Organizational Culture and Business Excellence, ICT and Organizational Culture, ICT and Business Excellence

Organizational Culture and Business Excellence, ICT and Organizational Culture, ICT and Business Excellence

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8413-1.ch003
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The aim of this chapter is to build the research argument by reviewing the most relevant literature on the relationships between the study variables. The literature covers the general associations between organizational culture and business excellence and highlights the most significant findings in identifying the relationships. Then the focus shifts to the relationship between individual culture types and business excellence criteria. This is done by examining the relationship between each type of culture (mission, adaptability, involvement, and consistency) and its attributes and each of the results criteria (customer, people, society, and business results) in turn. This chapter also discusses the interactions between ICT and both organizational culture and the business excellence results criteria, setting out the research hypotheses required to answer the research questions.
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Organizational Culture And Business Excellence

The relationship between organizational culture and business excellence can be discussed from different dimensions. Bolboli and Reiche (2013) concluded that there are obstacles to implementing business excellence in organizations. Some of these obstacles are related to the resistance of employees to culture change, which implies that changing the organizational culture may be required for companies to achieve and sustain excellence. How companies should manage organizational culture when applying business excellence models remains unclear.

Some studies have focused on the relationship between organizational culture and business excellence but have reached different conclusions about whether companies should maintain the existing culture, when implementing business excellence, or change it, and if so, how (Kekale & Kekale, 1995). The role of organizational culture in achieving business excellence requires more research, and empirical studies should take into consideration that business excellence should be reviewed from a systems perspective (Gogheri et al., 2013).

Some research has suggested that particular attributes of organizational culture can support successful implementation of business excellence models (Kujala & Lillrank, 2004; Metri, 2005). Companies with a robust culture, for example, are more likely to be successful, especially when the dominant culture type is aligned with the company’s values and beliefs (Kujala & Lillrank, 2004).

Austin and Ciaassen (2008) asserted that companies should identify the culture changes needed to achieve business excellence. Most companies identify improvement activities using business excellence criteria and develop implementation plans without considering the organizational culture aspects. That may cause problems if the activities do not fit with the existing organizational culture (Austin & Ciaassen, 2008). Employees may refuse to accept business excellence measures if these measures do not suit the existing corporate culture, particular the decision-making and action-planning roles (Bolboli & Reiche, 2014).

Although there have been many studies on organizational culture, there are few pieces of empirical research that guide decision-makers in organizations on how to deal with organizational culture when they start to implement business excellence models. Most of the available information suggests that companies should try to develop a culture of excellence and spread this among their employees (Morris, 1994).

Achieving sustainable business excellence in organizations may require a balance between the existing structure and culture. This balance will help to achieve maturity. Most business excellence models, however, do not emphasize the importance of building this balance, and instead concentrate their guidance on improving the structure of the organization, without paying enough attention to the organizational culture, a crucial aspect in achieving sustainable excellence (Bolboli & Reiche, 2014).

The EFQM model, although one of the most popular excellence models, also shows this lack of balance between cultural and structural aspects. A seven-year study ending in 2011, which covered more than 550 business excellence projects implemented by 186 organizations in Germany, concluded that mature companies deployed management systems that contained both structural traits, including products, services and processes, and cultural aspects, such as internal communication between employees and development of capabilities. The results showed that the structural and cultural practices were not balanced in most of the organizations studied, perhaps because this imbalance is core to the EFQM model criteria, which places more focus on the structural aspects (see Figure 1). This may contribute to the failure of business excellence projects (Bolboli & Reiche, 2014; Sommerhoff, 2011).

Figure 1.

Structure and culture aspects in the EFQM model

(Source: Bolboli & Reiche, 2014)

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