Organizational culture is something that has been defined in many different ways. There are, however, common themes within all of the definitions that recur in all of the definitions. Some of these include; values, beliefs, basic assumptions, and shared understandings. These are some of the things that an organization can build their culture upon. It allows an organization to be stable and also serves as a way to convey an understanding to new members which allows them to make sense of the organization. The book states that, "A focus on organizational culture provides a different approach to understanding patterns of action in sport organizations" (Slack & Parent, pg. 275). Characteristics that sport organizations possess are stories, myths, symbols, and rituals.
Stories are defined by Slack & Parent as narratives that are recounted among employees and told to new employees. Myths, according to the book, are stories, often about the origins and transformations of a company that are not supported by fact. These two things are different types of manifestations that occur within an organization. They both convey important messages about a sport organization. Stories and myths help to reduce uncertainty for employees by establishing the sport organization as an enduring entity. The example that Slack & Parent provided about how stories can reduce uncertainty are if the stories are about hard times, those often give employees a sense that the organization is capable of overcoming problems. Stories also help send messages about organizational goals and the way employees should act. It helps to identify values that are shared by people within the organization.
"Symbols are used to convey meaning about a sport organization to its members and to the public at large" (Slack & Parent, pg. 277). A good example that the book identified is the Nike swoosh which conveys speed. Slogans are also closely related to symbols in that they also convey specific messages. Coaches often use slogans to get more out of their athletes. For example, "No pain, no gain."
Another type of manifestation is language. Sport organizations create their own special language to communicate with each other to ensure everyone is on the same page. I can personally relate to this because our coaches develop certain lingo that becomes the common language throughout the whole team. If they didn't do this we all would be referring to certain things the way we learned them, and we all don't call everything the same thing. It helps to develop a common language.