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Organizational culture is fundamentally about symbolic meaning and as such cannot be managed. Discuss - Essay Example

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Organization Culture Name Institution Introduction Culture is one of the critical components that uniquely define an organization and set it apart from the rest. Informally, organizational culture can be defined as “the way things are done around here” (Fincham & Rhodes p.499)…
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Organizational culture is fundamentally about symbolic meaning and as such cannot be managed. Discuss
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Download file to see previous pages Similarly, Hutch (2006) indicated that organizational culture is the unique principles, beliefs and behaviors that combine to give each organization a unique character. Essentially, these definitions point out that organizational culture is the pattern of behavior that is distinct to a particular organization. The culture of an organization is created by assumptions early in the life of an organization which become the modus operandi and are passed on to new personnel of the organization. The set of beliefs that form a company’s culture may be written or unwritten but they define the way in which people behave in the organization (Robbins & Judge 2007). It is imperative that culture is cultivated throughout the life of an organization and gives the organization a sense of identity. Symbolic Meaning of Organizational Culture Organizational culture may not be easily captured or defined within an organization due to fact that it is fundamentally of symbolic meaning. The manifestations of organizational culture differ from place to place. Culture in itself is a socially constructed phenomenon and it reflects meanings that are constituted through interactions among the members of an organization (Fineman et al 2005). An organization’s norms are built in an organic manner that eventually forms the basis for commonly accepted modes of operation. In organizations, culture is symbolic and it is described by stories and materials that are of significance within the organization. In this regard, the organizational culture is tied to symbolic meanings that are derived from the historical experiences in the organization. Verbal symbols such stories, myths and anecdotes can be used to symbolize company culture. Every organization has captivating stories that define its success and failures. The organization’s history can be captured in myths and anecdotes that are passed to newer employees. It is notable that communication is critical in any human engagements. Verbal symbols create mythical heroes and heroines who serve as the yardstick for acceptable behavior in a particular organization. For instance, organizations can have symbolic stories on how the founders started in a college dormitory and worked on a shoe string budget during the formative years. This can be interpreted to create a culture of limited spending and avoiding exorbitant. The stories and myths are powerful tools that can help new employees to make sense of the organization’s environment and appreciate its ethos. It was noted that: Beliefs, values and ideology are at the heart of organizations. Individuals hold certain ideas and value-preferences which influence how they behave and how they view the behavior of other members. These norms become shared traditions which are communicated within the group and are reinforced by verbal symbols (Hatch 2006, p.265). Actions such as rituals and events may be used to symbolically show the beliefs and practices within an organization. For instance, team retreats may hold a symbolic value within an organization. Such an activity may serve as the springboard of all product and service ideas for a company. It may be a practice within the organization that employees have to go on annual retreats to unwind and come up with product innovations. Hatch (2006) indicated that rituals can also serve as a powerful tool symbolizing the culture. Some organizations may have rituals that determine how the orientation of new ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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