Creating a Culture of Work

Subject: Corporate Culture
Pages: 6
Words: 1699
Reading time:
7 min
Study level: PhD

The creation of a culture of work involves a change in an organization. Change in a corporation may vary from simple day-to-day operations to major revolutionary changes (Michalak, 2010). Revolutionary changes in an organization according to Smith may include amalgamations and procurements, company expansion, cultural changes, and reorganization of structural units, for instance, downsizing and development of new business strategies (Michalak, 2010). Smith further reports from a survey of business and professional publications that over 40% of organizational changes encompass a number of categories making the process complex (Michalak, 2010).

Attempts to create a work culture in an organization may fail as ideas for change bear a great license to success, so does a great potential for failure (Michalak, 2010). The rate of failure, however, varies with the nature of the change implemented. The potential is dangerously high for changes that are perceived as being bigger than others are. Failure for change to take effect may be a result of factors such as the culture of the organization. Organizational culture is the ideals, beliefs, mutual memories, and definitions in a company (Cameron & Quinn, 2006). Organizational culture provides a sense of belonging to the company among the members. It is a specific set of unwritten guidelines and rules that steer an organization. Cultural dimensions vary across different organizations. Organizational culture is largely influenced by the environment in which the business is situated, the gender of the employees, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and collectivism versus individualism of the corporation (Michalak, 2010). The dimensions in organizational culture are intertwined in an intricate pattern. No specific dimension seems to have a precise measure of effect to change.

Societies with an elevated power distance, individualism, and uncertainty avoidance generate a force against change according to Hofstede’s model (Michalak, 2010). Organizational culture can be an impediment to change as it may limit innovation. Guidelines and predefined policies that are in existence for several years may hinder new developments. If the concepts and ideas do not match the set guidelines and predefined policies, then the changes that ensue from them are resisted.

Organizational culture is reflected by what is dominant, the leadership styles, what is valued, symbols, and definition of success that are unique to various organizations (Cameron & Quinn, 2006). Change may be hampered by an organizational culture that values tradition. Insistence on doing things the same way may result in resistance to change (Saks & Gruman, 2011). Fear of the unknown and lack of clues to what the new holds initiates anxiety in people (Leahy & Chamberlain, 2008). People often fear that after embracing change they may not be able to attain self-satisfaction. People experience discomfort doing the reverse of what they are used to hence resistance to change. Organizational culture may hinder change especially if the change is perceived as one that lowers the morale of the employees (Ke & Wei, 2008).

Other studies reveal important links connecting culture, social capital, and trust in an environment (Michalak, 2010). Trust environment in an organization is influenced by the culture of that organization. Trust signifies a positive assumption of the motives and intentions of a different party. It allows for the economy of information processing and upholding of behavior among people as organizational trust is a total of individual members’ trust within the organization. Organizational trust is thus a culture that hangs perilously. Change that touches on trust may lead to resistance. If for instance, the agent of change is an outsider the organization members may not trust that they have their best interests at heart. Organizational trust is influenced by the level of trust inherent in society. According to Francis Fukuyama, the global competitiveness of firms is affected by the level of trust inherent in the nation’s society (Michalak, 2010). Treating trust, the way cultural traits of organizations are treated greatly diminishes the upshots in businesses. As one considers the strategy to use in the implementation of change, one ought to have trust in mind.

Organizational culture may operate in two ways either as a successful agent of change or as a barrier to change. The cultures in an organization that is, the values, orientations, designations, and objectives often remain constant. This is true even when strategies and procedures change as organizations are quick to return to their status quo. The same is true for individuals as their habits and personality traits remain constant across different situations. This explains how organizational culture is able to drive change. Organizational culture remains constant across several situations (Cameron & Quinn, 2006). The accomplishment of projects that are related to changes in organizations relies on the cultural organization. Undoubtedly, there is immense support for the role of organizational culture in the acceptance of innovation. A mismatch between the culture of an organization and the cultural assumptions rooted within an information system results in failure (Wei & Ke, 2008).

