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

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Organisational Culture Is Fundamentally About Symbolic Meaning and As Such Cannot Be Managed Introduction Organisations are not institutions that are formed unintentionally. They are instead the outcome of groups of people working cooperatively to achieve the objectives that one person may be unable to accomplish…
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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 In each organisation, there exist patterns of symbols, beliefs, myths, rituals, and practices that have been developed over time. These, in turn, form general understandings among the organisation’s personnel as to what the organisation represents and how its affiliates should conduct themselves. Organisational culture refers to the behavioural norms as well as values of the members of the organisation. There are two basic kinds of values: the instrumental and the terminal. Terminal values have to do with the preferred effects or outcomes that workers endeavour to achieve. Instrumental values, on the other hand, refer to the esteemed types of behaviours. Organisational culture exists on two levels. The first level is in external expressions of the culture, which are observable and able to make some type of interpretation. The symbols of the cultures of any organisation are evident in communication patterns, the configuration of work spaces and the methods through which authority is expressed. Organisational cultures can also be observed during organisational ceremonies. The other level of organisational culture can be observed in the deeply held beliefs, values, attitudes, assumptions, and feelings that lie beneath the behaviour of personnel (Jaffe 2001). Assumptions as well as organisational principles at this stage are not so easy to discern, interpret and comprehend. It is only the level of culture that is in evidence that can be assessed or changed. This level is the one that is often at the centre management activity. The Significance of Organisational Culture Organisational culture is the bond that structures the different organisational settings and makes it possible for personnel to be able to draw meaning from their duties, and also work easily alongside people who have different values from them (Drummond 2000). Strong organisational cultures are those that are clearly ordered, and have personnel that have identical core values. These kinds of cultures usually flourish in military as well as religious organisations. Strong organisational cultures also encourage behavioural consistency by letting the workers know about exactly which behaviours they should adopt. On the negative side, strong organisational cultures can foster implicit control of workers and function as an alternative for formalisation. In Schein's view, organisational culture is a contributor to internal integration as well as the exterior adjustment of the organisation to its settings (Fineman, Sims and Gabriel 2005). For an organisation to be effective, any organisation’s strategies, culture, technology and environmental concerns have to be united to realise the organisation’s objectives. Usually, when managers or other high ranking personnel try to alter organisational cultures, the resultant changes are usually erratic and sometimes even objectionable. For instance, forced changes can make workers become cynical towards all change programs in general. This does not mean that managers should avoid even the suggestion of possible organisational cultural changes. However, they should be ready to allow workers to engender the necessary changes without being coerced (Clegg, Kornberger and Pitsis 2008). Organisational culture should be viewed as a framework for fostering the desired meanings. It is important for managers not to attempt to forcibly effect organisational cu ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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