Cultural Change and Managerial Careers

Essay by chan_8University, Bachelor'sA+, June 2004

download word file, 18 pages 4.0 2 reviews


The cultural view of organizations offers the idea that all organizations have within them the possibility and the capacity to change[1]. Just as the personalities of individuals change over the years as a result of interaction with their social surroundings, so do organizational cultures. Morgan[2] argues that a static view of an organization's culture implies that either the environment is static or that the organization is closed to environmental changes.

Management researchers have recently explored the impact of human resources (HR) practices, specifically reward systems and management development, in facilitating cultural change processes within organizations. Whilst some authors (for example, Brown and Payne[3]) are critical of the intensive uses of those practices as powerful instruments for cultural change processes, others[4,5,6] believe that there is a relationship based on causality between corporate culture and human resource systems. Burack[7], for instance, in his theoretical paper argues that HRM has a crucial, challenging role to play in successfully "orchestrating" strategic culture change.

This article reports the experience of four British organizations (Jaguar Cars, British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL), British Airways (BA) and British Airports Authority (BAA)) experiencing major change in their organizational values and beliefs, provoked by the decision to privatize. It explores the roles of leaders and HR practices, in particular managerial career systems, in facilitating the process of culture change.

It contains the following sections: a discussion of the concepts of culture, how it forms and changes; an explanation of the research methods used to conduct the research; a description of the findings; and the main conclusions drawn from the research.

The Meaning of Corporate Culture

Since the early 1980s, the idea of corporate culture has acquired the status of a dominant concept in the popular and academic management literature of the US and UK. There is, however, confusion surrounding...