Organizational culture is the general pattern of behavior, shared beliefs, values and norms among members of an organization.
It involves the learning and transmission of knowledge beliefs and pattern of behavior over a period of time, meaning that organizational culture is fairly stable and does not change fast.
The term corporate culture is commonly used interchangeably with words like climate, atmosphere and environment
Specific definitions of culture
v  Aldridge and Crombine (1994)
Defined culture of the organization as unique configurations of norms, values, beliefs and ways of behaving that characterizes the manner in which groups and individuals combine to get things done in an organization
v  Furnham and Gunter (1993)
They defined culture as the commonly held beliefs, attitudes and values that exist in an organization. Put more simply “culture is the way we do things around here”.
Factors determining organizational culture
v  Values held by top managers;
They shape the climate for the enterprise. Their values influence the direction of the firm. Leaders who act as role models set the ground for organizational culture. In successful companies value driven corporate leaders set the standards of performance, motivate their employees and promote the corporate image.
v  History of the organization:
A company founded by a strong personality that leaves his / her marks on the firm will follow the original model.
v  Top manager’s vision:
The desires of the chief executive affect the culture of an organization. If he has a big vision it will affect how the organization
v  Economic conditions;
Depending on the economic conditions prevailing, a company may follow “loose tight budgetary controls” a culture of strict controls may prevail if the manager believes that the cost needs to be kept to the minimum due to poor economic conditions.
v  Leadership style prevailing in the organization:
Authoritarian leadership style may lead to low individual autonomy motivation. Democratic style of leadership influences a culture of co-operation in the management.
v  Organizational policies;
Specific organizational policies e.g. a policy that states that retrenchment will be used only as a last resort to cope with business down turn would foster an internal environment that is supportive and humanistic.
v  Organizational structures:
E.g. in bureaucratic structures characterized by centralization of authority and strict rules and procedures the climate tends to be tense. Employees are less motivated and are not involved in decision making
v  Characteristics of members;
Personal characteristics of members of an organization may affect the climate prevailing in the organization. An organization with highly educated and young employees is likely to have a culture that promotes competitiveness, calculated risk-taking, frankness of opinions etc.
v  Organization size:
In a small sized organization it is much easier to foster a cohesive climate where members work very closely and cooperatively. Informal leadership may therefore be easily implemented in such an organization. A large organization would have a more bureaucratic kind of management with strict policies and procedures to be followed.
v  Level of employee motivation;
Where employees are poorly rewarded / compensated a culture of less commitment to work may develop and corrupt practices. E.g. a culture of corruption within the civil service due to poor remuneration to civil servants.
These are beliefs about what is best or good for the organization and what should or ought to happen. The ‘value set” of an organization may mostly be recognized at the top management level or it may be shared throughout the business in which case the organization could be described as value driven. The stronger the values the more they will influence behavior.
Refers to unwritten rules of behavior i.e. informal guidelines on how people behave in an organization. Norm’s tell people that what they are supposed to be doing, saying believing and even wearing.
They are never expressed in writing. If they were, they could become policies and procedures.
They are expressed by word of mouth or behavior and can be enforced by the reactions of people belonging to a group if they are violated i.e. group productivity norms
This refers to visible and tangible aspects of an organization that people see hear or feel through the sensory organs.
Artifacts can also include such things as the working environment, the tone and language used in letters and memorandum, the manner in which people address each other in meetings or over the telephone, the welcome or lack of welcome given to visitors or the way in which receptionist deal with outside calls. Artifacts can be very revealing about the organization.
Managers may implement the following programmes to preserve what is good functional about the present culture.
   Re- affirming existing values
   Using financial and non- financial rewards to reward individuals and teamwork.
   Ensuring that induction or orientation procedures cover the core values and how people are expected to behave.
   Emphasizing corporate values in performance appraisal.
