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To talk of an organizations culture is to assess that which is shared by individuals within the organizationвЂ”their beliefs, values, attitudes, and norms of behaviour, for example; or the established routines, traditions, ceremonies and reward systems6. Organizational culture encompasses the shared meanings that individuals place on their working life, the narratives they use in making sense of their organizational context. The ways in which people understand, describe and make sense of their working context in turn help to define what is legitimate and acceptable in that context; they act as a kind of social and normative glue. They are вЂ?the way things are done around hereвЂ™.
Such shared understandings may operate at different levels. The most superficial are the visible manifestations (sometimes called cultural artefacts)вЂ”the doctors white coat; the surgeons list; the use of professional titles, and the commonly accepted reward structures. At a deeper level are those espoused values that are said to influence