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A Report Into Organisational Culture And The Professional Kitchen

3375 words - 14 pages

A Report into Organisational Culture and the Professional Kitchen

Name: Marie Martin
Course: FT408/1F
Date: 09/01/06
Lecturer: Mark Gallagher


It is common knowledge that the role a head chef plays in a professional kitchen is a vital one and that the culture of a kitchen is a unique one. The common person views a kitchen as a manic, hectic place where the head chef shouts and roars in order to assert authority and get the job done. The likes of Gordon Ramsey have gone a long way to fuel this image. But just how accurate is this? Surely no one would become a chef if this was so, why put oneself through such an ordeal to cook others their dinner? This paper sets out ...view middle of the document...

The profession rewards the talented and the daring, which can see opportunity and grab it. The first few years are an education. Few chefs survive cooking school who don’t understand the physical and mental requirements of the profession: Lifting heavy pots, being on your feet for eight hours, stirring vats of sauces, rolling pounds of dough, having to deal with the stress of working in a confined space, and having to obey the head chef. The organisational culture of the kitchen is that of teamwork and balance, (Carberry, 2004). The head chef is the leader and it is his job to guide his cooks to daily success. And so this paper aims to identifying the culture of the professional kitchen and establish the role the head chef plays on this role.

2. Culture is:
‘A set of basic assumptions about how the world is and ought to be that is shared by a group of people and determines their perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and to some degree their overt behaviour.’ (Schein, E. 1992)

The culture of a group of individuals is something that can be difficult to define, today it is understood that culture is the heart of a society. It is the distinctive way group members interact with each other and with others. It is about people’s social interaction and communication (Peters,T. 2002), It encompasses essentially how they achieve what they do. (Stoner,T. Et al. 1995) and it is also the values, norms and ways of thinking that distinguishes one group of individuals from another. (Cox.T. Et al. 1997)

3. Organizational culture

In order to identify the culture of a kitchen one must first acknowledge a kitchen as a part of an organisation. According to Robert, H. Et al (1999) we can view organisational culture as:
A control mechanism: Managers can obtain powerful control over others by demarcating the acceptable and unacceptable behaviour within their organisation.
An organisational history: The way an organisation has been developed and progressed is evident in the present beliefs, values and attitudes of that organisation.
A commitment to the firm and its values: This can be achieved by getting individuals to incorporate the firms value systems into their own personal beliefs.
A recipe for success: Matching an organisation’s culture and strategy can allow it to achieve its goals, especially since studies show that certain cultures cope more easily with the process of change.
An anthropological analysis: An organisation’s culture has its own myths, stories and rituals.
In other words, ‘organisational culture is a framework that guides day-to-day behaviour and decision making for employees and directs their actions towards completion of organisational goals.’ (Stoner, J. et al. 1995)

Put simply by Deal and Kennedy (1982) organisational culture is: ‘The way we do things around here.’ According to Schein, (1985, p.6) corporate culture is “the pattern of basic assumptions that a given group has invented, discovered, or developed in...

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