Organisational Culture Analysis Of Oticon

4559 words - 19 pages

S.I.D- 0574220
IntroductionOticon, a Danish company founded in 1904 was the first company in the world to invent an instrument to help the hearing impaired. In the 1970's, Oticon was the world's number one manufacturer of the "behind the ear" hearing aids. During the 1970's and 1980's as the market for "in the ear" hearing aid grew, Oticon's fortune suddenly declined and they lost money and market share. The main problem for all of this was that Oticon was a very traditional, departmentalized and slow-moving company. Even though Oticon had 15 sites and 95 distributorships around the world, Oticon was operating in a market dominated by Siemens, Phillips, Sony, 3M and Panasonic and most ...view middle of the document...

Employee involvement is crucial to successful change; especially in situations as Oticon's that require attitudinal and cultural change. Planned and emergent perspectives stress that this is a slow, learning process. Rapid organizational transformations can only be successful if focus is on structural as well as cultural change. Kanter et al emphasized that an organization's structure can be changed relatively quickly through a 'Bold Stroke' but that cultural change can only be achieved by a 'Long March' requiring extensive participation over time. Oticon's transformation was that of a rapid organizational change, which was based on the vision imposed on the company in a directive fashion by the CEO. This lead to the widespread change of attitudes and behaviours. Kolind's vision was the reason for this rapid change in attitudes across Oticon. A more planned approach, facilitated by this change in attitudes was used to achieve this rapid structural change. This was then followed by a period of emergent change where staff had to develop and adjust to new ways of working with and behaving towards each other.Schmuck and Miles (1971) argue that the level of involvement required in a project is dependant on the impact of the change on people concerned. Building on earlier work by Harrison (1970), Huse (1980) developed this difference further. He categorized change interventions along with continuum based on the 'depth of intervention, ranging from the 'shallow level' to the 'deepest level'. The greater the depth of intervention, Huse argues, the more it becomes concerned with the psychological make-up and personality of the individual, and the greater the need for full involvement of individuals if they are to accept the changes. Therefore, linking levels of involvement to the types of change proposed is necessary. The key is that, the greater the effect on the individual, especially in terms of psychological constructs and values, the deeper the level of involvement required if successful behaviour change is to be achieved.The theory of cognitive dissonance of Burnes and James (1995) helps in seeking to understand and explain why major rapid attitudinal changes at Oticon were successful without a great deal of initial involvement. The theory of cognitive dissonance states that people want to behave in accordance with their attitudes and usually will take corrective action to alleviate the dissonance and achieve balance. At Oticon, fundamental attitudinal change was achieved relatively quickly because management and employee recognized the need for change and saw why new vision is the only hope for the company's survival.Organizational culture, or corporate culture, comprises the attitudes, experiences, beliefs and values of an organization. It has been defined as "the specific collection of values and norms that are shared by people and groups in an organization and that control the way they interact with each other and with stakeholders outside the...

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