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CORPORATE CULTURE AND FIVE STAGES OF ASSIMILATION

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If the study of culture has a predominant guru, it would be Edgar H Schein, Professor Emeritus at MIT. Schein, who has studied the elements of culture for over half a century has a simple there-layer model for understanding corporate culture (Schein, 2009). The three levels are: üArtifacts. These are made up of visible structures, processes and behavior. Easy to observe, artifacts are the outermost layer. üEspoused values. These are the strategies and philosophies at play. They include what people focus on and ‘how things get done around here’. üUnderlying assumptions. These are the unconscious beliefs and perceptions rooted in the history of the business. This innermost layer is built through collective experiences including past successes and failures. Corporate culture is as powerful as it is multifaceted. The best way to understand it is to experience it first-hand. Be immersed in both the explicit behavior and implicit beliefs. And it is through culture that each organization gives m…