The evidence suggests that cultural change is most

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The evidence suggests that cultural change is most likely to take place when most or all of the following conditions exist: A dramatic crisis. This is the shock that undermines the status quo and calls into question the relevance of the current culture. Examples are a surprising financial set- back, the loss of a major customer, and a dramatic technological breakthrough by a competitor.
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Turnover in leadership. New top leadership, which can provide an alternative set of key values, may be perceived as more capable of responding to the crisis. Young and small organizations. The younger the organization is, the less entrenched its culture will be. Similarly, it’s easier for management to communicate its new values when the organization is small. Weak culture. The more widely held a culture is and the higher the agreement among members on its values, the more difficult it will be to change. Conversely, weak cultures are more amenable to change than strong ones. If all or most of these conditions exist, the following management actions may lead to change: initiating new stories and rituals, selecting and promoting employees who espouse the new values, changing the reward system to support the new values, and undermining current subcultures through transfers, job rotation, and terminations. Under the best of conditions, these actions won’t result in an immediate or dramatic shift in the culture. In the final analysis, cultural change is a lengthy process— measured in years rather than in months. But cultures can be changed. The success that new leadership had in turning around the cultures at companies like, IBM, 3M and GE attests to this claim. C lass E xercise 1. As a class, discuss and decide what the culture is of your college or university. Students may have a very different perspective than you do as faculty, so choose which “organization” you are assessing—the one visible to students or to faculty. 2. Once the culture is identified, discuss with students what would be involved in changing the culture of your college or university. Explain to students, for the sake of the exercise, that they should consider that the culture is in need of change in order to deal with the new dynamics facing institutions of higher education. You should choose a contrasting
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