Improving the Role of Organisational Culture in Change Management through a Systems Approach

Improving the Role of Organisational Culture in Change Management through a Systems Approach

N. Gökhan Torlak (Fatih University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 42
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9533-7.ch012
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The chapter assumes organisational culture, which is most valuable resource of organisation, cannot often be treated coherently by managers in change management that ultimately leads to ineffectiveness and failure. In order to make organisational culture a powerful managerial instrument in change management resulting in high organisational performance the chapter proceeds through the following sequence. At first, it elaborates chief characteristics of organisational culture in order to underline its value; secondly, portrays significance of interpreting and managing organisational milieu; thirdly, emphasises necessity and difficulty of organisational culture change; and then offers a systems approach called two strands model of soft systems methodology to improve the effect of corporate culture on organisational performance. The last part describes the methodology in depth and shows how it is applied to a private hospital that generates its improved version dealing with the major issue of open, full and equal participation in organisational culture change management.
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The chapter emphasises organisational culture, which is polylithic and paradoxical, is an important resource in change management (Cummings & Worley, 2005). Organisations habitually direct attention to the purpose of powerful by which managers optimise performance and follow systematic procedures involving clear objectives and generalisable models. They predict, model and control organisation and tackle problems with cause and effect logic so that they realise objectives with maximum efficiency and efficacy. This certainly serves a paradigm of optimisation. However, organisations are social arenas where people have values, norms and beliefs design locally stable and shared systems of meaning in actions and interpretive systems creating and re-creating symbolic aspects due to continuous interaction. They should also be oriented toward attainment of goals of those who are silenced. The powerful usually generate an image of agreement among members regarding the purposes of the organisation. They give main concern for particular goals of certain individuals or groups at the expense of goals of others and tackle ‘elite technicians’ and powerful decision makers’ assumed problems (Jackson, 2003). Thus, managers need help in improving processes where they make decisions about purposes of their companies and reach a settlement around those purposes. In dealing with complexity or soft issues that convey social and behavioural elements they have to identify different purposes and design alternative solutions. In successful running of companies they need an approach that encourages understanding human beings who create social world through different perspectives, intentions and standards of judgment, protect mutual understanding and handle resistance. Revealing and discussing cultural issues through a systems approach called two strands version of Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) empower managers to control the behaviour of the organisation and the process of change in harmony leading to effectiveness and success. This surely serves a paradigm of learning.

Given above argument the chapter aims to understand the nature of corporate culture and to enhance its relationship with organisational effectiveness in change management through a systems methodology. To this end, the chapter is divided into four major parts.

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