Chapter Reaction Paper Prompt
A 400-500 word reaction paper will demonstrate that you have critically read, analyzed, processed, and critiqued the chapter for class discussion. You should focus your writing on one section, theory, or concept in the chapter to demonstrate both your knowledge of the content and your ability to apply it to organizational communication. It should be in APA format including references.
Chapter 5: Cultural Approaches to Organizational Communication
Culture affects communication
Culture can create barriers that prevent us from understanding others
Ideologies and paradigms guide our thinking and impact our understanding of the world around us
Case Study: Avianca Flight 052
Avianca Flight 52 was flying from Columbia to New York
Due to poor weather, the flight had been repeatedly held up, leaving both pilots panicking about fuel levels
After Air Traffic Control again told them to wait, the pilots did not question the command
After running out of gas, the plane crashed, killing half of the passengers
What cultural dimensions may have influenced this event?
The acquired learning of a group that gives its members a sense of who they are, of belonging, and works to make that group recognizably different from other groups
Organizational culture is very similar to traditional culture in that it provides a system of shared values, beliefs, and holds meaning to employees
Globalization and Culture
Globalization has a tremendous impact on the way we communicate between and within organizations
Geert Hofstede (2001) created a model of five dimensions that act as a broad framework for understanding the cultural differences between nations
Long-term vs. short-term orientation
Masculinity and femininity
Case Study: The New Job and Organizational Culture
Zeb served for five years as the branch manager of an established local bank
Zeb always adhered to the rules of operation that governed customer and employee expectations
Though satisfied with his job, Zeb took an opportunity to work at Google
Zeb was startled by the very different culture of Google’s expansive office complex, group lunches, opportunities for innovation and creativity, and flexible work hours
Why is a workplace like Google so appealing to many?
Defining organizational features of a company, that separates that company from others in terms of operations, employee relationships, and interorganizational behavior
Moving from one organization to another can prove difficult when the organizational cultures are vastly different
Substantial differences can cause culture shock in new employees
Characteristics of the work environment are dictated by organizational culture
Expectations of time
When does the business day begin and end?
How many hours and days of the week are expected?
Expectations for dress
What is appropriate for the workplace?
Expectations of communication behaviors
Southwest Airlines – fun and hard work
Critical Thinking Questions – Environment
What are the time expectations for your classes?
What are the dress expectations at your institution?
What are the behavioral expectations at your institution?
Commitment to organizations is changing, as college students now average over 10 job changes in their lifetime
Different generations experience different life conditions, which influences commitment to the job
Increasing choices and opportunities impact our lives in many ways, including careers
Core aspects of an organization’s culture include:
Innovation and risk-taking
Attention to detail
Cultures are not always uniform in organizations
Subcultures have unique values, attributes, or behaviors
According to Schein (1983), organizational cultures become . . . a pattern of assumptions that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel . . .” (p. 14)
Critical Thinking Questions – Subcultures
What are some examples of subcultures at your institution?
How do those subcultures still maintain their organizational identity?
Changing Organizational Culture
Is it possible to “make” organizational change happen?
Material symbols, rituals, and even specific language used by an organization can be used to reinforce, differentiate, and strengthen culture
Strong organizational cultures are pervasive but knowing when to adapt and change the organizational culture to better fit the competitive environment is sometimes difficult
Paradigm Shifts & Organizational Culture
Defined as a set of rules and regulations, paradigms do two things:
Establish and define boundaries
Tell employees how to behave inside those boundaries to be successful
Paradigms are effective at standardizing interactions, but can become a hindrance if they prevent organizations from seeing opportunities outside that specific thought pattern
At the individual level, paradigms can interfere with our ability to see the value in other cultures, both ethnic and organizational
Critical Thinking Questions – Paradigms
How do your paradigms help navigate your everyday lives, and how can they hinder you?
How do your paradigms influence your communication styles and behaviors?
Consider the implications of organizational culture in the context of these different types of industry segments:
Entrepreneurship – small business