This is my Module 1 post for students which you/they are to reply to in a substantial way, including a link to a relevant online resource, by Sunday, September 1. I read every day but I don't often exactly "enjoy" reading books. I read mostly because I want additional knowledge to share with others, especially my students. At the moment I am reading, Charting the Course: Launching Patient-Centric Healthcare by Nance and Bartholomew. It is a recent book book about hospital administration. So far I actually am enjoying the conversations it contains, almost like a novel. At the point where I am into the book now, "Will" has accepted a position as CEO of a hospital in Las Vegas but is presently working "under cover" in departments within the hospital listening to the conversations of people who will soon be working under his administration. My thought is that they are going to be really angry when they realize what he has done by working among them without letting them know who is really is. (But I think readers are suppose to accept that what he is doing is necessary to really gain "situation awareness.")
What he is finding is that the culture of the hospital is characterized by fear and authority, and that he has taken on a major challenge. The authors of the book write that this is the culture in most hospitals today. CEOs come in with their "visions," and employees struggle for their sanity and survival within "sick" organizational cultures. I suspect that there is substantial truth in this perspective. It is not limited to hospitals.
To my students -- please think about the meaning and importance of culture in large modern organizations. What does organizational culture include? How does it relate to the goods, services, or experiences produced by organizations? Without talking about any particular organization, share (if you can) how you have experienced organizational culture. Realize, of course, that culture can be good and that what you may share may be your memory of a good experience, either as an employee or client of an organization.
It is possible to try to "paint" the appearance of a good, healthy culture on the reality of a culture characterized by (dis)stress and/or fear. Fast-food enterprises, for example, are very stressful work environments, and yet employees are required to create the appearance of joy and harmony. As a manager or administrator, how could you address the culture of an organization? (This is not necessary an "essay" question in which you have to respond to every part of the question. Please write at least a paragraph that is relevant and that may be instructive to people reading this blog. Use only your first name, or make up a name and let me know the name you are using. Remember to include a link to a relevant Web page, or perhaps a YouTube video.)