The in­tan­gi­ble

The Smart Manager - - Gurumantra -

In Be­yond Per­for­mance, the prod­uct of a re­search ef­fort by McKin­sey & Com­pany, Scott Keller and Colin Price hold the view that an or­ga­ni­za­tion’s health is as cru­cial an el­e­ment as its per­for­mance. Man­age­ment guru Gary Hamel re­ferred to this as ‘a new man­i­festo for think­ing about or­ga­ni­za­tions,’ in the fore­word to the book. Or­ga­ni­za­tional health is the sum of a mul­ti­tude of fac­tors, but com­pany cul­ture is per­haps the most im­por­tant of it all—strong val­ues, ro­bust man­age­ment prac­tices, ac­count­abil­ity, trans­parency, equal op­por­tu­ni­ties, and so on. Mor­gen Witzel drives home this view, un­der­lin­ing the in­ex­tri­ca­ble link be­tween cul­ture and health.

Or­ga­ni­za­tional cul­ture is one of those fas­ci­nat­ing sub­jects that every­one talks about but no one re­ally un­der­stands. Some peo­ple ac­tively dis­like the en­tire sub­ject of cul­ture and try to down­play its im­por­tance, usu­ally on the spu­ri­ous grounds that it is very dif­fi­cult–if not im­pos­si­ble–to mea­sure cul­tural vari­ables in any mean­ing­ful way. There are com­par­a­tive mea­sures of na­tional cul­ture, like the Hof­st­ede and Project GLOBE scales, but noth­ing sim­i­lar has been de­vel­oped for or­ga­ni­za­tional cul­tures; at least, not that of­fers any mean­ing­ful ex­plana­tory value.

The cul­ture of ev­ery or­ga­ni­za­tion is unique and dif­fer­ent, even if the dif­fer­ences are some­times sub­tle and hard to de­tect, and this is one of the rea­sons why com­par­a­tive study and gen­er­al­iza­tion are dif­fi­cult to do. There have been at­tempts to de­velop classes or cat­e­gories

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