2nd Edition

Changing Organizational Culture
Cultural Change Work in Progress

ISBN 9781138918603
Published October 5, 2015 by Routledge
218 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

USD $54.95

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Book Description

How is practical change work carried out in modern organizations? And what kind of challenges, tasks and other difficulties are normally encountered as a part of it?

In a turbulent and changing world, organizational culture is often seen as central for sustained competitiveness. Organizations are faced with increased demands for change but these are often so challenging that they meet heavy resistance and fizzle out. Changing Organizational Culture encourages the development of a reflexive approach to organizational change, providing insights as to why it may be difficult to maintain momentum in change processes. Based around an illuminating case study of a cultural change programme, the book provides 15 lessons on the entire change journey; from analysis and design, to implementation and how organizational members should approach change projects.

This enhanced edition considers the most recent studies on organizational change practice, with new examples from businesses and the public sector, and includes one empirical study which uses the authors’ own framework, enriching their practical recommendations. It also draws on the latest theoretical developments, including ideas of power and storytelling. Accompanying the text is an online pedagogic and research ideas guide available for course instructors and lecturers at Routledge.com.

Changing Organizational Culture will be vital reading for students, researchers and practitioners working in organizational studies, change management and HRM.

Table of Contents

Part I: Perspectives on Organizational and Cultural Change  1. Introduction  2. Organizational Change  3. Organizational Culture and Change  Part II: Change Work in Practice – A Close-Up Study  4. The Case – and How We Studied It  5. A Cultural Change Project I: Background, Objectives and Design  6. A Cultural Change Project II: Implementation, Reception and Outcomes  Part III: Crucial Issues in Cultural Change Work  7. ‘It Is Not So Damn Easy’ – Lack of Consistency and Expressiveness in Cultural Change Work  8. Disconnected Work: Cultural Change Efforts Decoupled  9. Hyperculture  Part IV: Getting into the Substance of Organizational Change Work  10. Working with Culture vs Culture Working on Change Workers  11. Working with Change  12. Lessons for Cultural Change Actors and Others

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Mats Alvesson is Professor of Business Administration at Lund University, Sweden.

Stefan Sveningsson is Professor of Business Administration at Lund University, Sweden.


'Alvesson and Sveningsson [...] offer an update of their 2007 work, including reviews of more recent literature and new insights into how processes of effective culture change have evolved during and since the global recession of the last decade. While organizational leaders pay attention to their internal cultures, many believe that some goals may only be achievable with significant changes in culture, and changing a culture is arguably one of the more difficult types of organizational change. Most attempts at organizational change encounter resistance, thus increasing the importance to leaders of understanding both culture and the change process. The authors provide their well-explained theoretical framework and a detailed empirical case study to enrich understanding of the live change process. With the increased competitive turbulence present in today’s economy, this second edition will be valuable for both new readers and readers of the first edition. Summing up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals.' - L. J. Cumbo, Emory and Henry College, in CHOICE

‘This is an excellent book which should be read by anyone interested in change, whether they are students, researchers or practitioners. Its focus on culture change in one organization provides a unique and incisive insight into organizational behaviour and change.’ - Professor Bernard Burnes, Chair of Organisational Change, University of Stirling, UK

‘The book offers unique and empirically rich insights into the daily practices of changing organization culture. It helps to develop a micro perspective on cultural change which can be essential in many change processes.’ - Professor Alfons van Marrewijk, VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands

‘This wonderful book succeeds in applying current academic insights to the notoriously difficult question of how people in organizations can change their culture. It is practical but not dumbed-down and, for that reason, it is an essential resource for thoughtful managers.’ - John Weeks, Professor of Organizational Behaviour, IMD, Switzerland

‘Alvesson & Sveningsson’s book digs into the ambiguities of an actual process of cultural change with depth and rigour. An insightful and engaging resource that escapes oversimplified approaches to a critical issue in organizational life.’ - Giancarlo Lauto, Assistant Professor of Organisation Studies, University of Udine, Italy

‘This second edition highlights how research and thinking about organizational culture has evolved over the past decade. A major value is that for the reader, whether student or seasoned practitioner, the book facilitates reflexivity and active engagement with the authors’ perspectives and ideas.’ - Shirley Pulis Xerxen, Academic at the Edward de Bono Institute for the Design & Development of Thinking, University of Malta

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