Change Implementation Techniques for Laying a Foundation for New Ways

Technique 1.24 Assumptions to Help Determine Different Cultures or Sub‐cultures

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Introduction

The answers to the following questions (circle the most appropriate answer) can help to indicate what type of organisation you are and/or dealing with

Type 1

. Does your organisation believe that the actions of the organisation are ultimately the action of its staff?

Yes Maybe No

. Does the success of the organisation depend upon staff's knowledge, skill and commitment?

Yes Maybe No

. Are the knowledge and skills required found locally and based on the organisation's core technology?

Yes Maybe No

. No matter how carefully engineered the production process is or how carefully rules and routines are specified, will staff have to deal with unpredictable contingencies?

Yes Maybe No

. Do staff members have the capacity to learn and to deal with surprises, such as unpredictable contingencies?

Yes Maybe No

. As most operations are interdependent, can staff operate in collaborative teams in which openness and mutual trust are highly valued?

Yes Maybe No

Type 2

. Do staff work under the notion that nature can and should be mastered, ie that which is possible should be done?

Yes Maybe No

. Do staff believe that operations should be based on science and available technology?

Yes Maybe No

. Do staff enjoy solving puzzles and overcoming problems?

Yes Maybe No

. Do staff believe that products and outcomes should be useful and be improvements?

Yes Maybe No

. Do staff believe that solutions should be orientated towards elegance, simplicity and precision, ie keep it neat and simple?

Yes Maybe No

. Do staff believe that the ideal world is one of elegant machines and processes working in perfect precision and harmony without human intervention?

Yes Maybe No

. Do staff believe people are the problem ‐ they make mistakes and hence should be designed out of the system wherever possible?

Yes Maybe No

Type 3

. Do staff believe that without financial survival and growth, there are no returns to shareholders or to society?

Yes Maybe No

. Do staff believe that the economic environment is perpetually competitive and potentially hostile, ie in a war where one cannot trust anyone?

Yes Maybe No

. Do staff believe that the most senior manager should be a "lone hero" (isolated and alone, yet appearing to be omniscient and in total control, and feeling indispensable, ie I'm okay; after all, I'm here; they are not okay; they have not made it to the top)?

Yes Maybe No

. Is your organisation one where staff are more likely to provide information reinforcing senior management's view rather than supplying reliable data; therefore, senior management members tend to trust their own judgments more and more, due to the absence of a creditable feedback increasing the sense of one's own rightness and omniscience?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that management and organisations are intrinsically hierarchical; with hierarchy measuring status and being the primary means of maintaining control?

Yes Maybe No

. As the organisation grows, does it become more depersonalised and abstract as it is run by rules, routines (systems) and rituals (machine bureaucracy)?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that people are a necessary evil, not an intrinsic value; people are a resource like other resources, to be acquired and managed, not an end in themselves?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that a well‐oiled, machine‐like organisation does not need whole people, only the activities that they are contracted for?

Yes Maybe No

Type 4

. Does your organisation believe that information can be packaged into bits and transmitted electronically?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that more information is better than less?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that the more quantifiable information is the better?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that the paperless office is a possibility and desirable?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that technology leads and people should adapt?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that staff should learn the language and methods of IT?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that management will give up hierarchy if IT provides better coordination mechanisms than the present system?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that the more fully IT‐connected and organisation is, the better it will be?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that people will use information responsibly and appropriately?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that paper will be replaced by electronically‐stored information?

Yes Maybe No

Type 5

. Does your organisation believe that information relevant to operations must include face‐to‐face human contact in order to be accurately understood?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that information may be extracted from raw data and will be meaningful only in a particular context that is itself self‐perpetually changing?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that meaning derives only from complex patterns?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that costs associated with speed may not be worth it?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that too much IT‐connectivity produces information overload?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that the more information you have, the more you need?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that certain kinds of information, such as personal feedback performance appraisal, should not be quantitative and should not be computerised?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that paper is intrinsic to many kinds of tasks?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that technology should be adapted to people and be user‐friendly?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that hierarchy is intrinsic to human systems & a necessary coordination mechanism, no matter how efficient networked communications are?

Yes Maybe No

. Does your organisation believe that the control of information is a necessary management technique and the only way of maintaining power and status?

Yes Maybe No

Comments

. The number of answers

Type

Yes

Maybe

No

1




2




3




4




5




. If "yes" answers predominate within a particular category, the more likely the culture represents

Type 1 (operator type of culture)

Type 2 (engineering type of culture)

Type 3 (executive type of culture)

Type 4 (IT dominant culture)

Type 5 (less IT dominant culture) (source: Edgar Schein, 2004)


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