Edgar Schein: The Master of Organizational Culture
Edgar Schein is a social psychologist who has introduced many ideas around organizations and organizational culture. His thinking is at the heart of the subject.
We have two other videos about his ideas on Organizations. This one is something of a summing-up and a look at some of his other ideas about organizations.
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 6.1.5
Program 6: Managing within Organizations
Course 1: The Nature of Organizations
Section 5: Masters of Organizations
Other videos in this section include:
🎬 Max Weber: The Father of Organizational Theory https://youtu.be/dAsiS_ignIQ
🎬 Chester Barnard: Organizations as Networks of People https://youtu.be/UVi5iI6N8UM
🎬 Harold Geneen: Data-driven Charismatic Organization https://youtu.be/QrF82M9aVQc
🎬 Charles Handy: Philosopher of Organizations https://youtu.be/kCkXc-hPsbg
🎬 Kim Cameron: Positive Organizational Scholarship https://youtu.be/N2QxvQ5t2Lo
Edgar Schein’s work is concerned with organizational culture and its relationship to behaviors, motivation, learning, management and leadership, and careers.
Schein sees culture as the dominant force within an organization. He defines it as a pattern of shared assumptions:
– how we relate to one another
– how we perceive truth and reality
– the balance of task focus with growth and fulfilment
These affect how people behave and the values and social norms that evolve.
His primary thinking was captured in his best-known book, Organizational Culture and Leadership, originally published in 1985: https://geni.us/s4uqg
In a later article, ‘Organizational Socialization and the Profession of Management‘ (https://j.mp/3zrybWr) he argued that integrating with an organizational culture requires ‘unfreezing‘ prior cultural norms and establishing new ones. He suggested there are 3 responses to these pressures.
– Rejecting the organization’s imposed norms and culture: ‘rebellion‘
– Selective adoption of certain values and norms: ‘creative individualism‘
– Full acceptance of the new culture: ‘conformity‘
Within an organization, Schein identified three management cultures that co-exist and compete. Organizational learning comes as people evolve their organizational culture to integrate these 3 cultures.
1. Operator Culture
Local cultures within operating units
2. Engineering Culture
Technicians and experts seek optimal technical solutions, mistrustful of the softer organizational roles
3. Executive Culture
Managers focused on financially-driven metrics
Organizational LearningUnder the pressures of constant change, organizations thrive when they learn quickly. But this is frustrated by employees’ and managers’ fear of change.
This fear is ‘Anxiety 1’. For learning to occur, it must be overwhelmed by ‘Anxiety 2’ – the fear of the consequences of not learning, and therefore of not transforming to meet new realities.
Schein advocates the need to create a culture where people feel safe to learn and experiment, as a way to overcome Anxiety 1 without the need for more fear.
Watch our other videos about Schein’s two most important contributions to our understanding of organizations.
1. Edgar Schein’s Two Organizational Cultures https://youtu.be/9C64CXJw83E
2. Edgar Schein’s 3 Levels of Organizational Culture https://youtu.be/N37Foo0DOgE
How do the operator, engineering, and executive cultures appear in your organization? To what extent do they compete/ And collaborate? (4 MC CPD Points)
Edgar Schein: Organizational Culture and Leadership https://geni.us/s4uqg
Managers Need a Basic kit to do your job well. Here are my top recommendations: https://kit.co/MikeClayton/manager-s-work-kit (the links are affiliated)
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