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Organizational Culture and Leadership 4th Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470190609
ISBN-10: 0470190604
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Editorial Reviews

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."
Knowledge Management

"[Schein] is, to use an overworked word, a guru, the recognized expert in the field."
Inside Business

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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 4 edition (August 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470190604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470190609
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Organizational Culture and Leadership" is perhaps the most in-depth work on the subject of organizational culture. It is the more academic and more in-depth version of the Corporate Culture Survival Guide by the same author. The book is about 400 pages and consists of five parts.

Part one provides the basics of the rest of the book. It defines organizational culture and other types of culture. It also describes Schein's three levels in which organizational culture is represented in organizations: artifacts, believes and values, assumptions. It also introduces the two case studies that are used throughout the book: DEC and Ciba-Geigy.

Part two explores different dimensions of culture. It doesn't limit itself to organizational culture but also to the different assumptions in national culture. First it looks at assumptions related to adaptations (to external events) and internal integration. Then it dives in several dimensions of culture such as reality, time, space and relationships. Ed Schein devotes a chapter to explain why most organizational cultural dimensions and surveys are too much a simplification of reality and introduces a bit on how to decipher an organizational culture.

Part three looks at culture over time. It starts with how culture evolves in new groups (interesting!) and from there looks at the different stages of organizations and how culture evolves. This part has quite a lot of duplication with the Corporate Survival Guide book of the same author (unfortunately for those who read both). It also explores what leadership can do to change or evolve the culture.

Part four and five focuses a bit more on the leadership role in evolving and changing the organizational culture.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the Fourth Edition of a "business classic" that was first published in 1985. I am always curious to know how a book with a 400-page narrative is organized. In Part I, Schein defines and describes culture as a structural concept; in Part II, he focuses on the content of culture and the process of deciphering assumptions; in Part III, he describes and explains various mechanisms and processes by which culture changes, noting that change in organizational midlife "is primarily a matter of deliberately taking advantage of the diversity that the growth of subcultures makes possible"; in Part IV, he shifts his attention to "the difficult question of how to change culture when the normal evolutionary processes are not working or are too slow; and then in Part V, he shifts his attention again to "many new kinds of work units such as multicultural task forces, v ventures and partnerships, and v networks. These new kinds of organizations will require a different kind of culture management because they will be [begin italics] multi [end italics] cultural. There will also be muticultural challenges that must be met with effective multicultural leadership.

These are among the dozens of passages that caught my eye, also listed to indicate the scope of Schein's coverage.
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Format: Paperback
Schein approaches this analysis of corporate cultural organization & leadership with concepts influenced by cultural anthropology (esp. Clifford Geertz). Just as an anthropologist would research kinship & values of an obscure tribe, Schein analyses corporate cultural artifacts like brand images, trademarks, graphic art, multimedia ads, architecture, mottoes & slogans, and other expressions of corporate culture to determine the values & relationships of corporations . Schein provides a framework by which to recognize unique insights into the 'personality' & values of modern corporations. Schein's research is genuinely original in its application of cultural anthropological concepts to firms that often seem impersonal or spend millions on Mad Ave to devise a non-factual image of 'espoused values' which belie internal arti-FACTS. Inconsistencies between what is presented to the customer vs what is presented to the stock-holder are apparent upon deeper, 'thicker description'. A reprint of this insightful text by a social scientist of Schein's caliber is deserved. Highly recommended as a methodology or theoretical approach -- his case studies are dated and a new edition with many recent examples and illustrations applying his framework would improve this text. Also, see W G Dyer Jr's work for similar approach to corporate cultural analysis focused upon leadership transitions in family businesses.
Like most management academics, Schein is not a critic of multinational corporations; however, his framework is useful to both corporate managers and to crtics of MNCs like anti-trust agencies, consumer advocates, and environmentalists.
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