Cultural web - Change Management

Johnson and Scholes (1999) have designed what they call a ‘cultural web’, the elements of which go to make up the prevailing culture of an organization and which if adjusted can enable cultural change to occur in furtherance of the organizational change initiatives. At the centre of this web is what they call the ‘paradigm’, an underlying set of assumptions embodying what the organizationis all about – where it’s going, how it’s going to get there and the core values to which it adheres. The organization’s control systems monitor and evaluate its operating performance. Some organizations will have tight control systems (for example, banks or publicly accountable operations), others will be looser (for example start-ups or more entrepreneurial firms). Organizational structures will represent the hierarchical structure, lines of accountability and responsibility, and communication and production flows. Power structures on the other hand map out where power and authority lie in terms of decision making and mandate holding, whether power is centrally held or locally dispersed, whether leadership is located at the top of the organization or is distributed, and on what power is based – whether it’s position or role, or expert power or personal charismatic power. Symbols would be artefacts or architecture which some how encapsulates what the organization values. These might include designs such as the corporate logo and uniform but would also include building design and such things as office space and car parking space. Rituals and routines cover how the organization has come to organize and structure some of the things that it does – hence the norm for organizational meetings, how reports are written and presented, how people are enfolded into the company and how they leave. Stories and myths are what get chosen to be communicated formally and informally around the organization when describing significant events and personalities in its history, in its current situation or as part of its future strategy.

As the name implies, a web is very inter connected and one element wil limpact on others and be influenced in turn by them.


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