The Power of Team Culture

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About this course: Behind the success and failure of teams lies team culture. But what exactly is culture? How and why does it contribute to success and failure? In this course, you learn how to recognize aspects of team culture of which most people are typically unaware. It is often these seemingly unimportant aspects that have the greatest effect on the outcomes of group tasks. Your recognition of them enables you to form, join and lead teams more effectively. You also come to appreciate the role of ritual and symbols in the daily operation of teams, as well as in situations of change and crisis. Knowledge of the ideas and information in this class enables you to be a better team play…

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Didn't find what you were looking for? See also: Culture, Gender Studies, Classics, Social History, and Humanities.

When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: Behind the success and failure of teams lies team culture. But what exactly is culture? How and why does it contribute to success and failure? In this course, you learn how to recognize aspects of team culture of which most people are typically unaware. It is often these seemingly unimportant aspects that have the greatest effect on the outcomes of group tasks. Your recognition of them enables you to form, join and lead teams more effectively. You also come to appreciate the role of ritual and symbols in the daily operation of teams, as well as in situations of change and crisis. Knowledge of the ideas and information in this class enables you to be a better team player and a more effective team leader.

Created by:  University of Pennsylvania
  • Taught by:  Greg Urban, Ph.D., Professor

    Anthropology
Basic Info Course 1 of 5 in the Culture-Driven Team Building Specialization Level Beginner Commitment 4 weeks of study, 2-4 hours/week Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.6 stars Average User Rating 4.6See what learners said Coursework

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University of Pennsylvania The University of Pennsylvania (commonly referred to as Penn) is a private university, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. A member of the Ivy League, Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, and considers itself to be the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Course Overview



Behind the success and failure of teams lies team culture. But what exactly is culture? How and why does it contribute to success and failure? In this course, you learn how to recognize aspects of team culture of which most people are typically unaware. It is often these seemingly unimportant aspects that have the greatest effect on the outcomes of group tasks. Your recognition of them enables you to form, join and lead teams more effectively. You also come to appreciate the role of ritual and symbols in the daily operation of teams, as well as in situations of change and crisis. Knowledge of the ideas and information in this class enables you to be a better team player and a more effective team leader.


2 readings expand


  1. Reading: Syllabus
  2. Reading: Meet Dr. Greg Urban


WEEK 2


Why Culture Matters in Organizations
In this unit, we will begin by defining the "team" and then proceed to explore what enables teams to function, the role that culture plays in every team, and how "habitus" and "cultural fit" could affect our performance in specific teams.


13 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Video: 1.1 Introduction
  2. Video: 1.2 What are Teams?
  3. Discussion Prompt: What teams are you a part of?
  4. Video: 1.3 A Closer Look at Culture
  5. Video: 1.4 Culture as Cultivation
  6. Video: 1.5 Being Unaware of Culture
  7. Video: 1.6 Expectations and Realities
  8. Video: 1.7 The Little Cultural Things that Matter
  9. Video: 1.8 Culture Shock
  10. Video: 1.9 Habitus
  11. Video: 1.10 Characteristic Ways of Speaking within the Team
  12. Video: 1.11 What We Say Versus What We Do
  13. Video: 1.12 Hiring and Cultural Fit
  14. Video: 1.13 High Culture
  15. Reading: Shakespeare in the Bush by Laura Bohannan
  16. Reading: Hiring as Cultural Matching: The Case of Elite Professional Service Firms
  17. Discussion Prompt: Have you ever experienced culture shock? Share your experience!

Graded: Why Culture Matters in Organizations

WEEK 3


Crossing Cultural Boundaries



Sometimes we must take a step back and view cultural differences from perspectives different from what we're used to. Cultural boundaries exist everywhere. Differences can be found within one culture as well. Have you ever considered that a smile isn't just a simple natural response? In this unit we delve deeper into culture and the differences amongst various cultures, including corporate culture.


12 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Video: 2.1 Two Examples of Cultural Boundaries
  2. Video: 2.2 Why Police Boundaries
  3. Video: 2.3 Culture in Motion
  4. Video: 2.4 Golden Arches East
  5. Video: 2.5 The Art of Smiling
  6. Video: 2.6 The Right to Fire
  7. Video: 2.7 The Law of Jante
  8. Video: 2.8 Cultural Relativity and Ethnocentrism
  9. Video: 2.9 Avoid Stereotyping
  10. Video: 2.10 A Checklist of Little Differences for Business
  11. Video: 2.11 Gestures as Boundary Marker
  12. Discussion Prompt: Bryan Brothers Chest Bump, have you seen it?
  13. Video: 2.12 Corporate Personhood
  14. Reading: Crossing Cultural Boundaries
  15. Reading: Cultural Relativity & Moral Judgments

Graded: Corporations in Culture

WEEK 4


Team Rituals and Symbols



Rituals and symbols can be found in every team. They can evoke affect, or feeling, as you will see. Speech, or stories have symbolic meaning too and can do wonders to motivate a group of individuals. In this unit we will examine a number of rituals and symbols, as they exist in their various forms, and discover the way in which they are utilized in teams.


12 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Video: 3.1 Burning the American Flag
  2. Video: 3.2 Team Mascots
  3. Video: 3.3 The Concept of the Symbol
  4. Video: 3.4 Transference of Affective Quality
  5. Video: 3.5 The Motivational Video
  6. Discussion Prompt: Harley-Davidson York Transformation Video
  7. Video: 3.6 People as Symbols
  8. Video: 3.7 The Pragmatics of Motivational Speech
  9. Video: 3.8 Symbolic Meaning of Stories
  10. Video: 3.9 Instrumental Symbols: The Gavel
  11. Video: 3.10 Individual and Collective Rituals
  12. Video: 3.11 Types of Rituals in Business
  13. Video: 3.12 Initiation, Enhancement, and Group Worship
  14. Reading: Symbols
  15. Reading: Rituals & Culture

Graded: Rituals & Symbols in Organizational Culture

WEEK 5


Effecting Cultural Continuity and Change
In this unit, we will examine inertia, change, and metaculture, introduce interest as a force at work on the motion of culture as well as provide a conclusion to the concepts covered in this course.


12 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: 4.1 Culture in Time
  2. Video: 4.2 The Inertial Forces
  3. Video: 4.3 Habit and Drift
  4. Video: 4.4 Inertia and Change: An Ancient Egyptian Case, Part 1
  5. Video: 4.5 on Reflective Culture or Metaculture as a Force
  6. Video: 4.6 Inertia and Change: An Ancient Egyptian Case, Part 2
  7. Video: 4.7 Inertia and Change: An Ancient Egyptian Case, Part 3
  8. Video: 4.8 Secret to Successful Cultural Change
  9. Video: 4.9 Introducing the Force of Interest
  10. Video: 4.10 Interest at the Interface between Different Inertial Patterns
  11. Video: 4.11 The Conditional Motion of Culture
  12. Video: 4.12 Conclusion
  13. Reading: Rules, Ultimate Causes, and Cultural Motion by Greg Urban

Graded: Effecting Cultural Continuity & Change
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