Edgar Schein on Corporate Culture



this is coral more talking management for the Global Mail today I'm honored to speak dead Chinese a senior professor now a professor emeritus at MIT good afternoon ed good afternoon you wrote a it's now in your fourth edition of corporate culture something that you were one of the pioneers and what is your thinking these days about the importance of corporate culture and can we or should we try to change it the the real answer that is the corporate culture is I think no longer the relevant topic I think the relevant topic is macro culture nations occupations corporate culture where all these nationalities and occupations play out and micro cultures where you have problems in the operating room in teamwork because you've got multinationals people from different occupations that are cultures all inter playing so in this last edition of the book I'm emphasizing that we have to take culture at a much more general level and look at both occupational cultures and national cultures and how they play out in the corporate cultures we bought in we recognize that a doctor views the world different than a nurse often that a manufacturing engineer looks at different than a finance person so you're saying that these things are really critical I'm saying that we have under we haven't understood that these are occupational cultures that are themselves very strong and therefore to help leaders deal with multicultural teams which is where it's going to be at two things have to happen leaders have to become much more humble and learn how to seek help because the subordinates under them will be much more knowledgeable than they and secondly leaders will have to create cultural islands where people from different occupational and national cultures can suspend some of the rules and talk to each other more directly for example about how they view trust how they view Authority how they deal with bosses who make mistakes if if leaders can't create those kinds of cultural islands they won't be able to create teams that can actually work so if I'm a young MBA starting out what are the skills I need to learn in order to be successful in this world you're talking about well the obvious answer is you need to become culturally literate not by reading about different cultures but by traveling more visiting more different occupational groups maybe a young doctor ought to spend much more time in a nursing school and see what they do and when people say how do you get broadened it's by traveling but traveling not just physically but also psychologically you

6 thoughts on “Edgar Schein on Corporate Culture

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  2. Becoming sincere and humble is so basic but needs a long cultural practice
    Psychology is not even an option for Medical Doctors… 
    Travelling psychologically sounds to be a dream in our world.

  3. Love the insights about increasing cultural awareness by traveling not only physically but also psychologically.

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