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

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Name: University: Course: Tutor: Date: Introduction Organisational culture refers to those values, beliefs, stories and symbols that contribute and guide the interactions among the members of the organisation and foster the attainment of the organisational goals (Nel 2009)…
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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 Symbolism in the organisation refers to the wide variety of meaning and expression functions in the organisation. Organisational culture is a network of shared experiences and accepted reality through which tangible expressions are depicted in the symbols of the organisation. Symbolic organisational culture is displayed in the language, mode of dressing, rituals and routines that define the interactions among the stakeholders of the organisation (Brown 1998). Artifacts like pictures on the walls of the building, the smell and emotional overall feel of the organisation are used by the outsiders to gauge whether the company is bureaucratic or informal. For instance, a bouquet of flowers on the reception may be a symbol of stakeholders’ appreciation. The bouquet of flowers may have other associated elements such as the arrangement and texture that will indicate the historic experience of the stakeholders. According to prospective symbolization, artifacts in the organisation are not imitations but objects that portray the reality of organisational culture. According to Schein, the first level of organisational culture includes the artifacts that symbolize how employees interact in the organisation and guide the behaviour of employees (Schein 2009). ...
The last level of the organisational culture is the assumptions that reflect the shared traditions and beliefs within the organisational culture (Schein 2009). Stories and myths also define the symbolic nature of organisational culture. Stories are used to highlight the past struggles and successes of the organisation. Stories and myths may either be written or oral and are used to orient the new employees to the organisation. Ordinary tells such as weekly sales levels or historic legends like the founders of the organisation help employees understand the strategic mission of the organisation. Effective stories will affirm the strategic and core values of organisation to employees. For instance, stories can be geared at enhancing creativity, professionalism, integrity and hard work thus facilitating the commitment to organisational objectives. The organisation can manage this symbolic element through having written core values that are displayed in walls and company websites. In addition, the beliefs are aimed at enhancing the job motivation and increased productivity, thus beliefs can be managed through expression of humor in the workplace (Daft 2010). Organisational routine actions and rituals such as ceremonies like the end of year parties, team retreats and company meetings add a symbolic value to the organisation. The leaders in the organisation should ensure regular performance reports, open performance discussions and board meetings in order to facilitate the evaluation of the past performance of the organisation (Nel 2009). Material objects such as corporate logos, company product designs and status symbols inspire or demoralize the employees. Symbols in the organisation justify ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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