The Message is the Medium- A Case Study in Cultural Change
Citation: Wray , D 2001 ' The Message is the Medium- A Case Study in Cultural Change ' Business School Working Papers , vol. UHBS 2001-3 , Employment Studies Paper , vol. 34 , University of Hertfordshire .
In attempts to secure competitive advantage in an ever more competitive, and globalised market place, the trend in management thinking has been to introduce a number of initiatives aimed at developing a corporate culture supportive of the organisations strategic objectives. The logic of such initiatives is that an organisation's culture can be transformed from a culture embedded within a bureaucratic system of employee behavioral compliance, to a culture based on an organic system of organisation, dependent upon employee commitment. However, much of the literature has tended to overstate the effectiveness of these strategies. Corporate culture, if it exists at all, only exists at the level of senior management; that in reality many sub-cultures exist within an organisation that may resist, and even reject, attempts to impose a corporate culture. This paper, based on an ongoing, two year long, case study, agues that attempts to develop corporate culture are contingent on the influences of the existing organisational culture, contingencies that can be defined as structure and agency. Significantly, the paper will argue that these contingencies are as influential on the actions and reactions of management as they are on those of the work-force, with the consequence that attempts to redefine corporate culture are significantly affected