Definition of Organizational Culture Essay

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Organizational Culture

While reading the Cheney (2011) text, there are many themes and ideas relevant to organizational culture that are very important to absorb and consider. As noted by the assignment, the best and most relevant portion of the book comes in the fourth chapter, which starts on the 75th page. Within that sliver of the book, there is a wealth of information that could not and should not be missed by anyone that reviews it properly and fully. The important topics of that portion of the book and how they apply to real-word examples and concepts shall be explained in this brief report.


One concept that is explained and defined straight off the top in the fourth chapter is the most important, and that would be the definition of organizational culture in general. The book notes that culture was first defined and formulated a term when it comes to botany. However, the term has obviously exploded in terms of what it can and could be used for since then. One of the major outgrowths of that explosion is the whole nature versus nurture argument and paradigm. That is important to know and think of even when it comes to organizational culture because it speaks to the way people are by nature irrespective of environment and upbringing and what can instead be shaped and influenced after birth. Another important topic and idea when it comes to culture is that cultures are hardly ever just defined and manifested in the form of one pattern or unit of meaning. Quite often, there is more than one cultural trend or pattern in play. The larger a culture, organizational or otherwise, the more applicable this statement is. For example, a company of fifty employees is going to have a somewhat varied culture but it is also reasonable to assume that the cultural variation will be on the smaller side. By contrast, a firm like IBM is going to have a culture that has many layers, variations and differences as one moves from unit to unit, department to department and so forth (Cheney, 2011).

The work of Mary Jo Hatch, as shown in Box 4.1, is important to know about.
It shows the number of culture types and shapes that are commonly seen in organizations. There is the unitary, the diverse/integrated, the diverse/differentiated, the diverse/fragmented and the disorganized. The first and the last are the most basic in terms of form. Unitary basically means a monolithic culture with no variations. A disorganized culture is one with subunits that are not the least big organized around any sort of dominant culture. The other three, those being integrated, differentiated and fragmented, are all similar, yet different. The most unified is the integrated. In that case, there is the dominant and lesser cultures but they are all broadly unified within the same locus area. In other words, the subcultures do not work against the larger culture. In the case of diverse, there are subcultures that exist within the larger culture but they are not all linked together within broader culture, such as is the case with the integrated. There may be some subcultures that work together well but this is not true across the board. Differentiated is sort of between integrated and fragmented. There is more subcultural unity than fragmented and there is a dominant culture but the integration is not as strong and prevalent as it is with an integrated culture. A family company with a small employee base could be a common example of a unitary company. Religious organizations would often be the same. By contrast, a firm with no dominant culture would be disorganized. Any other firm of size with a dominant culture would be somewhere in between (Cheney, 2011).

Another important part of the relevant snippet of text is the talk of "rites" on the 85th page. In total, there are a total of six different types of rites. They are as follows:

• Rites of Passage: These are the rites that are used to change and move someone from one role to another. Example….....

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Cheney, G. (2011). Organizational communication in an age of globalization (1st ed.). Long Grove, Ill.: Waveland Press.

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