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Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 6 months ago
Organizations as cultures
Power and Influence
            In the organization as culture, Morgan identifies several examples in which top-down power structures are not successful. ITT under Harold Geneen was a corporation in which the style of management was “ruthless” (129). He motivated people through fear (130). This company, and the insurance company studied by Linda Smircich (126-127) operated in such a way that problems and differences were not acknowledged, as long as there was productivity. However, the development of subcultures followed, and the problems within the organizations were not solved, but rather allowed to fester and weaken them. Morgan contrasts this with Hewlett-Packard, where the idea of shared meaning-making was fostered (132). Where this occurs, power and influence are shared, and the social norms of the organization work to encourage its members to solve problems, work together and support one another.
            Morgan identifies groups within the organization of cultures as a “mosaic.” He identifies gender, race, language, ethinicity, religion, SES, friendship and professional groups. He states that these groups amy have competing value systems within the organization (132). He also acknowledges subcultural divisions due to divied loyalties (133). In an organization such as ITT, these subcultures begin to engage in private dialogue about the problems they see, and in the example of the insurance company, when problems were not given the appropriate attention, the organization no longer survived. The lesson seems to be that the organization as a culture needs to acknowledge and tend to the groups, or subcultures, that develop so that no single subculture becomes toxic to the culture as a whole.
            The entire chapter was about the organization as a culture.
Organization As Culture...A work in progress:)
Motivation of an individual is largely determined by the culture that is prevalent both acting on and acting within an organization. “The point is that culture, whether Japanese, Arabian, British, Canadian, Chinese, French or American, shapes the character of an organization.” (Morgan, 2006, p. 122) Morgan discusses how in both our country and in Japan the culture plays a significant role in the motivation of individuals. Japan has a culture that focuses on dependence and the importance of community. “Respect for and dependence on one another are central to the way of life. If is this rice culture that was originally transferred to the Japanese factory.” (Morgan, 2006, p.120) Morgan further discusses the values of the rice field with the spirit of the Samurai that continues to shape Japanese culture.
The United States and many other Western countries in contrast, have historically valued separateness and individualism. “In many Western countries, individualistic culture leads us to seek and gain self-respect by competing with others, or against the wider “system,” thus emphasizing our uniqueness and separateness.” (Morgan, 2006, p. 121)
The roles of individuals in an organization are dependent on both the culture that the organization is trying to establish and the culture acting upon the organization itself. An organization might aspire to create a culture that is framed around serving others, dependence and teamwork. The values of this organization would be counter to many values that are prevalent within our country. This could definitely affect the roles that people play within the organization. “Many organizations have fragmented cultures of this kind, where people say one thing and do another.” (Morgan, 2006, p.126). 
            The culture of an organization can be largely influenced by its leadership. Morgan discussed how Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard established their company (Hewlett Packard) around a culture of teamwork and valuing people. “The ethos was also fostered by ritual “beer busts” and “coffee klatches” and by numerous ad hoc meetings that created regular opportunities for information interaction.” (Morgan, 2006, p. 129). Morgan contrasts this culture with the culture that was established at ITT by Harold Geneen. The IIT culture was focused on competition and accountability. “Geneen’s managerial style was simple and straightforward. He sought to keep his staff on top of their work by creating an intensely competitive atmosphere based on confrontation and intimidation.” (Morgan, 2006, p. 129). 
            Leadership, without question, plays a significant role in the culture of an organization. Morgan hopes that leaders, “come to see themselves as people who ultimately help to create and shape the meaning that are to guide organized action” (Morgan, 2006, p.143). The roles that others within an organization play can also provide have a significant presence on the shaping of the culture of an organization. “Others are also able to influence the process by acting as informal opinion leaders so simply by acting as the people they are.   Culture is not something that can be imposed on a social setting. Rather, it develops during the course of social interaction.” (Morgan, 2006, p. 132.)

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