Edgar Schein (Organizational Culture): Biography, Quotes & Books
Edgar Schein (Edgar Henry Schein) (1928) is a Society of Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus and a Professor Emeritus at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He made a notable mark on the field of Organizational Development (OD). Edgar Schein is well known for his ground breaking work on the Organizational Culture Model and his 10 Dimensions of a Learning Organization theory. This article covers his biography, quotes and publications.
Biography Edgar Schein
Edgar Schein obtained in 1947 a Bachelor Degree (B.A.) from the University of Chicago. In 1949 he obtained his Master Degree (M.A.) in Psychology from the Stanford University. Eventually in 1952, he obtained his doctorate (Ph.D.) in social psychology from the Harvard University.
Previously, Edgar Schein 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.
In 1956 he joined MIT Sloan School of Management and was made a professor of organizational psychology and management in 1964.
Between 1968 and 1971, Edgar 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.
During his career, Edgar Schein investigates organizational culture, process consultation, research process, career dynamics, and organization learning and change. He has been a prolific researcher, writer, teacher, and consultant.
Besides his numerous articles in professional journals, he has authored fourteen books.
Edgar Schein has received many honours and awards for his writing, most recently the distinguished Scholar-Practitioner Award of the Academy of Management, 2009, the Lifetime Achievement Award in Workplace Learning (2012)and a Honorary Doctorate from the IEDC Bled School of Management in Slovenia (2012).
Edgar Schein Quotes
- “The only thing of real importance that leaders do is to create and manage culture. If you do not manage culture, it manages you, and you may not even be aware of the extent to which this is happening.”
- “If you have been trying to make changes in how your organization works, you need to find out how the existing culture aids or hinders you.”
- “We tend to think we can separate strategy from culture, but we fail to notice that in most organizations strategic thinking is deeply coloured by tacit assumptions about who they are and what their mission is.”
- “In most organizational change efforts, it is much easier to draw on the strengths of the culture than to overcome the constraints by changing the culture.”
- “We do not think and talk about what we see; we see what we are able to think and talk about.”
- “Humble Inquiry is the fine art of drawing someone out, of asking questions to which you do not already know the answer, of building a relationship based on curiosity and interest in the other person.”
- “Culture is the deeper level of basic assumptions and beliefs that are shared by members of an organization, that operate unconsciously and define in a basic ‘taken for granted’ fashion an organization’s view of its self and its environment.”
- “Culture is not a surface phenomenon, it is our very care.”
- “I am defining leadership in terms of the role, not the position.”
Books and Publications
- 2016. Becoming American. iUniverse.
- 2016. Humble Consulting: How to Provide Real Help Faster. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
- 2013. Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
- 2013, 1990. Career Anchors: The Changing Nature of Careers Self Assessment. Pfeiffer.
- 2011. Helping: How to Offer, Give, and Receive Help. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
- 2010, 2004. Organizational culture and leadership. Wiley.
- 2006. Organization Development: A Jossey-Bass Reader. Wiley.
- 1999. The Corporate Culture Survival Guide. Jossey-Bass.
- 1999. Process consultation revisited: Building the helping relationship. Addison-Wesley.
- 1999. Sense and nonsense about culture and climate. Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- 1996. Culture: The missing concept in organization studies. Administrative science quarterly, 229-240.
- 1996. Three cultures of management: The key to organizational learning. Sloan management review, 38(1), 9-20.
- 1996. Career anchors revisited: Implications for career development in the 21st century. The Academy of Management Executive, 10(4), 80-88.
- 1996. Kurt Lewin’s change theory in the field and in the classroom: Notes toward a model of managed learning. Systems Practice, 9(1), 27-47.
- 1996. Organizational learning: what is new?. Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- 1993. On dialogue, culture, and organizational learning. Organizational dynamics, 22(2), 40-51.
- 1993. Does Japanese management style have a message for American managers?. DE GRUYTER STUDIES IN ORGANIZATION, 335-335.
- 1993. How can organizations learn faster? The challenge of entering the green room. Sloan Management Review, 34(2), 85-92.
- 1988. Process Consultation: Its Role in Organization Development. FT Press.
- 1988. Organizational culture.
- 1987. The clinical perspective in fieldwork. Sage Publications, Inc.
- 1986. What you need to know about organizational culture. Training & Development Journal.
- 1985. Defining organizational culture. Classics of organization theory, 3, 490-502.
- 1985. How culture forms, develops, and changes. Gaining control of the corporate culture, 17-43.
- 1984. Coming to a new awareness of organizational culture. Sloan Management Review, 25(2), 3-16.
- 1983. The role of the founder in creating organizational culture. Organizational dynamics, 12(1), 13-28.
- 1978. Career dynamics.
- 1977. Toward a theory of organizational socialization.
- 1975. Improving the quality of work life: career development. publisher not identified.
- 1972. Professional Education: Some New Directions.
- 1971. The individual, the organization, and the career: A conceptual scheme. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 7(4), 401-426.
- 1969. Process consultation: Its role in organization development.
- 1967. Organizational socialization and the profession of management. Sloan Management Review, 30.
- 1965. Organizational psychology.
- 1965. Personal and organizational change through group methods: The laboratory approach. Wiley.
- 1961. Coercive persuasion.
- 1961. Management development as a process of influence. Industrial Management Review.
- 1956. The Chinese indoctrination program for prisoners of war. Psychiatry: Journal for the Study of Interpersonal Processes.
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