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As you have learned from the Background readings, organizational culture is one of four critical factors that contribute to the success or failure of organizational change; that is, the organizational culture must exist in a state that is ready—and amenable—to change. In a 200-word original post to include at least one scholarly source, answer the following questions:
What is organizational culture and its characteristics?
What role does the organization’s culture play in the processes of organizational change and transformation?
In your opinion, can an organization’s culture really be managed?
In Module 3, we will discuss the practical steps that should be taken before an organization seeks to undertake a significant change.
Bear in mind that there are various forms of organizational change. Indeed, most organizational changes are barely noticeable, going undetected because they consist of non-complex, subtle adjustments (e.g., consider the small changes that organizations routinely make to procedures). Other changes are significant; they are transformative. Often, organizations are required to undergo a major organizational change because of their need to adjust to substantial external environmental threats. (These events may stem from political, social, technological, and economic forces such as vastly increased governmental regulation, the entry of a new competitor into the industry, or an economic recession, for example).
At other times, organizations actively choose to undergo some form of significant organizational change because they are aware of opportunities in the external environment; such choices might include new product innovation, the acquisition of another company, or even a merger. Whether the organization is responding to threats or opportunities (or both), the organization is engaged in strategic planning, and changes in organizational strategy constitute major organizational changes. The critical point to be made here is that major organizational changes and organizational transformation are events that place the organization at the very highest of risk.
Read Chapter 1 from Anderson and Anderson (2001) about the Drivers of Change:
Anderson, D. & Anderson, L. A. (2001). Chapter 1: The drivers of change. In Beyond change management: Advanced strategies for today’s transformational leaders.
Then look through Chapter 2 from Anderson and Anderson (2001) about the three types of change:
Anderson, D. & Anderson, L. A. (2001). Chapter 2: Three types of organizational change. In Beyond change management: Advanced strategies for today’s transformational leaders.
As we learned in Modules 1 and 2, significant organizational changes are often cause for resistance on the part of individuals and groups; for the sake of successful change, resistance to change must be managed. The extent to which the change is or is not achieved is the key determinant of whether the change will succeed or is doomed to failure. Because no organization wishes for a significant change to fail, proactive planning and communication are paramount.
Today, change is rapid; change is complex. Therefore, change management is complex. As a matter of survival—let alone organizational success—organizations must be adept at change. (Recall from Module 1 how the best of organizations can fail when they neglect to change or adapt to changing environmental conditions.) It is in this context that we turn to discover the steps that must be taken before a significant organizational change is undertaken.
Read the following chapters of the following text:
Campbell, H. (2014). Managing organizational change: A practical toolkit for leaders.
Chapter 1: It’s Not Working
Chapter 2: The Cycle of Change
Chapter 3.1: Culture to Change
Chapter 3.2: Capacity to Change
Chapter 3.3: Commitment to Change
Chapter 3.4: Capability to Change
As noted by Campbell, organizations must have the following for change to be successful:
We have covered resistance to change in the context of the organization’s need for commitment on the part of individuals and the organization as a collective in Modules 1 and 2. Now let’s review the other three key concepts, beginning with Organizational Culture in greater depth. To start, watch this short video on the importance of culture in the organizational change process:
Stewart, Jr., S. (2008). Changing a culture: You can’t do it by yourself [Video].
Now, watch the video Building Your Capability to Lead Change. Note how many of the characteristics discussed in the video are related to the organization’s culture:
Franklin, M. (2014, July 10). Building your capability to change [Video]. Agile CM.
Organizations not only require the capability to change but also the capacity for change. Among other things, “capacity” refers to needed resources as well as the ability of the organization to manage the change without adversely disrupting the organization’s existing operations. Look through Chapter 3.2: Capacity to Change in Campbell (2014), noting the author’s assertion that organizations undergoing significant change must have the following resources to successfully achieve organizational change. These resources are:
The Right People
Campbell, H. (2014). Chapter 3.2: Capacity to change. In Managing organizational change: A practical toolkit for leaders.
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