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paucity of research examining the impact of a wider range of organizational culture

norms on employee behaviors.

Culture encompasses elements of the organization such as artifacts, values, and

symbols, which permeate the organizational environment and provide blueprints for

employees of what is expected in their work environment (Chatman & Barsade, 1995;

Chatman et al., 1998; Hatch, 1993; Schein, 1985). Assumptions and values are a major

component of organizational culture and this determines its largely preconscious nature

(Ashforth, 1985). I propose that roles provide the perceptual link between culture and

behaviors. As Katz & Kahn (1978) in their treatise on the formulation and enactment of

roles suggested: “The concept of role is proposed as the major means for linking the

individual and organizational levels of research and theory: it is at once the building

block of social systems and the summation of the requirements with which such systems

confront their members as individuals” (p. 219-220). A role theory perspective provides

the bridging mechanism between organizational culture and behaviors.

Research on national culture supports the importance of roles by demonstrating

that culture influences the cognitive processes of individuals by intensifying the retrieval

of perceptions consistent with the overall cultural values (Trafimow, Triandis, & Goto,

1991; Triandis, 1989). Organizational culture consists of ambient stimuli that are likely to

prime role cognitions coherent with their content and direction (Katz & Kahn, 1978). In

the business world, cultures such as that of Dell might initiate employees’ developing

achievement role perceptions, which in turn drive high individual achievement behavior,

while at 3M or Apple employees might espouse an innovative role orientation consistent

with the organizational culture of innovation. Thus, I propose that different


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