Organizational Culture and Leadership


Regarded as one of the most influential management books of all time, this fourth edition of Leadership and Organizational Culture transforms the abstract concept of culture into a tool that can be used to better shape the dynamics of organization and change.

This updated edition focuses on today′s business realities. Edgar Schein draws on a wide range of contemporary research to redefine culture and demonstrate the crucial role leaders play in successfully applying the principles of culture to achieve their organizational goals.


Regarded as one of the most influential management books of all time, this fourth and completely updated edition of Edgar Schein′s Organizational Culture and Leadership focuses on today′s complex business realities and draws on a wide range of contemporary research to demonstrate the crucial role of leaders in applying the principles of culture to achieve their organizational goals.

Edgar Schein explores how leadership and culture are fundamentally intertwined, and reveals key findings about leadership and culture including:

  • Leaders are entrepreneurs and the main architects of culture
  • Once cultures are formed they influence what kind of leadership is possible

If elements of the culture become dysfunctional, it is the leader′s responsibility to do something to speed up culture change.

In addition, the book contains new information that reflects culture at different levels of analysis from national and ethnic macroculture to team–based microculture.

Praise for Prior Editions of Organizational Culture and Leadership

“Worth reading again and again and again.”

“An organizational development pioneer uses an anthropological approach to address a leader′s role in shaping group and organizational dynamics.”
Knowledge Management

“[Schein] is, to use an overworked word, a guru, the recognized expert in the field.”
Inside Business

About the Author

Edgar H. Schein is Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of numerous books, including Process Consultation Revisited, The Corporate Culture Survival Guide, Career Anchors, and most recently, Helping: How to Offer, Give and Receive Help.

Edgar H. Schein was educated at the University of Chicago; at Stanford University, where he received a master’s degree in psychology; and at Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D. in social psychology. His consultation work focuses on organizational culture, organization development, process consultation, and career dynamics. Among his past and current clients are major corporations both in the United States and overseas, such as Digital Equipment Corporation, Ciba-Geigy, Apple, Citibank, General Foods, Procter & Gamble, ICI, Saab Combitech, Steinbergs, Alcoa, Motorola, Hewlett-Packard, Exxon, Shell, AMOCO, British Petroleum, Con Edison, the Economic Development Board of Singapore, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (on the subject of ‘safety culture’).

At present, he is Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus and serves on the Boards of the Massachusetts Audubon Society and the Boston Lyric Opera. He is also on the advisory board of the Institute for Nuclear Power Operations and the Environmental Quality Review Board of ConEdison in New York.

Previously, he was chief of the Social Psychology Section of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research while serving in the U.S. Army as Captain from 1952 to 1956. He joined MIT’s Sloan School of Management in 1956 and was made a professor of organizational psychology and management in 1964. From 1968 to 1971, Dr. Schein was the undergraduate planning professor for MIT, and in 1972 he became the chairman of the Organization Studies Group of the MIT Sloan School, a position he held until 1982. He was honored in 1978 when he was named the Sloan Fellows Professor of Management, a Chair he held until 1990.

Schein has been a prolific researcher, writer, teacher, and consultant. Besides his numerous articles in professional journals, he has authored fourteen books, including Organizational Psychology (3rd ed., 1980), Career Dynamics (1978), Organizational Culture and Leadership (1985, 1992, 2004), Process Consultation Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (1969, 1987, 1988), Process Consultation Revisited (1999), and The Corporate Culture Survival Guide (1999). Dr. Schein wrote a cultural analysis of the Singapore Economic Development Board entitled Strategic Pragmatism (MIT Press, 1997) and has published an extended case analysis of the rise and fall of Digital Equipment Corporation entitled DEC Is Dead; Long Live DEC: The Lasting Legacy of Digital Equipment Corporation (Berrett-Koehler, 2003). He was co-editor with the late Richard Beckhard of the Addison-Wesley Series on Organization Development, which has published over thirty titles since its inception in 1969.

Dr. Schein has received many honors and awards for his writing, most recently the Lifetime Achievement Award in Workplace Learning and Performance of the American Society of Training Directors (2000), the Everett Cherington Hughes Award for Career Scholarship from the Careers Division of the Academy of Management (2000), and the Marion Gislason Award for Leadership in Executive Development from the BU School of Management Executive Development Roundtable (2002).



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