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Strategy implementation and culture

Culture poses one of the greatest challenges during implementation of new strategy. This is because it is difficult to change organization culture and most people are resistance to changes. 12 Managers use reward system, structure, symbols and other means to shape organization culture. Culture can be described as a set of assumption that members in an organization share in common. It is equivalent to an individual personality and provides direction meaning and basis for action.

The following frame work illustrates the relationship between implementation of strategy and cultural changes. Many Changes in Key organization Factors that are necessary to Implement the New strategy few link changes to basic mission and fundamental organization norm 1 Reformulate strategy or prepare carefully for long-term, difficult cultural change 4 2 Synergistic-focus on reinforcing culture 3 Manage around the culture High low

Potential compatibility of changes With existing structure Source:( Hofstede, 2005) Where a firm is in the first quadrant then a new strategy implementation requires various changes in system, structure operating procedure and managerial assignment but such changes are compatible with the existing organization culture A firm in the second cell requires just a few changes to its structure in order to implement a new strategy

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since those changes are compatible with it culture.

For instance holiday inn move to casino gambling required just a few changes in its structure as it only needed to incorporate entertainment/ gambling expertise in its management team all the other facility including dining and lodging were present (Wind & Main, 1998). 13 A firm in third cell requires making small changes in the organizational structure in order to implement a new strategy

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but such changes are inconsistent with the current organization culture.

The various way a manager can use to manage around culture include subcontracting, creating a separate division, use of program coordinators, team or task forces, sell out or bring in an outsider. For instance Rich which was a departmental store chain serving high income customers found that Wal-mart and Kmart were experiencing growth but since their merchandise were inconsistent with the firm value and norms they formed a second company Richway which was able to tap the growth in retail business.

A firm in cell 4 faces the most challenging task as it have to make organization changes that are incompatible with it current culture in order to implement a new strategy

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. It has to endue with long term challenge of changing its culture which is a doubting task. Recommendations An organization should account for national culture particularly when they enter the global market to ensure that they satisfy their target market. Consideration should be given on taste, design, packaging and brand name.

Therefore organization while developing it marketing strategy should take account of culture. In the area of human resource management organization should strive to implement standard and industrial best practices. This help to reduce clash of culture and in creating collective identity. In implementation of new strategy the management should ensure that it does not clash with organizational culture but where a new strategy require change in culture then 14 management must ensure that the reason for change is clear, compelling and all key players agree on such changes.

Furthermore organization should focus their attention to changing behaviour but not on changing culture directly and finally there should be effective communication to all the parties affected to reduce resistance and misinformation which can inhibit change. 15 References: Dowling, P, Festing. M and Engle, A. D, (2008) International Human Resource Management, Managing People in a Multinational Context, London: Thomson. Hofstede, G (2005) Cultures and Organizations: Software of the mind, London:

McGraw-Hill Hofstede, G and Neujen, B. (1990) “Measuring organizational cultures: a qualitative and quantitative study across twenty cases,” Administrative Science Quarterly, 35, pp286–316. Laurent, A. (1986) “The cross-cultural puzzle of international human resource management,” Human Resource Management, 25, pp 91–102. Lewis, R D (2003) The Culture Imperative Global Trends in the 21st Century, London: Nicholas Brealey Pub. Morris, H, Willey, B and Sachev, S (2002)

Managing in a Business Context, Harlow: Financial Times/ Prentice Hall. Schneider, S. C and Baroux, J. L (2003) Managing Across Cultures, London: Financial Times/Prentice Hall. Sparrow, P. , Brewster, C and Harris, H (2004) Globalizing Human Resource Management, London: Routledge. 16 Tayeb, M (2003) International Management, Theories and Practices, London: Financial Times Prentice Hall Wind, Y. , & Main, J. (1998). Driving change: How the best companies are preparing for the 21st century. New York: Free Press.

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