Conduct a critical examination of the role of leadership in organisational cultural change.

Essay by pp186University, Master's March 2005

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In order to fully answer the question one must begin by discussing the concepts of leadership, culture and organisational cultural change. First, what do we mean by the concept culture. The term can be defined in several ways depending on where you are coming from whether you are a sociologist, social anthropologist or even a management consultant. Generally speaking culture is a set of rules and behaviour patterns that shape a society. It is the beliefs, attitudes and values that exist within a society. (Shein,1984). In an organisational content, culture is the way we do things around here.

As for organisational culture, the concept can be analysed at several different levels. The immediate level centres on artefacts for example. These are the more obvious and outward signs of how the group is organised. Such things as office layout, manner of dress, language used, behaviour patterns, rules and procedures, reward and appraisal systems and technology.

The foregoing example of artefacts tell us how the group construct its environment and how its members behave between themselves and towards outsiders. But then how and why the group behaves the way it does needs to be investigated. Other levels of organisational culture include beliefs, values and the underlying assumptions about a groups culture. Values are hard to observe. Sometimes employees from the same organisation who do not even know each other's existence might hold certain common values.

The next concept to evaluate is leadership. Experts recognise leadership as the art of influencing and directing people in a manner that wins their obedience, confidence, respect and enthusiastic co-operation in achieving a common objective (Torrington, Hall and Taylor 2002). Leaders are people who employ techniques and apply principles in order to motivate people into achieving the best results. A good leader will motivate his subordinates into...