Corporate culture, the pattern of values and beliefs among organizational members, provides the basis for behavior of these members. Corporate culture helps to shape institutions. In a successful organization, culture is in tune with corporate strategies and objectives. Corporate culture has gained increasing recognition among management theorists.
The author, in describing culture, makes a distinction between daily and guiding beliefs. Daily beliefs relate to rules and feelings among members regarding everyday behavior. Guiding beliefs form the philosophical foundation of a company. Guiding beliefs, not daily beliefs, should shape the corporate strategy.
Examining corporate culture involves an interviewing or questioning process. Case studies are included for First National Bank of Chicago, Analog Devices, Inc., and “Harrison,” a company name representing a composite of firms. Case studies illustrate the differences between successful and unsuccessful handling of corporate culture.
Managers should guard against: (1) not following through after announcing an intention to upgrade culture, (2) letting daily beliefs rather than guiding beliefs direct the organization, (3) blandness, and (4) witch hunts. Members of an institution with a healthy culture can see beyond immediate goals and concerns. They see how their work relates to the long-term goals and objectives of the organization.
Davis provides a clear and thoughtful volume about corporate culture, a crucial element in the study of management. This work will appeal primarily to management specialists and social scientists.