واقعیت و خیالی از مدیریت فرهنگ سازمانی : یک مطالعه موردی از خرده فروشی مواد غذایی یونانی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4004||2002||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Volume 9, Issue 4, July 2002, Pages 201–213
The management, manipulation or interference in organizational culture has become central to many theories and prescriptions of management. However, despite frequent prescriptions to manage culture in diverse national contexts, little empirical evidence has been forwarded in contexts other than the UK and the US. The current study is designed to overcome the limitations of existing studies through the critical review of culture management in a novel context—in this case, Greek food retailing. The aim is to provide empirical evidence regarding the fact and fantasy of Hellenic culture management. The paper begins with a brief overview of organizational culture literature and in particular culture management studies. After an explanation of the research design and methodology adopted, the analysis of a culture change effort study is presented and discussed. Four main findings emerge regarding: (1) the context of the change, (2) the espoused and perceived rationale for culture management, (3) the nature and process of the change programme and (4) the perceived impact of these changes on the organisation and its members. The paper culminates with a series of conclusions and implications of interest to both theorists and practitioners.
It is arguable that the notion of organizational culture constitutes the most elusive and yet tantalising concept for both management theorists and practitioners. Indeed, whilst many early studies assume that organizational culture is merely another variable subject to the vagaries of executive whims (see for example Peters and Waterman, 1982; Deal and Kennedy, 1982), contemporary theorists raise conceptual objections and cite pragmatic difficulties which undermine early functionalist views (see Willmott, 1993; Legge, 1994; Ogbonna and Harris, 1998). Nevertheless, the management, manipulation or interference in organizational culture has become central to many theories and prescriptions of management. Indeed, in addition to the discipline of human resource management, numerous fields have adopted, incorporated and advocated culture management. For example, marketers posit that successful culture management determines the extent to which the ‘philosophy’ of marketing (the marketing concept) is implemented (Narver et al., 1998; Harris and Ogbonna, 1999). Likewise, strategists have claimed that sustainable change pivots on appropriate culture change (Post and Altman, 1994; Welford, 1995) whilst supply chain management is littered with exhortations to manage culture (for example Abell, 1999). Further, organizational culture management is vociferously prescribed for diverse sectors ranging from health care (Huq and Martin, 2000) to auto-motor manufacturing (Dove, 1998) as well as diverse contexts ranging from Russia (Fey et al., 1999) to New Zealand (Parry, 2000). However, despite frequent prescriptions to manage organizational culture in diverse national contexts (see Fey et al., 1999; Parry, 2000), little empirical evidence has been forwarded in contexts other than the UK and the US. The gap in extant knowledge is such that a number of theorists have called for additional empirical research into organizational culture management in novel contexts (see for example Ogbonna and Harris, 1998). The current study is specifically designed to overcome the limitations of existing studies through the critical examination of organizational culture management in a (comparatively) novel context—in this case, Greek food retailing. The aim is to provide rich empirical evidence regarding the fact and fantasy of Hellenic culture management. The paper begins with a brief overview of organizational culture literature and in particular culture management studies. After an explanation of the research design and methodology adopted, the analysis of a culture change effort study is presented and discussed. The paper culminates with a series of conclusions and implications of interest to both theorists and practitioners.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The case study of Islaco leads to a number of interesting conclusions and implications. In particular, five main implications appear especially worthy of discussion. First, the central contribution of this study encompasses the findings regarding culture change and management. The management of the company believes that they managed the culture (albeit with some ‘side effects’—discussed later). A more objective view clearly shows that such change occurred but that labelling such change as culture management is misleading. Artefact change certainly occurred with significant and wide-ranging alterations to the systems, structures, strategies and technologies of the organization. Further some evidence emerged of behavioural change with (in particular) Store Managers and shopfloor workers claiming that artefact changes and seminars on customer service had altered their working behaviours (although behavioural compliance was evident—see Legge, 1994). At a deeper level, organizational members also indicated that some opinions, attitudes and beliefs had been influenced by the change—for example, the strengthening of Head Office opinion in favour of increased standardisation. However, an important difference is evident between artefact change and alterations to deeper-rooted attitudes. Changes to artefacts (and some behaviours) were managed, controlled and enforced by executive action. In contrast, beliefs were unpredictably merely changed by events. That is, whilst evidence did emerge of changes to deep-rooted attitudes, such change was undirected, unpredictable, uneven and erratic and thus could not be directly attributed to be solely caused by the conscious management of culture. Thus, it is contended that culture change did occur to the shallower levels of the company's culture but that the ‘management’ of deeper-rooted beliefs did not (a view mirroring the conclusions of Ogbonna and Harris, 1998). This is not to suggest that attitudes did not alter. Clearly, management and workers alike changed their views and attitudes and learned from their