Organizational culture has been described as abstract or even ambiguous, by experts, including Edgar Schein. More recently, some have tried to show how helpful it can be to think of culture as a management system (MIT Sloan Management Review).
Organizational culture has been highlighted in a number of substantive aviation mishaps. Canada’s Institute of Corporate Directors’ Mary Jordan recently explained, “when culture doesn’t support strategy, bad things happen. Boeing’s 737 Max 8 disaster [is, to some,] an example of a cultural misfit that led to significant reputational damage, and worse, loss of life in the case of Boeing.” Robert L. Sumwalt adds to the evidence, claiming “NASA’s organizational culture and structure had as much to do with [the 2003 disintegration of the Space Shuttle Columbia] as the External Tank foam (CAIB, 2003, p. 177).”