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Critical Thinking Questions
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  1. Superb Consultants have submitted a proposal to analyze the cultural values of your organization. The proposal states that Superb has developed a revolutionary new survey to tap the company's true culture. The survey takes just 10 minutes to complete and the consultants say results can be based on a small sample of employees. Discuss the merits and limitations of this proposal.
  2. Some people suggest that the most effective organizations have the strongest cultures. What do we mean by the "strength" of organizational culture, and what possible problems are there with a strong organizational culture?
  3. The CEO of a manufacturing firm wants everyone to support the organization's dominant culture of lean efficiency and hard work. The CEO has introduced a new reward system to reinforce this culture and personally interviews all professional and managerial applicants to ensure that they bring similar values to the organization. Some employees who criticized these values had their careers sidelined until they left. Two mid-level managers were fired for supporting contrary values, such as work-life balance. Based on your knowledge of organizational subcultures, what potential problems is the CEO creating?
  4. Identify at least two artifacts you have observed in your department or faculty from each of the four broad categories: ( a ) organizational stories and legends,( b ) rituals and ceremonies, ( c ) organizational language,and ( d ) physical structures and symbols.
  5. "Organizations are more likely to succeed when they have an adaptive culture." What can an organization do to foster an adaptive culture?
  6. Suppose you are asked by senior officers of a city government to identify ways to reinforce a new culture of teamwork and collaboration. The senior executive group clearly supports these values, but it wants everyone in the organization to embrace them. Identify four types of activities that would strengthen these cultural values.
  7. Socialization is most intense when people pass through organizational boundaries. One example is your entry into the college or university that you are now attending. What learning and adjustment occurred as you moved from outsider to newcomer to insider as a student here.
  8. Acme Corp. is planning to acquire Beta Corp., which operates in a different industry. Acme's culture is entrepreneurial and fast-paced, whereas Beta employees value slow, deliberate decision making by consensus. Which merger strategy would you recommend to minimize culture shock when Acme acquires Beta? Explain your answer.

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