Organizational culture influences performance and productivity of any modern organization. Thus, the uniqueness of this concept is that organizational culture can be interested and understood differently and have different implications for management practice. The aim of the research paper is to evaluate and analyze the impact on some perspectives and theories of organizational culture on management practices. In general, organizational culture can be described as a theory of interpretation for understanding the significance of human feelings and actions. Its application to examining organizational life moves us beyond the scientific search for observable facts and truths; rather, it offers a theory and practice for ascertaining the meaning of human relations and experiences at work–meanings found in the unconscious and latent processes of social systems. Organizational behavior theorists attempt to locate the intent of human experience by focusing on psychic reality in contrast to objective reality.
Meyerson and Martin on organizational culture
In their analysis, Meyerson and Martin (323) interpret organizational culture through lens of cultural change and cultural transformations. For these researchers, people use their organizations for unconscious reasons such as defending themselves against certain anxieties, renewing a sense of lost omnipotence, enhancing their self-esteem, and resolving incomplete developmental issues; as targets of aggression; and as a psychological space for play and imagination, to name a few (Bolman and Deal 27). The personal meaning of organizational experience, discovered in organizational identity, helps to explain the unconscious intentions of those who plan and structure organizational action. How people, particularly those in por, use their experiences with and fantasies about organizational membership affects their relationships, and ultimately their collective image of organization. Awareness of the structure of subjectivity and the relational patterns organizing experience and action helps to explain human behavior (Carlopio et al 65). In terms of cultural change, modern organizations are not analyzable as a single entity, an organism with its own mind, but as a consequence of interpreting the patterns of human interactions and perceptions of members in their respective roles and groups. Collective patterns of private images and interactions may differ from one organization to the next, rendering coherent what otherwise seems chaotic and unreasonable. Organizations are more than the sum of members’ collective projections: that is, organizations are psychological containers for members’ individual and shared experiences, fantasies, and expectations (Robbins 132).
The practical application of this theory allows to say that cultural organizational defenses protect members against the anxieties of uncertainty and unpredictability associated with problem solving and changing the status quo. They further promote the collective repression and denial of organizational and interpersonal change. Cultural organizational practices disavow the pain of emotional loss associated with change through processes of denial and selective inattention (Tannenbaum 19). These defenses repress feelings and narrowly focus thoughts on meaningless and repetitive tasks, while functioning to meet the unconscious desire among workers for stability, constancy, and the status quo. Organizational and individual reality testing surrender to a collective fantasy of control and conflict avoidance (Sass 95).
Woodall et al on organizational culture
In the book, New Frontiers in Human Resource Development, Woodall et al (22) state that cultural organizational defenses shield organizational participants from the cognitive and emotional realities of the unknown, uncertain, and unpredictable character of organizational environments. Earlier experiences with anxiety can produce highly rationalized, stereotypic, and narrow-minded thinking among workers. Although ego defenses of the self are intended to promote greater adaptability and maintenance of security, they can become quite rigid and inflexible. Consequently, the avoidance of anxiety often takes priority over other human motives and values among organizational members (Hoyle and Wilmore 87).
The practical implications of this theory show that coming to know the identity of organizations evokes the personal meaning, experience, and perception of organizational life in the minds of individual members. Gaining access to members’ organizational experience helps us better understand individual and collective motives that govern their behavior and enables us to distinguish otherwise similar organizations from one another. Organizational identity defines who all are in a group and who (or what) can be as members of groups (role identity). This includes the network of repeated interpersonal strategies for coping with (defending against) interpersonal and organizational events that are stressful and perceived as threatening. Discovering it involves finding out how people experience one another and observing how they handle themselves and others under stressful circumstances. It does not assume that people in organizations share the same organizational image. Nor does it assume a collective identity for organizational members. Hover, it does imply that organizational culture and strategies for managing internal and external affairs are the result of members’ individual personalities and experiences that shape organizational meanings and experiences (Mullins 133).
