Leading Organizational Culture and Change
LeadingOrganizational Culture and Change
IfI were in charge of an organization`s change initiatives, I wouldgive changing values precedence over changing behavior. Centering hisdefinition on the Burke-Litwinmodel, Burke observes that culture is a set of underlying assumptionsthat define the meaning of things, what people pay attention to, howindividuals react to their surroundings, and what actions to take indifferent kinds of situations1.In other words, what Burke is saying is that human behavior (what wepay attention to, how it affects us, how we react in differentsituations, etc.) is influenced by a set of underlying value systemsthat define us. Therefore, if I were to steer an organization`schange initiatives, I would change organizational value systems(basic assumptions) first because a modification of these dynamics iswhat will cause a significant change in organizational behavior. Iwill focus on altering the organization`s culture by deciphering thedenotations behind the basic assumptions that influence how itsemployees respond (behave) to different organizational situations.Intrinsically, changing the behavior of an organization`s employeesfirst will not be a practical approach to modifying the firm`sculture.
Toimprove the firm, I will begin by determining the orientation of thenew culture with respect to the current culture of the company.However, to achieve this, diagnosing the prevailing culture will bean indispensable prerequisite. Burke identifies three levels oforganizational culture diagnosis: artifacts, espoused beliefs andvalues, and basic underlying culture2.According to Burke, artifacts are the visible manifestations of afirm`s culture, which can be portrayed through a mode of dressing,ceremonies, language, a design of human interactions, and so forth3.Burke goes on to say that the second level of diagnosing a firm`sculture is what is known as espoused beliefs and values. The processof employees acting on these values and beliefs is what is known associal validation, implying that certain values are accepted only bythe shared experiences of a social group4.The third level of organizational culture diagnosis is labeled basicunderlying assumptions, which consist of the behaviors taken forgranted, rarely discussed, and based on repeated successes- thesepractices work for the company5.Burke observes that reaching the third level is a must for someone tofully understand a firm`s culture because an individual can onlyinterpret the meaning of artifacts and give credence to espousedbeliefs and values by learning the patterns of basic underlyingassumptions6.Employing these diagnostic levels, I will accomplish the first andmost crucial step in my culture-changing procedure.
AfterI diagnose the organizational culture of the firm, I will announcethe anticipated changes regarding the culture. I will notify companyexecutives and employees about the changes that will directly affecttheir work. In this phase, I will involve the subordinates in makingappropriate decisions so that I can come up with the practices thatwill suit the needs of both subordinates and company executives. Inaddition to propagating information on the organizational dynamicsthat will be changed, I will also communicate those that will remainthe same to avoid confusion and organizational culture-overlap.Third, I will proceed to change the executive`s behaviors by trainingthem in these behavioral practices through feedback, role, or skillpractice. To influence further the actions of the firm`s executives,I will measure their degree of employment of the new behavioralprotocols in their respective workstations. I will then reward themanagers that will be found to have used the new behavioral practicesso as to encourage more managers to employ the new set of protocols.
Burke,W. Warner. OrganizationChange: Theory and Practice.4th ed. Place of publication not identified: SAGE PUBLICATIONS, 2013.
1 Burke, W. Warner. Organization Change: Theory and Practice. 4th ed. Place of publication not identified: SAGE PUBLICATIONS, 2013, 247.
2 Burke, Organization Change, 243.
3 Burke, Organization Change, 244.
4 Ibid., 246.
5 Ibid., 247.
6 Burke, Organization Change, 248.
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