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Organizational Culture and Leadership, 5th Edition

ISBN: 978-1-119-21204-1
416 pages
December 2016
Organizational Culture and Leadership, 5th Edition (1119212049) cover image


The book that defined the field, updated and expanded for today's organizations

Organizational Culture and Leadership is the classic reference for managers and students seeking a deeper understanding of the inter-relationship of organizational culture dynamics and leadership.  Author Edgar Schein is the 'father' of organizational culture, world-renowned for his expertise and research in the field; in this book, he analyzes and illustrates through cases the abstract concept of culture and shows its importance to the management of organizational change. This new fifth edition shows how culture has become a popular concept leading to a wide variety of research and implementation by various organizations and expands the focus on the role of national cultures in influencing culture dynamics, including some practical concepts for how to deal with international differences.

Special emphasis is given to how the role of leadership varies with the age of the organization from founding, through mid-life to old age as the cultural issues vary at each stage.  How culture change is managed at each stage and in different types of organizations is emphasized as a central concern of leader behavior.. 

This landmark book is considered the defining resource in the field. Drawing on a wide range of research, this fifth edition contains 25 percent new and revised material to provide the most relevant new concepts and perspectives alongside the basic culture model that has helped to define the field.

Dig into assumptions and typologies to decipher organizational culture

  • Learn how culture begins, thrives, or dies with leadership
  • Manage cultural change effectively and appropriately
  • Understand the leader's role in managing disparate groups

The resurgence of interest in organizational culture has spurred an awakening in research, and new information is continuously coming to light. Outdated practices are being replaced by more effective methods, and the resulting shift affects organizations everywhere. Organizational Culture and Leadership is an essential resource for scholars, consultants  and leaders seeking continuous improvement in the face of today's business realities.


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface xiii

Foreword xv

About the Authors xxiii

Part One: Defining the Structure of Culture

1. How to Define Culture in General 3

The Problem of Defining Culture Clearly 3

Summary and Conclusions 14

Suggestions for Readers 16

2. The Structure of Culture 17

Three Levels of Analysis 17

Summary and Conclusions 29

Suggestions for Readers 30

3. A Young and Growing U.S. Engineering Organization 31

Case 1: Digital Equipment Corporation in Maynard, Massachusetts 31

Summary and Conclusions 42

Suggestions for Readers 43

4. A Mature Swiss-German Chemical Organization 45

Case 2: Ciba-Geigy Company in Basel, Switzerland 45

Can Organizational Cultures Be Stronger than National Cultures? 55

Summary and Conclusions 56

Questions for Readers 59

5. A Developmental Government Organization in Singapore 61

Case 3: Singapore’s Economic Development Board 61

The EDB Nested Cultural Paradigms 63

Summary and Conclusions: The Multiple Implications of the Three Cases 73

Questions for Readers 75

Part Two: What Leaders Need to Know about Macro Cultures

6. Dimensions of the Macro-Cultural Context 81

Travel and Literature 81

Survey Research 82

Ethnographic, Observational, and Interview-Based Research 86

Human Essence and Basic Motivation 96

Summary and Conclusions 102

Questions for Readers 104

7. A Focused Way of Working with Macro Cultures 105

Cultural Intelligence 107

How to Foster Cross-Cultural Learning 109

The Paradox of Macro Culture Understanding 117

Echelons as Macro Cultures 118

Summary and Conclusions 121

Suggestion for the Change Leader: Do Some Experiments with Dialogue 122

Suggestion for the Recruit 123

Suggestion for the Scholar or Researcher 123

Suggestion for the Consultant or Helper 123

Part Three: Culture and Leadership through Stages of Growth

8. How Culture Begins and the Role of the Founder of Organizations 127

A Model of How Culture Forms in New Groups 127

The Role of the Founder in the Creation of Cultures 130

Example 1: Ken Olsen and DEC Revisited 132

Example 2: Sam Steinberg and Steinberg’s of Canada 136

Example 3: Fred Smithfield, a “Serial Entrepreneur” 140

Example 4: Steve Jobs and Apple 142

Example 5: IBM—Thomas Watson Sr. and His Son 144

Example 6: Hewlett and Packard 144

Summary and Conclusions 146

Suggestions for Readers 147

Implications for Founders and Leaders 147

9. How External Adaptation and Internal Integration Become Culture 149

The Socio-Technical Issues of Organizational Growth and Evolution 150

Issues around the Means: Structure, Systems, and Processes 158

Summary and Conclusions 178

Suggestion for the Culture Analyst 179

Suggestion for the Manager and Leader 179

10. How Leaders Embed and Transmit Culture 181

Primary Embedding Mechanisms 183

Secondary Reinforcement and Stabilizing Mechanisms 196

Summary and Conclusions 204

Questions for Researchers, Students, and Employees 206

11. The Culture Dynamics of Organizational Growth, Maturity, and Decline 207

General Effects of Success, Growth, and Age 208

Differentiation and the Growth of Subcultures 211

The Need for Alignment between Three Generic Subcultures: Operators, Designers, and Executives 221

The Unique Role of the Executive Function: Subculture Management 229

Summary and Conclusions 229

Suggestions for the Reader 231

12. Natural and Guided Cultural Evolution 233

Founding and Early Growth 234

Transition to Midlife: Problems of Succession 237

Organizational Maturity and Potential Decline 245

Summary and Conclusions 250

Questions for Readers 251

Part Four: Assessing Culture and Leading Planned Change

13. Deciphering Culture 255

Why Decipher Culture? 255

How Valid Are Clinically Gathered Data? 262

Ethical Issues in Deciphering Culture 263

Professional Obligations of the Culture Analyst 266

Summary and Conclusions 267

Questions for the Reader 269

14. The Diagnostic Quantitative Approach to Assessment and Planned Change 271

Why Use Typologies, and Why Not? 272

Typologies that Focus on Assumptions about Authority and Intimacy 278

Typologies of Corporate Character and Culture 281

Examples of Survey-Based Profiles of Cultures 285

Automated Culture Analysis with Software-as-a-Service 288

Summary and Conclusions 293

Suggestions for the Reader 295

15. The Dialogic Qualitative Culture Assessment Process 297

Case 4: MA-COM—Revising a Change Agenda as a Result of Cultural Insight 298

Case 5: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Reassessing Their Mission 302

Case 6: Apple Assessing Its Culture as Part of a Long-Range Planning Process 307

Case 7: SAAB COMBITECH—Building Collaboration in Research Units 311

Case 8: Using A Priori Criteria for Culture Evaluation 313

What of DEC, Ciba-Geigy, and Singapore? Did Their Cultures Evolve and Change? 314

Summary and Conclusions 315

Suggestion for the Reader 317

16. A Model of Change Management and the Change Leader 319

The Change Leader Needs Help in Defining the Change Problem or Goal 320

General Change Theory 321

Why Change? Where Is the Pain? 322

The Stages and Steps of Change Management 323

Cautions in Regard to “Culture” Change 337

Summary and Conclusions 339

Suggestions for Readers 341

17. The Change Leader as Learner 343

What Might a Learning Culture Look Like? 344

Why These Dimensions? 349

Learning-Oriented Leadership 350

A Final Thought: Discover the Culture within My Own Personality 354

References 355

Index 367

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Author Information

EDGAR H. SCHEIN is the Society of Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus and a professor emeritus at the MIT Sloan School of Management. A world-renowned expert on organizational culture credited with founding the field, he is the bestselling author of Humble Inquiry, Helping, and Humble Consulting.

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