To summarize, in this chapter we have reviewed what defines organizational culture, how it is created, and how it can be changed. Corporate culture may be the greatest strength or a serious limitation for a company, depending on whether the values held are in line with corporate strategy and environmental demands. Even though changing an organization’s culture is difficult, success of the organization may require the change. Leaders, through their actions, role modeling, rule making, and story creation, serve as instrumental change agents.
Change in almost any aspect of a company’s operations can be met with resistance, and different cultures can have different reactions to both the change and the means to promote the change. In order to better facilitate necessary changes, several steps can be taken that have been proven to lower the anxiety of employees and ease the transformation process. Often, the simple act of including employees in the change process can drastically reduce opposition to new methods. In some organizations this level of inclusion is not possible, and instead organizations can recruit a small number of opinion leaders to promote the benefits of coming changes.
Some types of change, such as mergers, often come with job losses. In these situations, it is important to remain fair and ethical while laying off employees. Once change has occurred, it is vital to take any steps necessary to reinforce the new system. Employees can often require continued support well after an organizational change.