A change in organizational culture may be made in the following areas:
  1. Performance: e.g. using performance related or competence related pay schemes such as payment by result system.
  2. Commitment: e.g. using communication participation and involvement programmes
  3. Quality; e.g. using total quality programmes such as quality teams.
  4. Customer service: e.g. using customer care programmes
  5. Teamwork: e.g. team building team performance management, team rewards etc
  6. Leadership: e.g. changing top leadership and leadership system used in the organization such as bureaucratic to democratic leadership style.
  7. Technology: i.e. changing the technology to improve efficiency and change work culture e.g. computerization.
  8. Work attitudes: e.g. changing the company’s rules, policies, and procedures etc
There are both external and internal forces that result in pressure for change,
ü  External Forces:
The external forces that create the need for change come from various sources. Some of them are as follows:
ü  Competitive Market Force:
Increased competition can force an organization to implement the changes needed to remain competitive.
ü  Government laws and regulations:
Changes in the regulations governing the sector or industry in which the organization is operating can be a catalyst for change within an organization.
ü  Technology:
Technology is ever changing and this becomes an impetus for change if an organization is to remain relevant in a changing environment.
ü  Labor Markets:
The labour market is also changing especially with increased workforce diversity and this also necessitates change in an organization.
ü  Economic Changes:
Changes such as interest rates and the currency strength are bound to be a strong force to push the organization to change to respond appropriately.
Internal Forces:
Internal forces can also stimulate the need for change. These internal forces tend to originate primarily from the internal operations of the organizations or from the impact of external changes.
Structural factors:
A problem in the organizational structure such as inability to facilitate proper communication can be an impetus for change in an organization.
When an organization redefines its business strategy, then such an action is bound to be followed by requisite changes to facilitate the achievement of the strategy.
Organizations Workforce:
This can be as a result of change in workforce diversity which may necessitate some changes in an organization in response.
The introduction of new technology within the organization can also be an internal force for change. For instance it would cause some jobs to be redefined to reflect the change.
Employee Attitudes:
Change of attitudes in employees for the better could lead to certain positive changes such as decreased employee turnover.
Change disturbs the status quo and it is not always that employees will embrace it easily. Resistance is bound to be witnessed by organization seeking to introduce any change. Such resistance can be direct or indirect or hidden.
Individual Resistance
a)      Habit: The team members are habituated or conditioned to do their job or activity in a particular way. When they are asked to do differently, they tend to respond to resist change.  When employees are asked to move to new office building across the town, they are likely to change their routine habits like waking up ten minutes earlier, finding new parking place, adjusting to new office layout, developing new lunch time routine etc.
b)      Security:  The team members with a high need for security are likely to resist change because it threatens their feelings of safety. When Indian Railway introduced new online booking for their reservations, employees may have similar fears.
c)      Economic Factors: If the members feel that the new changes result in lower pay, they may likely to resist change process. Changes in jobs or established work routine can also arouse economic fears if people are concerned that they won’t be able to perform the new tasks or routines to their previous standards, especially when the pay is closely tied to productivity.
d)     Fear of the Unknown: The cashiers or secretaries might fear the new activities due to lack of knowledge in operating the new software program. They might develop a negative attitude towards working with new programs or behave dysfunctionally if required to use them. Employees in organizations hold the same dislike for uncertainty. For example, if an organization introduced TQM, the production employees will have to learn statistical process control techniques. Therefore, they may develop a negative attitude towards TQM or behavior dysfunctionally if required to use statistical techniques.
e)      Selective Information Processing: Once the team members shape their world through their own way, they prefer to do their work based on their perceptions. If the change process demands to follow the new method, the members tend to resist. So individuals are guilty of selectively processing information in order to keep their perception intact. They hear what they want to hear. They ignore information that challenges the world they have created.
f)       Organizational Resistance
g)      Some organizations prefer to follow their routine and reluctant to venture new things or follow any new methods of doing. Government agencies want to continue doing what they have been doing for years, whether the need for their service changes or remains the same. Six major sources of organizational resistance have been identified. They are as follows:
h)      Structural Inertia: Organizations have built in mechanisms to produce stability. For instance, the training and orientation programs reinforce specific role requirements and skills. Formalization provides job descriptions, rules and procedures for employees to follow. Once the routine has been established, organization is very reluctant to adapt to new changes. When an organization is confronted with the change process, the team members tend to resist.
