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Assessing Corporate Culture Essay

1. Scheins approach to assessing organizational culture

a. Strengths of scheins approach to assessing organizational culture Schein defines and describes culture as any one of many elements of organizational culture. The culture of an organization can be viewed and treated like other structures within an organization. Certain organizations such as by-laws, committees, and chain of command flow charts, may serve to answer basic questions such as “how do we interact with the external environment?” and “how do we order ourselves internally?” As an organization responds to these questions, the responses become core assumptions. These core assumptions become the frames through which the organization interprets the world round it. In place of questionnaire or instrument that utilizes typologies, Schein prefers clinical research model of assessing organizational culture. In this model of organizational culture investigation, the researcher gets much more directly involved within the organization by acting as participant observer or ethnographer.

He suggests that members of the organization will more openly respond to the researcher and the investigation because the members of the organization think they have something to gain by collaborating with the researcher. Schein believes that valid data on the culture of the organization will only be collected when the researcher is perceived as the consultant who is seeking to help the organization and has the best interest of the organization in mind. Schein admits that the clinical model of evaluating organizational culture assumes that the researcher intervenes in the culture of the organization. If the organization perceives that the researcher is helping to make changes that will benefit the organization, then the research will accurately yield the cultural dynamics of the organization.

b. Weaknesses of Schein approach to assessing organizational culture The results gained from qualitative result are limited to specific cases under investigation. Direct comparison cannot be made between the results from other studies unless the research is specifically designed in that manner. Furthermore, results cannot be generalized to other settings and links to organization’s performance are rarely explored. One significant weakness to Schein’s approach (qualitative method) is the time needed for data collection and analysis which makes the research more costly and time consuming

2. Cameron and Quinn approach

a. Strengths of Cameron and Quinn approach to assessing organizational culture Cameron and Quinn provide an evaluation tool called the organizational culture assessment inventory (OCAL). The OCAI is a survey instrument established on a theoretical model called the competing value framework. This framework is valuable for organizing and interpreting various phenomena within an organization. The competing values framework refers to whether an organization strives for flexibility and individuality or stability and control, whether or not an organization is focused externally or internally. The purpose of the OCAI is to discern the relative strengths of these culture types within a given organization. Used over time, the OCAI can measure culture changes within the organization. Cameron and Quinn observe many cases in the business world where culture change is the key to increasing organizational effectiveness.

The four major culture types proposed by Cameron and Quinn embody these competing values: clan-internal/control; adhocracy-external/flexible; market-external/control; hierarchy-internal/control. In fact pure control (hierarchy), compete (market), collaborate (clan), or create (adhocracy) are extremely rare. Most of the company cultures that have been diagnosed using Cameron and Quinn’s organization culture instrument indeed have a strong secondary component. Cameron and Quinn identify the cultural and organizational competencies that give rise to value creation. It explains how cultural and leadership competencies can be profiled which, in turn, can lead to a diagnosis of culture gaps, cultural congruency and cultural strength.

3. London first united church Cameron and Quinn’s model is appropriate for this church. This approach is built around clan, adhocracy, market and hierarchy. These four maps themes were also used in the analysis of how organizational culture of London first united Methodist church chances with structural inventions. The church is both an organization and an organism. As such, the church has a lifecycle development built into it: birth, growth, reproduction, decline, and death. The church itself historically has through several changes. Change as renewal is a major aspect of the Methodist movement. Much of the rise and fall of the Methodism can be traced to how the church was willing, or not, to change. Oftentimes, organizations experience growth and/or renewal because of structural changes within the organization. The four maps themes therefore fit this church.


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