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Product Innovation

If organizational culture and structure are not in accord, there will be serious tensions and problems which will affect the organization’s functioning and its results. It is therefore important to know how organizational culture and structure impact on each other. Organizational culture affects the design and implementation of organizational structure. With its assumptions, values, norms, and attitudes, the culture creates the context and the frame of reference used by those who design the organizational structure. Also, the cultural context can significantly facilitate or protract the implementation of the selected structure in its implementation phase. Organizational culture legitimizes the behaviour and decisions imposed on employees and management by the organizational structure within the context of valid values and norms of behaviour. On the other hand, organizational structure institutionalizes the culture, i.e., reflects its values, norms, and attitudes. However, the organizational structure can strengthen or even change the existing organizational culture. Therefore, the relation of organizational culture and structure is twofold. The operationalization of matching organizational culture and structure becomes possible when we compare Handy’s and Trompenaar’s classifications of types of organizational culture (Handy, 1996; Trompenaars, 1991) with Mintzberg’s models of organizational structure (Mintzberg, 1979). In these classifications both cultures and structures differ from one another according to the same criteria: the criterion of distribution of power in an organization, and the criterion of orientation towards tasks or people.