i)        Limited Focus of Change: The change process is interlinked. One activity cannot be changed without affecting the others. If change is introduced in technology without considering the structural changes, the change in technology is not likely to be accepted. Organizations are made up of number of interdependent subsystems.
j)        Group Inertia: Sometimes the group norm or standards could act as a constraint. For example, the union norms may dictate resistance to change process.
k)      Threat to Expertise: The change process could threaten the expertise of team members of the groups. Once the members feel that they are forced to learn something new, they tend to resist. The introduction of decentralized personal computers, which allow managers to gain access to information directly from a company’s mainframe, is an example of a change that was strongly resisted by many information system departments in the 1980s. Because of decentralized end - user computing was a threat to the specialized skills held by those in the centralized information system departments
l)        Threat to Established Power Relationship: The change process can threaten long established power relationships within the organization. Due to this reason, the members can resist the change.
m)    Threat to established resource allocation:  The group, which enjoys sizable resources, may not like to accept the change process that facilitates reduction in their budget.
John Kotter and Leonard Schlesinger offered six ways of overcoming resistance to change, which are highly situation dependent. More than one of these techniques may be used in any given situations.
a)      Education and Communication: If the logic and advantages of the change are explained early to the team members, resistance can be reduced. This can be achieved through one- to- one discussions, memos, group presentations, or reports. This tactics assumes that the source of resistance lies in misinformed or poor communication. If the team members received the full facts and have their misunderstanding cleared up, their resistance will subside. Once people have bought into the idea, they will implement the change. The only problem is that this could be very time consuming process, if too many people are to be communicated with.
b)      Participation and Involvement: Resistance to change can be reduced or eliminated by having those involved participate in the decision of the change through meetings and induction. It is difficult for individuals to resist a change decision in which they participated.  Once people have had an opportunity to contribute ideas and become a part of the change process, they will be less inclined to see it fail. However, working in committees or task forces is a time consuming activity, and hence it will take a longer time to bring about changes.
c)      Facilitation and Support: Easing the change process and providing support for those caught up in it is another way managers can deal with resistance. Retraining programs, allowing time off after a difficult period, and offering emotional support and understanding may help. This emotional support can be given through empathic listening, offering training and other types of help. Such facilitation and emotional support help individual to deal more effectively with their adjustment problems. This process can be time consuming and there is no guarantee that it will always work.
d)     Negotiation and Agreement: It is sometimes necessary for a team leader to negotiate with potential resistance or exchange something of value for a lessening the resistance. For instance, if the resistance is from a few powerful individuals in the team, a specific reward package can be negotiated that will meet their individual needs.  Though in some instances this may be the relatively easy way to gain acceptance, it is possible that this could be an expensive way of effecting changes as well. Also, if the use of this strategy becomes public knowledge, others might also want to try to negotiate before they accept the change.
e)      Manipulation and Co-optation: The team leader seeks to ‘buy off’ the key members who are resisting by giving them an important role in the change decision. The team leader’s advice is sought, not to arrive at a better decision but to get their endorsement. Some of the co- opting tactics include selectively sharing information and consciously structuring certain types of events that would win support. This can be a quick and relatively easy and inexpensive strategy to gain support. However, the purpose will be defeated if people feel they are being manipulated.
f)       Explicit and Implicit Coercion: The team leaders can force the members to go along with changes by threats involving loss or transfers of jobs, lack of promotion, etc. Such methods, though not uncommon, is more difficult to gain support for future change efforts. This strategy can be particularly resorted to when changes have to be speedily enforced or when changes are of a temporary nature. Though speedy and effective in the short run, it may make people angry and resort to all kinds of mean behaviors in the long run.
