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ACCA FAB, F1, P3 Charles Handy Types of Organizational Culture

Charles Handy identified the four culture types to explain how different cultures affect the businesses and organizational structures. He assigned each cultural type a name of Greek God. It does not influence the understanding of the cultural types. It is only written for your knowledge here.

Power culture (Zeus)

In power culture, importance is given to person having power to take decisions. Power culture is like a dictatorship in which nearly no rules and regulation exists other than made by a dictator.

In power culture, decisions are taken on almost centralized basis and swiftly without involving others into discussion. Individual working in that culture cannot question the validity of decisions taken by person having the power. Rationality of decisions is just limited to the knowledge of the powerful person(s).

Power culture is usually associated with entrepreneurial business structure.

Commonly power is derived from legal ownership of the business. Example is corner retail shops.

Role Culture (Apollo)

In role culture, importance is given to the position (role) of a person in the organizational hierarchy. However, the persons themselves are not important. No matter how specialist knowledge and experience they possess. They cannot influence the decision outside their scope of role and responsibilities.

Roles are formally defined with the help of job description and organizational chart. Business organization has clear policies, procedures and authority/responsibility defined. Role culture is associated with Bureaucratic organizational structure.

Example is family run business where ethical standards do not permit to question rationality of decisions taken by senior family members. Other examples are banks, police etc.

Task Culture (Athena)

In task culture, importance is given to task. No matter who performs the task and there is no clear division of authority and responsibility.

These types of organizational structures are often changing in nature and established to perform specific task. Employees work together in teams to accomplish the task.

Example is lost and found business in which all team members are chasing the common task that is searching the lost person or object.

Person Culture (Dionysus)

In person culture, importance is given to person him/herself having expert knowledge and tasks are performed through expert knowledge and experience.

These type of businesses require knowledge of individuals to get the work done. Example is accountancy and audit firms where each person is expert in particular area of work and knowledge of respective persons is critical to successful completion of the task.

These businesses are recognized by the person having knowledge and experience.

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