Managing Organizational Culture

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Culture within an organization is not very easy to define. Therefore there are many definitions that exist to try to explain what it means. The general themes within the definitions consist of values, beliefs, basic assumptions, and shared understandings in which a set of individuals base the construction of their organization, group, or subgroup. Stories, myths, symbols, and rituals also play a key role in sport organizations. Once again, it is important to stress the culture of the sport organization and let every employee know what it is like working in this environment. Many employees within sport organizations will talk amongst themselves in the workplace. One manifestation on organizational culture is stories and myths. These are told from employee to employee or from a leader to employee to enlighten them about the organization. These stories and myths try to convey important messages to employees. The stories and myths must include a sense of history, the organization's ability to overcome problems, or indicate social categories which are legitimate in the organization. Symbols are also important for the identity of the sport organization. The symbols can include slogans to promote expectations about the appropriate modes of behavior in the organization. Communication amongst groups or subgroups within the sport organization is very important. Some groups or subgroups within the organization will develop their own specialized language to communicate better with each other. Some organizations will hold ceremonies or rites to new employees or veteran employees. It is most notable in professional sports with the rookie initiation or in the NCAA with freshman initiation. The physical setting in which the sport organization operates can give meaning to its culture. Physical structure, physical stimuli, and symbolic artifacts can all be placed under the physical setting in the manifestation of the sport organization. There are two kinds of cultures that can be used to describe sport organizations. A thick culture is a culture that has members in the organization that generally agree about the importance of certain values and employ them in their daily routines. A thin culture is the opposite of a thick culture. Most of the employees do not see common values or the type of activities in the organization. When creating, managing, and changing culture in a sport organization it is important to remember a couple things. Not all organizations should be a thick culture because their environment is constantly changing therefore they will need to be in a thin culture. There must be leaders that can manage the culture and make sure that the employees are fitting into it to maximize efficiency.