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Observable Aspects of Organizational Culture

Andrea Rodriguez

University of Phoenix

MGT 331

Professor Paul Smith

February 22, 2007


In this paper observable aspects of organizational culture at the Department of Social Services will be described. Perception of how communication flows, organizational diversity, organizational policies, and technology will be addressed. The perceptions are of the author and may contradict with another, agree with another, or not critical enough for another.

Observable Aspects of Organizational Culture

Culture within an organization is somewhat hard to characterize mainly because a great deal of aspects of culture are intangible and unseen. . Organizational culture is unique to each organization. It has many objectives and subjective dimension, and concerns with tradition and shared beliefs and expectations. The culture of an organization is a powerful determinant of individual and group behavior. Organizational culture affects practically all aspects of organizational life from the way employees' interact with each other, work performance, attire, decision making in the firm, policy and procedures, and strategy. (Buono et al. 1985, p. 482) (Schraeder, Tears, Jordan, 2005)

Edgar Schein (1985) is generally considered the father of organizational culture. The issue of culture is complex and profound; " the idea that culture is a deep phenomenon, that culture is complex and difficult to understand, but that the effort to understand it is worthwhile because much of the mysterious and the irrational in organizations suddenly becomes clear when we do understand it," (Schein, 1987; p. 383). Within an organization's culture there are observable aspects such as how communication flows, organizational diversity, and technology are perceived differently by individuals in the organization.

The Department of Social Services states that as a rule, it communicates priorities through meetings and presentation with staff and the community, in the agency's on-line newsletter, and the website (Aydlette, 2006). However, meetings and presentations that require the case managers to be away from the county, is not feasible at times. Removal of case managers from the daily duties of the county is not far to the consumer. On-line access maybe available to some but not all and case workers have enough work to accomplish during the day so accessing and reading on-line communication is at times impossible leaving this task for at home. Based on inquiry, this feat is not accomplished either. Leaving communication to flow through word of mouth and abundance of email alerts. Retrieval of emails can be a task because of the technological system being down.

The State operates on a statewide information system that, at a minimum, can readily identify the status, demographic characteristics, location, and goals for the placement of every child who is (or within) the system. South Carolina's Child Welfare System (CAPSS) provides case tracking for the Department of Social Services programs when working (Aydlette, 2006). Even if the system is operating correctly, there's the for need additional functions



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