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Discuss about the Organizational Communication for Challenges and Misunderstandings.

The following report is going to assess the organisational culture in the University of Queensland Australia. Before moving ahead with the details analysis of such, one needs to understand what organisational culture stands for. The definition varies according to the different perceptions of the scholars. However, the basic definition of the organisational culture may be the following:

An organisational culture is the behaviour of the individuals and the collaborative work forces who work together in an organisation. It is a cultural system of shared value and work ethics. In a single sentence, organisational culture can be defined as the civilisation of an organisation or a company (Alvesson & Sveningsson, 2015)

Literature Review:

Many of the scholars believe that the success of an organisation is highly mobilised by its culture and behaviour. There are certain rules and terms a company or an organisation sets in order to maintain uniformity inside it (Schneider, Ehrhart & Macey, 2013). Different theirs have been designed and proposed by the cultural anthropologists however, this paper is going to analyse and understand the frame of cultural model of Peters and Waterman. This is a venture to analyse the problems within the university in terms of its organisational behaviour and to recommend some positive solutions to those problems (Terry, Callan & Sartori, 1996). The study of organisational culture belongs to different schools of thought. These schools are the functionalist school, the structural-functionalist school, the ecological adaptationist school, the historical diffusionist school, the structuralist school, the cognitive school and the symbolic school of culture ( Hogan & Coote, 2014) 

Nous group was deployed for analysing the organisational culture of the University of Queensland. Nous has used Organisational Culture Inventory during the survey of the university. Nous group conducted the surveys from fifteenth October to thirty-first October, 2012.  The survey encompassed 88 senior staff who was deployed to develop a draft on the vision and value of the University of Queensland. Nous group has disclosed the location of some of the employees and some were remained under confidence for survey.

Expectation from the Employees:

The university has, according to the survey report of Nous group, set a draft of expectation from the employees in terms of achievement, self actualisation, humanistic encouraging, affiliation, approval, convention, dependence, avoidance, opposition, power, competition and perfection. In case of achievement, the organisation expects that its employee should set some challenging objectives that are realistic and they should try to solve the problem with effect. High quality production through substantial employability is highly expected from the employees. In term of humanistic supporting, the employees are highly expected to for providing supportive and constructive assistance to the coordinates. They are also expected to friendly in professional nature bringing up sensitivity pertaining to the satisfaction of the work-groups.  Whether the university actually follows this particular frame, it has to be scrutinised.

Peters and Waterman in their book “In search of Excellence” (Chapter 3), has designed a model as a proposal for understanding organisational culture. They have emphasised on value share in association with structure, strategy, skills, staff, style of work and internal system of an organisation (Peters, Waterman & Jones, 1982).

Point Comparison Table :

Comparison Point ¯



Edgar Schein’s Culture Triangle (aka Iceberg)

Peters & Waterman’s  Cultural Excellence

Charles Handy’s Four Classes of Culture

Scope (how extensive the methodology is and what it covers)

Very comprehensive, covers 12 cultural factors


Scope is very broad, covers all aspects of organisations and can focus on organisation level and beyond (inter organisation and wider society) analyses or hone down to macro and even micro level (departments or team) level analyses.

Though the scope is not as broad as the other tools, it  is compact in nature and covers almost all the major organisational culture.

 It is about the organizational culture and the similarity that this has with the concept of a village (workers are citizens and company is the village).

Application Tools (if there are online tools to apply the methodology easily)



Difficult to research, possibly proprietary?

It is easier to research


Characterisation Typologies

Uses 12 distinct behavioural patterns divided into 3 typologies constructive, passive defensive and aggressive/defensive style


Uses a 3 tier analysis model in the figure of a triangle or more commonly an “iceberg”

It uses six distinctive behavioral patterns

 Club or (Power) Culture:
Role Culture: Task Culture:
Person Culture:

Theoretical Basis/Validity

Reflects a wide range of management theories


Based on the personal experiences of the model’s creator, Edgar H. Schein, during his time as a management consultant in several organisations, one of particular note being Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC).

It is based on the core organisational experience

 He is an philosopher specialist in organisationalbehaviourand management. He was included within the Thinkers 50 which is a list of the most influential living management thinkers. Charles Handy also has a honorary Doctor of Laws, experienced in marketing at Shell International and was teaching in the London Business School

History, extent & Range of Application

Has been applied to 2 millions globally. Applied to different types of organisations incl. not for profit


Developed in 1980. Data on application difficult to obtain (possibly proprietary?).

It was developed in 1982

Born in 1932 and his theory is still valid, as he is still researching organizations

Utility of the results (how useful the results are in terms of changing org. culture)


Difficult to determine, not much data available publicly it seems. Could be more applicable or interesting to interested persons rather than organisations.

It is easier to determine because of availability of data.

 He has developed one of the most important and current organizational theories. Although he does not provide specific solution for every organization, he analyses and provide a good understanding  for insights into how and why they have developed.

Ease of Communication (how good the results are for communication and sharing with others in the organisation; graphical representation?)



Difficult to communicate results as results require context in order to be interpreted

It is easier to communicate and the result requires critical understanding of the organization

The Power culture assumes that there is good communication and empathy among employees.

