Understanding the influence of organizational culture and group dynamics on organizational change and learning
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AbstractThis case study investigated the relationship between organizational culture, group dynamics, and organizational learning in the context of organizational change. Organizational change requires a change in organizational behaviour; a change in behaviour that is based on some form of learning. However, psychological and organizational factors often combine to make organizations and their members resist change. Characteristics of an organization's culture and groups within that culture can influence how individuals and work groups experience and make sense of organizational change initiatives and how that subsequently influences their learning. A case study was used to examine what characteristics within an organization's culture and groups influenced the groups' learning in the context of a planned organizational change. The organization described in this case study was the emergency services department (fire and medical response) of a small municipality. The department's management group introduced an Integrated Services Model (ISM) within the department. This model called for the fire and medical response services to be combined such that all personnel were fully trained in both fire and emergency medical response and able to respond to both types of calls. The analysis of this case study extends research in the area of group and organizational learning by identifying themes such as (1) the effect of group level phenomenon on responses to change and learning, (2) the influence of occupational cultures on group members' sensemaking, and (3) how power differentials between groups influence group members' response to change. The area of organizational learning would benefit from further research examining these factors and applying a systems perspective to understanding complex organizational structures at different levels within the system and how these subsequently influence the learning that occurs.
Bibliography: p. 145-154
CitationLucas, C. (2004). Understanding the influence of organizational culture and group dynamics on organizational change and learning (Unpublished doctoral thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. doi:10.11575/PRISM/24097
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