Kurt Lewin argued that successful change in organizations should follow three steps
v  Unfreezing the status quo
v  Movement to a new state
v  Refreezing the new change to make it permanent.

It is actually the process of preparing the system for change through disconfirmation of the old practices, attitudes, tendencies, or behaviors. This is the initial phase where those involved in the change experience a need for something different and a sense of restlessness with the status quo. In essence, the feeling that the system is hurting itself badly now and desperately requires a change to survive, is sensed by all. Initiative for changes efforts are taken to overcome the pressures of both individual resistance and group conformity.
Movement to a new state:
Changing or moving is the phase where the changes that have been planned are actually initiated and carried out. Changes could relate to the mission, strategy, objectives, people, tasks, work roles, technology, structure, corporate culture, or any other aspects of the organization. Well thought out changes have to be carefully implemented with participation of the members who will be affected by the change. Changes incorporated too quickly without adequate preparation will result in resistance to change.
It is the last phase of the planned change process. Refreezing ensures that the planned changes that have been introduced are working satisfactorily, that any modifications, extra considerations, or support needed for making the changes operational are attended to, and that there is reasonable guarantee that the changes will indeed fill the gap and bring the system to the new, desired state of equilibrium. This necessarily implies that the results are monitored and evaluated, and wherever necessary corrective measures are taken up to reach the new goal. If the refreezing phase is neglected or temporarily attended to, the desired results will not ensure and the change may even be total disaster.
Forced Field Analysis:
Kurt Lewin stated that there are two types of forces operating in the change process.
I)                   Those forces which prepare or make the system ready for changes to occur, are called as driving forces,
II)                Those forces which oppose or operate against changes taking place in the system, are called as restraining forces.
If the two sets of forces are equal in strength, then the systems is in a state of equilibrium and changes will not occur. If the driving forces are stronger than there straining forces, then the system will be changing to find a new equilibrium as the gap to be filled gets narrowed down. A more viable option is to reduce existing resistance by dealing with and minimizing the forces that resist the change. In practice, a combination of both strategies –reducing the restraining factors and increasing the driving forces often ensures best results.
The four emotional phases people experience when going through change are as follows:  denial, resistance, exploration and commitment.
a)      Denial:
During the initial stages, the members deny the need for change and remain in a state of numbness. They work as usual and there is no progress exists. Employees focus on the known and neglecting themselves future. The way or need to change is not explored.  Employees have ignored the signals of the new changes and managers have not given them a real chance to register their worries and reaction. During the denial phase, managers need to provide information, to communicate clearly the details and reasons for the change, and to encourage employees to ask questions.
b)     Resistance:
The employees experience the self- doubt, anger, depression, anxiety, frustration, fear and uncertainty that accompany major changes. They think about leaving the organization, availing sick leave, accidents occur and work- related illness increase etc. During this phase, managers need to allow people to express their negativity, their personal fears and worries and to encourage them to share their problems with other colleagues.
c)      Exploration:
During this phase, the employees begin to think things are improving and show a renewed interest in work and cooperation begin to happen, which results in more creativity and more positive feelings within the group. Employees focus the external environment and less on internal conflict and worries. Exciting creative ideas and new bonds can emerge among employees who work together on new and powerful ideas.
d)     Commitment:
In the commitment phase, employees often create or revitalize their mission and develop action plan to make it work. People identify with their objectives and are willing to put in extra effort to achieve them. In this final stage, it is important to develop point in systems and structures which reinforce these changes and make them permanent.
Advantages of this Model: (on emotional responses to change)
This model can help to predict and to understand employees’ reactions during changes. It can be used to assess where individuals and teams stand in relation to the change grid. Sometimes it can be useful for top managers who are in the exploration phase to become aware that many colleagues in the organization might be in the resistance or denial phase.
This model can also be used to help design a strategy to implement change.
