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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.

Edgar Schein’s Two Organizational Cultures https://youtu.be/9C64CXJw83E
Edgar Schein’s 3 Levels of Organizational Culture https://youtu.be/N37Foo0DOgE

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.

Organizational Culture
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‘

Management Cultures
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)

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

Edgar Schein: Organizational Culture and Leadership https://geni.us/s4uqg

Understanding Organizations https://geni.us/oB774Do
Images of Organization https://geni.us/hrOemEs
Inside Organizations: 21 Ideas for Managers https://geni.us/YwwL

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)

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 Y MC CPD points


Note:Links to our book recommendations are affiliated through Amazon

#OrganizationalCulture #ManagementCourses #EdgarSchein


What is Globalization?
Kim Cameron: Positive Organizational Scholarship
Charles Handy: Philosopher of Organizations
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
Charles Handy’s Gods of Management
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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