Organisational Culture Theories Essay

1568 words - 7 pages

There have been many theories created to help explain and to give an in depth look into the world of organisational culture. Although these theories differ slightly, they all strive towards a common idea: to create a healthy and prosperous organisational culture. The impacts created by this idea provide many benefits such as: overall increase in the performance and consistency of employees, high morale, increase team working ability and creating a goal orientated team. The organisation itself will strive to develop a competitive edge created by innovated employees. Three of the theories will be discussed as they are the major theories used by societies and organisations: Hofstede, G.L.O.B.E, and Deal and Kennedy.
Hofstede theory:
Gerard Hofstede is a social psychologist and a Professor Emeritus of Organisational Anthropology and International Management at the University of Maastricht. Hofstede’s theory is based on the study of over 160000 IBM employees from all over the world to see how their cultures affect their business behaviour. He found that cultural differences influence the way employees think and act on a social level. Geert Hofstede discovered, through his studies, that the most significant difference between national cultures are their level of values, whereas the main difference between organisational cultures was the level of practices. Hofstede decided to create 4 (fifth created in future study) cultural dimension theories to explain the behaviour of organisations and national cultures. These are: Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Individualism vs Collectivism, Masculinity vs Femininity, and Long vs Short term Orientation.
• Power Distance: the main issue that is addressed in this dimension is how society handles equality among its people. A scale was created to determine the power distance of bosses to employees. A high score on the scale suggest that the power distance between bosses and employees is great, whereas a low score suggest that there is equality within the ranks of an organisation. By using Mulders Power Distance Reduction theory, it is evident that bosses will try to enlarge or maintain the power distance between employees and themselves, whereas employees will try to decrease the power distance between themselves and their bosses thereby promoting equalilty within the workplace.
• Uncertainty avoidance: this particular dimension shows how an organisation or society is able to cope with the uncertainty about their future prospects. Hofstede uses two ways to cope with this uncertainty: rational and non-rational. Rational refers to technology means and laws, whereas non-rational refers to rituals and ceremonies. Society, however, has learnt to cope with uncertainty using technology, laws and religion.
• Individualism vs Collectivism: individualism and collectivism is believed to work hand-in-hand with regards to the well-being of family members. Individualism refers to an individual who will look after themselves...

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