Reshaping organization’s culture is the major determinant of an organization’s ability to effect changes, improve productivity in its systems, and raise profitability. Over the years, organizations have constantly been riddled in strong conservatism where old cultures persist and therefore hinder their progress. As most analysts indicate, culture is actually not just hard to change, but highly complex to intrinsically comprehend. In his cultural dynamics model, Hatch Mary indicated the complexity in mapping the change demands that are highly compounded in the modernistic management orientation (Hatch, 2000).
It is in this respect that this paper seeks to explore the process of reshaping an organization culture with greater levels of efficiency. Therefore, it examines the constituents of organization culture and extrapolates how managers and workers are affected. With examples, it evaluates ways and modes that culture changes while outlining the conditions and effects that result from such changes.
Constituents of organization culture
Notably, organization culture definition is highly controversial with no standards consideration due to variability of organization’s management with time. However, it is conterminously agreed that it comprises the experiences and attitudes of the workers and management which define the relationship between them and the organization. To add to that, it include values and norms that are shared by the organization fraternity and that runs deep into the inner circles of the workers views and perceptions towards the management and other organization’s affiliated systems (Monk, 2000).
Though culture is used to determine how different goals and objectives are to be attained, strategic plans and organization structures are not part of it. The design of structures in the organization is established to reflect the demands for achievement of the main objectives. Similarly, strategic plans are drawn possibly much earlier perhaps even before an organization starts operating. However, it is important to note that these aspects are strongly affected by culture which dictates the ability to achieve them.
How organization cultures affect workers and managers
According to the National Defense University (2008), culture is the major determinant of the mode in which the workers and the managers interact and perform their duties. For the workers, the culture actually forms the main platform for their operations through induced perceptions and beliefs towards the management and work in the organization. National Defense University continues to say that culture branches into smaller subunits (subcultures) that determine their overall outlook, perception, and behavior especially with reference to new aspects introduction into the organization.
For the managers, the culture determines their approach to different issues that would yield the best results. In his theory of routinization Weber denoted the need for the managers and leaders to appreciate the organization cultures derived from the subjects at the lower levels. Therefore, they are restricted by the cultures through invisible sub filters in the subjects’ perceptions, feelings, thoughts, and applications which determine the holistic efficiency. As Monk (2000) indicates, the culture controls the managers and any attempt to authoritatively control it operates in a reverse mode and may result to a culture crash. Monk continues to say that in the case of Chrysler Australia take over by Mitsubishi, the new culture adhered to the people’s culture and eventually effectively transformed.
Ways in which culture changes
Arguably, as the name culture is complex and hard to define, so is the mode of effecting changes in its unclear realms and demands. However, the leaders have a greater obligation in effecting the change which they can through the following models. To begin with, they should establish stronger people focus where decisions take greater considerations of the workers and employees in the organization. This raises the trust, changes perceptions, and revitalizes the views of the employees towards the organization and management itself. Monk argues that after Mitsubishi bought the Chrysler Company, its management effected the changes slowly and never sacked the employees to avoid major externalities (2000).
In addition, a rewarding and means-end operations system should be installed. This is considered highly effective as it transforms the workers and employees perception of hard work, innovation, and creativity in the organization positively. According to Hutch (2000), the elements of creativity and innovation aids in promoting team work and bringing the management closer to the workers in appreciation of their efforts.
Identity should also be enhanced by the management of the organization to reduce general resistance by different groups. To effect this, the organization should encourage formation and operation of teams as the management raises its contribution towards the decision making processes. It is important to note that all achievements should be celebrated by all the members through application of short win-win situations as stepping stones towards the main organization goals (Chatman, 2003). Besides, the identity of the employees should also be promoted through encouragement of autonomy in the decision making processes at the lower levels. Promotion of identity for the employees forms a major bridge for cultural changes as decisions are considered to be holistic since they originate from the bottom as opposed to the top.
Degree of deliberate culture reshaping
According to Jones, Jimmieson, and Griffiths (2002), culture reshaping in an organization should be deliberate and assimilated as a continuous process with time. Like a boat sailing in calm sea waters, cultural changes should occasionally be modified to reflect new vitality for assisting an organization improve its productivity and overcoming minor and major ripples on the way.
It is worth noting that as Kurt Lewin pointed out in the change theory, high level, low level managers, and employees can be effective change agents. However, analysts view leaders to be in much better positions to influence changes than other employees. Arguably, greater changes can only be articulated effectively when the change agent holistically and wisely inculcates the cultural change idea/s to the lower levels of staff and workers operations. As indicated earlier, the ideology for cultural change should then assume a down ward upward approach which is highly self propagating.
As indicated earlier, culture is a diverse aspect and highly interconnected at all levels. Therefore, consideration for change should involve all the sections of the organization management to avoid unexpected resistance. Besides, it is essential to establish clear facilitating and support systems that anchor it from the onset as it progresses. Effective communication should also be effected to ensure negative feedback mechanisms operate harmoniously and towards the main goals of the organization.
It is from the above discussion that I support the thesis statement that cultural changes should be carefully changed taking into consideration its extended impacts at the organization and outside. As indicated in the paper, all aspects of management and lower levels operations should seek to close major gap as new models are assimilated to ensure better communication and harmony of values and beliefs.
Though it is hard to define culture, an organization should seek to establish its own peculiar ideals that cohere to its need for satisfying the customers through giving the best possible consideration to its internal management-workers welfare. Indeed, it is clear that the management have a great role to play in ensuring that the culture changes effectively with time to reduce residual negative impacts that can have great negative effects.
Chatman, C. (2003). “Leading by Leveraging Culture,” California Management Review, 4:5.
Hatch, M.J. (2000). The cultural dynamics of organizing and change. New York: Sage.
Jones, R., Jimmieson, N. L. and Griffiths, A. (2002). The role of organizational culture and reshaping capabilities in creating readiness for change. 62nd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Denver, USA, (179-179). 9 -14.
Monk, R. (2000). Culture Clash: Takeover of Car Maker Changes Cultures. Organization Development Journal. 18(1):75-82.
National Defense University (N.D.). (2008). Strategic Leadership and Decision Making: Organizational Culture. Retrieved FROM. > http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/ndu/strat-ldr-dm/pt4ch16.html<