Edgar Schein’s Two Organizational Cultures
In this video, we look at two opposed cultures that Schein defined, to give us our first, and simplest, introduction to the many different organizational models available. Schein’s two organizational cultures have either an authority ethic, or an individual freedom ethic.
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:
🎬 Henry Mintzberg’s 4 plus 2 Organizational Types – https://youtu.be/JmvYcskjh3E
🎬 Charles Handy’s Gods of Management – https://youtu.be/yClxu7dzmB4
🎬 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
Edgar Schein saw organizational culture as a three-layered structure, with:
1. Underlying beliefs, or shared assumptions at the base
2. Values in the middle tier, and
3. Artefacts that we can easily see and experience – even as an outsider.
It’s at tier 3 that we can observe the greatest distinction between organizational models.
These models are easy to recognize.
Individual Freedom Ethic
• ideas come ultimately from individuals
• people are responsible, motivated, and capable of governing themselves
• truth can only be pragmatically determined by “fighting” things out and testing in groups
• such fighting is possible because the members of the organization view themselves as a family who will take care of each other.
Ultimately, this makes it safe to fight and be competitive. As a result, we see artefacts like open offices; movement around the office; conversation, discussions and arguments; lower levels of formality in addressing one another and in clothing.
• truth comes ultimately from older, wiser, better educated, higher status members
• people are capable of loyalty and discipline in carrying out directives
• relationships are basically lineal and vertical
• each person has a niche that is his or her territory that cannot be invaded
• the organization is a “solidary unit” that will take care of its members.
Artefacts often include a respectful air – sometimes even silence; closed doors, appointments for simple conversations, strict hierarchies and deference according to rank, formal dress
Full Article: Coming to a New Awareness of Organizational Culture – Sloan Management Review, Jan 1984 – https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/coming-to-a-new-awareness-of-organizational-culture/ Needs paid subscription, but you can find PDF versions online
1. Consider your current organization. What artefacts can you spot? Where is it on the spectrum between Schein’s 2 organizational cultures? (2 MC CPD Points)
2. Repeat your assessment for each organization you have worked for. (2 MC CPD Points each)
– 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
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