ORGB 300 (Organizational Culture) is a three-credit, upper-level business and administrative studies course that deals with issues and concepts in organizational culture and focuses on the impact of organizational culture on individuals in North American work organizations. The course introduces the tools you will need for conceptualizing and understanding culture. The goal of this course is to help students understand how culture is learned and internalized, and to appreciate its importance in relation to all activities undertaken in organizations. Students will also gain an understanding of the effects of ceremonies, myths, rituals, and symbols. ORGB 300 has no prerequisites and has a challenge for credit option if students are interested.
Students should note that ORGB 400 is a precluded course, meaning that ORGB 300 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for ORGB 400.
Organizational Culture is made up of seven lessons, one assignment weighing twenty percent, two other assignments weighing twenty-five percent each, and a final examination worth thirty percent. The seven lessons within this course cover several topics, such as why organizations are cultures, cultural forms, occupational subcultures, and more. To receive credit for ORGB 300, students must obtain a grade of at least a “D” or fifty percent on the final examination and an overall course grade of at least fifty percent. Examinations for this course are taken online and must be taken at an invigilated location. It is your responsibility to ensure a computer with an Internet connection and a current web browser is available for your use at the invigilation centre.
Andrew Turner is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Commerce program with a major in Accounting and has recently taken ORGB 300. He enrolled at Athabasca University in November of 2018 and has about ten classes remaining before graduating. He started his business schooling when he was younger and received a diploma with a major in marketing. He provides us a brief introduction, stating “I am a 30-year-old working in an entry level accounting position in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I actually have quite a few interests that keep me busy outside of school and work. I am really into sports, both playing and watching. I play hockey 12 months out of the year and I play as much tennis in the summer as I can. I also watch a lot of hockey, tennis, basketball and many other sports. I really enjoy music, reading, playing and taking care of my English bulldog, travelling and learning different languages. I am currently learning German.”
When asked to explain the course to students, he states “ORGB 300 (Organizational Culture) is the theory of how cultures in organizations come into existence, how they develop and change and the different aspects of what makes up a culture. The course breaks down culture into its basic forms and then expands into other aspects of culture including subcultures. I think the course is extremely relevant because every company has a unique culture or cultures and it can help you become aware of different things happening around you that you might not have noticed before. The only downside is that the textbook is extremely old (early 1990’s) and there have been many new developments in organizational culture since then so it would be nicer for the reading to be more relevant. The examples that are explained in the book are also very American-centred and outdated which can make it difficult to always grasp the concepts in a clear relevant way.”
As for the structure of the course, he explains that “The course was very straight forward. There are seven lessons in total, three assignments, and one final exam. Each lesson consisted of reading a textbook chapter. The first assignment consisted of two questions that needed to be answered in written form (Approximately 900 words in total). The questions are from the textbook review questions provided after each lesson, and then the second part consisted of choosing an online article from the list provided and write about it. The second assignment has a very similar layout to assignment one except there is an extra question. The third assignment consists of reading a non-fiction book, The Corporation, and then writing a 2000-2500-word book review. The final exam consists of only short answer questions that more or less came from the review questions from each chapter and then a few questions about the book The Corporation. There were approximately twelve questions on the final exam, but they were very fair and covered the main topics of the course. There were no surprises or ‘trick’ questions.”
Andrew would recommend this course, explaining that “The only difficulty with the course was reading the textbook because it was quite old and at times quite dry. But if there was a new textbook that could be used for this course, I would actually say that this course should be required by every student in business. It is extremely relevant to every single person no matter what field in business they are in (marketing, accounting, finance, etc.). It really helps to make students and future employees become more aware of how cultures affect companies and its employees.”
As for any tips and tricks to completing this course, he explains that “One thing that will really help as students progress through the course is to make sure you complete the review questions provided after each lesson. This will make studying for the final exam a million times easier. Also, when completing the assignments make sure to connect the information in the textbook to your answers. Sometimes this can be a little bit difficult, but you need to make sure it is done to get top marks.”
When asked how communications with his tutor was, he states “To be honest I usually do not communicate with my tutor unless I have issues and/or questions which is not that often in a class like this one because it is very straightforward. My tutor was great though, she marked my assignments and my exam within a day and gave great feedback and marked very fairly. If students are very keen, they could probably finish this course rather quickly.”
Whether ORGB 300 is a degree or program requirement of yours or the topics discussed above are of interest to you, this course will have you learning a lot of interesting and useful information surrounding the topic of organizational culture.