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JLBC ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE AND LEADERSHIP


JLBC ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE AND LEADERSHIP

I introduced the concept of culture and have argued that it helps to explain some of the seemingly incomprehensible and irrational aspects of what goes on in groups and organizations. JLBC Cadets The variety of elements that people perceive to be "culture" was reviewed, leading to a formal definition that emphasizes shared learning experiences that show, in turn, shared, taken-for-granted basic assumptions held by the members of the group or organization.

It follows that any group with a stable membership and a history of shared learning will have developed some level of culture. Still, a group with either a considerable turnover of members and leaders or a history lacking in challenging events may well lack any shared assumptions. Not every collection of people develops a culture; in fact, we tend to use the term group rather than, say, crowd or collection of people only when there has been enough of a shared history for some degree of culture formation to have taken place.

JLBC Cadets Once a set of shared assumptions has come to be taken for granted, it determines much of the group's behavior. The rules and norms are taught to newcomers in a socialization process that reflects culture. To define culture, one must go below the behavioral level because behavioral regularities can be caused by forces other than culture. Even large organizations and entire occupations can have a common culture if there has been enough of a history of shared experience. Finally, I noted that the shared assumptions would form a paradigm, with more or less central or governing beliefs driving the system, much as specific genes cause the genetic structure of human DNA.

JLBC Cadet's Culture and leadership are two sides of the same coin in that leaders first create cultures when they create groups and organizations. Once cultures exist, they determine the criteria for leadership and thus determine who will or will not be a leader. But if elements of culture become dysfunctional, it is the unique function of leadership.

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