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Cummings & Worley's six guidelines for cultural change

Cummings & Worley's six guidelines for cultural change which are in line with Kotter's eight-step strategy. The steps are as follow:

1. Formulate a clear strategic vision (stage 1,2 & 3 of Kotter, 1995, p. 2)
In order to make a cultural change effective a clear vision of the firm’s new strategy, shared values and behaviours is needed. This vision provides the intention and direction for the culture change (Cummings & Worley, 2005, p.490).

2. Display Top-management commitment (stage 4 of Kotter, 1995, p. 2)
It is very important to keep in mind that culture change must be managed from the top of the organization, as willingness to change of the senior management is an important indicator (Cummings & Worley, 2005, page 490). The top of the organization should be very much in favour of the change in order to actually implement the change in the rest of the organization. De Caluwé & Vermaak (2004, p 9) provide a framework with five different ways of thinking about change.

3. Model culture change at the highest level (stage 5 of Kotter, 1995, p. 2)
In order to show that the management team is in favour of the change, the change has to be notable at first at this level. The behaviour of the management needs to symbolize the kinds of values and behaviours that should be realized in the rest of the company. It is important that the management shows the strengths of the current culture as well, it must be made clear that the current organizational does not need radical changes, but just a few adjustments. (See for more: (Deal & Kennedy, 1982; Sathe, 1983; Schall; 1983; Weick, 1985; DiTomaso, 1987)

4. Modify the organization to support organizational change
The fourth step is to modify the organization to support organizational change.

5. Select and socialize newcomers and terminate deviants (stage 7 & 8 of Kotter, 1995, p. 2)
A way to implement a culture is to connect it to organizational membership, people can be selected and terminate in terms of their fit with the new culture (Cummings & Worley, 2005, p. 491).

6. Develop ethical and legal sensitivity
Changes in culture can lead to tensions between organizational and individual interests, which can result in ethical and legal problems for practitioners. This is particularly relevant for changes in employee integrity, control, equitable treatment and job security (Cummings & Worley, 2005, p. 491).

Organizational culture and change

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