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Organizational Culture and Leadership Paperback – Dec 19 1996

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Organizational Culture and Leadership
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99 by Wayne Gretzky 99 by Wayne Gretzky

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 2 edition (Dec 19 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787903620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787903626
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 2.9 x 25.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #278,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

This second edition updates Schein's influential understanding of culture -- what it is, how it is created, how it evolves, and how it can be changed -- and lucidly demonstrates the crucial role leaders play in successfully applying the principles of culture to achieve their organizations' goals and fulfill their missions. Schein shows how to identify, nurture, and shape the cultures of organizations in any stage of development, and presents critical new learnings and practices in the field, including additional work on subcultures. The result is a vital aid to understanding and practicing organizational effectiveness.

From the Back Cover

An updated classic, now available in paperback: "Genuinely useful to those interested in effectiveness, leadership, and culture." -- Joan V. Gallos, instructor in management, Radcliffe Seminars, Harvard University Focusing on the complex business realities of the 1990s, organizational development pioneer Edgar H. Schein transforms the abstract concept of culture into a practical tool that managers and students can use to understand the dynamics of organizations and change.

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Format: Paperback
Organizational Culture and Leadership is a classic work in the field of Organizational Culture Theory and as such it is a good reference to have. The frustration that many companies have, however, is putting theory into practice and unfortunately this book falls short of helping anyone (apart from O.D. PhD's) to do just that. A practical approach to the evaluation and transformation of culture would be more useful for the vast majority of companies.
For example an iterative approach to transformation and alignment using objective diagnostic tools (like the OCP Method developed by O'Reilly, Chatman and Caldwell) and the application of practical "bite-size" changes like leadership development/behvioral change; compensation system change, recruiting model change, organizational structure change, etc. is far more impactful and perhaps more importantly far more implementable. And, of course, as in any change effort, it is important to know whether you are making progress which is all the more reason to utilize an objective and validated measurment/diagnostic method or tool.
I really like Kaplan and Norton's work in tying Culture to Strategy in this area (check out their recent HBR article) and the work ThinkShed is doing based on O'Reilly, Chatman and Caldwell's OCP methodology...very practical, very measurable, very effective and being a web based tool, very very implementable.
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Format: Paperback
"Cultural analysis illuminates subcultural dynamics within organizations...Many problems that were once viewed simply as 'communication failures' or 'lack of teamwork' are now being more properly understood as a breakdown of intercultural communications...For example, most companies today are trying to speed up the process of designing, manufacturing, and delivering new products to customers. They are increasingly discovering that the coordination of the marketing, engineering, manufacturing, distribution, and sales groups will require more than goodwill, good intentions, and a few management incentives. To achieve the necessary integration requires understanding the subcultures of each of these functions and the design of intergroup processes that allow communication and collaboration across sometimes strong subcultural boundaries...Cultural analysis is necessary if we are to understand how new technologies influence and are influenced by organizations. A new technology is usually a reflection of an occupational culture that is built around new core scientific or engineering concepts and tools...Cultural analysis is necessary for management across national and ethnic boundaries...Organizational learning, development, and planned change cannot be understood without considering culture as a primary source of resistance to change...Given these and related issues, it seems obvious that we must increase our study of culture and put this research on a solid conceptual foundation. Superficial concepts of culture will not be useful; we must come to understand fully what culture is all about in human groups, organizations, and nations so that we can have a much deeper understanding of what goes on, why it goes on, and what, if anything, we can do about it" (from the Preface).Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
In this work, Edgar Schein articulates the importance of understanding organizational culture as a means of implementing change. His theory is that the ability to manipulate culture is a key tool of modern management. He theorizes that organizational culture reflects the leadership and vision of its founder, and that organizations become self-sustaining through buy-in to the culture.
Schein provides a complex model for diagnosing culture and analyzing the values and assumptions of the organization. He also emphasizes the importance of understanding the dynamics of the stage of organizational culture, prior to implementing change.
An interesting point that Schein makes is the need to periodlically "unfreeze culture" and apply a "cognitive reconstruction" -- in short repond to market pressures by becoming more competitive through organizational change.
Schein's work is very thorough and easy to read. My only criticism is the length of the work, which is the result of Schein's many real-life examples that reinforce his points.
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Format: Paperback
This is excellent reading, especially for those people who are managing business units or any other functional groups that operates within an organization. The author has done substantial research on the topic of organizational culture and leadership. This is not his first book on the topic, but in this book he really flushes out the impact of culture on the organization and especially for those who are in leadership roles. Schein believes that culture can be transformed into a tool that can be used by managers to better understand the dynamics change in the organization. He points out that culture is a phenomenon that surrounds us at all the time and it is being enacted and created by our interactions with others. He feels that the process of culture creation and management are the essence of leadership. Shein feels that if leaders want to start evolutionary change processes that must be adaptive. In order for them to achieve this goal, they must first understand the dynamics of culture. He feels neither culture nor leadership can be understood or addressed individually because many things in-groups are shared or held in common. Shein presents categories of values that groups routinely use to operate within an organization. He provides a very clear definition and explanation of organizational culture. He talks about how leaders are chosen or not chosen. He stresses the point that cultural understanding is critical for leadership, and is the determining factor in the choice of leaders within a group or organization. Shein talks extensively about group dynamics and presents some interesting information about some of the assumption that are necessary for groups to operate successfully.Read more ›
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