Willmott and Knights on organizational culture
Willmott and Knights (66) suppose that the beginnings of organizational identity are rooted in employees’ first awareness of themselves, an awareness that results in feelings of ambivalence about dependence and self-identity as ll as separation anxiety. Interpretation of individual and collective organizational meanings is the avenue to understanding organizational identity. With respect to transference and counter-transference dynamics, psychoanalytic action researchers learn to use themselves (the self as the core of the personality and interpersonal experience) as instruments of organizational study. Empathy and introspection become necessary skills in helping subjects to share feelings and ideas that previously could not be discussed. Hence, organizational identity is the outcome of a collective compromise formation and analysis of transference beten and among organizational members, and compromise formation and transference are the key to understanding these phenomena. At this point, managers need to examine the various patterns of transference, such as mirroring and idealizing, and persecutory self and other relations (Charan et al 2001). The practical implications show that the por of high position may exaggerate individual demands for admiration and feelings of grandiosity. The presence of hierarchies may perpetuate selecting and rewarding individuals with narcissistic proclivities, thereby indulging quests for por and authority by way of positions of public visibility and official importance. Similarly, executives may come to rely on their staff to mirror their larger-than-life view of themselves. Consequently, staff is unconsciously required to idealize the boss, to inflate his or her public image and sustain his or her self-worth (Hersey et al 72).
Culture as b of relations
Other researchers state that organizational culture can be seen as a b of relations and meaning which influence each of the employees and lead to team spirit. Bolman and Deal (2003) underline that the utility of analyzing organizational problems is greatest when exploring the network of feelings that bind people together at work. They call this network organizational identity. Focus on organizational identity goes below the exposition of patterns of values or organizational culture. Organizational identity emerges from the intersubjective experience of individual organizational members. Transference is a clinical device for interpreting the meaning of interpersonal relations beten and among organizational participants (Charan et al 82). Ultimately, it is the nonrational and unconscious dynamics of human relations at work that influence members’ interpretations of their roles and tasks in the organization. Making emotional and cognitive sense of organizational life is essential to the change and development of total systems and people’s images of those systems. Its sources in the environment are the coping responses of work groups and organizational divisions to critical incidents and everyday stressors. In psychoanalytic theory, this definition is consistent with “the speculation that the evolution of affects serves the adaptive needs of the group” (Cole 83). Group performance in organizations must always be considered in a situational context. Organizational identity is, in part, the product of interpersonal defensive and adaptive strategies for coping with critical incidents. Such incidents may influence por and authority, responsibility and accountability, or may produce greater uncertainty and helplessness. These incidents represent change in the status quo and simultaneously generate anxiety among organizational members. organizational identity implies that many repetitive and, frequently ritualistic, patterns of interaction within work groups and among participants are, for organizational members, purposeful, but not necessarily conscious, psychological defenses against threatening events and relationships. These defensive patterns, ultimately, result in the construction of rational administrative processes of organizations that regulate threats to personal security and self-esteem by structuring and defining organizational life (Foster-Fishman and Keys 245).
