Organisational Culture in Change Management


The corporate world has become very competitive as organizations struggle to grow and develop amidst diverse challenges of globalisation. In the context of the competitive corporate world, organisations have come up with different strategies of growing and developing. Being a major strategy of managing organisations, organisational culture plays a central role in the growth and development of organisations because it has the ability to mobilize human resources and optimize their efforts. Tsai defines organizational culture as “the beliefs and values that have existed in an organization for a long time, and to the beliefs of the staff and the foreseen value to their work that will influence their attitudes and behaviour” (1).

Managers usually rely on organisational culture when adopting and implementing programs or changes in various departments. As organisational culture influence the performance of employees, managers rely on it in undertaking massive organisational changes. Hence, it is appropriate to assert that organizational culture is an indispensable aspect of change management in modern organisations, which are grappling with globalisation forces in the competitive markets. Therefore, this assessment reviews ten scholarly articles by examining their relevance to the theme of the role of organisational culture in promoting change management in modern organizations.

Organizational Culture Influence Leadership Behaviour and Job Satisfaction

Organizational culture has the capacity to influence leadership behaviour and job satisfaction among employees in various organisations. A study undertaken among nurses in a Taiwan hospital indicate that organizational culture determines the nature of leadership behaviour, which in turn influence the satisfaction of employees in their workplaces (Tsai 1). Regarding the aspect of leadership behaviour, organizational culture influence how managers manage organisations and bring about fruitful transformations. In the study, which sought to establish the significance of organisational culture in shaping leadership behaviour, the findings indicate that organizational culture promotes consultative leadership between employees and management, and thus, promote change in organizations (Tsai 8).

Organisations with influential organisational culture easily mobilize their employees to perform certain actions for they have shared values, norms, beliefs, and interests. In this view, the work of the management would be to utilize organisational culture in undertaking certain changes. Thus, organisational culture promotes leadership behaviour for it promotes teamwork towards the achievement of visions, missions, and goals in an organisation.

Moreover, organisational culture improves job satisfaction among employees owing to shared values, beliefs, interest and norms, which guide and motivate employees in the course of their duties. According to Tsai, “organisational culture correlate with employee job satisfaction” for shared values, beliefs, norms, and behaviours support effective interaction among employees (8). Since organisational culture is subject to many forces, effective management is essential for meaningful changes to happen within an organisation. The work of the management is to moderate forces of organisational culture, prevent the occurrence of conflicts, and promote change. Tsai argues that organisational culture define codes of conduct that guide employees and values that drive organisational performance. In essence, organisational culture binds employees together and motivates them to perform their task with unnecessary conflicts, which are common in organizations.

A Model of Organisational Culture

The performance of organisations is dependent on the nature of the organizational culture that they have built. In a bid to elucidate how organisations perform, different models have come up. Dauber, Fink, and Yolles formulated a configuration model, which elucidates the relationship between organizational culture and functioning of organizations (1). The development of the configuration model is dependent on theoretical tenets that relate to the organizational culture. The theoretical basis of organisational culture is culture theory, which describes how societal culture influences the behaviour of humans in diverse societies.

Dauber, Fink, and Yolles argue that organisational culture and societal culture have some relationships because they comprise social constructs, which occur in the internal and external environments, respectively (3). Elucidation of the mechanisms, which shows the relationships between the external and internal environment of an organization effectively describes the forces that influence organisational culture among various organisations.

Old models of organisational culture have few variables; however, new models have many variables since organisational culture in the modern organisation is subject to many forces. According to Dauber, Fink, and Yolles, old culture models comprise three elements, namely, artefacts, espoused values, and basic underlying assumptions. These three elements determine the nature of the organisational culture that organisations develop and nurture for the sake of their growth and development amidst globalisation challenges.

Since old models of organisational culture were simple, there is a need for the development of comprehensive models, which describes complex forces that are present in modern organisations. Dauber, Fink, and Yolles developed a configuration model, which elucidates that strategy, operations, and structure are internal elements that interact with external elements such as marketing environment and society (11). In the management of change using organisational culture, managers regulate the influence of external and internal forces on organizational performance.

