Organizational Communication

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last updated 9/12/2010

Culture is Created and Maintained by Communication

Organizational culture is more a research-based approach to understanding how organizations develop and function than it is a "method" of management.  However, by viewing organizations as cultures it is possible tounderstand how the organization can obtain coordination and control while alos allowing opportunity for individuals to meet their needs - a way of resolving the central dilemma without sacrificing one side or the other.

    1. A Definition of Organizational Culture
      1. A system of shared meanings and patterns of interaction
      2. expressed through various symbolic forms
      3. which hold people together
    2. Culture makes sense of organizational reality and creates it.
      1. The dialectic of organizational culture and individual identity.  

        [ culture <--> individual ]

      2. Organizational culture is partially a product of national culture
    3. Organizations don't have cultures they ARE cultures!
        1. Members share how to perceive, interpret and explain and perform within the organization.
        2. Cultures are historical, including:
          1. past events and their interpretations (as typified by heroes and in rites and rituals)
          2. expectations, formal and informal (values)
          3. symbolic forms (rituals, myth, metaphors)
        3. Organizations don't have a culture (It's not an owned property.) The organization; IS a culture. 
        4. Although organizations have (intentionally or not) a "cultural network"  (a communication systems that transmits and reinforces the culture) still, managing culture is hard to do.
        5. Actions are symbolic as well as instrumental
        6. Organizations have sub-cultures. ( e.g. athletic teams, fraternities, sales groups, etc.
    4. Features of Organizational Culture
      1. It is learned
      2. It is shared
      3. It is trans-generational and cumulative (over time)
      4. It is symbolic
      5. It is patterned
      6. It is adaptive