Following Willmott and Knights (69), Involving employees in innovation processes presents two basic difficulties. The first problem is to demonstrate to employees that they stand to benefit from cooperating in the process. The prospect of participation in planning and decision-making may arouse fears and possibly resistance among employees new to this process, based on their previous experience that workplace changes are frequently accompanied by deskilling and the elimination of jobs. They know that too often they bear the negative consequences of “work improvement” projects. In addition, many employees have found that management has failed to act on their input and suggestions for improvements in the past. These types of experiences do not provide positive reinforcement for continuing to participate. Other barriers emerge from the concern that employee participation may eliminate the privileges of some groups in the organization. In real life, many supervisors fear the loss of control and decision-making por. They are worried that employee participation means less decision-making latitude and influence for them. Employee participation, hover, is intended to open up new domains of responsibility and decision-making for supervisors as they are freed, for example, from certain tasks that the work group can take on (Willmott and Knights 70),
The central dilemma for the individual in the work group rests in his or her ability to maintain a balance of relative independence (personal identity and self-esteem) and group membership (a sense of belongingness and affiliation) without becoming overly distressed. Establishing a separate identity in a group is essential to ego integrity and emotional llbeing. That requirement of independence and autonomy is what distinguishes us from each other. Hover, group affiliation draws upon individual narcissism–both healthy and pathological. Individual requirements for self-esteem and reassurance differ. Some need more reinforcement than others, and some must find others who make them feel more porful and safe. Regardless, all of us need others and therefore require some degree of affiliation. In the case of psychological regression in work groups, I am talking about an excessive demand for affiliation–a merger with the other and a loss of self-other boundaries. That is a compulsive yearning to belong and to be a part of something. The transference categories are variations of merger relationships. That is, group membership is a way of fulfilling the demands of the ego ideal–that near-perfect sense of oneself at his or her future best. Therefore, some affiliation with others is important in that it provides not only a defense, but also a sense of being greater than one (Foster-Fishman and Keys 101).
All researchers mentioned above recognize that organizational culture influence learning as a part of change. Following Mullins (223), employees may often go to great lengths in order to maintain their affiliation with the group, to the extent that sometimes they will do things within the group that they would not consider doing outside it. For example, in brainstorming groups, people spend time listening to others and telling others their ideas. This decreases the time each group member might spend generating original ideas. In geographically-dispersed groups, the cost of information exchange includes the time it takes to travel to and from meetings, the time for a written memorandum to be distributed to others, and, once people meet, the time to schedule more meetings. One result of the centrality of the learning dimension is that the social component of a working relationship is less important than it is in an intimate relationship In part, this is because people seek out other interpersonal settings to attain other kinds of reward and form working relationships principally to focus on task completion. Learning -specific competence plays a much greater role in the development of working relationships than it does in purely social ones. Considerable research suggests that competence has a direct effect on the development of both interpersonal trust and influence.
In terms of cultural change, group members’ obsessive-compulsive preoccupation with control of sadistic aggression fosters a paranoid position with respect to group members’ action. Not surprisingly, persecutory transference dominates the character of interpersonal relations in the institutionalized work group as ll. Hover, in contrast to the homogeneous work group, the institutionalized work group reinforces submission to hierarchical authority (Foster-Fishman and Keys 82). Although self and other boundaries do become confused, they are not seemingly obliterated as in the case of the homogenized work group. This group accomplishes work in a routine and rational fashion. Procedures, rules, and regulations may take priority over quality of work, substance of product and service, and overall meaning and purpose of task accomplishment. Intra- and inter-organizational boundaries are rigid and relatively inflexible. Bureaucratic administration replaces leadership. An emphasis on the control of subordinate behavior renders delegation of authority unlikely. Paradoxically, the proclivity of the institutionalized work groups to operate as closed systems fosters perpetual insecurity and paranoia and an obsession with protection from others’ aggression. Of course, this overcompensation is a defensive denial of individual sadistic tendencies, which takes the form of projective identification. Many politically unpopular public agencies often operate under these regressive and defensive arrangements because of the politics of overzealous subcommittee oversight or overambitious political appointees in positions of authority. Regardless of how disturbed and distorted interpersonal relationships in work groups are, intimacy and human relatedness, with its potential for consensual validation and intimacy, persists in the institutionalized and autocratic work groups. In fact, the autocratic work group offers members the opportunity to repair self-other relations that are split apart, thereby promoting more holistic and reality-based work bonds. Although personal identity, independence, and autonomy take a back seat to affiliation and membership in the institutionalized and autocratic work groups, the individual can emerge more readily in these work group cultures than in the homogenized group (Willmott and Knights 112).
