Rethinking Organizational Culture: The Role of Generational Subcultures

  • Alessandra Lazazzara


The construct of culture is receiving growing attention in the field of organizational studies due to its influence on many facets of the organizational life and several changes that are affecting nowadays organizations (e.g. internationalization, ageing, technology, etc.). Indeed culture is not static but it reflects the stages of the company development and changes occurring in the external environment. Moreover, there can be many subcultures within any organization each of them sharing different set of values and beliefs, expectations and patterns of appropriate behaviors. The simultaneous presence of these cultural groups have an impact on subsequent behaviors of firm members and can in turn influence the overall corporate culture. This is the case of the new generational mix that is characterizing the workforce with each generational group characterized by a different set of work values. The purposes of this essay are twofold. First, to provide a review of the concept of organizational culture by presenting the main theoretical frameworks and methodological issues involved in organizational culture research. The goal here is to relate organizational culture to other cultures simultaneously existing within companies such as national and generational culture. Second, to underline the importance of studying generation subcultures’ influence on organizational culture due to the expected shift in the prevailing set of work values.


Organizational culture Generations Work values Subcultures 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.“Riccardo Massa” Department of Educational Human SciencesUniversity of Milano - BicoccaMilanItaly

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