10 Ways to Master Organizational Culture: A Closer Look at Edgar Schein’s Theoretical Model


Grasping the notion of organizational culture is central to any organization’s triumph. The detailed explanation of this guiding principle is seen profoundly in Edgar Schein’s theoretical model of organizational culture. This delve will elaborate comprehensively on Schein’s theory, unravelling its utility, relevance, and implication in the modern corporate sphere.

Significance of Organizational Culture

The essence of organizational culture permeates shared values, norms, and beliefs that mold the way individuals within an organization correspond and execute their duties. It encapsulates three elemental strata: artifacts, espoused beliefs, and basic assumptions. Edgar Schein, a worthy contributor to this field, initially launched these strata, elaborating each in depth in the following sections.

Mastering Organizational Culture

Edgar Schein’s Multilayered Approach

An esteemed figure in the scope of organizational psychology, Edgar Schein, formulated a multilayered approach to unravel the intricacies of organizational culture. Each level of this approach carries a distinctive interpretation and set of influencers.

Artifacts: The Observable Component

In this model, artifacts denote the physical constituents of a company’s culture. Elements like the layout of the office, dress code, transparency levels, the style of communication, and the operation’s method are included. Intriguingly, these elements, being surface-level, can be the most conspicuous but also the hardest to interpret, as they cloak the underlying true essence of culture.

Espoused Beliefs: The Professed Values

The subsequent layer, espoused beliefs, encompasses the publicized moral principles and standards of an organization. These embodied values are commonly emphasized during recruitment or orientation sessions and steer behavior and decision making.

Basic Assumptions: The Unseen Foundation

Basic assumptions, the unseen undercurrent, nestle beneath other layers. Schein identifies these as the undocumented, unarticulated elements that have been internalized by the organization’s members over time. These foundational beliefs unnoticeably shape perceptions, sentiments, and behavior within the organization.

Decoding Edgar Schein’s Organizational Culture Model

Schein’s theoretical model underscores the complex nature of organizational culture and fosters an understanding that goes beyond surface-level attributes. Probing into these profound layers can yield substantial insights about the mindset and behavioral norms that propel an organization.

Impact of Schein’s Model on Current Leadership Practices

Schein’s theory and its components have consequential implications on contemporary leadership strategies. The model suggests that leaders must not only be cognizant but actively partake in nurturing and tailoring a positive organizational culture conducive to sustained growth and success.

Using Schein’s Model to Diagnose Organizational Culture

By invoking Schein’s model, diagnosing the prevailing organizational culture can be a comprehensive and effective task, examining all three dimensions of artifacts, espoused beliefs, and basic assumptions.


Fathom the pivotal role of organizational culture and its profound layers, as illuminated in Edgar Schein’s theoretical model, in predicting and steering the vitality of an organization. By embracing this multilayered approach, organizations can design and mold employee behavior, crafting an effective and strong work habitat that resonates with their strategic aspirations and values.

To gain further insights in the context, check our article on delving into the nitty gritty while unveiling the words that describe a company’s culture.

For additional understanding, check out this application-oriented Wikipedia article: Organizational Culture.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment