Organizational culture played key roles in two events of the 20th century, separated by 21 years. Watch both videos.
"... the mechanism by which intelligence "signals" are sorted from background "noise" are neither uniform, entirely rational or random,
but are instead functions of the culture and identity of the analytic unit"
"... we are assuming governmental behavior can be most satisfactorily understood by analogy with the purposive acts of individuals ...
it obscures the persistently neglected factor of bureaucracy;
the 'maker' of government policy is not one calculating decisionmaker but is rather a conglomerate of large organizations and political actors ..."
Two classic studies of the role of organizational culture in decision making
First of all, it is much easier after the event to sort the relevant from the irrelevant signals.
After the event, of course, signal is always crystal clear; we can now see what disaster it was signalling, since the disaster has occurred.
But before the event it is obscure and pregnant with conflicting meanings.
For explaining and predicting the behavior of individual men,
this general orientation toward purpose and rational choice seems to be the best available.
The rationality of man's choices is, of course, "bounded" by things such as the availability of information and the difficulty of calculation.
But as a baseline, if one knows how an individual has defined his problem and what resources he has available,
his objectives provide a good clue to his behavior.
Difficulties arise when the thing to be explained is not the behavior of an individual
but rather the behavior of a large organization or even a government.
You don't have to read these unless you wish to, but we might touch upon them in conversation
Read the article while thinking about the impact of organizational culture, in both the French and American armies, in 1918.
... the tactics and scheme of manoeuvre devised by the 2nd Division’s innovative commander, Marine Major General John A Lejeune,
departed significantly from the rigid and dogmatic tactical doctrine of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) under General John J Pershing.
During the course of the war, in fact, the 2nd Division was the subject of official criticism by the AEF’s Inspector General ...
for failure to follow approved American tactical doctrinee — regardless of any actual battlefield success.
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
"La Mer" (English: "The Sea") is a song credited to French composer, lyricist, singer and showman Charles Trenet.
The song was first recorded by the French singer Roland Gerbeau in 1945.
It was not until 1946 that Trenet recorded his own version.
When it was released in 1946, it became an unexpected hit, and has remained a chanson classic and jazz standard ever since.