The Prevailing Wisdom Is Wrong

A number of similar cases have been reported, both in terms of successful internal integration of culture/style within an existing company, as well as in part of an integration of merged company cultures—but it is still clearly the exception rather than the rule. The primary reason for this rests with the abundance of misinformation and misunderstanding about corporate cultures, how they are formed and managed, how they can be analyzed, and how they can be merged or modified.

Partly because of the fact that full understanding of the culture aspect of organizations is still developing, a problem exists with definitions and general understanding of what is meant by corporate culture. It is complicated because corporate culture has many components and in fact is only a manifestation of an overall system.

"Culture" cannot be dealt with in isolation; a simple and focused "culture change" program is almost assuredly going to fail to create sustainable, measurable change. To work with the culture of an organization is to work with all of the factors of the company that have any bearing on why people behave the way they do on the job from day to day. To effectively manage the organizational culture is to deal with hiring, firing, incentives and compensation, decision making, organizational structure, policies, procedures, technology, work flow, management and leadership styles, processes, and measures—at a bare minimum.

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