Home > Free Essays > Politics & Government > Government > Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Organizational Culture

Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Organizational Culture Essay

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Nov 11th, 2020

Organization Overview

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic security and intelligence service of the USA. It is a public sector organization and the USA’s main federal law enforcement agency. The FBI was created in 1908 and called then the Bureau of Investigation. The main goal of the FBI is to protect the United States, to uphold the criminal laws of the USA, and to provide criminal justice and leadership services to municipal, state, federal, and international partners and agencies (Chestnut, 2016).

In terms of the organizational structure, the FBI consists of the Office of the Director and the functional branches that are divided into divisions and offices led by an assistant director. These offices and divisions are further subdivided into sub-branches headed by deputy assistant directors. These sub-branches consist of sections led by sections chiefs who are ranked similarly to special agents (Chestnut, 2016).

Organizational Culture

The FBI’s motto is “Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity.” The main characteristics of the FBI are based on the core values of the U.S. Constitution. The FBI’s key views include the respect for the dignity of those who they protect, fairness, compassion, institutional and personal integrity, responsibility for their decisions and actions, and professional and personal leadership (McDermott & Hulse, 2013).

The FBI’s top priorities include producing and using intelligence to protect the state and people from threats and to provide fair punishment to those who violate the law. In addition, the FBI protects the state from foreign intelligence operations, terrorist attacks, cyber-based attacks, and public corruption at every level. It is crucial that the FBI protects both the whole country and the civil rights of its citizens (Gulati, Raffaelli, & Rivkin, 2016).

The symbols of the FBI’s colors and seal have certain meanings. The blue color of the background of the scales and seal symbolize justice. The laurel leaf represents fame, distinction, and academic honors. It has two branches with forty-six leaves in total. This number is explained by the fact that in the Union, there were forty-six states when the FBI was founded in 1908. The thirteen stars in a circle represent the unity of purpose.

This number is explained by the fact that initially, there were thirteen states or colonies that united and proclaimed the independence of the USA. The red stripes symbolize strength, valor, and courage. The white stripes represent peace, truth, light, and cleanliness. The seal represents the strength of the FBI and the severe challenges it confronts. The motto concisely depicts the motivating force of all members of the FBI (McDermott & Hulse, 2013).

The responsibilities of law enforcement requirements that police assume leadership positions in their communities and organizations. The FBI officers strive to be ready to fulfill their duties effectively in order to respond to citizens’ expectations. The FBI can show its leadership skills in a number of ways, including conducting investigations, serving as divisional commanders or as a team, leading task forces and meetings, and assisting block-watch groups. In all these situations, the FBI officers are face-to-face with different personal needs and communication styles (Gulati et al., 2016).

Organizational Culture Theory Overview

There are several theories that are used to analyze organizational culture. Since there cannot be one organizational culture for all organizations, several theories were developed in order to classify organizational culture and divide it into several types according to their similarities (“Organizational culture theory,” 2017).

Daniel Denison’s model is one of the theories of organizational culture described in 1990. This model claims that any organizational culture can be analyzed by four general dimensions, namely, Mission, Consistency, Involvement, and Adaptability. Each of these dimensions is divided into three sub-dimensions. Thus, Mission consists of Vision, Objectives, and Goals, and Intent and Strategic Direction. Consistency is divided into Integration and Coordination, Agreement, and Core Values. Involvement includes Capability Development, Team Orientation, and Empowerment. Finally, Adaptability is divided into Organizational Learning, Customer Focus, and Creating Change (“The Denison model,” 2017).

At the center of Denison’s model, a point where all the dimensions connect with each other, are Beliefs and Assumptions. This center represents all assumptions and beliefs about industry organizations, competitors, customers, and coworkers. These beliefs and assumptions, along with their associated behaviors, play a key role in the determination of the culture of an organization. This model allows revealing the underlying assumptions and beliefs in measurable and recognizable ways that have a great impact on organizational performance (“The Denison model,” 2017).

Connections between Denison’s Theory and the FBI’s Organizational Culture

According to Denison’s classification, the FBI belongs to the group of stable organizations. Thus, among the four Denison’s dimensions, the most prominent and developed are Mission and Consistency (“The Denison model,” 2017). In terms of Mission, the FBI has a clear vision, stable goals and objectives, and strategic long-term direction and intent. As for consistency, the FBI has core values, which create a strong sense of its identity, agreement, meaning that an agreement can be quickly reached in critical situations, and integration and coordination, which make the organization function as a whole, and where the employees have a common perspective.

Thus, this type of organization is considered to be focused, stable, and reliable. All the members of the FBI know their direction and have systems and tools that help them reach their destination. Among the most prominent disadvantages of this type of organization are inflexibility and predictability (McDermott & Hulse, 2013).


Chestnut, D. (2016). FBI organizational structure. Web.

Gulati, R., Raffaelli, R., & Rivkin, J. W. (2016). Does “what we do” make us “who we are”?: Organizational design and identity change at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School.

McDermott, P. J., & Hulse, D. (2013). . Web.

. (2017). Web.

The Denison model. (2017). Web.

This essay on Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Organizational Culture was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar

certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:


IvyPanda. (2020, November 11). Federal Bureau of Investigation's Organizational Culture. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/federal-bureau-of-investigations-organizational-culture/

Work Cited

"Federal Bureau of Investigation's Organizational Culture." IvyPanda, 11 Nov. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/federal-bureau-of-investigations-organizational-culture/.

1. IvyPanda. "Federal Bureau of Investigation's Organizational Culture." November 11, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/federal-bureau-of-investigations-organizational-culture/.


IvyPanda. "Federal Bureau of Investigation's Organizational Culture." November 11, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/federal-bureau-of-investigations-organizational-culture/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Federal Bureau of Investigation's Organizational Culture." November 11, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/federal-bureau-of-investigations-organizational-culture/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Federal Bureau of Investigation's Organizational Culture'. 11 November.

More related papers
Psst... Stuck with your
assignment? 😱
Psst... Stuck with your assignment? 😱
Do you need an essay to be done?
What type of assignment 📝 do you need?
How many pages (words) do you need? Let's see if we can help you!