Decision Making in the Workplace: A Unified Perspective

By Lee Roy Beach | Go to book overview

9
ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE AND DECISION MAKING

Kristopher A. Weatherly The Walt Disney World Co.

Lee Roy Beach University of Arizona

It really had seemed like a good idea, but it clearly was not working. He had seen it work in his last job, but trying to do it here merely resulted in chaos. How many times had he read that "empowerment" was good, that it would result in happiness and profit and all the rest? Moreover, he had seen it work before. True, the people at his last job had been working together for a long time and had a clear idea of what the company was about and how to do things. Here everyone seemed to march to a different drummer, to make up the rules as they went along. Only one thing was clear, empowering this bunch was going to cost him his job and cost the organization a fortune to get things straightened out again. Still, it had seemed like a good idea at the time.

In this chapter we examine the relationship between an organization's culture and the decisions made within that organization. The chapter has two goals: first, to provide a theoretical link between culture and organizational decision making and second, to test some of the implications of this link.

An organization's culture consists of the organizationally relevant beliefs and values that are mutually understood and subscribed to by its members (see Schein, 1985, Schneider, 1990, and Trice & Beyer, 1993, for detailed discussions). As such, the culture prescribes what is true, necessary, and

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