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The practices in managing cultures

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  • Pages: 6
  • Word count: 1279
  • Category: Culture

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In this essay about managing culture in the post-bureaucratic era, I am going to argue how the practices of managing culture have changed in this era and how they differentiate oneself from the bureaucratic era. Furthermore I describe the cultural influences especially in organizations and how the importance of those influences changed over the time. In the first section I am going to explain the content of managing organization culture to get a first insight in the topic and to express the knowledge about the influences of the culture in an organization. In the next chapter I separate between two perspectives of the cultural organizations and explain which of the both are relevant for the assignment question. The next step of my argumentation is the explanation of the content of the post-bureaucratic era and how it differentiates from the bureaucratic era. In the main part of my research I am going to analyse the different types of form organization and controlling regarding to McKenna, Garcia-Lorenzo & Bridgeman.

Following this, by looking into the resulting advantages and disadvantages for the employees and also the point of view of the managers. At the end of my research I refer to a few examples to confirm my research and my line of argumentation. The beginning of my argumentation starts with the explanation of the management of organizational cultures and how this influences the organizations behaviour. According to Guest, Storey & Watsons (2002, as cited in Ogbonna & Wilkinson 2003) organizational culture is a key concept in the human resource management. It is important to understand how the different cultures are effected and they change the behaviour inside an organization. Every person shares a different culture and belief and everyone represent another point of view inside an organization. The fact is, that every person in an organisation brings along a value for the organization with their attitudes and point of views of their cultures. With it they have a direct influence on the organizational behaviour (Knights & Willmott, 2007).

According to Knight & Willmott (2007) there are two different perspectives, the mainstream and critical, of culture inside an organization. It can be described as a part of an organization or as the organization itself. The first perspective describes the culture as leading the organization to the most positive effectiveness through a good management. On the other hand the second point of view describes the culture as the social interactions of people in an organization (Meek 1988, cited in Knight & Willmott 2007). After demonstrating the explanation of culture it is important to explain how the practices of the mainstream and the critical perspective of the organizational culture have changed from the bureaucratic era to the post-bureaucratic era. The bureaucratic era has been the traditional form of organization for more than a century, in simple terms described as hybridity, standardized operations and none flexibility inside the organization.

The change to the post-bureaucratic is shown through personal influence, high trust relationships and the importance of the individuality of everyone (McKenna, Garcia-Lorenzo & Bridgeman, 2010). According to Kernaghan (2000) the characteristic of the bureaucratic era is “position power” and of the post bureaucratic “participate leadership”. With this statement it can be said, that the practices of managing cultures also have changed in this era and that the importance of cultural influences on the organizations are higher than before. Important to mark is that the post-bureaucratic era has a normative form of control, based on trust and loss of control, which rises the attention of organizational culture (McKenna, Garcia-Lorenzo & Bridgeman, 2010). According to Waterman & Peters the practices of managing culture are very important in the post-bureaucratic era, because with the presentation of the important key values and company goals by the managers, it is possible to create an organization of employees with a minimum stage of control and a high stage of individuality (Waterman & Peters 2004, cited in McKenna, Garcia-Lorenzo & Bridgeman 2010).

To confirm my research and my point of view that the post-bureaucratic era is an era without control, I refer to an example of Etzioni’s terminology. This example displays a professional organization, where it might be difficult to organize and control the organizational behaviour (Etzioni1964, cited in Kärreman & Alvesson 2004). It says, that the “new” post-bureaucratic era also generate benefits for the organizations and that this new forms of control replace existing forms such as in the bureaucratic era (Kärreman & Alvesson, 2004). Coming back to the point of view of the critical perspective of culture (social interactions), it can be said that it has a lot in common with the point of view of the post-bureaucratic era (individuality, less control). From my point of view the critical perspective of culture inside an organization is adopted in the post-bureaucratic era and more outstanding and important than the mainstream perspective.

According to Ogbonna & Wilkinson the critical organizational culture has also disadvantages for the employees. The lower level employees are disadvantaged because of their status and power capacity. Regarding to Ogbonna & Wilkinson it is important to focus the topic of managing cultures in the post-bureaucratic on the managers to explore their reactions (Ogbonna & Wilkinson, 2003). The best way to analyse the change from the bureaucratic to the post-bureaucratic era is a direct comparison. The bureaucratic era was regulated by standardized processes and no individuality, regarding to Ogbonna & Wilkinson the results from an interview were mostly negative about this “way of culture” (Ogbonna & Wilkinson, 2003). It can be said, that the change from the bureaucratic era to the post-bureaucratic era was initiated by a couple of individual managers, who wanted to change the processes and rules in company behaviours. Confirming my point of view, I refer to the paper of Rosen (1988).

In this paper the management of culture is described as the collection of members which form an organic unity. This point of view assorts well with my point of view of the change of the managing culture in the post-bureaucratic era and the assumption, that the critical perspective is represented in this era (page 1). To sum up, I can say that the management and the importance of culture have changed in the post-bureaucratic. It seems plausible that the culture has a higher value in the post-bureaucratic than in the bureaucratic era and that the form of organization definitely has changed. The critical perspective contains all of the important content of the post-bureaucratic era and displays the importance of the culture how it is in this era. For a better understanding of this topic a deeper research is necessary, which takes a look on all facts of the era regarding to the practices of the management of the culture.


Kärreman, Dan. & Alvesson, M. 2004. Cages in Tandem: Management Control, Social Identity, and Identification In a Knowledge-Intensive Firm. Sweden : SAGE, 2004, pp. 150-152. Kernaghan, K. 2000. The Post-Bureaucratic Organization and Public Services Values. Interational Review of Administrative Sciences 66. 2000, pp. 92-93. Knights, D. & Willmott, H. 2007. Introducing organisational behaviour and management. Australia : Thomson, 2007, pp. 344-372. McKenna, S., Garcia-Lorenzo, L. & Bridgman, T.
2010. Managing, managerial control and managerial identity in the post-bureaucratic world. Canada, UK & New Zealand : York University, London School of Economics & York University, 2010, pp. 2-4. Ogbonna, E. & Wilkinson, B. 2003. The False Promise of Organizational Culture Change: A Case Study of Middle Managers in Grocery Retailing. Cardiff : Blackwell Publishing, 2003, pp. 1152-1164. You Asked For It: Christmas At The Bosses Expense. Rosen, M. 1988. New York : s.n., 1988, Journal of Management Studies, pp. 464-473.

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