A review of the literature and common experience show that there is little agreement on a precise definition of culture.
However, most authors argue that "organizational culture" refers to a set of values, beliefs and behavior patterns that form the core identity of an organization. Consider the following definitions as examples of efforts to provide meaning to the term organizational culture :
Organizational culture is defined as
" shared philosophies, ideologies, values, assumptions, beliefs, expectations, attitudes, and norms that knit an organization together, and are shared by employees "
Edgar H. Shein has comprehensively defined organizational culture as:
"... a pattern of basic assumptions invented, discovered, or developed by a given group as it learns to cope with 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 ".
Edgar H. Schein, Organizational Culture and Leadership
According to B. J. Hodge and William P. Anthony
Organizational culture is the mix of values, beliefs, assumptions, meanings, and expectations that members of particular organization, group, or subgroup hold in common and that they use behavior and problemsolving guides.
B. J. Hodge and William P. Anthony, Organizational Theory: A Strategic Approach
Every organization is a unique culture. Organizational culture has a number of important characteristics.
Some of the most readily agreed upon are the following:
- Symbols, language, ideologies, rituals, myths and ceremonials
- The philosophy that guides an organizations's policy
- Value and norms
- The rules of the game for getting things done
- The "mindset" of the organization
- The pattern of basic assumptions invented, discovered, or developed by a given group
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