Acculturation in Organizations

Posted on June 21, 2010 by

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“Welcome to the company, Kaite!” says Kenneth. “Thanks, I just finished the 3-day orientation session” says Kaite. “Did they talk about the Kentucky Derby taboo?” whispered Kenneth. “Uhh…no.” said Kaite confused. “Don’t ever mention it! The CEO lost all his savings betting on Trippi ten years ago. Actually, it’s best never to mention the names of ten horses that beat Trippi either. HR messes up by using the word ‘aptitude’ sometimes. Aptitude came in second that derby. With all our international business, it’s fortunate that Trippi beat Exchange Rate.” said Kenneth with a sigh. “Thanks for tip! What else should I know about working here?” asked Kaite.

Although the term “acculturation” is often used in a grand scale of a smaller group of people adapting the customs of a larger, dominant culture, it can also be used in reference to an individual adopting their organization’s culture. Organizations differ in their level of formality, dress, customs, and in many other ways that make up their unique culture. Learning and adopting the organization’s culture can occur through training as well as through casual observations and conversations with other members of the organization.