Organizational Reality and Change Leader

Management of organisations is very complex because it entails the integration of human resources into systems and processes that lead to the production of goods and services that generate profits. Owen and Dietz assert that change leaders are necessary for the organisation for they have the capacity to bring about appropriate changes that enable organisations to achieve their objectives and goals in accordance to their vision and mission (2).

Organizational reality is that conventional strategies of managing changes such as the use of rules and regulations are no longer effective in the change management and leveraging organizational performance. A number of factors that relate to diversity within organizations can inhibit or facilitate the change process. Owen and Dietz identify elements of organizational culture such as beliefs, values, and norms as factors that facilitate the change process in various organizations (6). In this view, organizational culture is indispensable in the management of an organization because it reflects the interests and aspirations of all stakeholders.

The principles of change management recognize organizations as complex systems that are dependent on the collective functions of diverse stakeholders. As models elucidate how organisations function, Full Dimensional System Model (FDSM) best describes the complexity of organisations in relation to the change process and management. Owen and Dietz state that FDSM enables organisations to achieve their goals and objectives for it enables the manager to “align employees and their competencies, values, expectations, processes, systems, and working relationship” to the strategic plans. In this view, FDSM is an effective model that depicts the significance of organizational culture in the management of changes in diverse organisations.

Organisational Culture, Leadership Style, and Change Management Strategy

Although organisational culture is a product of leadership and change management strategy, it influences organizational performance in turn.

The interactions of employees in the workplace environment create organisational culture, which has a significant influence on how employees perform their duties. Belias and Koustelios argue that the knowledge of organisational culture is central to change management. Managers without any knowledge and skills about organizational culture hardly make significant changes in their respective organizations for they are unable to mobilize and optimize human resources effectively (Belias and Koustelios “The Impact of Leadership” 452). Hence, the key to successful management of changes in organisations lies in the capacity of managers to leverage change through organisational culture.

The relationship between organisational culture and change management is dependent on the ability of leaders to integrate the two effectively. Belias and Koustelios state that, “a corporate leader, who encourages continuous learning and favours change, help to define an organisational culture that is flexible” (“The Impact of Leadership” 457). As leaders or managers have the capacity to influence and shape organisational culture, their values, beliefs, skills, and knowledge are invaluable. Fundamentally, change management or leadership is an art of mobilizing organisational members to achieve common goals and aspirations.

Strategic management of changes in organisations cannot take place unless managers transform their respective organizations using beliefs, values, and norms, which form part of organisational culture (Belias and Koustelios “The Impact of Leadership “458). Hence, leaders must apply appropriate knowledge and skills in their management processes to achieve considerable transformation.

A case study of the role of organisational culture in the Greek banking sector revealed that it has a significant influence on the growth and development of banking institutions. Belias and Koustelios interviewed 312 employees of the central bank in Greece and found out that they perceive organisational culture as the backbone of change management in banking institutions (“Organizational Culture” 98).

The employees recognise that there is a need to align their personal goals with the goals and objectives of their institutions. Since the organisation comprises of norms, values, beliefs, and behaviours, their alignment with the strategies of the organisation is paramount. The findings of the case study show that the expectations of employees are different from the present organisational culture (Belias and Koustelios 98). This means that there is disconnect between the aspirations of employees and the state of the organisational culture in the central bank of Greece.

From the case study, it is evident that organisational culture influences management styles that managers employ. Belias and Koustelios state that while employees in the Greek banks exhibit clan type of culture because it is friendly and flexible, the banks have hierarchical culture, which is very formal (“Organizational Culture” 100). The differences in the actual practices and expected practices of human resource managers cause mismatch of organisational culture and create conflicts in organisations. In this view, the case study of Greek banking institutions depicts a scenario where mismatch of organisational culture and aspirations of employees are present. Subsequently, the mismatch affects effective management of change since the creation of teamwork, motivation employees, and mobilization of human resources is difficult.

