About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 2503 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain

AN ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE CHANGE APPROACH FOR MERGED HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS

K. Strydom

Walter Sisulu University (SOUTH AFRICA)
The South African higher education landscape has recently experienced extensive merger processes to create equitable access and integrated developmental pathways. The mergers have proven to be challenging in terms of aligning to homogeneous organizational cultures. Effective management of higher education institutions demands the capacity to deal with cross-cultural issues and influences. Leadership and change management strategies further have a profound effect on the acceptance of cultural change by individuals. In many cases the change that occurs as a result of a merger is imposed on the leaders themselves, and it is often the pace of the change that inhibits the successful re-engineering of the culture. As structure and culture are inextricably linked, restructuring without re-culturing encourages symbolic rather than substantive change.

Walter Sisulu University (WSU) resulted from the merger of three institutions with distinct and proud identities. Despite having one identity, a common vision and mission statement and set of values, the employees of WSU have as yet not embraced a common culture. As with merged institutions, the distinct ideologies and value systems that characterize each institution also keeps them from creating a synergistic culture. While organizational culture captures the subtle, elusive and largely unconscious forces that shape the workplace, organizational culture which is resistant to change represents a major weakness for an institution. Thus managing change involves the need to influence people. Empathy, sensitivity to cultural differences, and the battle to understand barriers are essential. The first phase of this research entailed a literature study, sourcing and analysing secondary data regarding organizational culture, leadership and merger challenges. This framework depicts the impact of each variable in relation to achieving the institution’s goals. The next phase, the empirical research was conducted at WSU (quantitative research) regarding significant issues which affect corporate, transformation and cultural health. The assessment concluded that issues of concern include management structure, harmonisation of policies across campuses, and development of a unifying institutional culture. The results of the empirical research are conclusive in that intervention is vital. This necessitates the implementation of an organisational culture change project to initialize the process of change towards enhanced culture and identity, resulting in a more cohesive workforce unified through a homogeneous organizational identity. The finding of this study strengthens assumptions that organizational culture does indeed influence the attainment of organizational goals. This study makes a contribution to merged higher education institutions regarding aligning and enhancing their organizational culture.
@InProceedings{STRYDOM2014ANO,
author = {Strydom, K.},
title = {AN ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE CHANGE APPROACH FOR MERGED HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS},
series = {7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-2484-0},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {17-19 November, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {2503}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Strydom
TI - AN ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE CHANGE APPROACH FOR MERGED HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS
SN - 978-84-617-2484-0/2340-1095
PY - 2014
Y1 - 17-19 November, 2014
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2014 Proceedings
SP - 2503
EP - 2503
ER -
K. Strydom (2014) AN ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE CHANGE APPROACH FOR MERGED HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS, ICERI2014 Proceedings, p. 2503.
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