Evaluating organizational culture LO13756

Martin Wood (mwood@ukmkwt.cig.eds.com)
Wed, 28 May 1997 18:19:06 +0100

Replying to LO13705 --

In LO13705, replying to Dave Birren's msg LO13673, Bob Williams
<bobwill@actrix.gen.nz> wrote:

>Firstly, I suggest that you look at the cultural framework developed by (I
>think) the Cranfield Institute's Management School. I am not saying it is
>better, but I think will generate some further insights for your model.

Bob's memory serves him well. Gerry Johnson at Cranfield developed the
"cultural web". There is an explanation in the book he co-authored with
Kevan Scholes: "Exploring Coprorate Strategy" (Prentice Hall). This, in
turn, points to an article in the journal "Long Range Planning" vol 25,no
1 (1992) entitled "Managing strategic change: strategy, culture and

When I scanned Dave's original message, I remember thinking to myself
"cultural web", but then got sidetracked by work pressures, and never
followed it up.

Also Ragnar S. Johansen <ragnar-s.johansen@orklafoods.telemax.no> in
LO13739 wrote "In order to change culture, one needs to start by changing
the artifacts". And then went on to describe artifacts as "objects and
actions (which) are culturally significant".

I think that would also tie in with one of Johnson's elements, which he
calls "symbols". He maintains that to really change any culture, you need
to affect how people operate on a day to day basis. Some of this includes
changing symbols. An example from British Petroleum (now some years ago)
was to remove the executive dining rooms (entry by invitation only) and
replace them with a single status restaurant for all employees. Executive
dining rooms were a symbol of hierarchy that was hindering BP's ability to
operate in teams.

Another good point that Bob made was the importance of understanding
differences between espoused culture and the actual culture.

Martin Wood, Projects Manager
Communications Industry Group, EDS, Wavendon Tower
E-mail: mwood@ukmkwt.cig.eds.com, Tel: +44 1908 284050

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>