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Culture

In: Business and Management

Submitted By shark660
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Culture has been defined in many ways; this author’s shorthand definition is: "Culture is the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from others". It is always a collective phenomenon, but it can be connected to different collectives. Within each collective there is a variety of individuals. If characteristics of individuals are imagined as varying according to some bell curve; the variation between cultures is the shift of the bell curve when one moves from one society to the other. Most commonly the term culture is used for tribes or ethnic groups (in anthropology), for nations (in political science, sociology and management), and for organizations (in sociology and management). A relatively unexplored field is the culture of occupations (for instance, of engineers versus accountants, or of academics from different disciplines). The term can also be applied to the genders, to generations, or to social classes. However, changing the level of aggregation studied changes the nature of the concept of ‘culture’. Societal, national and gender cultures, which children acquire from their earliest youth onwards, are much deeper rooted in the human mind than occupational cultures acquired at school, or than organizational cultures acquired on the job. The latter are exchangeable when people take a new job. Societal cultures reside in (often unconscious) values, in the sense of broad tendencies to prefer certain states of affairs over others (Hofstede, 2001, p. 5). Organizational cultures reside rather in (visible and conscious) practices: the way people perceive what goes on in their organizational...

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