chapter six
organization cultures
6.1 Characteristics of technology-driven
organization cultures
It is clear from the study that technology-based organization cultures are
not completely organic or mechanistic in nature. Therefore, any attempt
to dene these cultures in past traditional terms is misleading to say the
least. In order to compete successfully, technology-driven companies
must pay attention to the prevailing culture. When culture is neglected or
ignored, the company is sure to experience some type of negative impact
such as reduced productivity. A quick summary of the literature review
and the survey results indicate the following:
Trusting culture is important to organization growth.
The culture of an organization directly affects the level of trust
found in the organization.
Productivity is affected by trust.
Technology-driven organization cultures are not purely organic
or mechanistic.
Based on the study and the result of the literature, in purely mecha-
nistic cultures one would expect that an organization would exhibit low
trust; conversely in purely organic cultures the level of trust would be
expected to be considerably higher. Considering the result of the study,
it seems appropriate to ascertain that technology-driven organizational
cultures are not completely organic or mechanistic. Cultures that per-
mit exibility, creativity, critical thinking, and the appropriate level of
risk taking are viewed as optimal for technology-driven organizations.
Also, noted among the organizations that participated in the study, each
organization exhibited various characteristics or elements of organic and
mechanistic culture. This information suggests that technical organi-
zations function primarily in cultures that contain the right balance of
attributes permitting critical thinking and exibility and the right balance
of elements supporting the appropriate levels of rules and procedures
thatserve as a stable guiding force for the organization.
68 Culture and trust in technology-driven organizations
6.2 Redening cultures for technology-
driven organizations
It is reasonable to derive that based on the result obtained from the anal-
ysis of the organization data, technology-based organization cultures
cannot be classied as purely mechanistic or organic. Therefore, cultures
for these organizations are being classied as composite cultures. A com-
posite culture is being dened as a culture that contains the appropriate
level and balance of organic and mechanistic elements and characteristics
needed to meet the goals and objectives of the organization. The primary
attributes of a composite culture are listed below. For the most part, char-
acteristics of both organic and mechanistic cultures in varying levels were
present in the organizations that participated in the study at the time of
data collection.
Composite Culture Attributes
Highly specialized tasks
Work governed by procedures and directions from supervisor
Decisions made at the top of the organization
e leader makes maximum use of teamwork
Worker participate in decision making
Communication flows in all decisions
Continuous adjustm
ent of tasks as needed
The organizations that participated in the study culture scores ranged
from 3.52 to 5.50. The culture result for each organization is shown in
The culture data obtained from the study formed the basis for the
composite culture theory as shown in Figure 6.1, illustrating where a
composite culture will fall on the culture continuum.
(M) = A composite culture consisting of more mechanistic characteris-
tics than organic characteristics.
(O) = A composite culture consisting of more organic characteristics
than mechanistic characteristics.
69Chapter six: Technology-driven organization cultures
Mechanistic characteristics such as having an abundance of proce-
dures and rigid processes in place are necessary in some cases to ensure
consistency in operation, product development, and implementation of
new processes or programs. Each of the companies that participated in the
study found it necessary to have strict control in some areas of theoper-
ation to protect the quality of the products and services they provide.
Procedures and policies were used to document the practices and the
policies that were important to the business to protect the quality of their
business line. The companies that participated in the study have been in
business for decades and appear to be quite protable and successful.
The cultures for these organizations fell between the organic and
mechanistic regions on the culture continuum. This relationship is shown
in Figure6.2. Observation of the continuum shows that the cultural attri-
butes of the organization were closer to the mechanistic range in most
cases, with some of the organizations having cultures more toward the
organic region.
Because we now know that trust levels found within an organization
depend directly upon the culture operating within that organization, we
(M) Composite
Figure 6.1 Culture continuum.
Table6.1 Culture Means by Organization Data
Organization Culture mean
G 3.52
A 3.90
D 4.32
J 4.19
B 4.50
F 4.90
C 5.00
L 5.07
M 5.18
K 5.17
H 5.30
E 5.47
I 5.50

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