Organisational Culture and Change Strategy

Given that values, beliefs, norms, symbols, and assumptions form part of the organisational culture, they influence the nature of changes that take place in organisations. The management change strategies that are dependent on organisational culture have their basis on the following assumptions, namely, employees are rational, organisations are rational tools, change process is systemic, driver of change is information, and the direction of change is unilateral (Janicijevic 36). Essentially, the selection of strategies requires consideration of organisational culture because its elements rationally influence organisational performance.

Managers have to assess organisational culture before adopting and implementing programs. The successfulness of programs or changes in organisations is subject to organisational forces, which includes organisational culture. Janicijevic recommends that managers have to match organisational culture with change strategies so that employees can optimally perform their duties and yield expected outcomes (25). The ability of an organisation to match its organisational culture with change strategies determines its capacity to undertake massive changes. For example, organisations that experience resistance among employees should shape the organisational culture in a manner that alleviates the resistance before introducing change strategies.

Organisational Culture and Effectiveness of Employees

Organisational culture has the capacity to influence effectiveness of employees in organisations. A case study of physical education officers in Mazandaran province in Iran confirmed that organisational culture influence effectiveness of employees because attributes such as motivation, commitment, hard work, passion, and other positive attributes boost effectiveness of employees (Mehr, Kenari, Emadi, and Sadat 782).

The ability of organisations to achieve set goals and objectives is dependent on the nature of organisational culture. Usually, managers improve effectiveness of organisations by incorporating new values, norms, and standards, which guide employees on how to perform critical functions of organisations. According to Mehr et al., the strength of organisational culture correlates with effectiveness of organization (782). In this view, organisational culture has considerable influence on organisational effectiveness, an attribute that is important in change management.

Analysis of organisational culture and effectiveness shows that they have integral links, which depict their relationships. Managers employ organisational effectiveness in assessing the growth and development of their respective organisations so that they can devise responsive strategies of change management. Essentially, effectiveness of change management relies on the organisational culture. Mehr et al. note that, “rules and regulations, sensitivity, contributing to the environment, transformation, and planning variables” are important elements of models of organisational effectiveness (782). The interaction of these elements is dependent on organisational culture and reflects organisational effectiveness. The case study, therefore, recommends that managers should transform their organisational culture if they want to improve effectiveness of their organisations through change management.

Organisational Culture and Customer Satisfaction

Organisations deals with customers on daily basis and thus their interaction is subject organisational culture. Given that organisational culture varies from one organisation to another, it explains why some organisations satisfy their customers while are other are unable. Essentially, organisations are systems that regulate the external and internal forces that influence organisational culture. Aydin and Ceylan assert that employees reflect internal environment, while customers reflect external environment of an organisation (34). Organisations should satisfy their customers by considering their needs and expectations.

The diversity of customers’ needs and complexity of organisational culture requires managers to undertake rigorous change management, which factor all the forces that mediate the relationship between organisation and customers.

For organisations to satisfy their customers well, they must undertake comprehensive marketing and collect aspirations and interests of customers so that they can incorporate into their organisational culture. International organisations have built influential cultures because they have incorporated values and interests of customers into their system and created robust relationship, which are lucrative for their growth and development. A study done in a metal manufacturing industry supports the notion that customer satisfaction is a major product of organisational culture (Aydin and Ceylan 33).

Fundamentally, when undertaking change management, managers should consider interests and aspirations of customers for they are important stakeholders that support growth and development of organisation. Aydin and Ceylan argue that, “market orientation is crucial for the organizations and the basic part of market orientation is to focus on the customers” (33). Hence, organisational culture promotes customer orientation, which enhances growth and development in organisations.

