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Organizational culture persistence versus change: How organizational culture is interpreted and formulated in the work life of a company with a cultural focus
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Organisation and Entrepreneurship.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background:  Organizational culture is one of the most prominent topics in academia and has gained its status due to the transferability from academia into managerial practice. Today, organizational culture has become an institutionalized topic and scholars call for a need to revive the topic (Chatman & O'Reilly, 2016). Inconsistency with organizational culture and organizational vision, external market pressure and a changing composition of the workforce ask to adapt organizational culture to current times.

Research question: How is culture formulated and the evolution of cultural values interpreted in the work life of a company with a cultural focus?

Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to describe how a multinational company with a strong focus on the management of culture and values re-interprets their core cultural values in the face of modernization and internationalization. At the same time, the preservation of the cultural core is investigated by looking at how culture is expressed at the case company.

Method: The research design of this study is a qualitative case study with the collection of empirical data through interviews, observations, and organizational documents. Abductive reasoning was employed to serve the exploratory layout of the study. A constructivist ontological and interpretivist epistemological position was taken. Quality criteria, relevant for qualitative research studies were considered.

Conclusion: The findings of my study show that organizational culture change and preservation ask for a differentiated point of view between promoted modification in cultural content such as formalized communication, and the degree of modification in cultural consensus, behavior and intensity of expression.The data shows a dissonance between communicated and exhibited change, where behavior does not meet the stage of textualized modification. The organizational culture at IKEA is characterized by stability and persistence with a notion of ethnocentricity. It is still expressed and experienced in the same way that it has been for many years despite attempts to reinvigorate it.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 95
Keywords [en]
organizational culture, organizational culture change, organizational culture preservation, assessing organizational culture, normative control
National Category
Social Sciences Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-67408OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-67408DiVA, id: diva2:1135707
External cooperation
IKEA of Sweden
Subject / course
Business Administration - Organization Leadership
Educational program
Innovation through Business, Engineering and Design - Specialisation Business, Master Programme, 120 credits
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-08-25 Created: 2017-08-24 Last updated: 2017-08-25Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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