Design and Culture in Organizational Change

Organization Design is defined as the process of integrating people and information systems in an organization. It deals with the creation of roles and production processes for the members of the organization. The organization design is based on the purpose of the group and is tailored by the goals that the group sets out to achieve. The Design Process begins with creating a strategy that will act as a guideline for the members’ actions, the strategy is acquired from the organization’s philosophy, it correlates the members’ actions to the goals and values of the organization and it encourages activities that support the organizations’ goals.

Organizational culture has an array of definitions, according to Becker and Geer (1989, p. 19) it is defined as a set of understandings around which actions are organized and it is made up of the values and norms of an organization that controls members’ attitudes and their behaviors. Allaire and Firsirotu (1984, pp. 34-6) defined organizational culture as a system of knowledge that is used as a standard of believing, persuading, evaluating, and acting in human communities. Organizational culture differs from organization to organization, for example, the culture of large multinational companies is different from those of a school. Culture affects organizational behaviors, strategies, the corporate image, products, services provided and much more. There are different types of cultures, these include; academy culture, does the organization provide a conducive environment in which the employees can develop their existing and acquire new skills? Baseball team culture, do the employees have skills that make them in high demand in the job market? Club culture; how does the organization promote its employees? The difference between organizational culture and organizational design is that organizational culture is a larger picture of a formal organization; it covers many other smaller issues in the organization. The design refers to the creation of roles and other processes; therefore, the organizational culture encompasses the organizational design.

Most corporate organizations like these insurance companies, as well as basic institutions today, are bureaucratic in nature, this means that power and responsibility are organized into a hierarchy and the hierarchies are governed by rules and regulations. From the data we note that all the graphs are downward sloping, which means that there is a big difference between the answers received from the top directors and workers, the top directors feel that the leadership in place is exceptional but the lower management and workers tend to think otherwise. The questions that received the lowest scores with the workers tend to focus on the employee’s sense of value to the organization and loyalty; this means that the employee does not feel valuable to the organization. We note that although the leaders encourage teamwork and are approachable, the employees do not have a sense of belonging and this explains why the new CEO feels that he should create an organization that appreciates all the employees. We can deduce that the workers are not satisfied with their jobs; this is because the majority of the answers scored below 45% the leadership in this organization is wanting as the leaders do not set good examples that the workers can emulate, this problem lies with the lower-level managers as they are closest to the workers, perhaps it is because they share similar problems with the workers concerning their relationship with the senior managers. However, the senior managers seem to have a relatively better relationship with their superiors, this explains why their answers are clustered in the range of 50% to 75% and the directors have a similar relationship to the vice president. The problem with leadership effectively rests in management

Wal-Mart is one of the largest employers in the United States of America, Canada and Mexico, it is responsible for large revenues in the government and has a reputation for employment litigation and labor unions have not been successful in organizing Wal-Mart employees into labor unions. According to a 2009 employee job satisfaction survey by society for human resource management, Wal-Mart’s practices are not exploitative in nature, the workers have high job satisfaction and this has contributed to Wal-Mart’s success. Although Wal-Mart is a very large company, the workers are in close contact with their supervisors, this is because most of the stores have departmental meetings every morning so that various issues can be addressed and the employees can voice their concerns. Employee satisfaction surveys have postulated that the workers love their jobs because the job is stress-free and the management is efficient in handling day-to-day challenges that occur in the workplace. Although the pay could always be improved, this does not seem to be a prime concern to the employees.

NetApp is a company that deals with supplying data storage and management solutions to businesses cost-effectively. On January 12th, 2010 NetApp was ranked number seven by fortune magazine as one of the best a hundred companies to work for. The employees at NetApp are a happy lot because the management has cultivated a healthy relationship with the workers and the workers are compensated adequately for their efforts. The company boasts high retention rates and productivity making it an ideal place to work for any qualified employee.

The contentious issue in the company rests in the leadership style. Understanding the characteristics of leadership behaviors in the organization provides the motivation that people need in order to overcome the challenges they face in the organization. Tough leadership styles lead to frustration among the employees by the inability to participate in making decisions that affect them, when an organization practices participative leadership the employees feel like a part of the organization and hence improves their loyalty and job satisfaction (Jex & Britt. 2008 pp.416). The leaders do not inspire the workers to work hard because they hardly demonstrate the company’s core values and ideals, the managers should learn to walk the talk and not merely talk in order for changes to occur, they should be role models to the employees. A structure should be established that will help to support the change, this could d be in form of a steering committee of a leadership group that is to be supported by a feedback system from the employees

Organizational change is responsible for socialization and supporting the implementation of different structures (Melcher, 1976, pp. 76-9). Change occurs mainly because of internal factors and external factors and learning organization culture helps to determine the organization’s possibility of succeeding after the employment of the change and how fit is the organization to undergo such changes (Sandelands, 2010, p. 28). It is important to realize that the members at the bottom of the hierarchy in the organization must be included in the planning and implementation of the organizational change for the change to be successful, when the employees are involved they will be less likely to resist the change. Organizational culture is important when implementing organizational change, when trying to change the organizational structures in order to improve its efficiency the organizational culture must be changed as well.

Communication is a key structure in the implementation of change the method of delivering the message and the timing matter a lot in the organization (Melcher, 1976, pp. 103-6) people will need to be told why the change is being made and how the change will affect them. By channeling the message through the direct supervisors, the employees will handle the change better than if they heard it from the directors.

Considering the large size of the company, the CEO should implement the change gradually over a long period of time considering the company size it should take at least one year, this will give the employees time to adapt to the changes without causing much stress the Senior leaders should also take part in the training that the rest of the employees attend they should learn new management styles in response to the changes. Lastly, a reward system must be put into place that will act as a measure of the accomplishment t and an incentive to the workers for undertaking the change adequately.


Allaire, Yvan, & Firsirotu, Mihaela E. (1984). Theories of organizational culture. Web.

Becker, Howard S., & Geer, Blanche (1989). Sociological inquiry. Web.

Jex, S. M., & Britt, T. W. (2008). Organizational psychology: A scientist-practitioner approaches (2nd Ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Lloyd, Sandelands. (2010). Journal of organizational change management. Web.

Melcher, A.J. (1976). Structure and Process of Organizations: A Systems Approach. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

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