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The term culture refers broadly to a relatively stable set of beliefs values and behaviors commonly held by a society Although it is derived from social anthropology as a framework for understanding primitive societies Kotter and Heskett 1992 the concept of culture has recently been widely used in the context of organizations Organizations culture--the particular set of values beliefs customs and systems that are unique to that organization Though Peters and Watermans 1982 view that organizational culture is the prime determinant of organizational performance has been highly influential other writers stress different but no less important aspects of culture Keuning 1998 46 argues that the two most important functions of culture are to provide relatively fixed patterns for handling and solving problems and to reduce uncertainty for members of the organization when confronted with new situations as Wilson 1992 noted that culture has come to be seen as the great cure-all for the majority of organizational ills Academics had drawn attention to organizational cultures importance much earlier as Albrow 1997 have shown there was already a substantial academic literature on organizational culture well before the work of Peters and Waterman see Eldridge and Crombie 1974 Turner 1971 Blake and Mouton 1969 for example were arguing that there was a link between culture and excellence in the late 1960s Turner 1986 traced the culture craze of the 1980s to the decline of standards in manufacturing quality in the USA and the challenge to its economic supremacy by Japan He commented that the concept of culture holds out a new way of understanding organizations and has been offered by many writers as an explanation for the spectacular success of Japanese companies in the 1970s and 1980s Bowles 1989 observed that there is an absence of a cohesive culture in advance economics in the West and that the potential for promoting both social and organizational cohesion The case for culture was best summed up by
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