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Organizational Culture and Leadership

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Organizational Culture and Leadership essay assignment

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Some theorists believe that there is a link between an organization’s culture and its performance; better organizational culture leads to better performance. Leaders can therefore better their organizational performance by enhancing their organization’s culture. To enhance organizational culture or make changes to it, leaders first need to analyze their existing culture. According to Schein (1992), an organizational culture researcher, the main steps in analyzing and understanding culture are obtaining leadership commitment; conducting a large group meeting to identify artifacts, values, and shared assumptions; identifying cultural aids and hindrances; and reporting assumptions and their implications. Once their existing organizational culture is analyzed, leaders can then develop strategies to either enhance or change it.

The first step to enhancing or changing organizational culture is for leaders to create a vision and strategy to address cultural issues. Once leaders are clear on their objectives, they can proceed with confidence and guide others. The process of guiding others can begin with sharing vision and strategy with all in the organization. Strategy can focus on the areas of change; for example, a change in the dress code or the work environment can initiate a cultural change.

Since culture is the result of continuous interaction between the people involved, social interaction can make or break a work environment. Socially accepted employees seem to achieve a much healthier energy level and attitude toward productivity. Leaders also need to address the importance of interaction within an organization; however, there is little that leaders can do to control interaction and make it more professional and less social. Organizational ethics can help leaders influence, if not control, employee interactions. Other deeper changes such as rebuilding core values may require long-term interventions and sometimes even significant amounts of resources.


Schein, E. H. (1992). Organizational culture and leadership (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

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