Where does organizational culture come from?

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A widely held view is that the importance of organizational cultural considerations emerged by the failure of many US and European companies to compete with Japanese firms. Case in point? Look at the history of Ford, General Motors and Toyota. In their book, Diagnosing and Changing Organization Culture (see below), authors Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn make the point that successful companies with sustained profitability and above-average returns leverage their organizational culture as the key factor for competitive advantage. Organizational culture can emerge in a number of ways: • It is sometimes created by its founder (e.g. Walt Disney). • It may emerge over time, as the organization faces challenges and obstacles (e.g. Coca-Cola) • It may be developed consciously by the management team (e.g. General Electric through Jack Welch). How important is organizational culture? Consider this quote from Cameron and Quinn. The point we are illustrating with these examples is that without ... more
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