experiences. However, such change was merely influenced by management action and certainly not managed by executive choice. This finding implies that greater care is needed in the study of culture change and management. Whilst the distinctions between culture evolution (see Harrison and Carrol, 1991) and revolution (see Ogbonna and Harris, 1998) are well recognised, the delineation between culture change and culture management is frequently overlooked (see Brown, 1995; Bate, 1995). Inattention to these distinctions and the incumbent terminology is (at best) dangerously misleading. A second main implication may be derived from the finding that strong evidence emerged to indicate that trade-specific and general management publicity surrounding culture change programmes is having a pervasive effect. It is accepted that (for good reasons) the current study entails but a single deep case, however within the case it emerged that knowledge of ‘successful’ culture initiatives was widely disseminated in the Greek management-community, leading to a widespread belief that culture management was a potent source of competitive advantage. Consequently, in the face of increased competition, a broad culture change programme was initiated before other ‘options’ (such as strategy development, marketing initiatives or cost reduction processes). Interestingly, the Islaco change was initiated as a stand-alone change programme and not as part of a considered, on-going change programme. These findings indicate a somewhat naı̈ve view of, and approach to, culture change driven by incomplete or overly optimistic data regarding the culture change programmes of successful foreign retailers (largely in the UK and US). Nevertheless, the finding of a culture change programme in Greek food retailing supports earlier studies which claim that such programmes will become more common (Harris and Ogbonna, 2001). Clearly, the partial/limited success of the NewTech change indicates the rashness of undertaking change without considering fully the context-specific contingencies. Ironically, the managers of Islaco appear ignorant of this danger whilst it is recognised by shopfloor workers who complain of Americanisms and copying ‘Tesco’ (see earlier). A third important implication is related to the above point. Interestingly, whilst views regarding the rationale for the change varied quite considerably, organizational members were generally in agreement that the change process had resulted in a series of unexpected and/or unintended consequences. Head Office staff were shocked to find that at the start of the NewTech change, three Store Managers were so incensed by the proposed changes that they summarily resigned their positions and left the company. Similarly, management and workers alike recognised that the introduction of new technology had an unexpected impact on shopfloor worker motivation and satisfaction resulting in the need for remedial action. However, not all unexpected consequences of the change were negative. Indeed, evidence was found that employee turnover was reduced due to modernisation effects despite generally lower motivation levels. These findings strongly illustrate that the purposeful intervention into an organizational culture is fraught with difficulties. Not only are an array of unintended consequences possible but also given the dynamic nature of culture (Hatch, 1993), the impacts of such actions are likely to reverberate throughout all facets of culture for many years to come. This implies that the true long-term impacts of a culture intervention can only truly be evaluated years, possibly decades, after such changes have happened. A potentially fruitful avenue for further research could be the evaluation of culture change interventions over long periods of time (although limited budgets and access would undoubtedly make such research difficult). The fourth series of implications centre on the difference between the perceived impacts of the change. From an owner's perspective, the culture change programme was successful, apparently leading to improved financial performance and indicating support for some form of culture-performance link (Denison, 1990). Similarly, Head Office managers viewed the change as favourably as a range of tangible and intangible efficiencies were improved. However, lower down the hierarchy Store Managers experienced an increased workload, more stress and an unfavourable work-home overlap (see Munton and Forster, 1990) whilst shopfloor workers experienced deskilling, de-motivation, reduced job satisfaction and pay reductions due to fewer hours of paid work. The pattern clearly suggests that the change programme has had a proportionally greater and a more negative impact on organizational members at the ‘bottom’ of the hierarchy. This empirical evidence would seem to support a number of earlier theories which suggest that cultural interventions are often mechanisms of exploitation, emasculating the shopfloor worker (see Alvesson and Willmott, 1992; Sewell and Wilkinson, 1992; Willmott, 1993). Whether such impacts are attributable to management design or are an artefact of hierarchical position is an issue in need of further research. Finally, this study leads to a number of implications specifically for practitioners. Whilst the management of the case company believe that culture management has occurred, the evidence revealed suggests that this view is inaccurate although many shallow artefact changes have occurred as have some alterations to deeper-level attitudes. Managements desiring to change the culture of their company should consider carefully the full implications of such a position. Altering systems, structure and procedures may be comparatively easy but also may lead to innumerable unexpected consequences which have significant and on-going effects. Attention to surveillance and closer management control may influence behaviours but may also lead to resigned behavioural compliance (Ogbonna and Wilkinson, 1988) undermining the desired change. Attitudinal or value change whilst ultimately desirable may be achievable but certainly not manageable—the complexities of beliefs and behavioural interaction preclude such simple impacts. These conclusions demonstrate that (currently) culture management is fantasy but that nevertheless, culture change is a fact.