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organizational cultures create different patterns of role perceptions and subsequent

behavioral responses.

One of the most prominent definitions of organizational culture comes from the

work of Edgar Schein who proffered that “ Organizational culture is the pattern of basic

assumptions that a given group has invented, discovered, or developed in learning to cope

with its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, and that have worked

well enough to be considered valid, and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the

correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems” (1984: p. 3). Two

basic dimensions along which cultures may be expected to differ and which emerge as

important in Schein’s (1985) definition are the external and internal focus of

organizations. Moreover, Schein (1985) suggested that organizations are concerned with

their adaptation (flexibility) and integration (stability) at the same time. Specifically, as

Schein (1985) puts it:

“All group and organizational theories distinguish two major sets of problems that

all groups, no matter what their size, must deal with: (1) survival, growth, and adaptation

in their environment and (2) internal integration that permits daily functioning and the

ability to adapt” (p. 11).

It can therefore be inferred that organizational culture is concerned with adaptation in its

internal environment and with respect with its external environment but at the same time

seeks to establish internal integration and stability.

A specific framework, which approaches cultures as reflecting how organizations

cope with the competing tensions of internal and external focus and the need to sustain


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