National and Ethnic Bases of Culture

Organizational cultures ultimately are embedded in the national cultures in which an organization operates. Thus the deeper assumptions of the national culture come to be reflected in the organization through the cultural backgrounds of its founders, leaders, and members. For example, Ken Olsen, the founder of DEC, was an American electrical engineer who believed profoundly in the U.S. values of competitive individualism, had a strong moral and ethical sense, and held a deep conviction that people could and should be trusted. These beliefs were reflected in all of the incentive, reward, and control systems that DEC developed. He also believed in individual responsibility and would ...

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