Introduction to Organizational Culture And Organizational Change
Edgar Schein “Organizational culture refers to a pattern of basic
assumptions discovered or developed by a group as it learns to cope with its
problems of external adoption and internal integration that has worked well
enough to be considered valuable, and therefore, to be taught to new
members as the correct way to perceive, think and feel, in relation to those
Every organization develops and maintains a unique culture, which provides
guidelines and boundaries for the behavior of the members of the
It is a product of inputs and outputs . The inputs are the beliefs, norms,
assumptions, values and the outputs are the courses of actions i.e. the goals,
work task, planning, decision making and the procedures.
A good organization culture is both a talent attractor as well as a talent
Dominant culture and Sub culture:-
Dominant culture is a set of core values that are shared by a majority of the
It is a macro view of the organization’s personality.
Sub-culture refers to the set of values that are shared by the members of a
division or department.
These are the result of problems or experiences that are shared by the
members of a particular department or unit.
Strong Culture and Weak Culture:-
A strong culture is characterized by the organization’s
core values being intensely held and widely shared.
The degree of sharedness depends on two factors:
orientation and rewards.
When core values are not shared with high degree of
intensity, it forms weak culture.
It can be characterized by high employee turnovers and
Concept: It is the process by which organizations move
from their present state to some desired future state to
increase their effectiveness.
• Started in 1865 as pulp and
paper company in Helsinki.
• Bought into Rubber
• Cable wiring in 1920.
• Then Invest in electronics
and started making
television and computer
• Finally in 1980, Nokia
executive sensed an
emerging market for mobile
Nature of Organizational change
• It disturbs the old equilibrium.
• It affects the organization.
• Organizational change is a continuous process
• Reactive changes: These are compulsory changes.
• Proactive changes : These changes are desirable to do
• According to Thomas and Bennis, “Planned Change is
the deliberate design and implementation of a structural
innovation, a new policy or goal, or a change in operating
philosophy, climate or style.
• Process of planned change
• Action for change comprises three stages: unfreezing,
changing, and refreezing.
Organizational change can be known by understanding why
individuals change. Individuals generally experience two
types of changes, these are:-
Government rules and regulations- The changes of
government’s rules and regulations in the basic cause of
change of organizations
Competition- Organizations need to come up the
challenges posed by competitors to survive in the market
Technological advances- Rapid changes of updated
technologies causes an organization to change
Changes in people requirements- The changing
requirements of the people also causes organizations to
change themselves with their requirements.
Change in leadership- Leadership changes the cultures
and the values of an organization
Introducing new technologies- Introduction of new
technology is bound to have an impact for other
functions inside the organizations
The domino effect- Domino effect means the change as
a result of which a series of related factors get changed
For meeting crisis- The unforeseen happenings makes
an organization unstable which becomes the stimulus
for thorough self-assessment to overcome the crisis
before it occurs.
Resistance to change is the first problem that the
managers face in the management of change.
People and Society try to resist many types of changes
• Degree of force in resistance depends on how people
feel about the change.
• Individual’s feeling either real or emotional may be seen
in the context of three types of factors: economics,
psychological and social.
People may perceive that they will be adversely
affected by the change in terms of their need
satisfaction in the following ways-
• Skill Obsolescence- People sense that the
change poses a threat of replacing them.
• Fear of Economic Loss- People may feel that the
change may reduce their job option and turn into
• Reduce Opportunity for Incentives- People may feel
that in the new system, they will have lower
opportunity to earn incentives.
Psychological factors are based on people’s emotions, sentiments and
attitudes towards change. Major psychological factors responsible for
• Ego Defensiveness- A change may affect the ego of the people
affected by the change and in order to defend their ego, people resist
• Status Quo- People do not want any disturbance in their existing
equilibrium of life and work pattern.
• Low Tolerance for Change- Some people have very low level of
tolerance for change and ambiguity as compared to others.
• Lack of Trust in Change Agent-. If people have low degree of
confidence in the change agent, they show resistance to change
• Fear of Unknown- The lack of certainty creates stress and confusion
in the mind of people.
People form their own social groups at the workplace
for the satisfaction of their social needs. The major
social factors affecting resistance to change are
• Desire to maintain Existing Social Interaction- When
there is any change, there existing social interaction is
likely to be changed which people do not want.
• Feeling of Outside Interference- A change bought by
the change agent is considered to be an interference in
the working of people
People may feel the likely impact of a change individually but they
express it in the form of group resistance.
Nature of Group Dynamics- - Group Dynamics refers to the forces
which operate in a group determining behavior of its members. Nature
of group dynamics are
• Change agent and target people belong the same group.
• If group is highly cohesive and members have developed strong
belongingness to the group.
• The degree of group attractiveness to its members
• Group can exert more pressure on those factors of members which
are responsible for group being attractive to the members
• The degree of prestige of a group, as interpreted by the members
• Any attempt to change the groups norms by any outside force
Vested Interests- In a group some members become more
influential than others. These persons may use the groups as a
means for satisfying their own needs.
Many organizations are designed to be innovation-resisting. The major reasons
for organizational failure to change are
• Counting Past Successes- Some organization hide their failure to change in
the guise of past successes.
• Stability of System- The organization may design a system through which it
may derive many benefits.
• Resource Limitations- It may not be possible for the organization to bring
necessary change due to limitation of resources.
• Sunk Cost- Once the assets are acquired, these can be used for specific
period. Now if the change is required, it creates a problem to these assets.
• Inter-organizational Agreement- If any change is to be incorporated with an
organization, the organization has to take into account the wishes to other
linked organization too.
There are six main approaches to manage resistance to
change in an organizational culture. They are :
1. Education and Communication:
If reason of resistance to change is misunderstanding or
inaccurate then employees must be educated about the
changes through one on one discussion, memos, group
representations, or reports.
Where the initiator does not have all information they need to
design the change and where others have considerable power
to resist. When employees are involved in the change effort
they are more likely to buy into change rather than resist it.
This approach is likely lower resistance and those who
acquiesce to change.
3. Facilitation and Support:
Another strategy for managing resistance to change is providing
support and empathy to those employees who have trouble dealing
with the change.
Negotiation particularly with group of powerful individuals
resisting to change is yet another strategy to deal with potential
resistance to change. For this, a specific reward package can be
negotiated with the powerful individuals to meet their individual
5. Manipulation and Co-optation:
When other tactics will not work or are too expensive. An
effective manipulation technique is to co-opt with the resisters.
Co-option involves the patronizing gesture in bringing a person
into change management planning group for the sake appearances
rather than substantive contribution.
Last on the list of suggested tactics is coercion. The
organization, as a last resort, can apply direct threats on the
resisters to make them ready to accept proposed change.
• Organizational change takes place for a number of
reasons. Often this is because of changes in the internal
and external environment. Change is never done alone. It
takes the interactivity of every aspect of an organization
(leaders, individual contributors, tools) to make change
management successful. Training and development
ensures that managers have the skills and competencies
required to manage their team through a process of
change. It enables them to deal with the change process
and to monitor and evaluate change. This helps to
reduce possible resistance to change and establish if the
change objectives were achieved.