Organizational Cultural Anthropology

August 25th, 2012   •   no comments   

What is This Thing Called Culture?

Culture influences everything we do and think within the organization. It extends out to the farthest reaches of the organization surmounting geographic and social barriers, and it is amazingly resistant to change. Culture is the social container in which everything in an organization takes place. Ignore it at your own risk!

Why is culture so pervasive and so strong?

As with societal culture it’s the job of organizational culture to make sure that nothing in the system gets so out of balance that it becomes unstable, unpredictable or threatens the survival of the group/organization as a whole. If culture had a motto it would be, “Better safe than sorry”. Its core unifying principle is based on values, and the enforcer of this stability is the norms, i.e., acceptable behavior.

It’s also the job of culture to make sure that important survival and success-based knowledge survives and is passed on. A lot of this knowledge has to do with skills, but more importantly and subtly it deals with the transmission of the group’s values and norms, assumptions and beliefs. Thus, we can say that the purpose of culture is to maintain order and the status quo, and to contain and transmit the sum of organizational experience and knowledge to ensure continuity. read more