The shared values, norms, and beliefs are central in promoting changes in organisations. Ambroz and Praprotnik state that organisational culture determines organisational effectiveness and customer satisfaction (161). Organisational effectiveness is a variable that is subject to norms, values, and beliefs that employees in an organisation cherish and nurture. Comparative analysis of organisations, which have well established cultures shows that they are more effective than the ones that have weak cultures. This supports the assertion that organisational culture promotes the efficiency of operations for employees have motivation and passion to pursue goals and objectives of their respective organisations. Thus, organisational culture is central in promoting effectiveness and performance of employees.

Given that global markets have become very competitive in the modern society due to increasing forces of globalizations, modern organisations have to develop effective strategies so that they can compete effectively in the global markets. To attract and retain customers, organisations must satisfy diverse needs of their customers and keep abreast with the changing dynamics of the global markets lest they remain outdated. In this view, Ambroz and Praprotnik recommend organisations to collect updated information from the customers and incorporate them in the creation of robust organisational culture that consider diverse needs of customers (162). Therefore, the ability of organisations to attract and retain customers as change management aspect in their quest to gain large market share is dependent on the organisational culture.

Creation of a Favourable Working Environment

Organisational culture is very important because it determine the nature of working environment. Organisations that have influential culture have favourable working environment, while those that do not have influential culture do not have favourable working environment (Martin 462). Effective interactions of employees create a valuable organizational culture that drives functions, processes, and procedures that are available in various organizations.

Organisational culture comprises of values, beliefs, behaviours, habits, norms, and interests that organisational members share in a certain organisation. Since vision, mission, and goals of each organisation differ, employees develop and nurture unique organisational culture. Organisational culture takes time to build because employees have to interact, share their values, attitudes, norms, beliefs, behaviours, and interests in relation to visions and missions of their respective organisations. Martin holds that organisations fail because that do not have favourable working environment in terms of communication and collaboration in various tasks (465). Thus, creation of a favourable working environment is the benefit of organisational culture for managers can easily undertake certain changes.


Organizational culture is an indispensable aspect of organisations because it has considerable influence on the change management, which is central in the growth and development. The assessment of various articles regarding organisational culture and change management has provided important information about change management. Models and theories of culture and management recognize organisational culture as a strong organisational force that managers apply in effecting diverse changes. Evidently, organisational culture determine effectiveness of organisations, satisfaction of employees and customers, performance of organizations, and conditions of working environment.

Works Cited

Ambroz, Milan, and Martina Praprotnik. “organisational effectiveness and customer Satisfaction.” Organizacija 41.5 (2008):161-173. Print.

Aydin, Bulent, and Adnan Ceylan. “The role of organisational culture on effectiveness”. Ekonomika a Management 3.1 (2009): 33-49. Print.

Belias, Dimtrios and Athanasios Koustelios. “The impact of leadership and change management strategy on organizational culture.” European Scientific Journal 10.7 (2014): 451-470. Print.

Belias, Dimtrios and Athanasios Koustelios. “Organizational culture of Greek banking institutions: A case study.” International Journal of Human Resource 3.2 (2013): 95-104. Print.

Dauber, Daniel, Gerhard Fink, and Maurice Yolles. “A configuration model of organisational culture.SAGE Open 1.1 (2012): 1-6. Web.

Janicijevic, Nebojsa. “The influence of organisational culture on organisational preferences towards the choice of organisational change strategy.” Economic Annals, 57.193. Print.

Owen, Keith and Steven Dietz. “Understanding organizational reality: Concepts for the change leader.” SAGE Open 1.2 (2012): 1-14.Print.

Martin, Jason. “Organisational culture and organisational change: How shared values, rituals, and sagas can facilitate change in an academic library.” American Library Association 3.2 (2013): 460-465. Print.

Mehr, Shaghayegh, Bita Kenari, Somayeh Emadi, and Maryam Sadat. “Relationship between organisational culture with effectiveness of staffs of physical education officers of Mazandaran province.” European Journal of Experimental Biology 2.3 (2012): 781-785. Print.

Tsai, Yafang. “Relationship between organizational culture, leadership behaviour and job satisfaction.” BMC Health Services Research 11.98 (2011). 1-9. Print.