Twelve

Understanding Organizational Culture and Structure

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Our journey through OB so far has led us through examples and research related to individuals and groups. The final five chapters of the textbook examine OB at the organizational and interorganizational level. In this chapter, we describe basic elements of organizational culture and structure.

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Ricardo Semler was 21 years old when he took over his father's company, Semco, a firm that employed about 100 people and generated $4 million in annual revenues by producing marine pumps for Brazil's shipping industry. The company was managed in a traditional manner and had well-developed operating standards, formal rules, and detailed job descriptions that indicated the training and experience required for each position. It also had a fairly centralized authority structure and an established departmental structure. In short, Semco's structures and systems were developed fully enough for the father to hand over the reins of power to his youthful son.

I can honestly say that our growth, profit, and the number of people we employ are secondary concerns.

Ricardo Semler was not fond of the organizational culture, however, nor of the ...

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