The theories of Charles Handy have had a powerful effect on modern management thinking. His views on organizational development and leadership have helped usher in a more humanitarian style of management and a more visionary and purpose-driven organizational methodology.
Along with various other theoretical models, Charles Handy expounded his Four Cultures Theory in which he described each individual culture, relating it to one of the Greek gods. Each of Handy's cultures stems from a different presupposition about human motivation, thought and learning, as well as a different assumed basis for power and influence. Handy's four cultures follow.
1. The Power Culture: Based on Zeus, this culture is one of centralized, or top-down, power and influence.
2. The Role Culture: Based on Apollo, this culture is a bureaucratic one, run by strict procedures, narrowly defined roles and precisely delineated powers.
3. The Task Culture: Based on Athena, this culture is small-team-based, results- and solutions-oriented, and marked by flexibility, adaptability and empowerment.
4. The Person Culture: Based on Dionysius, this culture focuses on the individual. Such an organization is values-oriented, people-focused and geared toward meeting individual employees' self-actualization needs.
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