Organizational Behavior: A Model for Cultural Change

By Ahls, Bill | Industrial Management, July/August 2001 | Go to article overview

Organizational Behavior: A Model for Cultural Change


Ahls, Bill, Industrial Management


Executive Summary

An organization's success depends on the people who populate it Individual development, employee empowerment, and socialization are important topics related to organizational behavior and the speed at which a company can use personnel for maximum effectiveness.

Competition is a method by which opposing elements bid for resources and power. From victories earned at the Olympic Games of centuries ago through which men gained status and riches, to contemporary trade shows at which manufacturing companies compete for emerging markets, competition leads to winners and losers. What separates the winners from the losers in corporate America is the ability to provide customers exactly what they want in a manner that is profitable.

More then ever, staying competitive means maintaining a constant focus on market demands and rival forces. Increased pressures due to globalization and participants once foreign to U.S. markets have necessitated a re-evaluation of the key behaviors in an enterprise that can lead to success.

There are three elements crucial to staying competitive: maximum quality, minimum cost, and on-time delivery. This triumvirate of quality, cost, and delivery, often referred to as QCD, is what allows companies to thrive, whether they are service industries or manufacturers. The key organizational behaviors that affect QCD are abundant and offer an endless supply of opportunities for improvement. Some of these behaviors include:

Incremental continuous improvement and innovation

Change management

Unification of the culture

Managing critical variables

Individual development, employee empowerment, and socialization

Forming, developing, and optimizing teams

Innovation isn't everything Since the 1970s in the United States, innovation has been viewed as the answer to staying competitive. Large-scale improvement of existing processes, such as the rollout of an ERP system or the acquisition of new equipment, provided management with returns on investment that were difficult to ignore. It is a safe bet that, without innovation, companies will eventually be left behind or even eliminated.

The Japanese believe that innovation alone leaves a company unstable. Although innovation offers a one-shot, largescale improvement, a company is destined for a steady decline in performance until the next innovation arrives, which may never happen. Reliance on innovation alone has inherent risks (Figure 1).

For years, the Japanese have believed in complementing innovation with continuous improvement. Indeed, many U.S. companies are seeing the value of that strategy today Continuous improvement in Japan is referred to as kaizen and is believed to offer a stable source of improvement, with or without innovation. A company does not have to rely on innovation for success and job security since kaizen, as depicted in Figure 2, keeps profitability steadily on the rise.

Continuous improvement activities range from quality control circles and short-term, focused activities to incentive suggestion programs and the regular use of statistical process control charts. All of these can and should be incorporated into the business model and made an integral part of company culture.

Effective change management is vital to any organization. Typically, vast amounts of resources are expended to adjust employees to a new way of achieving the corporate mission. Frustration can abound when a manager is not prepared to deal with the inevitable resistance to change. Many different models for change attempt to provide a path for facilitating change and affording a company the opportunity to go quickly from idea generation to implementation.

John Kotter, the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership at the Harvard Business School, has a contemporary model for effecting change that involves an eight-stage process:

1. …

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

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.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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

Organizational Behavior: A Model for Cultural 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.
    Buy instant access 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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.