The Non-Sharing of Organizational Culture: A Case Study Examining the Management Perspective

  •  Sandro Serpa    


The degree to which cultural elements are shared by members of an organization is a commonly discussed topic in organizational culture. This research contributes to that discussion by analyzing elements that shape the concrete situations of cultural non-sharing or even conflict, diachronically examining a social and educational organization. A case study of a shelter organization for unprotected children and young female boarders was conducted by examining the organization’s archival documents to discern the perspective of its boards of directors over time. The results demonstrate that the sharing of culture in this organization is not absolute: situations include formal rather than real sharing as well as disagreement, which is understandable considering the functional autonomy of employees and the relationships of the organization with the exterior (both with the State and with the surrounding community). Although the boards of directors sought to control these countercultural elements by establishing a dominant culture, their actions were conditioned by internal and external factors, both intentional and contingent. Thus, one implication of this qualitative research is that successful organizational leaders must be aware that they operate in complex and somewhat unpredictable contexts that influence the management of organizational culture.

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