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Mng Study Unit 2.2 Summary

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One of the learning outcomes of study unit 2.2 requires students to distinguish between a power culture,a role culture, a task culture and a person culture. The third edition of the prescribed book does not cover these types of organisational culture, as classified by Charles Handy. Below we provide a differentiation of the different types of culture, as classified by Handy. Please include these notes, taken from the previous edition of the prescribed book, in your study material and remember to cover it during your examination preparation as it forms part of the learning outcomes for this module.
Handy distinguishes between four types of culture, namely a power culture, a role culture, a task culture and a person culture.
Ehlers and Lazenby (2007:226-227) explain these types of culture as follows:
A power culture is frequently found in entrepreneurial organisations. It can be compared to a spider (source of power and influence) and a web (functional areas). The power culture depends on trust and empathy for its effectiveness and means of personal communication. Typically, within a power culture few rules and procedures exist and individuals employed tend to be power-oriented. Power cultures are strong and have the ability to react quickly.
The second type of organisational culture, as classified by Handy, is called the role culture. This type of culture is often stereotyped as a bureaucracy where logic, rationality, rules and procedures dominate. Within this type of culture, the role, or job description, is considered more important than the individual who fills it. Performance which exceeds the job description, or role, is not required. Role cultures offer individuals security, predictability and the opportunity to acquire specialist expertise. It is a frustrating environment for power-orientated and ambitious individuals. This type of culture can succeed as long as it operates in a stable environment. It is often...

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