Key References

(e.g. Schein 2004) You need to mention authors’ name and reference number of dates here that matches the same in the reference list for the whole assignment)



Schein, E. H. (2004).

Riley, J. (2015).


 Handy, C. 2011. Gods of Management: The Changing Work of Organisations

Organisation Type Suitability (e.g. large global organisations, not for profit organisations, medium size tech firms etc.)



Any size or type of organisation can be assessed based on the culture triangle

It is flexible to analyse all types of organisation

 Depending on the company's objective and size, he identify different types of organizational culture.




Thoroughly researched, easily framed and understood using diagrams

It is based on entire research method and the framework is highly regulative

Current theory applicable to different types of organizations.

easy to understand and identify key aspects within the organizations.




Requires great amounts of writing to interpret results, results can be vague or ambiguous in meaning

Does not require great amount of writing. It is easy to understand through the structural presentation of the organisational culture

Does not provide any proposal for any industry or company.

Different kind of interpretations and meaning depending on the industry.

Organisational Culture and Staff Engagement (UQ):

While understanding the staff engagement in the University of Queensland, it has been found that they have duality in expectations. However, the staff report of the university clearly states that there is a cohesive and collaborative culture in within the university. On the contrary, maximum numbers of staff are found to have shown negative impression pertaining to the management decisions and other culture aspects. Following issues have been brought to notice:

  • Negative competition
  • Ineffective Management
  • Burdens in Administration
  • Politics
  • Bullying

 The employees often strive in pursuit of excellence and they are not given space to show their creativity.  There are several negative cultural aspects in the organisation i.e. lack of mutual respect, lack of creative thinking, lack of independent interventions and so on. Overall, lack of accountability and leadership quality has affected the employees in greater level.  As per the cultural model of Peters and Waterman, an organisation must carry out individual creativity in order to provide ample space to the employees. In order to ensure corporate excellence, this model can be taken into account. Peter and Waterman’s philosophy of structural relation among the organisational element can be used to solve the problems pertaining to the staff engagement.  The model suggests that the relation between each of the organisational elements can be strengthened through shared values. The following model can be used to suggest collaborative works in a much better way. 

Management Drive-force in the University of Queensland:

Few mechanisms have been initiated by the management level of the university to hold all the working staff of the university. Since the mid-level working staff keep complaining about the non-cohesive and non-collaborative work culture of university of Queensland, it needs to be checked whether the human resource managers take endeavours regarding staff engagement.  Followings are the setbacks of the university in terms of staff management:

  • Pre-job training is scarcely provided by the university to the new comers thus creating a void space of work-knowledge.
  • Most of the learning process is done through live training in the university. Thus, the trainees feel perplexed as they are directly placed without prior knowledge of the work they are deployed to do.  
  • There is a huge lack of performance management in the university.

JM Wood’s book Organisational behaviour suggests that all the organisations should possess the authenticity and positive approach towards their management drive force (Modaff, Butler & DeWine, 2016).  Continuous intervention from the managerial authority helps the employees and the other organisational components maintaining competence while working with their company. in case of UQ, the management body needs to fortify the training and involvement process so that creativity can be extracted for organisational benefit.

Theoretical Interpretation and Solution to the cultural Complexities:

After going through the case study on University of Queensland, it has clearly been understood that the problems related to the staff members are the classical ones (Shafritz, Ott & Jang, 2015).  Dr. Terry Jackson designs the model of classical problems with organisational culture. According to the model, the problems with assumption and behaviour result in utter disturbances within an organisation and so have happened with the University of Queensland.

The figure shows how the organisational culture is formed. It is the amalgamation of assumption of the management and behaviour of the employees thus resulting in existing culture. 


Organisational culture cannot be considered as the culture of only the working staff of an organisation. It is rather the collaborative effort by both the authority and the subordinates. In case of the University of Queensland, the staff have a problem with the behaviour of the management body. The cultural problems among the staff are obviously the classical one and that can be sorted out through te implementation of collaborative model suggested by Peters and Waterman. The model suggests a collaborative framework through value sharing. It can thus be concluded that value sharing is the ultimate solution to the problems related to organisational culture and behaviour.


Alvesson, M., & Sveningsson, S. (2015). Changing organizational culture: Cultural change work in progress. Routledge.

Hogan, S. J., & Coote, L. V. (2014). Organizational culture, innovation, and performance: A test of Schein's model. Journal of Business Research, 67(8), 1609-1621.

Jackson, T. (2004). Management and change in Africa: A cross-cultural perspective. Routledge.

Modaff, D. P., Butler, J. A., & DeWine, S. A. (2016). Organizational communication: Foundations, challenges, and misunderstandings. Pearson.

Peters, T. J., Waterman, R. H., & Jones, I. (1982). In search of excellence: Lessons from America's best-run companies.

Schneider, B., Ehrhart, M. G., & Macey, W. H. (2013). Organizational climate and culture. Annual review of psychology, 64, 361-388.

Shafritz, J. M., Ott, J. S., & Jang, Y. S. (2015). Classics of organization theory. Cengage Learning.

Terry, D. D. J., Callan, V. J., & Sartori, G. (1996). Employee adjustment to an organizational merger: Stress, coping and intergroup differences. Stress and Health, 12(2), 105-122.

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