Culture. We blithely use the term for just about anything--a vibrant culture, a dominant culture, a corporate culture. But do we really know what we're saying, what the notion of a "culture" really means? Or do we most often assume that the term is just a convenient way to group together those with a common purpose, goal or method of achieving that goal? Isn't a corporate culture, for example, just "the way we do things around here"?
No, it's not. In The Corporate Culture Survival Guide, Edgar Schein reveals how that's merely the tip of the iceberg, an iceberg that managers ignore at the peril of their company's future. Underneath, lies the much harder to grasp "essence" of the company, the "learned, shared, tacit assumptions on which people base their daily behavior". These assumptions are learned over time and in different internal and external environments, becoming, as Schein puts it, the "residue of success". As these assumptions influence all aspects of how a company functions, discovering their nature and cause is vital to the success of any new organisation-wide venture or strategy. In the second half of the book, Schein illustrates how, using this knowledge, a company's culture can be deliberately created or changed. Supported by numerous case study examples, his advice is pertinent to start-ups, mature companies and blended organisations.
If you are the type of manager that needs a quick fix solution, with simple catch-phrases and an easy Five Step Program to Success, this book is not for you. Nor are the benefits to be gained from acquiring the depth of knowledge and insight needed to understand, work with, and transform your corporate culture. Using intelligent, lucid prose, Schein provides this kind of insight and more; he tells both warning and inspiring tales of what this insight can mean for your company, and offers useful suggestions on how to put knowledge into practice. --S. Ketchum, Amazon.com
"Ed Schein has crystallized a lifetime of etching, research, and reflection on the dynamics of corporate culture and change. Rarely does an academician speak as clearly and pragmatically to business leaders as does Schein."(Don Davis, retired CEO, The Stanley Works, and senior MIT lecturer on leadership and ethics)
"Anyone with even the slightest interest in the too–often used and abused notion of corporate culture will want this book."(John Van Maanen, Erwin Schell Professor of Organization Studies, MIT)
"Schein provides an enormously helpful set of ideas and applications that will make the manager′s tasks of working with and trying to change the cultures in their organizations much more feasible and a lot less painful."(Peter J. Frost, Edgar F. Kaiser Professor of Organizational Behavior, University of British Columbia)