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ERIC Number: ED503353
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 54
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 127
Structures and Cultures: A Review of the Literature. Support Document 2
Clayton, Berwyn; Fisher, Thea; Harris, Roger; Bateman, Andrea; Brown, Mike
National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
This literature review aims to assist registered training organizations (RTOs) who have realised that change is now the status quo, and who are actively seeking ways to deal with change to ensure an effective workforce for the future. It focuses on providing information on organizational structures and cultures that could help RTOs to do this. The review draws from literature in fields such as organizational theory, organizational behaviour, management and managing change, selected because it deals with the cultures and structures of organizations. Literature consulted includes key reference texts, supported by readings found by literature and internet searches, and in recent journals, research reports and websites. The review is in three sections--it focuses first on organizational structure, then on organizational culture, and finally links these two in a section on strategy. The first section focuses first on the importance of examining structure in organisations. It explores definitions and key elements of structure, and shows how contextual or situational factors lead to the development of diverse organisational structures. Five fundamental configurations of organisation structure are outlined, as well as a range of structures emerging which offer solutions for challenges of the future. The section closes with advice from literature on how organisations can deal with the variety of structural options on offer. The second section focuses first on reasons why RTOs might benefit from examining culture. It then turns to issues that RTOs could face when dealing with culture in their organizations, and specific issues arising from the Australian VET context. It explores what is meant by culture through examining the origins and development of the concept. It concludes with practicalities, outlining some tools for describing culture and tools for managing culture, and offering some warnings on using the concept. The final section of this review will focus on how writers have linked the concept of organizational culture to that of organizational structure. Appended to this report are: (1) Transmission of Culture; (2) Definitions of Capability and Performance; (3) Definitions of Culture Cited in this Report; and (4) Views on the Unanimity of Culture (Selected from Martin, J. (2002), "Organizational Culture: Mapping the Terrain," Sage, Thousand Oaks, California. (pp.57-58). (Contains 6 tables.) [This document was produced by the authors based on their research for the report, "A Study in Difference: Structures and Cultures in Registered Training Organizations," and is an added resource for further information. The full report is available at ED503351. For Support Document 1, "Ways and Means of Adapting Culture and Structure: Case Studies," see ED503352. For Support Document 3, "A Study in Difference: Structures and Cultures in Registered Training Organisations. Support Document 3," see ED503406. Funding for this work was provided through the Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.]
National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd. P.O. Box 8288, Stational Arcade, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Tel: +61-8-230-8400; Fax: +61-8-212-3436; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Centre for Vocational Education Research
Identifiers - Location: Australia