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Organizational Culture and Leadership, Fourth Edition by Edgar H. Schein

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Chapter 5. ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT EXTERNAL ADAPTATION ISSUES

A formal definition of organizational culture can tell us what culture is from a structural point of view, but it does not tell us what the content of culture is—what cultural assumptions are about. What kinds of issues do groups face that lead ultimately to cultural assumptions, or, to put it another way, what critical functions does culture perform for the group and ultimately the organization? Why do certain cultural assumptions survive?

The most useful model for identifying the content dimensions of organizational cultures derives from social psychology and group dynamics. All groups and organizations face two archetypical problems: (1) survival in and adaptation to the external environment, ...

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