Organizational cultures vary along several dimensions. There are several frameworks for describing organizational cultures.
A. The Ouchi Framework:
Ouchi (1981) focused his attention explicitly on analyzing organizational cultures and developed a list of seven points on which different organizational cultures can be compared. These dimensions include:
(i) Commitment to employees, (short-term V/s long-term V/s life-long employment). .
(ii) Evaluation, (slow and qualitative V/s fast and quantitative).
(iii) Careers, (narrow V/s moderately broad V/s very broad in terms of performing job related functions).
(iv) Control, (implicit and informal V/s explicit and formal).
(v) Decision-making, (individual V/s group and consensus).
(vi) Responsibility, (individual V/s group).
(vii) Concern for people (holistic V/s narrow in terms of concern for a person as an employee, his/her home life, hobbies, personal beliefs, hopes, fears and aspirations).
Ouchi argued that the performance of an organization will be better if the organization offers lifetime or long-term employment, evaluation of employees is slow and qualitative, careers are moderately broad, or very broad, control is implicit and informal, decision-making is done by group-consensus, responsibility of work performance and results is shared by the group and there is a holistic concern for employees as outlined in his Theory Z.
B. The Peters and Waterman Approach:
Peters and Waterman (1982) provided dimensions of organizational culture which are more explicit as compared to Ouchi’s theory Z. These are as follows:
(i) Bias for action, (which implies making decisions even in the absence of all the facts).
(ii) Staying close to the customer, (i.e., identifying the needs, demands, problems and ideas of the students in particular and the larger society in general).
(iii) Autonomy and entrepreneurship, (which implies implementing innovations and doing away with bureaucracy).
(iv) Productivity through people, (i.e., beliefs that people are the most important assets of an organization and they need to be allowed to flourish, need to be treated with respect and dignity).
(v) Hand-on management, (i.e., managers should remain in touch with the realities and educational processes by making personal visits to classrooms, staff-room, library, laboratories, canteen, gymkhana, etc. and should not manage from behind the closed doors of their of ices.
(vi) Sticking to the knitting, (i.e., reluctance to engage in activities outside its area of expertise and relying on the “core competencies”).
(vii) Simple form, lean staff, (which implies fewer administrative layers and smaller staff-size. However, this may not be perfectly applicable in the context of Indian system of education with class-size as large as 80 students at the school level and 120 students at the junior college level – all sitting in the same class and handled by one single teacher).
(viii) Simultaneously loose and tight organization, (Here tight organization of an institution implies that all members understand and believe in the institution’s values and are bound together by a common cultural bond. On the other hand, loose organization implies fewer stiff members and fewer rules and regulations, less administrative expenditure).