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Strategic Case Analysis

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“Is an Understanding of Culture Beneficial to Organisations?”

According to the well-renowned theorist Edgar Schein, the term organisational behaviour is 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 you perceive, think and feel in relation to those problems” (Schein, Organizational Culture and Leadership, 2004). Moreover, Schein (2004) described the key factors of culture as the underlying assumptions or ways of doing things that are adopted by organisations either formally (e.g., in the form of the corporate culture) or by unspoken, naturally occurring trends in behaviour (e.g., the organisational culture).
According to Brown et al. (2005), ethical leadership is “The demonstration of normatively appropriate conduct through personal actions and interpersonal relationships, and the promotion of such conduct to followers through two-way communication, reinforcement, and decision-making” (as cited in Hansen, 2013, p. 120). Further, (Deal & Kennedy, 1982) created a model of culture which mainly focussed on the following four types of organisations that focus on feedback, how rewards are distributed amongst employees and the level of risk taken:
1) Work-hard Play-hard culture – High speed, rapid feedback, low risk, and stress from quantity of work not uncertainty;
2) Macho culture – High risk, stress from fear of no reward, focus on present and not long-term future (e.g., police, sports stars, surgeons);
3) Process culture – Slow feedback, low risk, low stress, comfort and security, stress from internal politics and the stupidity of the system, focus on the security of the past and future; and
4) Bet-the-company culture – Slow feedback with high risk, stress from high risk and delays before knowing if actions have paid off.

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