In order to implement a successful change, a due care musts be taken for the following factors.
        i.            Pressure for Change:
Pressure for change is necessary otherwise employees will never place a high priority on the desired change. Pressure to perform can come from external sources such as government legislation, political requirements, funding constraints, or increased competition. Major problems such as customer dissatisfaction or poor quality can result in pressure to change. Internal pressure can come about from CEO setting new directions or employees indicating dissatisfaction by leaving the organization. Without this pressure, the change will become low priority change.
      ii.            A clear, shared vision:
This helps the employees to understand the purpose for the change and to gain a commitment to it. Employees need to feel a sense of involvement and to identify with the vision, rather than just being dictated to them Managers must find ways to communicate the vision clearly to all employees. If the vision is not understood or shared, employees may not be able to focus their effort in the intended direction.
    iii.            Actionable first steps:
This facilitates the employees to start the change process immediately. Even a small wins attained by the employees will be encouraged and allows employees to feel a positive sense of achievement and the beginning of the problem. They are then willing to invest more time and energy.
    iv.            Capacity for change:
This refers to the resources and skills necessary to implement the change adequately. Managers need to plan and budget for the implementation of the change. Adequate time is allowed to the employees to participate in the change program.
      v.            Model the way:
This refers to the leader and manager of the organization putting into practice the values and behavior that reflect the vision. The managers’ action must be consistent with his works; otherwise the employees will become cynical and distrustful. Managers need to operate with integrity and sincerity so that employees see the actions of their managers as example of what is expected of them
    vi.            Reinforce /solidify the change:
Management must offer adequate rewards and appreciation to their employees for successful implementation of the changes and process and getting the expected results. These can also involve solidifying the change by changing the procedure and process so that change becomes a regular part of the operation.
  vii.            Evaluate and improve:
The program must be evaluated thoroughly and improve the change program after it has been under way for a time. Due to negligence of this process, the change programs are sloppy or superficial. As result, programs are discontinued or abandoned based on the personal feelings or lack of budget.
Surveys and baseline measure should be gathered at the beginning of the program and repeated once the program has been running for one to two years.
The OD paradigm values human and organizational growth, collaborative and participative process and a spirit of enquiry. The change agent may be directive in OD; however, there is a strong emphasis on collaboration. Concepts such as power, authority, control, conflict and coercion are held in relatively low esteem among OD change agents.
The following are some of the key values in most OD efforts:
v  Respect for people: Individuals are perceived as being responsible, conscientious and caring. They should be treated with dignity and respect
v  Trust and support: The effective and healthy organizations are characterized by trust, authenticity, openness and supportive climate.
v  Power equalization: Effective organizations de- emphasizes hierarchical authority and control.
v  Confrontation: Problems should not be swept under the carpet. They should be openly confronted
v  Participation: The more the people who will be affected by a change are involved in the decisions surrounding that change, the more they will be committed to implementing those decisions.
It is refers to the extent to which an employee identifies with a particular organization and its goals, and wishes to maintain membership in the organization. The person shows much of association and loyalty to their organization. Organizational commitment has gained a great deal of interest in recent years because of the changing nature of the workplace. People, who feel a perfect congruence between his values, beliefs, attitudes, and the organizational policies, practices, programs and its overall work culture, are likely to have more commitment than those who have incongruence. In order to elicit a high level of commitment from the employees, a due care must be taken at every stages right from the recruitment to retirement. Administering suitable screening tests such as aptitude tests, personality tests, interest’s tests etc will help significantly placing a right person to do a right type of job.
With fewer workers, managers want workers who identify with the organization’s purpose and will work hard to achieve its goals.
Organizational commitment can also be enhanced through organizational communication process, team briefing, supportive leadership etc. A good fit between the personality and the job, an internal locus of control, positive realistic expectations, opportunities for career advancement etc are the good predictors of organizational commitment. A well designed formal mentoring program has also been shown to increase organizational commitment. Promotional opportunity, providing employees with more information, supervisor’s support etc are likely to improve organizational commitment.
DISCUSSION QUESTION: What measures can the management use to enhance employee commitment?