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The concept of organizational culture has gained significant attention in organizational behavior research and management studies. Organizational culture refers to the shared values, beliefs, assumptions, and practices that guide the behaviors and decisions of individuals within an organization (Schein, 1990). It shapes the way employees perceive and interpret events, interact with each other, and make decisions. The study of organizational culture is important because it has been shown to influence various outcomes, such as employee behavior, job satisfaction, and performance (O’Reilly & Chatman, 1996).

Different models and frameworks have been proposed to understand and analyze organizational culture. One prominent model is the Competing Values Framework (CVF) developed by Quinn and Rohrbaugh (1983). The CVF describes four major types of organizational culture: clan, adhocracy, hierarchy, and market. Each culture type has its own distinctive characteristics, values, and norms. Clan culture emphasizes collaboration, teamwork, and a family-like environment. Adhocracy culture fosters creativity, innovation, and risk-taking. Hierarchy culture values stability, control, and efficiency. Market culture emphasizes competition, achievement, and results.

The CVF has been widely used in research and practice to assess and diagnose organizational culture, as well as to understand the implications of culture on various organizational outcomes. For example, research has shown that clan culture is associated with higher employee satisfaction and commitment, adhocracy culture is linked to higher organizational innovation and adaptability, hierarchy culture is associated with higher organizational efficiency and stability, and market culture is linked to higher organizational performance and competitiveness (Cameron & Quinn, 2011).

However, one limitation of the CVF and other culture frameworks is their static nature. They depict culture as fixed and unchanging, assuming that organizations have a single, dominant culture type. In reality, organizational culture is dynamic and can vary across different subunits and levels within an organization. Subcultures, or pockets of culture within an organization, can coexist and interact with the overall organizational culture (Martin, 2002). For example, an organization with a predominantly hierarchy culture may also have subcultures that exhibit characteristics of clan or adhocracy culture.

Therefore, understanding the complexity and dynamics of organizational culture requires a more nuanced and flexible approach. One emerging perspective is the idea of multiple cultures within organizations. This perspective suggests that organizations can have multiple coexisting cultures, each with their own values, norms, and practices (Ashforth et al., 2000).

Multiculturalism in organizations has been studied in different ways. Some researchers have focused on the coexistence of different cultural groups within an organization, such as cultural diversity based on nationality or ethnicity (Tsui et al., 2007). Others have examined the coexistence of different subcultures or value systems within an organization (Jain & Gupta, 2004). Both strands of research contribute to our understanding of multiculturalism in organizations and highlight the importance of recognizing and managing multiple cultures within organizations.

By recognizing and understanding multiple cultures within organizations, managers and leaders can better leverage the strengths and resources of different cultures and promote collaboration and innovation. This can involve creating spaces for different cultural groups to interact and share knowledge, encouraging cross-cultural learning and understanding, and addressing potential conflicts or tensions between different cultural groups. It also requires a shift in mindset and leadership approach from trying to create a single, unified culture to embracing and managing the diversity and complexity of multiple cultures.

In conclusion, organizational culture is a crucial factor that shapes the behaviors, decisions, and outcomes within organizations. The Competing Values Framework provides a useful model to understand and diagnose organizational culture, highlighting four major culture types: clan, adhocracy, hierarchy, and market. However, the concept of multiple cultures within organizations emphasizes the dynamic and complex nature of organizational culture, recognizing the coexistence and interaction of different cultures within an organization. This perspective challenges the traditional view of culture as fixed and unchanging, and underscores the need for leaders and managers to embrace and manage the diversity and complexity of multiple cultures to achieve desired organizational outcomes.