Thursday, October 17, 2013

Shared and unwritten culture rules in Organizations

Charles Handy analyzed the shared and unwritten rules of workspace behavior in his book "Understanding organizations". He identified four main groups of behaviors or types of culture.

Handy used analogies to illustrate the main features of each culture. You may already have a good idea of the culture of your organization. The images below will provide you more information about the types of culture they depict.


A spider's web depicts power cultures. These organizations are usually controlled
by one main character. Such cultures are common in family-run business and small entrepreneurial companies.


A net illustrates the linkages between individuals that are typical of task cultures.
Task cultures tend to be responsive and flexible. They are often advertising agencies, high-tech companies
and other research-based organisation.


A Greek temple represents role cultures. These gain their strength from the various functions, rules, roles and procedures in an organisation. Large organisations tend to have this type of culture.


The individual is of paramount importance in person cultures, the organisation is secondary.
The legal and medical professions are good examples of this type of culture.

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