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Change and culture: an examination of the relationship between organisation culture and approaches to change

Change and culture: an examination of the relationship between organisation culture and approaches to change
Change and culture: an examination of the relationship between organisation culture and approaches to change
It is widely asserted that a high proportion of change initiatives fail (e.g. Kotter, 1996; Higgs & Rowland, 2000). Furthermore the success of initiatives involving cultural change is significantly lower (Smith, 2003). However, there is some debate around whether or not change can only be effected if organisational culture is also changed or that, for change to be successful it has to be positioned within the dominant organisational culture paradigm (e.g. Trompenaars & Wooliams, 2004).
In a study by Higgs and Rowland (2003) it was suggested that approaches to change based on an understanding of complexity, rather than an assumption of linearity, were more likely to be successful. Furthermore they identified the significance of leader behaviours in impacting on change success. In particular they indicated that leader-centric behaviours (Shaping) were negatively related to success. Behaviours focusing on creating a change framework and building capability (Framing) were positively related to success. In discussing these findings they indicated a need for further research to explore their results in differing organisational contexts. They also identified a need to explore the impact of differing organisational cultures on the findings. These two needs for research are the focus of this paper.
The study reported involved collecting stories from change leaders in nine organisations. Whilst the Higgs and Rowland (2003) framework was used to explore change approaches and leader behaviours, the construct of culture was operationalised using the Goffee and Jones 91998) model. The findings presented offer some support for the proposition that there is a relationship between culture, change approach, leadership behaviours and change success. However, the sample size does provide a limitation of the research and further exploration in future research is called for.
1861812159
HWP 0508
University of Reading
Higgs, M.J.
bd61667f-4b7c-4caf-9d79-aee907c03ae3
Rowland, D.
9dbe9caa-3c37-4f6d-a7f5-f342d3bbf175
Higgs, M.J.
bd61667f-4b7c-4caf-9d79-aee907c03ae3
Rowland, D.
9dbe9caa-3c37-4f6d-a7f5-f342d3bbf175

Higgs, M.J. and Rowland, D. (2005) Change and culture: an examination of the relationship between organisation culture and approaches to change (Henley Working Paper Series, HWP 0508), Reading, UK. University of Reading

Record type: Book

Abstract

It is widely asserted that a high proportion of change initiatives fail (e.g. Kotter, 1996; Higgs & Rowland, 2000). Furthermore the success of initiatives involving cultural change is significantly lower (Smith, 2003). However, there is some debate around whether or not change can only be effected if organisational culture is also changed or that, for change to be successful it has to be positioned within the dominant organisational culture paradigm (e.g. Trompenaars & Wooliams, 2004).
In a study by Higgs and Rowland (2003) it was suggested that approaches to change based on an understanding of complexity, rather than an assumption of linearity, were more likely to be successful. Furthermore they identified the significance of leader behaviours in impacting on change success. In particular they indicated that leader-centric behaviours (Shaping) were negatively related to success. Behaviours focusing on creating a change framework and building capability (Framing) were positively related to success. In discussing these findings they indicated a need for further research to explore their results in differing organisational contexts. They also identified a need to explore the impact of differing organisational cultures on the findings. These two needs for research are the focus of this paper.
The study reported involved collecting stories from change leaders in nine organisations. Whilst the Higgs and Rowland (2003) framework was used to explore change approaches and leader behaviours, the construct of culture was operationalised using the Goffee and Jones 91998) model. The findings presented offer some support for the proposition that there is a relationship between culture, change approach, leadership behaviours and change success. However, the sample size does provide a limitation of the research and further exploration in future research is called for.

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Published date: 2005

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 58115
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/58115
ISBN: 1861812159
PURE UUID: 66fbb914-7893-465b-bebc-866faf5bc327

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Date deposited: 12 Aug 2008
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 20:32

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Contributors

Author: M.J. Higgs
Author: D. Rowland

University divisions

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