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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cultural Change

What are  the factors and steps of cultural change ?

There are a number of internal and external factors which are responsible for cultural change in an organisation.
Composition of the workforce: Overtime, the people entering an organisation may differ in important ways from those already in it, and these differences may impinge on the existing culture of the organisation.
Mergers and acquisitions: Another sosurce of cultural change is mergers and acquisitions, events in which one organisation purchases or otherwise absorbs another. In such cases, rare consideration is given to the acquired organisation's culture. This is unfortunate because there have been several cases in which the merger of two organisations with incompatible cultures leads to serious problems, commonly known as culture clashes. In such cases, the larger and more powerful company attempts to dominate the smaller acquired company.
Planned organisational change: Even if an organisation does not change by acquiring another, cultural change still may result from planned changes. One important force in planned organisational change is technology. Technology affects the behaviour of people on the job. as well as the effective functioning of organisations. project management software

 Cultural Change Programme

A cultural change programme involves the following steps:

1.   Identify the basic assumptions and beliefs and challenge them if necessary.
2.   Define or re-define the core values - stated or unstated.
3.   Analyse the organisational climate.
4.   Analyse the management style.
5.   Plan and implement what aspects of the culture needs to be changed and what aspects should be maintained or reinforced.  

Specific approaches to achieve a cultural change are:

1.   Recognition to facilitate integration, to create departments or jobs which are responsible for new activities or to eliminate unnecessary layers of management.
2.   Organisation development to improve the effectiveness with which an organisation functions and responds to change.
3.   Communication to get the messages across about the values and to achieve the objectives.
4.   Training to help form new attitudes to such matters as customer service, quality, productivity, managing and motivating people.
5.   Recruitment to set out deliberately to change the type of people recruited.
6.   Management by objectives to ensure that managers know what they are expected to do.
7.   Performance management to ensure that managers, supervisors and staff are assessed on the basis of the results they achieve and that performance improvement programmes are used to capitalise on strengths or overcome weaknesses.
8.   Reward management to enhance the cultural assumption that rewards should be related to achievement by introducing performance-related bonus schemes and remuneration systems.

There are a variety of methods for developing, maintaining, or changing organisational cultures. The power to change company culture lies largely in the hands of management. Changing culture is not easy. However, when employees have been brought up in a particular tradition, they may find it difficult to recognise the need for and scope of the changes required. The organisation culture has its deep roots and hence it cannot be changed overnight. It takes time and patience, nevertheless the journey has to be undertaken to reach a new era.

The culture of a business is not formed by what management preach or publish, but by what they accept in practice. Cultural change needs clear vision, commitment, persistence and determination. In today's increasingly uncertain and turbulent times, organisations must depend on the people in their systems to develop a culture of innovation and change. It is people who will push for change - not systems or technology. Some organisations are better at sustaining a dynamic environment, one that can adapt and change to new demands and some organisations resist each change imposed on them.


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