Organizational Culture and Leadership (The Jossey–Bass Business & Management Series) Paperback – 27 Aug 2010
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From the Back Cover
Regarded as one of the most influential management books of all time, this fourth and completely updated edition of Edgar Schein′s Organizational Culture and Leadership focuses on today′s complex business realities and draws on a wide range of contemporary research to demonstrate the crucial role of leaders in applying the principles of culture to achieve their organizational goals.
Edgar Schein explores how leadership and culture are fundamentally intertwined, and reveals key findings about leadership and culture including:
Leaders are entrepreneurs and the main architects of culture
Once cultures are formed they influence what kind of leadership is possible
If elements of the culture become dysfunctional, it is the leader′s responsibility to do something to speed up culture change.
In addition, the book contains new information that reflects culture at different levels of analysis from national and ethnic macroculture to team–based microculture.
Praise for Prior Editions of Organizational Culture and Leadership
"Worth reading again and again and again."
"An organizational development pioneer uses an anthropological approach to address a leader′s role in shaping group and organizational dynamics."
"[Schein] is, to use an overworked word, a guru, the recognized expert in the field."
About the Author
Edgar H. Schein is Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of numerous books, including Process Consultation Revisited, The Corporate Culture Survival Guide, Career Anchors, and most recently, Helping: How to Offer, Give and Receive Help.
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In this way it requires a sufficiently cerebral reader, who will actually actively choose the approach most suited to their specific organization, to get the most out of it. But if you are blessed with patience and perseverance the book is a real tour de force.
The author provides a pretty comprehensive overview of theories and aspects of culture and leadership and equips the reader with arguments for / against a specific approach in a given setting, or put differently, a map of settings where the approaches would work best.
While the examples largely come from the author's own prolific consulting experience and include a multitude of organizations, the majority still stems from the two companies where Schein worked most thoroughly - the DEC and Ciba Geigy. As these two are in many ways polar opposites, they work well for illustrating the points made.
As everything is derived from practically first principles, you really get lots of insights into how to identify, explore, understand and finally shape various aspects of culture. This makes the book a useful guide for someone new to an organization (and creating a picture for oneself of it), for someone leading an organization and wanting to change aspects of it, in an M&A context, where companies get merged and acquired (and where the cultural compatibility and the minefields associated therewith are often neglected prior to the deals being struck), etc.
As long as you are not expecting answers to fall at your feet within the first handful of pages, and understand yourself as an active participant in discovering the route and then carrying out the journey, the book makes excellent sense. If you are changing into a different organizational (or national) culture with your next job assignment, it is a blessing to at least be prepared with the right mindset / questions, before embarking on the journey.
Probably ideal for anyone doing a management or leadership course.
Pretty comprehensive so don't expect to get through it quickly