Communication is a vital ingredient in effecting change. It demands the application of persuasive and manipulative strategies to organizational change in societies with an elevated power distance, individualism, and uncertainty avoidance. The reverse is true for cultures with a low indicator of the mentioned dimensions. Participative and democratic strategies suffice for people with a low resistance to change (Hess, 2009).

Communication serves a vital role in an organization. Rules and norms control the extent of communication incorporated. Effective communication, hence, is crucial to the development of organizational culture (Lewis, 2007). However, it is critical to make effective communication work in such a way that it stimulates and does not impede change. The fundamental functions of management cannot be performed well without effective communication. A steady surge of information is a fundamental part of business communication. There ought to be a response to information in effective business communication (Management study guide, n.d.). The organization’s culture should be structured in such a way that it allows free information flow as well as feedback. Such a communication highway determines a lot in the effectiveness of change. Hidden agenda should not characterize organizational communication. Part of the organization’s culture should insist on taking face value of communication. It is essential for members to understand clearly how effective the change is in the smooth running of the organization. In hierarchical organizations, there is a likelihood of different subcultures exist within one organizational culture. Communication should aim at reaching the various levels in an appropriate manner. Perpetual ineffective communication creates a business culture that is impermeable hence the difficulty in communicating a new change strategy.

Communicating change to members of an organization needs to be strategic. It should be clear enough for employees to understand (Lewis, Romanaggi & Chapple, 2010). Such a communication culture is inclusive of a vision and expression of a reflective purpose that can be communicated with stakeholders. It permits stakeholders to express their ideas understandings and fears enabling them to raise qualms for explanations. A culture of effective communication is essential as it takes into account a procedure of engagement through discussion (Management study guide, n.d.). Stakeholders can consult about choices and develop prospective strategies for change that impact results. Individual expectations, therefore, are managed through communication.

Strategic communication institutes the cooperation of stakeholders who encourage the strategic purpose for change, motivate and encourage other individuals of the organization to join them in the endeavor to bring change. It also analyzes the culture and values of the organization. Strategic communication is essential as it facilitates the understanding of values necessary to defend or discard in the organization’s culture. Consequently, it makes the organization flexible to change. This kind of communication propagates the atmosphere of necessity for change. It also provides a rationale for the change (Lewis, Romanaggi & Chapple, 2010). Finally, it outlines the impending risk of not executing the change.

Reward schemes in companies take a different shape from the traditional company stock price as a parameter of success (Berrone & Gomez-Mejia, 2009). Rewarding managers according to the amount of change they bring about in the organization is a good practice. Managers with a mindset of change always look for novel and superior ways of doing things and for prospects of launching better programs (Gruman & Saks, 2011). They are aware of what can or what cannot be changed, where to get help if need be and are not put off by difficulties (Warrick, 2009). It is a dynamic world, and things are constantly changing such that no single organization can survive without making at least a few changes. Lewis et al., assert “the ability to successfully manage change has a way of separating the best from the rest” (2010, p.17). There is a lot of truth in the statement especially if the senior management chooses to reward managers on the amount of change, they effect.

The effects of change are cumulative. Hence, it is too much for an organization to make changes progressively without a break. Beyond a certain limit, the change may be retrogressive to the organization’s vision (Lewis, Romanaggi & Chapple, 2010). Failed changes may be dear; they demoralize employees and reduce the effectiveness of an organization. The worst effect may result in the organization becoming obsolete (Warrick, 2009). Change may also translate to an organization investing resources in a given plan yet fail to get equally positive returns. Change is not all about ideas and concepts. The practicability of the situation ought to be addressed. Warrick is absolutely right when he says that change can be disastrous if not well managed (2009). In the execution of change, investing in developing skills is a costly investment for all types of organizations whether large or small. Organizations committed to prospering should prioritize developing such skills (Warrick, 2009).

Basing appraisal schemes for managers on how well they initiate and implement change is an important practice in an organization. It may have shortcomings, but the benefits surpass the shortcomings. Senior management teams may make appropriate decisions based on the proposals for change present. Notably, organizational culture is crucial in effecting possible changes. The culture may appear to be a salient but powerful tool in effecting change. Therefore, culture should be studied in-depth according to the organization. Change should also be tailor-made in accordance with the kind of organizational culture present.


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