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Unformatted text preview: involved in achieving or sustaining the change, and (ii) they tend to want to discard the current situation in favour of a new future, thus throwing out the best of what already exists. After an extended period of research over many years and developing dilemma theory with Hampden-Turner (1992), the authors have come to a different view based on extensive evidence collected INTRODUCTION Many researchers have suggested models for change which seek to embrace culture change within organisations (corporate culture), while others have alluded to issues of change across (national) cultural boundaries. Most models, however, can be criticised for two principal and recurring reasons: (i) they tend to underestimate the difficulty q Henry Stewart Publications 1469-7017 (2003) Vol. 3, 4, 361375 Journal of Change Management 361 A new framework for managing change across cultures Received: 18th February, 2003 Fons Trompenaars is founder of the Centre for International Business Studies, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Director of THT Consulting and Van Russum Professor at the Solvay Business School, Brussels, Belgium. Peter Woolliams is Professor of International Business, Ashcroft International Business School, Anglia University, UK; Visiting Research Fellow at THT Consulting; and Faculty Member of Management Centre Europe, Brussels, Belgium. KEYWORDS: dilemma theory, corporate culture, change transformation, cross-culture, opposing values A BSTRACT A new paradigm for the management of change is proposed. Most existing frameworks tend to want to discard the current situation in favour of a new corporate culture, thus discarding the best of what already exists. The authors argue that changing an organisations culture is a contradiction in terms. This is because cultures act to preserve themselves and to protect their own living existence. So rather than seeing change as a thing opposing continuity, it is considered as a difference. The authors believe organisations seek change to preserve the company, profitability, market share and core competence. The reason for changing certain aspects is to avoid changing in other respects. In short, organisations must reconcile change with continuity in order to preserve an evolving identity. The new methodology is centred on diagnosing the tensions between the current and ideal corporate culture. These tensions manifest themselves as a series of dilemmas. The new approach for the management of change is to reconcile these dilemmas. Compromise alone is insufficient. The authors demonstrate with examples and offer a new conceptual framework on how seemingly opposing values deriving from the tensions arising from change imperatives can be integrated to achieve a win-win outcome....
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