Leadership and Management | Part 4 of 4:The Iceberg of Organizational Culture


Hi welcome! Today I’d like to talk to you
about organizational culture. When we think about culture, we often talk about the glue
that holds and organization together. But what does that really mean? There are three
levels of organizational culture according to Schein. I’d like to show you these three
levels, and how they relate to, of all thing, and iceberg. So, an iceberg, underneath the water is actually
much bigger than what we see. What we see when we think about organizational culture,
are we consider the organizations artifacts. When we walk into an office environment, artifacts
are those symbols, those representations of the organization, and what they stand for.
People wearing gear, proud of who they are and what they stand for. Part of those artifacts are also the way people
say things, and speak about the organization. So, it’s what we see, what we hear, and
what we feel, when we walk into an organization, or surrounded by an organization. Sometimes
it’s easy to identify, but difficult to understand. When we think about how we get
to the point of what our artifacts are, we actually have two levels within our iceberg.
First here, we have the organization’s values and beliefs. And below the values and beliefs,
we have these underlying assumptions. Now, values and beliefs can be as simple as the
organizations mission statement, value statement s to who they are, and beliefs around the
organization as to why they do what they do. When you look at the underlying assumption,
it’s harder to put a finger on what those are, and where they come from. It’s those
perceptions and ways an organization does things we actually don’t even, maybe sometimes
don’t even know why. Sometimes the organizational culture is that they don’t just work on
Saturday’s, because we just do, or because they just do, and no one’s really stopped
to think about: “Why? Does it make sense? Does it tie to our values, beliefs and who
we are as an organization?” So, we have what we see, we have what we can’t
see, and when we consider these values and beliefs sometimes it can be a bit of an organizational
tension. Because the values and beliefs that are on paper could be very different than
the culture, once you’re within an organization. So, when we look at organizational culture,
there’s often a much bigger, underlying background as to how the organization got
to where we are. So, there we are, three levels of organizational culture are: Artifacts,
our Values and Beliefs, and our Underlying Assumptions.




Comments
  1. to compare this issue with an iceberg is so wrong … it seems if people don't know how to draw a comparison/metaphor, they just use an iceberg.

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