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Charles Handy’s Gods of Management

In Charles Handy’s 1978 book, Gods of Management, he articulated four organizational cultures or models for how the organization works.

Gods of Management: https://geni.us/bpPeC5

Watching this video is worth 2 Management Courses CPD Points*.
(See below for more details)

The Nature of Organizations
This video is part of course module number 6.1.2
Program 6: Managing within Organizations
Course 1: The Nature of Organizations
Section 2: Organizational Models

Other videos in this section include:
🎬 Edgar Schein’s Two Organizational Cultures – https://youtu.be/9C64CXJw83E
🎬 Henry Mintzberg’s 4 plus 2 Organizational Types – https://youtu.be/JmvYcskjh3E
🎬 Charles Handy’s Shamrock Organization – https://youtu.be/dGGKT0Mr_HA
🎬 Charles Handy’s Federal Organization Model – https://youtu.be/69AYxCvT7m4
🎬 Charles Handy’s Triple-I Company – https://youtu.be/gFRXiMkIg6k
🎬 The Matrix Organization Model – https://youtu.be/hJ9wbFgmtKM
🎬 Peter Senge’s Learning Organization – https://youtu.be/k1k2h1l2VO0
🎬 Adhocracy – https://youtu.be/7QKm0Y3_Hr0
🎬 The Agile Organization – https://youtu.be/67NVUeFQMy4
🎬 Brian Robertson’s Holacracy – https://youtu.be/hz3khhOLT5E
🎬 Virtual Organizations – https://youtu.be/Hsovj2jPNPA

Charles Handy described 4 types of organizational dynamic, according to how formal their structure is, and how centralised power is. He named them from 4 archetypal Olympian gods from ancient Greek mythology.

Power Culture (or Club Culture)
Zeus – impulsive, powerful, absolute ruler of the Greek gods
– A highly centralised ‘Club’ culture, where one dominant executive holds all the reins of power, making all of the important decisions themselves
– They control all the important resources and can have low acceptance of what they perceive as under-performance
– This culture tends to arise under a dominant and successful founder, or with the ascendancy of a charismatic leader
Political parties, start-ups, and crime families often share this culture

Roles Culture
Apollo represents order, stability, and rules
– Mature, bureaucratic organisations adopt a solid, stable, rule-based culture, where everyone has a specific role
– People know what is expected of them and will rarely step beyond those boundaries
– Reporting lines are well-defined and decisions follow set procedures.
– Job positions confer authority to make decisions, and processes can be long-winded and inflexible
– Apollo cultures struggle to adapt to a changing environment

Task Culture
Athena was goddess of wisdom and an able problem-solver
– A meritocracy, where ability to think and get things done is highly valued, and rewarded well
– Talent is well rewarded, and teams are fluid, with people coming together to work on projects and solve problems
– Authority is less important here than knowledge, expertise and the ability to influence and persuade
– Innovative and shun routine
You can see this culture in consultancies, research organisations, and in agile business units of larger, forward thinking businesses that may be stuck with an Apollo or Zeus culture

Person Culture
Dionysus stands for personal freedom and lack of formality.
– All about me, me, me
– It serves the individuals and can lead to both creative freedom and equally internal discord and unproductive competition
– The organisation is little more than an infrastructure: a home and resource pool for a set of self-motivated individuals who often care more about their own position than that of the organisation
Accounting and law firms are good examples, because of the partnership nature of the businesses. So too are pressure groups

1. Consider your current organization. Which of Handy’s 4 Gods of Management best describes it? (2 MC CPD Points)
2. Repeat your assessment for each organization you have worked for. (2 MC CPD Points each)

Free Resources
– CPD Tools – https://gum.co/MC-CPD
Paid resources
– Management Courses Onboarding Kit – https://gum.co/MC-ObK ($3)

– Understanding Organizations https://geni.us/oB774Do
– Images of Organization https://geni.us/hrOemEs
– Inside Organizations: 21 Ideas for Managers https://geni.us/YwwL
– Gods of Management: The Four Cultures of Leadership https://geni.us/bpPeC5

Managers Need a Basic set of kit to do your job well. Here are my top recommendations: https://kit.co/MikeClayton/manager-s-work-kit (the links are affiliated)

Management Courses Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Points
You can record your Management Courses CPD points on our free, downloadable CPD record log.
Download it at: https://gum.co/MC-CPD

Each video has two levels of MC CPD points. For this video:
– If you simply watched the video, record 2 MC CPD points
– If you also carried out all of the recommended exercises, score a total of 4 MC CPD points

Links to our book recommendations are affiliated through Amazon

#Management #ManagementCourses #GodsOfManagement


A Thorough Introduction to Organizational Culture [Compilation]
Introduction to Organizations: A Compilation of our Introductory Videos
What is Globalization?
Kim Cameron: Positive Organizational Scholarship
Charles Handy: Philosopher of Organizations
Edgar Schein: The Master of Organizational Culture
Harold Geneen: Data-driven Charismatic Organization
Chester Barnard: Organizations as Networks of People
Max Weber: The Father of Organizational Theory
How we Work: Geert Hofstede’s 6 Cross-Organization Cultural Dimensions
National Culture within an Organization: Geert Hofstede’s 6 Cultural Dimensions
Quinn and Cameron: Competing Values Model of Organizational Culture
Edgar Schein’s 3 Levels of Organizational Culture
Cultural Web: Johnson & Scholes on Where Culture Originates
Introduction to Organizational Culture
Empowerment: The Organization Giving up its Power
French and Raven: Social Power Bases in Organizations
Power in Organizations: The Power of Governance
Robin Fincham: Three Levels of Organizational Power
Amitai Etzioni: How Organizations Secure Compliance
Organizational Power: What is Power?
Virtual Organizations
Brian Robertson’s Holacracy Organizational Model
The Agile Organization
Adhocracy Organizational Model
Peter Senge’s Learning Organization
The Matrix Organization Model
Charles Handy’s Triple-I Company
Charles Handy’s Federal Organization Model
Charles Handy’s Shamrock Organization
Henry Mintzberg’s 4 plus 2 Organizational Types
Edgar Schein’s Two Organizational Cultures
Why do we need Organizations? Structure vs Agility
The Features of Organizations: What an Organization Needs
Organizations as Processes: Understanding an Organization as a Set of Processes
Organizations as Structures: Understanding an Organization as a Structure
Morgan’s 8 Organizational Metaphors: An Organization is Like a…
What is an Organization? – the Nature of Organizations

Mike Clayton

About Mike Clayton 

Dr Mike Clayton is a (former) Project Manager and now a management educator. Having trained thousands of people at live workshops, seminars, and conferences, he now delivers training mainly via video. He has 14 books with international publishers and runs two successful YouTube channels. He is also the founder of OnlinePMCourses.com

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