This course has helped me acquire a deeper understanding of how one can manage NGOs about the organizational culture. Everything I have learned can be compressed into a list of three items. First, I learned the importance of organizational culture. I arrived at the idea that organizational culture is more than just a sum of all the values, expectations, and practices; instead, it is an intricate intercommunication between explicit and implicit philosophy and rituals that is often difficult to measure and manage (Schein & Schein, 2016). Second, I learned the peculiarities of the organizational culture of international NGOs.
According to the model Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, cultures of different nationalities may differ considerably on six axes, including power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism vs. collectivism, masculinity vs. femininity, long-term vs. short-term orientation, and indulgence (Hofstede, 2009). Therefore, managing international NGOs that have representatives from different cultures may be associated with significant complications.
Finally, I learned that every manager needs to work with culture. Working with culture implies designing changes sensitive to the organization’s culture (Dong et al., 2011). To work with culture, practitioners need to assess the current culture, make a list of alternatives to change, select the most appropriate alternative according to culture, implement the change, and then assess the outcomes to draw insights (Dong et al., 2011). As an NGO leader, I can use the knowledge I acquired during the course. When managing change in NGOs, I will need to carefully assess the organizational culture to ensure minimal resistance.
I think that the biggest challenge when working with the culture of NGOs is overcoming resistance to change. According to Lewin (1947), resistance to change I deeply rooted in the organizational culture, which implies that resistance can be mitigated only through thorough assessment and complete awareness of organizational culture. Since the organizational culture of NGOs is difficult to appreciate, addressing resistance to change may be difficult.
Dong, X., Chang, E. S., Wong, E., & Simon, M. (2011). Working with culture: Lessons learned from a community-engaged project in a Chinese aging population. Aging Health, 7(4), 529-537.
Hofstede, G. (2009). Geert Hofstede cultural dimensions. Web.
Lewin, K. (1947). Frontiers in Group Dynamics: Concepts, Methods, and Reality in Social Science; Social Equilibria and Social Change. Human Relations, 1(1), pp. 5-42.
Schein, P., & Schein, E. H. (2016). Organizational culture and leadership. Wiley.