What do we mean by "culture"?
Culture refers to the shared beliefs, values and norms of a group. It includes:
- Cognitive schemas (Scripts and frames that mold our expectations and help us assign
meaning and order to the stream of experience)
- Shared meanings (Common interpretations of events)
- Perceptions (How the world is, how things work. Implicit theories of the market, of
management, of politics, of human nature)
- Prescriptions and Preferences (What the best way to do things is; What they want to
- Behavioral codes (How to dress, how to act, what kinds of things you can joke about, is
it cool to be late?)
- Basic values (What is really important; what is evil)
- Myths and legends (Stories about the past: knowledge of the stories identifies you as
belonging, and often the stories have hidden points like this is what happens to people
- Heroes and heroines.
- Emblems (objects that have meaning, like group t-shirts, gold watches)
Because individuals belong to different groups, they participate in several cultures
simultaneously, which may be in conflict. In addition, the culture of an organization can
derive key features from the larger culture in which it is embedded. In other words,
American organizations may have certain characteristics that are drawn from the larger
American culture. Similarly, organizations in certain industries may have a discernable
cultural style that derives from the industry.
|Copyright ©1996 Stephen P. Borgatti
||Revised: February 12, 2001
||Go to Home page