Five Major Dimensions to Culture

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					       Five Major Dimensions to
 Power distance Extent to which individuals expect a hierarchical
    structure that emphasizes status differences between
    subordinates and superiors.
   Individualism Degree to which a society values personal goals,
    autonomy, and privacy over group loyalty, commitment to group
    norms, involvement in collective activities, social cohesiveness,
    and intense socialization.
   Uncertainty avoidance Extent to which a society places a high
    value on reducing risk and instability.
   Masculinity/femininity Degree to which a society views assertive
    or “masculine” behavior as important to success and
    encourages rigidly stereotyped gender roles.
   Long-term/short-term orientation Extent to which values are
    oriented toward to future (saving, persistence) as opposed to the
    past or present (respect for tradition, fulfilling social obligation).
Organizational Theory
TABLE 7-2      Organizational Rites

Type of rite             Example of rite                   Purpose of rite

Rite of passage          Induction and                     Learn and internalize
                          basic training                   norms and values
Rite of integration      Office Christmas party            Build common norms and
Rite of enhancement      Presentation of annual            Motivate commitment to
                         award                             norms and values
Rite of degradation      Firing of top executive           Change or reaffirm norms
                                                           and values
Note that “rite of degradation” not included in 4e/5e/6e

 Organizational Theory
  Organizational culture develops from the
    interaction of four factors:
                                       Property rights
Where an                                  system
Organization’s Culture
Comes From

                     Characteristics   Organizational    Organizational
                    of people within      culture          structure
                    the organization


 Final Shuttle Report Cites ‘Broken
      Safety Culture’ at NASA
 Report indicated mngt techniques unknowingly
  imposed barriers that kept at bay both
  engineering concerns and dissenting views
   Program mngrs required engineers to prove that
    debris strike created safety-of-flight issue – engineers
    had to produce evidence that system was unsafe,
    rather than prove it was safe
      Reliance on past success as substitute for sound engineering
       practices (such as testing to understand why systems were
       not performing in accordance w/ requirements)
      Organizational barriers prevented effective communication of
       critical safety information and stifled professional differences
       of opinion
      Lack of integrated mngt across program elements
      Evolution of informal chain of command and decision-making
       processes that operated outside NASA’s rules                     4
 Final Shuttle Report Cites ‘Broken
      Safety Culture’ at NASA
 Ultimately helped create ‘blind spots’ that
  prevented NASA from seeing danger that foam
  strike posed
 Replacing managers would not solve problem
  unless NASA’s culture also changed
    In addition to structural changes outlined previously,
     report called for organizational culture “that reflects
     the best characteristics of a learning organization”
              Source: New York Times, 8/26/03

  “Secretive Culture Led Toyota
 Toyota had known about problem w/ gas pedals for more than
  a year before revealing issue in closed-door meeting in
  January 2010 w/ National Highway Traffic Safety
    Instead of physically connecting to engine w/ mechanical cable,
     2001 redesigned Camry pedal used electronic sensors to send
     signals to computer controlling engine
 Growing rift btwn Co and NHTSA
    Heart of problem: secretive corporate culture in Japan clashed
     w/ U.S. requirements that auto makers disclose safety threats
       NHTSA can do own testing, but generally relies on Cos to supply
         technical data
    In 2009 Toyota’s European unit found problem w/ plastic part in
     gas pedal mechanism also widely used in U.S., redesigned
     pedals for newly-assembled cars, but didn’t issue recall in
     Europe, notify U.S. regulators, or Toyota North America
        Toyota still very much run by Japanese HQ; top leadership doesn’t
         include U.S. executives, officials responsible for recall process are in   6
                 Source: WSJ, 2/10/10
Organizational Theory
An organization with a narrow stance on
  social responsibility believes it is being
  responsible as long as it acts within the
  law and plays by the rules of the game.

An organization with a broad stance on
  social responsibility views itself as a
  moral agent and examines every situation
  from a moral perspective.
    Identifying Cultural Norms
 List classroom norms
   List three ‘rules’ that influence your decision
    to speak, or not to speak, in class discussions
 How are these norms formed?
   Situational forces
   Actions of key individuals
   Critical incidents
 Changing unproductive norms
    The Ethical Dimension #7
 What steps can a company take to prevent
 this problem, to stop its values and norms
 from becoming so inwardly focused that
 managers and employees lose sight of
 their obligations to their stakeholders?


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