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Organizational Behavior and Culture Change

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This chapter will contain the literature review section of the research paper. It will contain four sections which will be discussed. These sections include the definitions and the theoretical framework.

Definition of Key Concepts


These are the inherent views or ways of conducting of affairs by a particular community or society. These views on the mode of operation often vary from one community to another. Researches that have been conducted in various regions have succinctly proved the ramifications of different cultures on the operations and performance of various organizations. Multinational entities that have subsidiaries in different geographical locations often are cognizant of the cultural diversities in the various countries that they are operating in (Hofstede 2000).

A definition of culture has been advanced by Schein (1985). He defined culture as a sequence of common beliefs that a particular group formulates or adapts as a result of dealing with a specific problem. These beliefs are often passed on to the rest of the members of the group that was not present initially.

Organization Culture

Different organizations have distinct cultures that are often passed down to new employees. These cultures usually distinguish one organization from the other. An organization’s culture could involve the unique way of operating, the various styles of dealing with disputes, staff appraisals or the mode of inducting a new employee. An organization’s culture often influences the attitude and ideologies of the members of that organization (Trompenaars, 1993). An organization’s mission and vision statements usually influence an organization's culture. The vision and mission of an organization serve as the roadmap of an organization's destination and usually shapes a shared belief among the members of an organization. The essence of a culture in an organization is to unite the members and also to guide the members to adhere to a set of standards that have been set.

According to Bellot (2011), the culture of any organization is segmented into three levels. The first one is the surface, the second one is the middle and the third one is the deepest. The first level comprises of the things that are visible in an organization. These include the dress code, the various structures and policies in place and the various ways of undertaking various tasks. The middle level consists of the inherent beliefs or ideas that are shared among the members of the organization. The third level is the deepest and these are the opinions that have been held by members of the organization from one generation to the other. Organizations often incorporate a values system where employees are recognized and motivated to improve their performance.

Types of Organization Culture

There are three broad types of organizational cultures. These include a strong culture, a weak culture and an adaptive culture (Smart & St. John, 1996). A strong culture is one that fosters the cohesion of employees due to a multiplicity of factors that are shared among members of an organization. Deal (2005) stated that bonding is premised on effective communication from the management to the employees in order to stipulate the various roles that need to be played by both factions. Communication needs to be clear in order to avoid ambiguity which hampers the general performance of an organization. Effective communication enables an organization to save on the resources that are used in following up or at the time that the members of the staff take to decode vague instructions that are given to them. Strong cultures are effective since they enable the organization to remain firm amidst numerous external turbulences that might rock an organization. A strong culture of integrity or proactiveness ensures that an organization remains credible and efficient therefore minimizing customer complaints.

 A weak culture fails to promote unity and coherence within an organization. The members of the organization often feel segregated and do not own the affairs of the organization. Most often a weak culture hampers the morale of the staff members and consequently affects the loyalty that they have towards the organization. Staff morale and loyalty usually adversely affects the performance of the employees and the organization at large. Due to the fact that the employees in the organization are not motivated, they might have a tendency of resigning in order to look for better organizations.  

Kottler et. al (1992) stated that a weak culture is often marred with a lot of politics within an organization. Most of the activities in an organization with a weak culture are hardly resolved through a unanimous decision. Most of the members of such an organization are enemies of progress and have a sense of belief perseverance that resists any change in the customary modes of operation. Most of the members in a weak culture hardly get along and in some instances, the members engage in physical altercations.

An adaptive culture is where an organization is ready and willing to advocate for change in order to suit the prevailing conditions. At some point, organizations need to adapt in order to keep up with the consumer tastes and the ever-changing business trends. Most of the time, an adaptive culture might lead to a loss of a customary culture of an organization. Some of the adaptive cultures that organizations in the contemporary world have had to contend with involve the incorporation of Information Communication and Technology within the organizations. This is manifested through e-commerce, e-procurement, and use of social media to advertise.

Cultural Change

Cultural change is a comparison between radical and conservative change. Most often it requires an individual to input a lot of effort and might take a lot of time to achieve it. There are various forms of cultural change. Change in cultures stems out from revolutions and elaborate methods that are employed to foster the change the general mode of operation of organizations. Most often, organizations implement gradual efforts that are designed to reorganize and reshape the entire culture of an organization. This mode of culture change is often referred to as incremental or gradual change. It is the most suitable method in order to avoid too much resistance.

