Understanding organizational culture to transform a workplace behavior: Evidence from a liberal arts University

AuthorsOris Guillaume, Assistant Professor and Chair of Graduate Business Programs Shorter University, United States.

Amy Austin, Assistant Professor of Management, Dean of College of Adult and Professional Programs Shorter University, United States.

Abstract: Nelson and Quick (2013) describe organizational cultures as “a pattern of basic assumptions that are considered valid and that are taught to new members as a way to perceive, think and feel in the organization” (p.592). Organizational cultures are a vital part of any company’s environment and provide employees with the necessary tools to integrate themselves into the overall organizational dynamic; however, most organizational cultures are plagued with dysfunctional dynamics that have stemmed from a dysfunctional personality of a key leader in their environment. This paper is based on the experience of designing and delivering special change, the organizational culture has been, for the most part, healthy and thriving. In this paper, we will review some of the problems facing the University and how key organizational leaders have successfully influenced change in a manner that has led to the valuable organizational culture in place today.

Conclusion: Overall, organizational cultures are extremely important to creating a cohesive and efficient workforce that is working toward a common corporate goal. Organizations that are facing dysfunctional culture are often plagued with a leadership dynamic that is out of tune with the organizations values and are creating cultural artifacts in direct opposition to the goals of the organization. Much like the example set by the change at this institution; positive and successful organizational culture changes require a strong leadership team who is both passionate and committed to the values they represent and the people for which the organizational culture will most likely effect, the employees. A servant-leader mentality, coupled with a specific cultural change and socialization plan, will aid universities looking to create a stronger culture in effectively moving their organization in the right direction with the least amount of resistance possible.

Full text paper is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.19085/journal.sijmd030401