Essay, 4 pages (850 words)

Essay on the organization in strategic context


Organizations today face many challenges because of the changing business operations brought about by new strategies. In addition, managing strategic changes has become a crucial problem in most organizations’ culture. Johnson (1992) argued that most organizations fail to proceed because they have a tendency of doing things the usual way without considering the current business environment. On the other hand, other organizations formulate effective strategies but find it hard implementing the proposed changes. In addition, managers assume some issues of an organization have no effect on the overall operations but find them to be the most influential. In orderto eliminate the issue of culture delaying changes within an organization, Gerry Johnson developed a Cultural Web that helps managers address problems related to strategy driven cultural changes. Johnson’s web is useful in identifying areas of resistance to change within an organization. The cultural web has six paradigms that are responsible for resisting organizational changes. Figure 1 below shows the six paradigms:
Figure 1: Johnson’s cultural web (Source: Johnson 1992).

The key paradigmatic areas of resistance to change

Power structure
The power structure of an organization plays a vital role in strategic planning. People in power have the greatest influence when it comes to managing organizational strategic context on change issues (Johnson 1992). Traditionally, the organization manager was referred as the most powerful person and all his or her commands had to be obeyed. The same norms still exist in the organization that contributes to slow adaptation to changes. On the other hand, the most powerful people in an organization are likely to be the ones who are ignorant of changes due to assumptions and beliefs that others cannot become outstanding leaders. An organization whose power structure allows easier communication of ideas from the lower level employees to the top level achieves its change strategies effectively. In addition, diffuse and unclear power base in an organization contributes to poor adaptation to changes (French, Bell and Zawacki 2005). The same old managers still exist today and cannot give chances to the younger generation to take power because they see them as failures with no leadership qualities.

Organizational structure

Organizational structure includes the structure defined on the organizational chart indicating people whose contributions in the company matter most. The design of the organizational structure contributes to the distribution of power in an organization. According to Weick & Quinn (1999), changes within an organization are influenced by the organizational settings in terms of power flow from top to bottom and vice versa. Lack of cooperation between different groups in the organization structure inhibits organizational development. My organization has employees from different cultures, and they have different perspectives when it comes to matters of change. Problems arise when one leader commands another leader from different background and a case of misunderstanding arises. Such people cannot come up with an effective strategy unless they put down their differences and work for the benefit of organizational growth and development. On the other hand, some leaders take change recommendations for granted assuming every other person is comfortable with the state of work because their positions allow them to enjoy everything. The following mentality leads to an organization made up of two groups, the high class and the low class hence delaying changes.


In an organization, routines are the daily actions and behaviors of workers that signify certain behavioral traits. The routine of employees in an organization is the key determinant of what is expected of the organization in certain situations, and what the management values (Johnson 1992). Organizations that have developed a routine of allowing employees to report at work in their convenient time, and take no actions towards them have a high probability of remaining on the same level forever. In an organization, the cost of implementing change might seem high but the changes that come afterwards boost the company to higher levels. The routine formed, especially by the top management, has contributed to lack of growth in the organization. The organization also does not allow any other person apart from managers to contribute to strategy formulation. Lack of employees’ voices in organization decision-making processes delays any kind of change that arises from the organization (French 2005).


Organizational leaders should collaborate with employees in an effort to implement change. Forming a concrete change management team will withstand all the forces against any planed change. A powerful coalition assists an organization in determining the best procedure to follow in the change process. On the other hand, creation of change vision helps in setting a certain goal and target that an organization must accomplish. Johnson’s cultural web forms the best formula that organizations should use to eliminate all kinds of blocks that resist changes.

List of references

JOHNSON, G. (1992) ‘Managing strategic change – strategy, culture and action’, Long Range Planning, 25(1): 28-36. Retrieved from http://sfxhosted.exlibrisgroup.com.ezproxy.liv.ac.uk/lpu?title=long+range+planning&volume=25&issue=1&spage=28&date=1992.
WEICK, K. & QUINN, R. E. (1999) ‘Organizational change and development’, Annual Review of Sociology, 50: 361-386. Retrieved from http://sfxhosted.exlibrisgroup.com.ezproxy.liv.ac.uk/lpu?title=annual+review+of+psychology&volume=50&issue=&spage=361&date=1999
FRENCH, W. L., BELL, C. and Zawacki, R. A. (2005). Organization Development and Transformation: Managing Effective Change. Irwin/McGraw-Hill.
PALMER, I. (2008). Managing Organizational Change. McGraw-Hill. Retrieved from:http://tulip.liv.ac.uk/pls/new_portal/tulwwwmerge.mergepage?p_template=m_bl&p_tulipproc=moddets&p_params=%3Fp_module_id%3D29287

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