The next type of culture change is the revolutionary or radical mode of culture change. These are efforts that are initiated by the organization that intends to overhaul the preexisting cultural practices (Armengol Asparó, 2000). In order to effectively implement culture change, the various stakeholders in the organization need to cooperate and take measures to ensure that the change is feasible. The cooperation of these various stakeholders incorporates two basic concepts; the first one is the unfreezing of the preexisting cultural practices. This entails taking positive steps to ensure that the ideologies that were held by members of an organization are eliminated. The second concept is the freezing of the mind. This involves imparting the new culture to the various members of the organization and ensuring that they are embedded in the daily routines of all the members.

The biggest actor in dealing with culture change is the human resource department of any organization. The human resource department needs to be tailored to ensure that the employees that are recruited are able to be inducted into the organization. Induction ensures that a new employee is able to adapt comfortably within the organization. The human resource needs to employ very strategic plans that ensure that the organization manpower is operating up to the required standards. The strategic plan ensures that the organization's vision and mission are shared with the employees and this is necessary in order to foster culture change. The human resource department can enhance the prevalence of change by ensuring that it provides appropriate communication models. The different forms of communication that are prevalent in a company include the use of memos, briefings, and newsletters (Armengol Asparó, 2000).

Organizational Behavior

Organizational behavior and culture both affect the development and eventual output in any organization. Some of the organizational behavior that affects an organization's performance include giving the employees in an organization the mandate to take part in some of the issues that affect and relate to the management of an organization. Employee participation needs to complement the organization's mission and vision (Arthur, 1994). This is necessary since it ensures that the effort an employee puts in their line of work is geared towards meeting the objectives of the organization.

Organizational behavior affects the commitment within an organization. The components of organizational commitment are categorized either as continuance, affective and normative. Continuance commitment relates to the loyalty of the employees to stick by the organization after looking at the costs that would be incurred in the event that they leave (Phipps, Prieto & Ndinguiri, 2013).  Affective commitment permitted the members to continue enjoying the benefits of being members of the organization (Phipps, Prieto & Ndinguiri, 2013). The normative aspect related to the rights and duties that an organization had (Phipps, Prieto & Ndinguiri, 2013).

Organizational behavior is influenced by a multiplicity of factors (Phipps, Prieto & Ndinguiri, 2013). These factors include the legislative framework that has been put in place to regulate the organization. Other factors that influence the behavior of an organization include the intensity of the competition in the market, the changing market and employment trends and finally the influence of technology on an organization (Phipps, Prieto & Ndinguiri, 2013).

It is noted that employee organizational behavior greatly affects the human resource function in an organization and consequently has far reaching effects on overall performance of an organization. Phipps, Prieto & Ndinguiri (2013) employed a qualitative analysis of secondary sources of information such as books and other researches with the aim of determining the impact of organizational behavior on the performance of an organization. Some of the inferences that were drawn from this study included the understanding that employee involvement was directly proportional to the productivity of an organization. Another inference that was drawn was that knowledge sharing positively influenced the productivity of an organization.

Phipps, Prieto & Ndinguiri, (2013) highlighted the fact that employee involvement at different stages in the management of an organization led to the improvement of the overall performance. The authors came to this conclusion after conducting a number of case studies on a bank which proved that employee autonomy in the banking sector was the catalyst in the overwhelming service delivery within the sector (Phipps, Prieto & Ndinguiri, 2013). The employees also feel part and parcel of the organization when they are involved and therefore they consolidate their efforts in ensuring that they enable an organization to meet its vision. The article first depicts the nature of organizational development and highlights the manner with which the concept can be combined with organizational change in order to yield positive results on the overall performance of an organization.

However, the article by (Phipps, Prieto & Ndinguiri, (2013) was silent in highlighting the upshot of overindulging the employees in the activities of an organization. Most often when the employees are given the autonomy of managing their affairs, some abuse it by underperforming or engaging in malpractice in relation to activities within the organization Over commitment might also lead to underperformance of some employees due to digressing from their set duties as per their job description and focusing on other issues that do not necessarily require their input.

With as much as the management of various organizations would wish to foster employee involvement in the various facets of the organization, they should be cognizant of the setbacks that this might have on the overall performance of the organization (Ganesh, 2016). There should be a clear-cut framework that caps the involvement of the employees in order to streamline operations in an organization (Ganesh, 2016). This framework will also ensure that all employees are aware of the tasks that are delegated to them and enable them to tailor their efforts.

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