What is "Culture"? LO20037

Ragnar Heil (Ragnar.Heil@urz.uni-heidelberg.de)
Mon, 30 Nov 1998 11:48:22 +0100

Replying to LO19973 --

>Sabine Bach asks:
>>What is culture? how could you define culture. What do I have to >address
>in order to change culture?

Hello !

I agree with the metaphor of the fish in the water that culture is an
implicit phenomena.

Reflection of culture is not very often, it is the job of social
scientists, anthropologists or organization developers.

Organization cultures consist of common-shared persuasions. Patterns of
values or cognitions as well as systems of symbols produce a culture. In
the tradition of the sociologist Max Weber you could describe a culture as
a community of shared meanings.

So you can't learn a culture consciously, socialisation" is the key word.
It is very interesting how culture in an organization is passed on. People
tell stories and legends about the founder of the company (e.g.Bill Gates
stopped his study, selled calculators, programmed in a garage). You can
look how organizations celebrate (x-mas parties, anniversaries,
inclusions) and which rites they have. Here in Germany you can have a lot
of trouble if you disturb the order of parking-lots which are reserved.

all the best
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"Ragnar Heil" <Ragnar.Heil@urz.uni-heidelberg.de>

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