Critical Thinking

You will be required to visit a local organization in your area (Target, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, etc….) and you should not be a past or present employee of the organization. The purpose of your visit is strictly to observe an organization as it goes about its normal business. You should take notes on all of the indicators of the organization’s culture that you can observe. Look for artifacts, settings, symbols, and perhaps even a ritual. You may be surprised how much you can learn by simply observing if you put your mind to it. Many skilled managers employ this ability to sense what is going on as they walk through their plant or office area.

Prepare a memo describing the culture of the organization. Your analysis should consider: the extent to which the culture impacts employee behavior; the function of the organizational culture; what practices keep the culture alive; how do employees learn the organization’s culture; and, how does the organization’s culture promote or inhibit organizational change. In your analysis, be sure to identify at least several “signs” that you feel best demonstrates the organization’s culture (e.g., stories, rituals, material symbols, language).

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