Change Management MGMT625
Lesson # 44
CULTURE, VALUES AND ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE
In our earlier session, we had examined that Burke Litwin model and therein we had discussed the
relationship between performance and change by exploring the interplay between organizational
functioning and organizational desired goals. We also talked about first-order change or transactional
change and compare it with second-order change or transformational change. We had also discussed
that, only in OD framework we have large number of models for organizing and maintaining the
organizations in today's complex business environment. Similarly in today's session, first we go for
discussing a new `Marvin Weisbord's Six-box Model' and then we go over to discuss Culture,
Values and Organizational Change.
Marvin Weisbord's Six-Box Model
It is a diagnostic frame work, as to Burke Litwin model, often used for diagnosing organizational
problems since 1976 when it published. This model, according to Weisbord, is based on following
So far we have dealt with different variables in various sessions with greater detail and depth. The
purpose of introducing variety is increasing our understanding. The purpose of introducing this
model is to diversify the students' frame of mind with greater verity of tools for cognitive mapping
and systematic examining the processes and activities in various models for identifying gray areas in
Organizational Culture, Values and Change Management Process
Why values are so much critical in understanding change formulation and execution? How managers,
especially top managers are able to create the learning climate for the enterprise? Or the question is
whether an organization can survive without an appropriate set of values? These are the questions
over which a lot of research is going on since early stages of the evolution of modern management
literature. For instance, Emile Durkheim (sociologist) worked on "values and norms", Henri Fayol's
work on "social man" approach to management, Vilfredo Pareto's work on "social systems
approach" and in the recent times Peter F. Drucker's work on "social environment." Therefore over
the period of time, beside the scientific school of management we have seen a progress in the areas of
values, norms, and in organizational culture particularly in the context of developed countries.
While dealing with values one should know that, values are not the universal phenomena. These have
been varied across individuals, groups, organizations and, of course, across cultures. The value-
driven organizations work out more carefully in programming, evaluating and executing the values as
to form them into plan that permeates everyday decisions. Koontz defined the term "value" as:
"A fairly permanent belief about what is appropriate and what is not that guides the actions
and behavior of employees in fulfilling the organization's aims."
Enz defined values as: "The beliefs held by an individual or group regarding means and ends."
Change Management MGMT625
Other scholars define values in various terms such as:
· in terms of `beliefs'
· in terms of `actions, symbols'
· and in terms of social behavior and norms
By dealing with all these definitions, we see that the source of all values is human mind that is based
on perceptual construct or matrix which evolves over a period of time. This can be applied to
multiple levels of analyses. Another scholar named Rokeach defined values at more generic level as:
"Values work to provide systems of meaning and interpretation that filter environmental and
Here in this definition we found that, values drive peoples towards sense making and therefore it is
extremely normal that different people arrive or give different meanings to a single phenomenon. It is
because, according to modern research context, every individual is unique or has unique capabilities
and hence his value configuration and resource configuration are also unique. Therefore, according to
Rokeach, values structure receives signals form intra-organizational and environmental levels,
interpret them into new meanings or values, and then prioritize them.
Significance and Role of Values
"Values underpin the way in which organizations are designed and operated therefore
values are embodied in organizations' structures and system by implication we have to
revise our values instead of revision in structures and systems."
The statement mentioned above shows that values are built in phenomena in organizations. Nothing
is value free or valueless at any level of analysis. For instance, if an organization goes for introducing
technology then this decision also reflects values of a manager such as: its belief on clean processes,
efficient control and modernity. So, the imperative here is that, if organization seeks change then it
not only needs revision in strategy, structure, or technology but needs a revision in values, norms,
behaviors and ultimately attitudes. Most reforms failed in organizations because of their focus largely
on visibles rather then on invisibles like values and cultural elements. For handling this situation,
organizations needs effective training processes and transmission of new knowledge and values for
changing thought patterns.
While dealing with values at environmental level we study the relationship between organizational
values and the society. As Selznick, a well known figure about socio-technical system, noted this in
"Organizations are social systems"
He believes that technological development has greater impact on social environment of a society
and technological organization itself works in a society with some social entity. Therefore,
organizational values can never be considered inalienable to its societal values. On the other hand,
the traditional Western scientific management paradigm believed on such inalienability and
indifference. For instance, Max Weber, a German intellectual, whose empirical analyses of church,
government, the military, and business led him to the belief that organization should be clear about
rules, definitions, tasks, and disciplines and employees should work in politically and socially neutral
ways just like a machine. Therefore by this way, he assumes organizations will be more productive.
This seems to have very little validity in the present times or organizations will be faced up with
At individual level, it is historically revealed that all humans are emotional beings. Then at
organizational perspective this must also be true that managers and workers are also emotional
beings. Now, recent literature suggests that managers are not only intelligence and emotional beings
Change Management MGMT625
but also, one degree forward, are considered spiritual being in line with their value structure. And on
the basis of this value structure, the degree of organization commitment is determined. Similarly, the
organizations are also exhibiting some rationality in addition to profit maximization. If organization's
values, norms, and rationalities must be compatible to the values, norms, and rationalities of a society
then this will allow least interventions and regulations from government otherwise large interventions
and regulations for organization. In management discipline, we can further discover this aspect as
corporate social responsibility concepts where organizations are considered as corporate social
citizens. In the contexts of both entrepreneurship and multinational corporations, the same level of
value alignment is required between values of an entity and its society.
Suppose there are two subordinates; one is loyal but incompetent vs. another, who is professional but
arrogant in behavior. The question then is as an HR manager which one would you wants to be
promoted to the next higher management tier? No matter what ever is your decision, the fact remains
that values compete in your behavioral choice or decision making process. Therefore, in this
particular case what is important is to look is the fact that how you prioritize your values. Whether
these are political or relationship oriented values that stay at the top in your preference as a decision
maker or otherwise. And as such there exist a trade off between the two. Most of the time
organizations have to face such a trade-off scenario like the one between task orientation or people
orientation which comprises of participative decision making versus quality authoritative decision
Choosing an appropriate set of values is an art or a challenge for change management consultants,
strategists and academicians because values most often are also competing with each other. A
scholar, Quinn, who has been engineered this concept into a well-known paradigm entitled as
Competing Value Framework (CVF). It is an assessment tool which enables the higher management
to assess their current values and help to transform them into newly desired ones.
In organizations, we have different set of values which shapes the norms, conventions and cultures.
Most often, the organizations would deal with different trade-off between various choices like
between task culture and support culture, participative decision making and unilateral decision
making, and between quality and quantity as we have seen in case study. Then this must be depend
upon the priorities of the dominant culture that how can organization prioritize its values. For
instance, we have a very well familiar approach to defining leadership styles is the Managerial Grid,
where a manager having concern both for production and for people. Through this trade-off, it is easy
for a manager to determine his compromised leadership style. Similarly in real life, there also exists
number of trade-off scenarios among various values which compete with each other.
How these various kinds of trade-off scenarios could be resolved particularly in organization
context? The answer lies to the establishment of a strong normative system which means a system
which could have the ability to sense about good or bad. Without an effective normative system,
organizations cannot move in the right direction. In short, values are part of a normative system
which plays a decisive role in organizational decision making and communication. Unfortunately, we
can observe that the normative system is in weakening or declining in this modern age. This is
because the information which is coming from various channels is diffusing or blurring our view
about good and bad. Therefore, we tend to have a degenerating normative system. Consequently, the
successful organizations go for revisualization, restructuring, reorganizing of values known as
cultural revitalization over a period of time.
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