pros and cons of organizational culture

read to prepare yourselves for session 14

Choo, C. W. (2006). The knowing organization: How organizations use information to construct meaning, create knowledge, and make decisions. New York: Oxford University Press.
Chapter 3, "The management of ambiguity - Organizations as sense-making communities." 75-125

Roberta Wohlstetter's Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision

Wohlstetter, R. (1962). Pearl Harbor; warning and decision. Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press
pages vii-ix and 382-401

Graham Allison's Essence of Decision

Allison, G. T. (1971). Essence of decision: Explaining the Cuban missile crisis. Boston: Little, Brown
read pages v-viii, 1-9, and 243-263; skim pages 10-38, 87-100, 144-184, and 264-277

things we'll talk about

  • using Wohlstetter and Allison as examples, we'll reflect on the benefits and disadvantages of organizational culture
  • why is an organizational culture necessary?
  • does it help organizations orient their goals and prioritize?
  • does it make organizations vulnerable to stagnation?
  • think of companies and organizations that refused to change their organizational culture and suffered as a result

If the session will include an in-class exercise, it will be noted here.