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date: 12 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The purpose of this chapter is to address important issues of organizational climate and culture change as framed within the larger context of organizational change and development. Reviews of organizational change and development research (1970–1990) are summarized primarily in terms of issues concerning measurement and the degree to which scientific rigor could be useful in studying change. A review of more recent research on organizational change and development reveals it has been concerned with (a) evolving “rules” of change, (b) conceptual perspectives on change, (c) actual methods of change, and (d) the inevitability of the need for change. The knowledge gleaned from these reviews of the literature is then applied to the issues of organizational climate and culture change using specific examples from the author’s work with, especially, British Airways. The bias revealed for climate change is to emphasize specific managerial behaviors that affect specific dimensions of work unit climate, for example, task clarity and goal setting. Changing organizational culture is not impossible, although much more difficult because it resides deeper in the organization and members’ cognitions. The focus again is on behavior, in this case behavior that facilitates movement to a new future state regarding the values, beliefs, and basic assumptions that are an organization’s culture.

Keywords: action research, change recipients' reactions, change research, climate change, climate dimensions, culture change, transactional change, transformational change

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