Culture and Contemporary Organizations II: Shaping Organizational Culture

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 ( 11:30 am to 4:15 pm )

Location: Off campus

Howe School Alliance for Technology Management (HSATM)

Organizational culture — the shared assumptions, values and beliefs that lead to specific behavioral norms among organizational members — is a product of such factors as history, management style, product, market, technology, strategy, type of employees, etc. (after Needle, 2004). The underlying culture of the organization affects the way people and groups interact with each other, and exerts profound impacts, positive and negative, upon organizational attitudes and performance in many areas — ethics, governance, safety, innovation, response to change, risk management, human resources, customer service, etc.

It’s been some time  since the Alliance has dealt with the impact of culture on organizations. The May Roundtable, the first of several that will revisit this important issue, dealt with the effect of culture on innovation. The July Roundtable will focus on tools and models that can help us identify and describe the project, program and organizational cultures that we are a part of. We’ll see how using such models can help us communicate what is working in a culture and what needs to change. We’ll also consider how they can help develop a more complete understanding of our own role and impact on the cultures we belong to.  

Some of the key questions we’ll address include:

  • What are some ways to define and describe the cultures you are part of?

  • What kinds of assumptions do you and others make about your culture?  How do those assumptions shape what you and others do?

  • How can you develop a deeper appreciation for your own role (for better and for worse) in sustaining and shaping your organization’s culture?

  • How might you leverage your existing culture to drive change, improve performance and make work more engaging?

We are inviting several participants to come prepared to share some information about their organization’s culture. If you’d like to, bring with you something you feel is most telling about the culture you are a part of (an artifact of your culture) — a picture, a story, a policy, a product, technology or something else. Be ready to share with others what the artifact means; what belief or value it exemplifies; if/how it might be related to an underlying cultural assumption that is hard to see or question.

Co-facilitators for the July Roundtable will be Steve Jacobs, Alliance Senior Associate, and Peter Dominick, Industry Associate Professor at the Howe School. This and subesequent meetings will provide forums for sharing Partner experiences, tools, successful methods and challenges in trying to change culture — and improve performance — within their organizations.

The Roundtable will be hosted by Infineum.  

If you would like more information please email [email protected]