Organisational Culture and Diversity

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Date Submitted: 04/11/2010 07:30 AM

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Organisational culture and diversity


Implementing an organisational culture in a culturally diverse environment is a topic of interests for managers alike.

This paper wants to investigate whether an organizational culture can be implemented easily in multinational companies, where the workforce is very diverse.

This paper will review in a first part what an organizational culture is and what is diversity within a workforce. In a second part it will be demonstrated why having an effective organisational culture is important when considering success. The last part will provide examples of companies that succeeded or failed in transferring their organizational culture and some solutions and recommendation to avoid a business collapse due to organizational culture.

Definition of organizational culture and diversity

The purpose of this part is to introduce relevant theory on organizational culture and diversity.

In order to understand organisational culture, it is important to start first with the base, the culture.

Schein’s definition of evolution of a group over time is relevant to our subject.

The culture of a group can now be defined as: A pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems. (Schein 373-374)

In other words, any group will face, over time two challenges: adapting to the external environment and integrate people. This create what is culture, a set of symbol, heroes, rituals and values (Hofstede layer of the onion), created and influenced by persons within the organization, always evaluating and not easy to change.

Harrison’s Categorisation of Organisational Culture recognizes 4 main types of culture: Power Cultures (where the power is concentrated and very...