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Corporate culture

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  1. Introduction - Management of culture.
  2. Beyond the surface level in an organization.
    1. Example of Nadja Sorgade.
  3. Change of culture.
  4. Considering organizations as unique entities.
    1. Culture management.
  5. Relationship between identity and culture.
  6. Relationship between culture and autonomy.
  7. Conclusion.
  8. References.

Culture appears for many managers as a quite simple deal: it corresponds to what the company stands for, its ?identity?, being widespread in the organization, easy to manipulate and to embed, a tool for making all the stakeholders going in the same direction. It's labeled the ?Managerially-led Unitary and Unique Culture - MUUC? by Alvesson (2002:171). As a consequence, culture is often linked to the missions' statement, management slogans or motto. This vision, however, is quite distorted. Culture differs from this mindset in a lot of ways and is much more subtle and invisible in the way people work (Alvesson, 2007, LU lecture). Before talking about management of culture, we need to rethink the organization and think culturally in order to have a fresh look on how organizations work and to understand culture as being ?a system of meanings and symbols shared by members of a collective' (Alvesson, 2007, LU lecture). Culture is thus a paradigm which can be used to see how organizations work.

[...] study underscored how people understandings and meanings exist and work within an organization, and how it can be an impediment for a reorganization attempt. What is very interesting in this study is how the researcher went beyond the artifacts and studied the symbols, assumptions and values of people inside the company. In this company, managers and programmers had dual positions: the project was for top management to set a more controlled management system, especially concerning the projects the programmers were working on. [...]


[...] When this process is achieved, we can talk about a relationship between corporate culture and autonomy. The employee will be autonomous in his work, more physically distant with the company due to the nature of his job, but will be strongly committed to his organization and its corporate culture, in his behavior, his choices, and his everyday professional life. The dark side of this process is that the autonomy of the individual is always going to be limited, because he is going to be subordinated to the cultural boundaries he is working within. [...]


[...] Meanwhile, it can be argued that corporate culture must create a transversal understanding, and cooperation between all the members. Alvesson (2002:166) refers to the term ?bounded ambiguity? in which cultures are not always clear but an overall consensus among the organization is created which can still offer guidelines, in order to achieve cooperation. From this point, we can say that the organization and the individual can be aligned to a certain extent, in order to facilitate coordination, communication, motivation, meaningfulness and decision-making (Alvesson LU lecture, 2007). [...]

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