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Organizational Culture and Change


Organizational culture

A system of shared values, norms, and assumptions that guide member’s attitudes and behaviors


Artifacts—The physical manifestation of the culture including open offices, awards, ceremonies, and formal lists of values

Espoused values and norms—Diagram of the chain of command and reporting relationships in a company

Enacted values and norms—Values and norms that employees exhibit based on their observations of what actually goes on in the organization

Assumptions—Those organizational values that have become so taken for granted over time that they become the core of the company’s culture


Four Levels of Culture


ď ś

Does Culture Matter? Culture boosts organizational performance when it:

(1)is

strategically relevant (2)is strong (3)emphasizes innovation and change to adapt to a changing environment


Actively managing an organization’s culture improves its competitive advantage and performance when the culture supports the business strategy, is strong, and enables innovation and change.


How Leaders Create and Maintain Culture 

An organization’s culture is influenced in part by its industry

Different industries develop different cultures

Organizational culture is also influenced by the national culture in which the organization is embedded

Company founders and leaders also influence a firm’s culture


Develop a clear sense of mission and values about what the company should be, and communicate it to employees through what you pay attention to, measure, and control.

Select employees who can share, express, and reinforce the desired values in order to help build the desired culture.

Use daily routines and concrete actions and behaviors to demonstrate and exemplify appropriate values and beliefs.


Consistently role model behaviors that reinforce the culture.

Make your human resource management procedures and criteria consistent. Communicate your priorities in the way you reward employees. Linking raises and promotions to specific behaviors communicates leaders’ priorities.

Nurture traditions and rituals that express, define, and reinforce the culture. Awards and recognition ceremonies, having the CEO address new employees during their orientations, and reciting stories of past company successes can all define and reinforce a firm’s culture.


Changing an organization’s culture helps instill new employee attitudes, behaviors, or values.


Cultures of Conflict and Cultures of Inclusion 

Conflict Culture

Active Passive Agreeable Disagreeable

Culture of Inclusion

  


Conflict Culture

Dominating conflict cultures: Dominating conflict cultures are active and disagreeable—open confrontations are accepted as well as heated arguments and threats

 

Collaborative conflict cultures: Collaborative conflict cultures are active and agreeable

Avoidant conflict cultures: Avoidant conflict cultures are passive and agreeable

Passive-aggressive conflict cultures: Passive-aggressive conflict cultures are both passive and disagreeable


How Leaders Create and Maintain Culture 

An organization’s culture is influenced in part by its industry

Different industries develop different cultures

Organizational culture is also influenced by the national culture in which the organization is embedded

Company founders and leaders also influence a firm’s culture


How Leaders Can Influence an Organization’s Culture 

Develop a clear sense of mission and values about what the company should be, and communicate it to employees through what you pay attention to, measure, and control.

Select employees who can share, express, and reinforce the desired values in order to help build the desired culture.

Use daily routines and concrete actions and behaviors to demonstrate and exemplify appropriate values and beliefs.


Consistently role model behaviors that reinforce the culture.

Make your human resource management procedures and criteria consistent. Communicate your priorities in the way you reward employees. Linking raises and promotions to specific behaviors communicates leaders’ priorities.

Nurture traditions and rituals that express, define, and reinforce the culture. Awards and recognition ceremonies, having the CEO address new employees during their orientations, and reciting stories of past company successes can all define and reinforce a firm’s culture.


Effective employees understand their organization’s conflict culture and how to appropriately resolve conflict.


Cultures for Managing Conflict

Source: Gelfand, M.J., Leslie, L.M., & Keller, K.M. (2008). On the etiology of conflict cultures, Research in Organizational Behavior, 28, 137-166.


A culture of inclusion helps leverage the potential benefits of diversity.


The Effects of Technology on Culture ď ś

Using Intranets to Build and Maintain Culture

ď ś

Building and Maintaining Culture with Remote Employees


Effective managers use their company’s intranet to establish and reinforce a desired culture.


Their scope. Intranets with a narrow scope can reinforce a culture of secrecy and information hoarding. Intranets that contain information on a variety of topics and links to other useful sites such as human resources, company and industry news, blogs, wikis, interviews with company leaders, and performance indicators reflect a culture of openness and teamwork.

Their openness to employee feedback and contributions. Intranets that contain “like it or not?” feedback tools and features that allow employees to contribute reflect a participative culture that values employee contributions. A more centralized, heavily edited and filtered site reflects a culture in which information flows less freely and employee contributions are less valued.


ď °

The frequency with which they are updated. Intranets that are rarely updated are not likely to influence the company’s culture and can reflect a culture that does not value employee contributions, has poor internal communication, and has poor attention to detail. Lucent updates its intranet multiple times a day if appropriate. It also posts two weekly feature articles that reinforce the strategic vision and positioning of the company to entice employees to visit multiple times each week.

ď °

The number of intranets. This refers to whether there is just one company intranet, or several, each serving different groups of employees. For example, some organizations have one intranet for the sales force and another, completely different looking one, for the R&D group.


The use of symbols, stories, and ceremonies. Because these express a company’s culture, intranets can convey such information via news of events affecting the organization, messages from CEOs, and announcements of employees’ awards programs of importance to the organization.


Organizational Change ď ś

Incremental Change Linear, continuous change

ď ś

Transformative Change Radical change


      

Forces creating a need for change: Increased competition Globalization Changes in consumer demands Governmental regulations Deregulation Resource shortages

Lewin’s Model of Organizational Change


Kurt Lewin’s Force Field Analysis Model

Source: Lewin, K. (1951). Field theory in social science; selected theoretical papers. Copyright Š 1951 by the American Psychological Association. Reprinted by permission of APA.


ur-Stage Model of the Change Process

Source: Northcraft, G.B., & Neale, M.A. (1994) Organizational Behavior: A Management Challenge. Hinsdale, IL: Dryden Press (2nd edition).


Organizational Change 

Kotter’s Change Phases        

Establish a sense of urgency Create a coalition Develop a clear vision for the change Share the vision Empower people to remove obstacles Secure short-term wins Build on the change Anchor the change in the corporate culture

Reactions to Change


Constant change can decrease employees’ engagement.


Organizational Change 

Barriers to Change Habits  Power and influence  Limited resources  Misunderstandings  Saving face  Fear of the unknown  Tolerance for ambiguity 


Barriers to Change Habits: regular, stable patterns of events that become routines and take time to change Power and Influence: people are likely to resist changes that threaten to reduce their power or influence Limited Resources: insufficient resources (time, money, expertise, etc.) are a barrier to change Misunderstandings: because misunderstandings increase uncertainty, they increase the chances that employees do not buy into the need for the change


Barriers to Change Saving Face: resisting a change to “prove� that another option was better or to try to demonstrate that the person championing the change is incompetent Fear of the Unknown: many people are afraid of change because of the uncertainty over their future Tolerance for Ambiguity: a personality trait reflecting the tendency to perceive ambiguous situations as desirable or as threatening


         

Organizational Change

Overcoming Resistance to Change Communication Ensure that staffing and performance appraisals support the change Participation Promote fairness perceptions Negotiation Manipulation and coercion Incentives Pilot programs Organization development


Organizational Learning 

Learning organization An organization that facilitates the learning of all its members and continually transforms itself

After-action review

A professional discussion of an event that enables discovery of what happened, why it happened, and how to sustain strengths and improve on weaknesses


Effective leaders make time for learning from both successes and failures.

05-Organizational Culture and Change  

Organizational Culture and Change  Organizational culture  A system of shared values, norms, and assumptions that guide member’s attitudes...

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