Following Mullins (123), Hoyle and Wilmore (82) the main motivational aspects of group behavior are consistent for all three groups, but the regressive and defensive actions are characteristically different. The descriptive validity of the work group typology rests on the underlying developmental characteristics of self and other relations described by contemporary psychoanalytic object relations theory and observable in work groups responding to organizational and environmental pressures. Cultural change interpretations of group behavior in organizational settings are not entirely negative and pessimistic. In fact, an understanding of the regressive qualities of groups in organizations can provide us with a more holistic and balanced view of effective work groups. The resilient work group incorporates all of the regressive potentials of the homogenized, institutional, and autocratic subcultures. The difference is that it is capable of recognizing its nonrational and typically unconscious dynamics that promote defensive and regressive actions under pressure (Willmott and Knights 112). In order to introduce change, managers should take into account four main aspects of the organizational architecture and organizational drivers of change. These drivers are: the environmental drivers, strategy drivers, the relationship beten strategy and organizational design and the dilemma of organizational design. The main opportunity for change is that retail and marketing department follows formal structure in relations with customers bit establishes informal communication and interaction patterns in relations inside the organization. Informal communication has a great influence on management decisions and their implementations.
The theories and ideas mentioned above vividly portray that organizational culture can be interpreted differently, so it leads to different perspectives in management and performance. The study on differences may be useful for our study because may understand and conclude that organizational culture theories play and important role in management and HRM. Thus, the conclusion can be made from everything said above that. Particularly, in business, where increasing diversity and multiple readers simply increase the chances that one will be misunderstood, word choice is a matter that must be managed with great care. Hover, these chances can be reduced if writers become familiar with four kinds of problems that are prevalent in the writing of working professionals. Bureaucratization and ritualization are institutionalized forms of control that promote dependency on rigid and routinized impersonal structures. Group affiliation needs come to dominate contrary demands for personal identity and autonomy. The strategy of an organization involves how it plans to achieve its mission and goals and is partly determined by its culture. Organizational culture can also become one of the factors that influence the evolution of culture. Given that leadership becomes particularly important, it is crucial to understand the role and influence of leaders in the acculturation process and healthy organizational culture.
Bolman, Lee., Deal, Terrence. Reframing Organizations- Artistry, Choice and Leadership, Jossey Bass: San Francisco, 2003.
Carlopio, James., R. Andrewartha, Graham., and Armstrong, Humphrey. Developing Management Skills, Pearson: Australia, 2005.
Charan, Ram., Drotter, Stephen., Noel, James., The Leadership Pipeline How to Build The Leadership-Pored Company, Jossey Bass: San Francisco, 2001.
Cole, Gerald., Management –Theory and Practice, Pearson: Australia, 2005.
Foster-Fishman, Poger.G., Keys, Chales. B. The Person/environment Dynamics of Employee Emporment: An Organizational Culture Analysis. American Journal of Community Psychology 25 (1997), 345.
Hersey, Pail., Blanchard, Kenneth. H., Johnson, spencer. Management of Organizational Behavior 8th edition, 2001
Hoyle, James.R., Wilmore, Elaine. L. Principal Leadership: Applying the New Educational Leadership Constituent Council (Elcc) Standards. Corwin Press, 2002.
Meyerson Debra and Martin Joanne. “Cultural Change”. In Organizational studies: critical perspectives on business and management by Von Warwick. Routledge; 1 edition, 2001, pp. 321-346.
Mullins, Laurie.J. Management and Organizational Behaviour. 3 d Edition. Pitman Publishing, 1993
Robbins, Stephen. Organizational Behavior. Prentice Hall. 11 Ed, 2004
Sass, James. S. Characterizing Organizational Spirituality: An Organizational Communication Culture Approach. Communication Studies 51 (2000), 95.
Tannenbaum, Steven. Organizational Values and Leadership. The Public Manager, 32 (2003), 19.
Woodall Jean, Lee, Monica, Steward, Jim. New Frontiers in Human Resource Development, Routledge; 1 edition, 2004.
Willmott, Hug, Knights David. Management Lives: Power and Identity in Work Organizations. Sage Publications Ltd; 1 edition, 1999.