Organizational Culture

29 03 2010

Organizational culture is a topic of interest, and it surround us all. To understand the organization you need to  learn about its culture.

Edgar Schein’s definition of culture is : ” A pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaption and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, to be taught to new members as the correct way you perceive, thinking, and feel in relation to those problems.”

The culture in any organization is a complicated issue talking about all the aspects and levels. That is why leaders should be aware of it, and learn about the culture levels to gain understanding, otherwise it will manage them.

Some key factors of the  organizational culture would  be: communication style, behavior, socialization and values like knowledge sharing.

James Waldrop and Timothy Butler are talking about destructive behavior patterns. When they are talking about  “Bad  habits” they are not using the term to describe compulsions like smoking or, nail-biting. We are all wrestle with demons and make mistakes, and non of us is perfect. The authors are using the term to talk of employees who translates into consistently problematic behavior. Their “bad habits” reflects their personalities, and they create their own glass ceiling. This can end in limiting their own success.

Business psychologists and executive coaches Waldrop et al have identified twelve discrete patterns of behavior, or habits, leading to these career troubles.

Managers may be able to help people whose behavior fits the following six patterns :

“The Hero”, always pushes himself  – and, by extension, subordinates – to hard to do too much for too long.

“The Meritocrat” believes that the best ideas can and will be determined objectively and thus will always prevail because of their clear merit; ignores the politics inherent in most situations.

“The Bulldozer” runs roughshod over others in a quest for power.

“The Pessimist” focuses on the downside of every change; always worries about what could go wrong rather than considering how things could improve.

“The Rebel” automatically fights against authority and convention.

“The Home Runner Hitter” tries to do too much soon – in other words, swings for the fences before he’s learned to hit singles.

Waldrop et al is emphasizing that they are  not urging managers to get advanced degrees in psychology, but point out in their own words that: “managing today involves more than shuffling the right bodies on the assembly line; it requires knowledge of minds and hearts. Your only choice is between being a good “psychologist” or a bad one”.

Mintzberg poin out: “in the leading role , managers help to bring out the energy that exists naturally within people”.

When energizing individuals Mintzberg say that “managers spend a good deal of time helping to bring about more effective behavior on the part of their reports: they motivate them, persuade them, support them, convince them, empower them, engage them”.

“On the developing levels of individuals, managers coach, train, mentor, teach, counsel and nurture.” But as the author puts it: “the job of development is perhaps best seen as managers helping people to develop themselves”.

When he talks about building and managing teams this is how he describes it: “this involves not only bonding people into cooperative groups but also resolving conflicts within and between these groups so that they can get on with their work”. The leader is in this case responsible of organizing the experience of the group, whether it is a small group, larger or the whole plant.

A view from Hill (2003) cited Mintzberg (2009) talks about the difference between managing people who play on a team ( as in baseball) versus those who play as a team (as in football or an orchestra). Kraut et al likewise commented on successful athletics teams that have an “almost uncanny ability to perform as a single unit, with the efforts of individual members blending seamlessly together”.

Establishing a strong culture the author say: “culture is intended to do what other aspects of the leading role do for individuals and small groups, encourage the best efforts of people, by aligning their interests with the needs of the organization. In contrast to decision-making as a form of controlling, culture is decision shaping as a form of leading”.

Cognitive behavior and approaches is all about our thoughts, often we are caught in a pattern we have difficulties changing. We need to be open – minded for other peoples views, ideas and thoughts.

In 1996 Daniel Goleman wrote a bestseller book, “Emotional Intelligence”, in this book he say that emotional intelligent people has abilities in five areas:

– They know their emotions

-they manage their emotions

-they motivate themselves

-they recognize emotions in other

-they can handle relationships

These five areas will help you to be a winner and a star in your profession.

Twenty five years later, Goleman did an empiric research on emotional intelligence and success. “What every educated person needed to learn, General Motors Charles Kettering felt was; that it’s not a disgrace to fail, and that you must analyze each failure to find its cause……You must learn how to fail intelligently. Failing is one of the greatest arts in the world. One fails forward success”.

Inger Lise E. Greger/Master of Science in Change Management

https://inger-lise.net/page/2/


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