Organizational contextual dimension culture

Determine the knowledge necessary for the operation of processes and for achieving conformity of products and services Maintain knowledge and make it available to the extent necessary Consider the current organizational knowledge and compare it to changing needs and trends Acquire the necessary additional knowledge. The four phases that define the requirements for handling organizational knowledge include various focal and starting points that provide guidance for organizations. Establishing knowledge and competence goals at the start of the process, for example, makes good sense. To do so, organizations should, for instance, determine knowledge of customer expectations and requirements and of particular production and service-provision processes.

Organizational contextual dimension culture

The second step is to apply the parameters of the context to various structural parameters and formulate a new or changed organizational model. The following design method is derived from various works of Richard HallD.

The purpose of organization is defined by the leadership; it articulates the vision and the mission of the organization. The organization intends to create a radically different and innovative product or service that is clearly differentiated from others in the industry. The organization intends to offer existing product or services at lower cost, perhaps through better manufacturing process, management, cost-cutting, restructuring etc.

The strategy is to gain the market shares of existing suppliers, while not taking risk of developing new product. Even if a differentiating competitor emerges, the organization will be the last to be affected.

The organization targets a small focused group of customers with very specific needs.

Organizational contextual dimension culture

It intends to compete in the narrow domain with either differentiation or efficiency. The organization has to devise strategies to cope with the changes external to the organization; there are 4 possible approaches as described below.

The organization tries to follow the risky and unknown path of innovation through investing in research and promoting collaboration across its various components. The organization tries to put its primary focus on survival while initiating innovation in the background.

Thus it tries to have a balanced approach that not only defends it from the current competition but ensures that it emerges as a stronger organization.

The organization solves the external environmental changes as they emerge in a ad-hoc manner, it fails to analyze the extent of external changes and lacks any definitive strategy.

Reactive approach is only successful when the external changes are for shorter duration and does not lead to subsequent changes. However, in most cases, it is the primary reason for failed leadership and demise of the organization.

It is the core utility that is used to produce the product or the output of the organization. The technology used by the organization is dependent upon the type of products it produces.

Organizational contextual dimension culture

The organization that provides service focuses on the efficiency, cost-effectiveness and internal processes to be competitive. The organization produces products that require mass production with infrequent changes; again this is very much a process oriented organization.

Hall's cultural factors

It is the unwritten norms, rules and values that are shared between all employees. It is simply the total number of employees it takes to sustain and grow the organization.

The size greatly influences how the organization is structured or requires restructure; the only thing simple about size is its measurement.

It is the amount of written documents in the organization.Contextual dimensions are characteristics of the organizational setting that influence and shape the structural dimensions Exhibit: Contextual and structural dimensions of organizations (see Daft E p.

17; this is an older version). The Many Dimensions of Organization Culture.


As I shared in the framing for this series, organization culture can be amorphous: hard to pin down, and difficult to define. That’s a problem. Schein uses a breakdown that I’ll call the structural dimension of culture, which looks like this: contextual depth – providing core, foundational.

proposed that for developing an organization structure (and organization chart), one should study organizational dimensions [6,8].

There are two types of organizational dimensions: structural and contextual.

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Organizational Culture