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Academy of Management

Power culture, or family culture, is mutually conditioned with the simple model of organizational structure. In this type of culture the starting premise is that the organization is a tool in the leader’s hands, made for the realization of organizational goals in the way s/he finds suitable. It is also assumed that the leader, or the ‘head of the family’, should control all the power within the organization, while the rest of organization ‘family’ members should obey. Starting from these assumptions, a simple model of organization is designed; it is highly centralized in order to provide the leader with all the power, and it has a low degree of formalization, so that the leader her/himself, instead of some procedures, can direct all the processes in the organization. Since the metaphor of organization of this type of culture is a family with a father figure at the head, it is clear that everything in this culture depends on the organization’s leader. Therefore the organization members expect the leader to personally and informally shape all business processes and to make all important decisions. The assumption of the need for authoritarian or hierarchical distribution of power within the organization is in every way compatible with the metaphor of the family. This assumption implies implementation of a simple organization model, since it is centralized and its members do not have decision-making authority.