How Easy Do You Think It Is for a New Chief Executive to Change the Culture of an Organisation Quickly?

Topics: Culture, Chief executive officer, The Culture Pages: 3 (927 words) Published: February 27, 2013
The culture of an organization can be defined by the ‘way they do things’, this means the way they make decisions, operate and how they choose and achieve their objectives. As culture is a set of values and practices, changing it may be difficult and a long process, especially if the change is organized by a new chief executive.

Changing the culture of an organization may not be easy especially if the new chief executive does not fully understand the previous culture and therefore does not embrace it in the change. This lack of knowledge may result in an inappropriate culture being chosen that could limit the company’s performance as productivity reduces. An example of a badly imposed culture can been seen with the Chrysler and Damier-Benz merge in 1998. Damier-Benz imposed their traditional and structured German culture on the free-spirited American car company Chrysler. The extremely different cultures created tension that later affected their efficiency as decision-making took longer and the workforce were not happy. The inappropriate culture resulted in a loss of $1.5 billon by 2006. In 2011, the new chief executive of Tesco, Phillip Clarke, also made a cultural change which proved unsuccessful. He proposed a strategy to change Tesco’s brand image to be known for “highly valued brands” as opposed to their cheaper “Value” products. The decrease in popular promotion deals such as vouchers and meal deals reduced their sales revenue and share value which fell by 15% by the end of 2011. This suggests that Clarke failed to identify Tesco’s main source of competitively. Therefore, both examples show that cultural changes may be difficult as the new chief executives lack knowledge and experience in the company.

Culture change also takes a long time, especially as traditions and values are set. A prime example of this is with Sony. Sony is a Japan-based company who prides themselves in adopting a traditional Japanese business culture. Examples of their...
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