Three Levels of Culture - Explained
What are the Three Levels of Organizational Culture?
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What is Organizational Culture?
Edgar Schein (1992) defines organizational culture as: "the basic tacit assumptions about how the world is and ought to be that a group of people are sharing and that determines their perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and, their overt behavior".
What are the Three Levels of Culture? Description
The three levels of culture, developed by Edward Schein, is a model that divides organizational culture into three levels:
- Artifacts. These "artifacts" are at the surface, those aspects (such as dress) which can be easily discerned, but are hard to understand.
- Espoused Values. Beneath artifacts are "espoused values" which are conscious strategies, goals and philosophies.
- Basic Assumptions and Values. The core, or essence, of culture is represented by the basic underlying assumptions and values, which are difficult to discern because they exist at a largely unconscious level. Yet they provide the key to understanding why things happen in a particular way. These basic assumptions form around deeper dimensions of human existence such as the nature of humans, human relationships and activity, reality and truth.