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The Culture and Social Structure of an Organization - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: The Culture and Social Structure of an Organization The term culture may be ambiguous but its presence is definite. Its origins are determined by its existing society, history, geographical and physical environments as well as other cultures (Adkins & Caldwell 969)…
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The Culture and Social Structure of an Organization

Download file to see previous pages... On the other hand, an organization’s social structure describes the patterns of its social arrangements that are emergent from its members actions. An organization’s social structure groups its members into related sets of functions, a kind of social stratification, each fulfilling specified roles. This makes structure a critical management issue, because it can determine the organization’s flexibility and capacity to adjust to change. This gets more pronounced once the organization appreciates that changes occur constantly in the wider social environment (Papa 14). This paper will discuss cultural norms, values and symbols of a non-profit volunteer organization distributing food and medical supplies to poor villagers, and how its new members are socialized into it. It will also discuss sanctions for noncompliant members as well as the roles and statuses in its social structure and their interrelation. Finally, the paper will address the coexistence of organization’s formal and informal norms. The organization is sponsored by the social responsibility arm of several corporate companies and mainly recruits the youth freshly from high school and college as volunteers. The incentive is that each year ten volunteers with exceptional service stand scholarship as well as employment chances from the well connected sponsors of the organization. The organization’s culture, embedded in its vision statement, calls for high levels of honesty, responsibility, respect of colleagues and selfless service to the people it serves. The volunteers handle truckloads of relief supplies and donations that they deliver to remote areas under the supervision of one permanent employee who remains in a central town. This dictates that each of them accounts honestly for the cash allowances they are given as well as the way the deliveries are distributed. Giving a true and timely report is, therefore, one of the norms guiding their operations. As a rule, the volunteers are also expected to contact their supervisors after every four hours and communicate their current locations and expected time of return. Although the head office is able to get that information through its tracking system, the volunteers are not aware and it only serves to measure their level of honesty, which is one of the values the sponsors seek. Values may be abstract and general moral principles, and although they may not dictate how to behave under certain circumstances, they can portray who an individual really is (Henslin 53). An individual displays desirable values by spending unsupervised organizational time effectively, remaining committed to responsibility and following instructions in the most practical way possible. Indeed, a symbol of the organization’s appreciation and promotion of such values is the awarding of scholarships and employment to the best volunteers. Since not all can get the chance, others are given material symbols in the form of gift items. New members are taken through the organization’s vision and mission upon recruitment, where the values of honesty, respect and responsibility are emphasized. Out of the one-and-a-half-year minimum initial contract, the first four months are used for orientation, where a maximum of five recruits are placed exclusively under one supervisor and one older member. In those ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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