Organizational Culture Cannot Be Managed
Why do we feel that we fit more in a company than in others? Is it possible that managers implement a set of ideas and make us feel a particular way about the company we work for, or us, as individuals, with our own set of values adapted to the others sets of ideas? There are some relevant examples offered by Knights and Willmott (2012): Why did Honda worker adjust the windscreen wipers on the Honda cars as he passed on by the way home to make them look "perfect" and a Procter&Gamble employee bought all the P&G products from his local store because the labels were wrongly positioned? These questions can be analyzed through the study of Organizational Culture.
A key aspect in in the literature on organizational culture is whether it can be managed as any other organizational variable by managers.
While there are studies criticizing the idea that culture can be managed (Willmott, 1993; Legger, 1994), a survey in the United Kingdom concluded that 94% of organisations were undergoing or already experienced cultural change (IRS, 1997, in Ogbonna and Harris, 2002). This results show that there is a considerable difference between academics, who are reserved to the idea that culture can be managed and the actions of practitioners, who engage in managing organisational culture.
Before analyzing the arguments around the debate of managing the organsational culture, there is a need to understand the concept of "organizational culture". The rise of research on organizational culture was due to the belief during late 70's that the Japanese companies have some special operating characteristics, but there were no significant conclusions, as pointed out by Ouchi and Wilkins (1985). They add that the concept of "organizational culture" emerged from anthropological, social...