Between cultures: values, training and identity in a manufacturing firm

Between cultures: values, training and identity in a manufacturing firm Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to critically scrutinize the use of training interventions as a means of implementing corporate culture change and to assess the implications of such programs for employee identity. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses empirical materials, observations and reflections from a two‐year ethnographic study in a manufacturing firm to discuss the organization's “core values” with specific attention directed to a particular organizational event – the running of a training program designed to educate the firms employees in the company's newly designed culture. Findings – The contested interaction between formally articulated corporate culture and the workplace experience of the employees is shown to demonstrate how cultural change programs can work to suppress employee's dissent and dialogue whilst being articulated in a language of inclusiveness and involvement. Practical implications – The paper provides a review of the complex and paradoxical implications of cultural change programs that would be of use to managers, management consultants and human resource development professionals involved in implementing cultural change. Originality/value – The paper examines organizational culture through detailed ethnographic study with a particular focus on the problematics of how training is used as a technology for cultural change. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Organizational Change Management Emerald Publishing

Between cultures: values, training and identity in a manufacturing firm

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0953-4814
DOI
10.1108/09534810610648924
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to critically scrutinize the use of training interventions as a means of implementing corporate culture change and to assess the implications of such programs for employee identity. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses empirical materials, observations and reflections from a two‐year ethnographic study in a manufacturing firm to discuss the organization's “core values” with specific attention directed to a particular organizational event – the running of a training program designed to educate the firms employees in the company's newly designed culture. Findings – The contested interaction between formally articulated corporate culture and the workplace experience of the employees is shown to demonstrate how cultural change programs can work to suppress employee's dissent and dialogue whilst being articulated in a language of inclusiveness and involvement. Practical implications – The paper provides a review of the complex and paradoxical implications of cultural change programs that would be of use to managers, management consultants and human resource development professionals involved in implementing cultural change. Originality/value – The paper examines organizational culture through detailed ethnographic study with a particular focus on the problematics of how training is used as a technology for cultural change.

Journal

Journal of Organizational Change ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 1, 2006

Keywords: Organizational culture; Organizational change; Training

References

  • Identity regulation as organizational control: producing the appropriate individual
    Alvesson, M.; Willmott, H.
  • Employee responses to culture change efforts
    Harris, L.C.; Ogbonna, E.
  • Critical theory and the hegemony of corporate culture
    Ogbor, J.O.
  • Coming to terms with the field: understanding and doing organizational ethnography
    Rosen, M.
  • Strength is ignorance; slavery is freedom: managing culture in modern organizations
    Willmott, H.

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