Effects of Organizational Culture on Change Management Process: A Case of the Nairobi Hospital

Effects of Organizational Culture on Change Management Process: A Case of the Nairobi Hospital

General Literature review.

Culture constitutes the sum of values and beliefs that shape norms of conduct and determine how things are done in an organization. Culture tells more about an organization. How the employees learn and share knowledge, the type of behavior reinforced, risk management, and whether an organization is open to change or not has a direct link to its culture. The shared beliefs, values, and norms are the building blocks of organizational culture, which gives its members the consistency and certainty desired within the perimeters of operation. Organizational change, on the other hand, is the process of altering corporate strategies, and procedures to improve the overall performance.

Several studies tend to link organizational culture to change management processes in an organization. The successful implementation of an organizational change relies on organizational culture. Kunert (2018) observe that there are more failures than success in attempts to initiate change in organizations. Some of the organizational culture that contributes to the failures are mismanagement of employee trust and a lack of communication. Besides, attempting to implement several changes at once, resistance and passive participation by members within an organization all lead to failure. Several reasons cause resistance to change in an organization. When employees feel they do not have a stake in the change process, they are likely to work against change initiative.  A system that encourages inclusivity has high chances of succeeding in the implementation of new changes than an exclusive organization. Mushtaq (2012) notes change may cause worries in an organization, especially when it intends to eliminate the status quo. Since individuals are not willing to relinquish power and positions, employees will reject the proposed change to ensure they sustain the status quo.

Thomas (2012) argue that most individuals in an organization changing feel threatened. The finding assumes that change makes life less orderly and safer for the member within an organization. Although not every change in an organization is intentional, some are necessary to improve organizational productivity. Therefore, every employee should participate in decision-making. Organizational culture recommended by OD experts is that which involve the employees in the identification and solving of existing problems. Thus, changes should be inclusive both at the design and at implementation stages. Mushtaq (2012) propose that the successful implementation of change require the engagement of everyone in the organization in change processes. Organization culture can both help and hinder the change process in an organization. Culture provides a sense of identity and belonging. Any attempt to challenge the existing values and beliefs receives immediate and robust resistance. Kunert (2018) suggests that change should be tied to organizational values, and emphasize the importance of strengthening corporate culture when implementing change. A strong organizational culture contributes to an organization’s ability to succeed in a competitive market, and so achieving in the implementation of any change (Hansen, 2007). Bennett, Fadil & Greenwood (1994) contend that shared attitudes, beliefs, commitments, and socially constructed patterns of thinking in an organization influence both short-term and long-term changes.

Culture has traditionally influenced organizational development, and continue to affect the implementation of strategies, at management and performance level. Change management interacts with culture in terms of overall orientation, workplace attitudes, and themes. Secondly, culture guides behavior and perception during the implementation of change in an organization, and finally, culture restricts the scope of an organization to some extent, thus pose critical contingency upon conceptualization, design, and implementation of changes (Asl, 2015).  The cultural facet of an organization affect the application of change strategy; therefore, should be included in change processes. Onyango (2014) note in his findings that culture and organization change management are vital constituents of an organization, which require consideration when designing and executive changes in the company.

Given Philip Onyango, the business environment is constantly changing making it necessary for organizations to limit employee resistance to change. An organization culture that promotes the enabling atmosphere and sharing of knowledge facilitates the attainment of organizational strategic goals (Onyango, 2014). Organization norms affect change management; therefore, Philip recommends that the company’s top management should ensure work patterns, and attitudes that promote change management. Besides, Onyango notes that organizational management should focus on integrating employee’s values and beliefs in the corporate culture, which ensures the acceptance, and promotion of change management. While conducting a case study on KenGen, Wangari (2015) observed that majority of the respondents consider organizational values to promote the implementation of the Good-to-Great (G2G) policy. Regulatory norms influence, and facilitate effective management of staff at work. At the same time, Kola Wangari notes that organizational culture maintains the quality of output in a company. Therefore, change initiatives in an organization will receive support from the employees if it enhances the company rites, and promote the implementation of the G2G strategy. Whereas government policies vary from institution to institution, it is vital for the Kenyan government to acknowledge the role of norms in binding members of an organization, company and an institution. The study, therefore, would influence policies to prioritize organizational norms to achieve greater lengths of performance.

Conceptual framework

The relationship between organizational culture and change management processes can be conceptualized as a single stage relationship in which attitudes; values, norms, and management support interact with change management to influence performance in an organization. See the figure below (Generated by the author).

Change in management represents the dependent variable whereas norms, values, attitude, and support to the employees by top management represents the independent variables. The framework assists in establishing the link between change management and the dominant culture that exists within an organization. The attempt to analyze the effect of organizational norms and rites on change management will take into account the existing cultural orientation in Nairobi Hospital, employee attitudes, organizational values, and the type of control.

Research Gap.

Whereas organizational culture significantly influences organizational performance, most companies, both private and public pay little attention to norms that affect change management. Additional studies to determine the extent to which organizations, institutions, and parastatals in Kenya incorporate organizational culture in their policies and blueprints would be necessary. Further studies can address the challenges of organizational culture in change management processes.




Asl, G. (2015). Organizational Change Management Strategies in Modern Business. IGI Global.

Bennett, R., Fadil, P., & Greenwood, R. (1994). Cultural Alignment in Response to Strategic Organizational Change: New Considerations for a Change Framework. Journal of Managerial Issues, 6(4), 474-490. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40604042.

Hansen, P. H. (2007). Organizational Culture and Organizational Change: The Transformation of Savings Banks in Denmark, 1965—1990. Enterprise & Society. Vol. 8, No. 4. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/23700776.

Kunert, S. (2018). Strategies in Failure Management: Scientific Insights, Case Studies, and Tools. Springer.

Mushtaq, S. (2012). Resistance to organizational change: Successful implementation of change through effective communication. GRIN Verlag.

Onyango, W. P. (2014). Effects of Organization Culture on Change Management: A case of the Vocational Training Centre for the Blind and Deaf Sikri. European Journal of Business and Management. 6.

Thomas, K. M. (2012). Diversity Resistance in Organizations. Psychology Press.

Wangari, K. (2015). The Influence of Organizational Culture on Change Management in the Energy Sector: A Case of KenGen. United States International University Africa.