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Organization Culture

Organization culture includes the assumptions, values, traditions, and behaviors that prescribe or influence the actions of individuals within a specific organization. Every organization, business, military or public, has a "culture". Some organization cultures are more distinct and more influential in determing member behavior than are others.

Deal and Kennedy (1982) defined organizational culture as the way things get done in an organization. They measured 2 dimensions associated with organizations:

Speed of Feedback - quick feedback to slow feedback

Risk and Level of Stakes - represents the degree of uncertainty in the organizationís activities.

Based upon these dimensions, they identified four organizational cultures:

The Tough-Guy Macho Culture. Feedback is quick and the rewards are high. This can be a very stressful culture in which to operate.

The Work Hard/Play Hard Culture is characterized by few risks, all with rapid feedback.

The Bet your Company Culture, where high stakes decisions are taken, but it may be years before the results are known.

The Process Culture occurs in organizations where there is little or no feedback and low risk.

from Deal T. E. and Kennedy, A. A. (1982) Corporate Cultures: The Rites and Rituals of Corporate Life, Harmondsworth, Penguin Books.

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