Al Quds College
Business organisations and their environments: Culture
Ali Mohammed Mahmud Alyounis
In very broad terms, ‘culture’ refers to the prevailing norms and values which guide the way people behave in a society or in an organisation. Culture at the level of an organisation is referred to as organisational culture, and culture at the level of a society is referred to as national culture.
Organisational culture refers to an organisation's own values, beliefs and learned ways of doing business. This is reflected in its structure and in the people who work in the organisation. The ...view middle of the document...
Layers of culture
People even within the same culture carry several layers of mental programming within themselves. Different layers of culture exist at the following levels:
The national level: Associated with the nation as a whole.
The regional level: Associated with ethnic, linguistic, or religious differences that exist within a nation.
The gender level: Associated with gender differences (female vs. male)
The generation level: Associated with the differences between grandparents and parents, parents and children.
The social class level: Associated with educational opportunities and differences in occupation.
The corporate level: Associated with the particular culture of an organization. Applicable to those who are employed.
Some countries may share many attributes that help mold their cultures (the modifiers may be language, religion, geographical location, etc.). Based on this data obtained from past cross-cultural studies, countries may be grouped by similarities in values and attitudes. Fewer differences may be expected when moving within a cluster than when moving from one cluster to another.
All enterprises operating globally need not have the same degree of cultural awareness. The next figure illustrates extent to which a company needs to understand global cultures at different levels of involvement. The further a company moves out from the sole role of doing domestic business, the more it needs to understand cultural differences. Moving outward on more than one axis simultaneously makes the need for building cultural awareness even more essential.
Culture of Jordan and its effect on the organization behavior
The culture of Jordan is based on Arabic and Islamic elements with significant Western influence. The Jordanian Kingdom had always been the intersection of the three continents of the ancient world and always seemed to have a form of diversity at any given point due to its location.
There are many streams of research on culture, including organisational culture studies, comparative management, cross cultural management, international management andcross cultural psychology of organisational behaviour. Equally there are many definitions ofculture: some connect with it around the notion of values, beliefs and practices that are shared by a group of people.
Others take a move active view, akin to ‘the acquired knowledge that people use to interpret experience and to generate social behaviour’. Despite such differences, our understanding is uniform in that culture, nationally and organisationally, influences how organisations and people are managed.
Jordan is a service-based economy, actively encouraging foreign direct investment. This hasled to a significant recent increase in the number of multinational organisations operating in Jordan. At the same time, Jordan is known for being a country based on tribal...