Any organization with personnel numbering 30 or more is seen as a large organization even if it is confined within only one office building (Terrien, 1963, p 3).
‘A learned, shared, compelling, interrelated set of symbols whose meanings provide a set of orientations for members of a society. These orientations, taken together, provide solutions to problems that all societies must solve of they are to remain viable.’
In every organisation, a different management style and culture exists. Culture is a way of life and it is defined as a collective phenomenon, as it is partly shared with people who live or lived within the same social environment, where it was learned. Culture critically affects not only the way an organization performs but also its willingness to adapt to change.
Many organizations are held hostage by previous success which makes it management believe that what happened in the past will always work even in future. This brings about a conservative culture leading to stagnation due progressive inertia. Popularly referred to as the “comfort zone”, this kind of inertia leads to organizations becoming totally outpaced by their more dynamic competitors, or even growing completely obsolete (Mills, 1984, pp 11-12).
In a research carried out for the American Navy, Terrien (1963) set out to prove that the size of a social group affects the ordering and relationships within that group. His research proved that efficiency levels in carrying out a given task by the group tended to go down with the increase in size of the group. The research sampled 32 units of the Crocker-Anglo National Bank.
The findings were that the Bank had several positions which sounded like supervisory ones but were not. For example, there were company vice-presidents and their deputies who in actual sense supervised no one unless such duties were occasionally delegated to them (Terrien, 1963, p 5). This resulted in a