures do you belong to? Have thesechanged over the years?
  8. 8. The merger0 As we explore misunderstandings, we have toconsider the merger0 Mergers have ALWAYS been part of organizations0 Mergers are more common in our global community0 When organizations merger, misunderstandingscaused by the clash of cultures will happen0 This clash is intensified if the organizations are basedin different societal cultures
  9. 9. What is OrganizationalCulture? (1st trait)0 We’ve learned some traits and terms, but what exactlyis organizational culture?01. Org. Culture involves something members SHARE0Members share a way of understanding/interpretingphenomena0Org. Culture provides members with frameworks forunderstanding and interpreting events0 Members may vary in their level of enculturation andsocialization
  10. 10. What is OrganizationalCulture? (2nd trait)0 Organizational culture is intangible0 While often confused with tangible objects orobservable activities, it is important to note culture isintangible.0 For example, a dress code of an organization is anELEMENT of its culture, it REFLECTS the culture, but itis not THE culture.What tangible elements might be apart of organizational culture?
  11. 11. What is OrganizationalCulture? (3rd trait)0 Organizational culture affects human behavior0 The concept of organizational culture is not just anotherway we attempt to run an organization. The culture is aconstruction of human interaction and is affected by thebehavior of all members of the organization.0 The organizational culture provides frameworks for theway members of the organization interpretorganizational events0 If researchers are to understand HOW and WHYorganizational members behave as they do, theymust understand the organizational culture thatguides and constrains them.
  12. 12. Conrad (1990)0 Organizational culturesare COMMUNICATIVEcreations0 Stories0 Memos0 Meetings0 Members communicatebased on the values ofthe culture0 Organizational culturesare HISTORICAL0 Our organizations arerooted in the history ofevents andcommunicative actions0 Tradition
  13. 13. Organizational Culturedefined0 “Organizational culture is a communicativelyconstructed, historically based system of assumptions,values, and interpretive frameworks that guide andconstrain organizational members as they performtheir organizational roles and confront the challengesof their environment.”0Modaff & DeWine
  15. 15. Values0 The common beliefs and priorities of a group ofpeople.Think about it:What values are held in the organization youselected to follow this semester?
  16. 16. Symbolic elements0 Physical objects or icons that represent theorganization0 Logos, mascots, buildings, websites0 Stories0 Language/nonverbal behavior0Certain vocabulary (the jargon of that organization,handshakes, signs)0 MetaphorsConsider Greek life on campus as an organization. Thesegroups generally have their own handsignals, images, historical traditions, and even vocabularythat does not make snese to those outside of theorganization.
  17. 17. Roleelements0 Heroes – individuals or groups who are respected by alarge number of individuals within the organizationbecause they embody group values.0 Outlaws – individuals who seem to be paradoxes inthe organization, who defy organizational practices orvalues yet remain as valued members of theorganization because they exemplify counterculturalvalues that the organization wishes to cultivate
  18. 18. Interactive Elements0 Rituals0 Informal cultural rules0 Organizational styleThink about it!How do you know what behavior is preferred,allowed, or against the rules?
  19. 19. Context Elements0 The context elements show how organizationalcultures are shaped by aspects that may be OUTSIDEthe direct control of the current organizationalmembers.0 Examples might include history, location/place, orexternal events.
  20. 20. Cultural PerspectivesCulture as variable Culture as rootmetaphor0 Organizationalculture is somethingthe organization HAS0 It is a by-product oforganizationalactivities0 Culture is changeable0 Change happens atmanagement level0 Organizationalculture is somethingthe organization IS0 It is the process ofsense-making createdand sustainedthroughcommunication andinteraction0 Not easy to change,no quick fixes
  21. 21. Root metaphor- Below the surfaceMANY things happen(values, beliefs,attitudes, sense-making, assumptions)- The items above residein the individuals ofthe organization- Artifacts/symbols aresurface-leveldescriptions of thecomplex culture- Culture is created andre-created over timeby MEMBERS, notMANAGERS- There are manysubcultures andcountercultures
  22. 22. Sub- &Counter-CulturesThink about it!Which subcultures and countercultureshave you experienced?0 Subcultures diverge only slightly from theorganizational culture0 Countercultures are in opposition of the acceptedculture
  23. 23. Schein’s Model ofOrganizational Culture
  24. 24. Organizational CultureGo back and consider your selectedorganization for this semester.How does this idea of organizationalculture differ from our previous theories?What role does culture play in thatorganization?