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Key MBA Models by Dr. Julian Birkinshaw, Ken Mark

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9

Schein’s model of organisational culture

Every organisation has a culture – an unwritten set of norms and expectations about how people should behave. Cultures are hard to define and very hard to change, but they matter a lot because they shape behaviour and they influence who chooses to join and leave. Many attempts have been made to make sense of culture over the years. Ed Schein, a Professor at MIT, has put forward one of the most influential models.

When to use it

  • To diagnose the culture where you work.
  • To understand what sorts of behaviour are acceptable, and why.
  • To help you make changes.

Origins

There is a long history of thinking about organisational culture, sometimes using the related concept of ‘organisation climate’.

Ed Schein ...

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