A Process Model of Organizational Change in Cultural Context ([OC.Sup.3] Model): The Impact of Organizational Culture on Leading Change

By Latta, Gail F. | Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, August 2009 | Go to article overview

A Process Model of Organizational Change in Cultural Context ([OC.Sup.3] Model): The Impact of Organizational Culture on Leading Change


Latta, Gail F., Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies


Change resides at the heart of leadership. Organizational culture is one of many situational variables that have emerged as pivotal in determining the success of leaders' efforts to implement change initiatives. This article introduces a process model of organizational change in cultural context ([OC.sup.3] Model) derived from ethnographic analysis. The model delineates the differential impact of organizational culture at every stage of change implementation. Eight stages of cultural influence are identified and illustrated. Research propositions are stated to encourage refinement of the model. Theoretical and practical implications for leadership are explored; applications for resolving organizational immunity to change are discussed.

Keywords: organizational culture; organizational change; leadership theory; sensemaking; process model; ethnography;

Purpose and Research Questions

The primary objective of this study was to model the interaction between organizational culture and change, delineating the ways in which a leader's knowledge of organizational culture affects the process of implementing change, and identifying the stages of the change process at which the interaction between organizational culture and change implementation holds functional significance. Many existing models of organizational change acknowledge the influence of tacit dimensions of organizational life at one or more stages of the change process (Bate, Khan, & Pye, 2000; Burke, 2008; Demers, 2007; Wilkins & Dyer, 1988). These models reflect differing levels of granularity with respect to the process of effecting organizational change, and each recognizes distinctive stages of change implementation (By, 2005). The Model of Organizational Change in Cultural Context ([OC.sup.3] Model) introduced in this article was developed to reflect critical stages in the process of change implementation where organizational culture exerts differential influence.

The [OC.sup.3] Model was derived from an ethnographic study undertaken to investigate how organizational culture shapes the development and mediates the implementation and impact of change initiatives introduced by newly appointed leaders recruited from outside large, complex organizations. Research questions focused on (a) how knowledge of organizational culture is acquired by newly appointed leaders, (b) how cultural knowledge affects the process of change implementation, and (c) how tacit elements of organizational culture influence efforts to effect change. This article presents theoretical propositions of the [OC.sup.3] Model, positioning it within the context of existing conceptual and process models of organizational change and establishing an agenda for future research. Implications for leadership and organizational studies are explored.

Models of Organizational Change

Leadership scholars have studied organizational change from both conceptual and process perspectives. Conceptual approaches focus on the antecedents and consequences of change (the "what"); process views address roles and strategies required for implementation (the "how") (Burke, 2008, p. 154, emphasis in original).

Conceptual Models

Conceptual models of change concentrate on the content and magnitude of strategic initiatives, with particular emphasis on the cognitive mechanisms implicated in effecting intended outcomes. Golembiewski, Billingsley, and Yeager (1976) conceptualized three levels of change--alpha, beta and gamma--based on the degree to which individuals are required to modify their underlying cognitive mechanisms for assessing the behavioral outcomes of change initiatives. Other conceptual models of change emphasize the mental constructs that mediate sensemaking in organizations. These content theories of change invoke the notion of schemata (Bartunek & Moch, 1987) or theories-in-use (Argyris, 1976) as mental constructs functioning to focus attention, interpret experience, and assign meaning to events. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Process Model of Organizational Change in Cultural Context ([OC.Sup.3] Model): The Impact of Organizational Culture on Leading Change
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.