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Management article
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Reference no. SMR2521
Authors: Edgar H. Schain
Published by: MIT Sloan School of Management
Published in: "MIT Sloan Management Review", 1984
Length: 16 pages

Abstract

If we really want to decipher an organization''s culture, this author claims that we must dig below the organization''s surface - beyond the ''visible artifacts'' - and uncover the basic underlying assumptions, which are the core of an organization''s culture. To do this, he provides a tool - a formal definition of organizational culture that emphasizes how culture works. With this definition in hand, the author feels that one cannot only come to understand the dynamic evolutionary forces that govern a culture, but also can explain how the culture is learned, passed on, and changed.

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Abstract

If we really want to decipher an organization''s culture, this author claims that we must dig below the organization''s surface - beyond the ''visible artifacts'' - and uncover the basic underlying assumptions, which are the core of an organization''s culture. To do this, he provides a tool - a formal definition of organizational culture that emphasizes how culture works. With this definition in hand, the author feels that one cannot only come to understand the dynamic evolutionary forces that govern a culture, but also can explain how the culture is learned, passed on, and changed.

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