Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cultural Nuances and the Optimization of Innovation

Altering organizational culture is “a means to achieving greater managerial control or enhancing organizational performance” (Hatch, 2004, p. 2) Cultural change is a large piece within the entire puzzle of change. Change cannot take place within any environment unless the culture therein is changed. Culture is “a pattern of fundamental assumptions developed by the organization for dealing with problems of internal and external adaptation (Schein, 1985, 1996)” (Gilkey, 1999). Incorporating everyone into change is critical for the success of change. “Policies can go only so far in changing the culture of an organization” there needs to be a focus on organizational structure, and what barriers exist to teamwork, efficiency and productivity (Paslidis, 2008). Within change there is both chaos and stability. “One key to unlocking the dynamics of organizational culture is to understand that, at a given moment, culture is changing only in parts, other parts remain stable” (Hatch, 2004, p.8). Herskovits (1964) stated that “the broad stream which comprises any culture has varied currents, of which now some, now others will be more rapid” (Hatch, 2004), p. 8). The interior of an organization has its culture in the form of a stream and the exterior of an organization has its culture in the form of an ocean. The ocean is constantly providing a source to the stream and so the constant flow of culture and change is never ending always influencing one another and forcing adaptation and innovation to occur.


Gilkey, R.W. (1999). The 21st century health care leader. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Hatch, M.J. (2004). Dynamics in Organizational Culture. New Direction in the Study of Organizational Change and Innovation Processes. New York: Oxford University Press. Retrieved September 24, 2008 from

Paslidis, N.J. (2008). Wake-up call leads to organizational transformation. Physician Executive, 34.4 (July-August 2008): p. 28(5). Retrieved September 24, 2008 from Gale PowerSeach.

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