Organisational Change Case Study - Origin Energy

Topics: Management, Leadership, Organizational studies Pages: 9 (3029 words) Published: November 21, 2012
This essay will explore a case study of Origin Energy to illustrate an organisation that has undergone a change. The organisational culture before and after the change will be described, management styles within the organisation will be analysed, the relationship between motivation and performance will also be explored and finally the change management strategies used by the organisation will be discussed as well. Each of these sections will be explored to support the hypothesis that culture is an integral part of an organisation. Before the individual sections are discussed however, the essay will look at the background of Origin Energy.

Origin Energy is a leading energy provider within the Asia-Pacific region. It is involved in finding new sources of energy, producing and retailing it. After the de-merger of Origin Energy from Boral in 2000 it officially became an energy company. It began as a gas company that later ventured into the electricity industry as well. Origin Energy has made many investments and undertaken many acquisitions of various businesses in both industries to ensure its place on the market. The environment that Origin Energy trades on is ever changing due the deregulation of the energy market in Australia (Waddell, Cummings & Worley, 2007). Therefore, certain measures have been undertaken by Origin Energy to increase the efficiency of its work and provide better service to its customers. Origin Energy did not have the resources in the founding years of their business to manage the credit and billing sections of their business and therefore it outsourced these functions to a financial business named Wipro. After many years of this function being performed by Wipro and the constant expansion of Origin Energy it was decided in 2007 that to increase the proficiency of Origin Energy’s billing and credit processes the teams that were performing this function at Wipro were provided with the opportunity to be transitioned across to work internally for Origin Energy.

Organisational Culture
Culture is said to be the representation of social discourses such as belief systems, attitudes, values, behaviour and norms that distinguish a society (Wood et al., 2010). This definition on culture is closely matched to the definition of culture as the accumulation of human traditions and customs and that culture is a social construction (Berry & Sam, 2006). Culture exists on a nationalistic level, however it also exists within organisations (Wood et al., 2010). Organisational culture can often be derived from the national culture’s shared discourse (Wood et al., 2010). It is also possible because organisations are sub-systems of a society (Wood et al., 2010). Although organisations share similarities to the host culture each organisation has their own individual culture (Select Knowledge, 2001). Organisational culture can be defined similarly to the definition of culture provided previously in that it is the shared discourses of the people belonging to it (Bartol, 2008). It is through the process of interacting with others that a person learns culture and cultural discourses are transmitted (Schein, 1987). Organisational culture is reflected by the shared assumptions held in the organisation as well as in its rituals, policies, systems, and procedures which influence the assumed desired behaviours that the organisation believes is part of their culture (Bartol, 2008). The culture of an organisation can be explained by using Hofstede’s (1997) dimensions of values, which for the purpose of this essay will only include power distance and masculinity versus femininity. In diagnosing Origin Energy’s existing culture within its billing team after their transition from Wipro, it has been suggested that firstly the culture before the transition was completed should be compared to the current culture so that the current culture can be more clearly identified...
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