Cultural Adaptability and Organizational Change: A Case Study of a Social Service Organization in Hong Kong

  • Paul Lester Nesbit Macquarie University
  • Elman Lam Macquarie University

Abstract

This article explores the relationship between adaptive culture and organizational change. We report on a longitudinal case study of a non-governmental organization (NGO) in the social service sector in Hong Kong that underwent a two-year quality improvement program. Using the quantitative and qualitative analysis of the adaptability of the organization’s culture prior to and immediately after the change in the program, we explored the effect of culture on the change process as well as the effect of the change on culture. While survey results did not reveal substantial cultural change, interviews and focus groups analysis showed significant improvements in learning processes at the team level as well as the increased adoption of participatory leadership behavior. Nevertheless, the extent of change, particularly in term of organizational level learning, was minor. Implications for research and practice in organizational change and its relationship with adaptive culture are discussed. Keywords: Adaptability, Organizational Culture, Change To cite this document: Paul Lester Nesbit and Elman Lam, "Cultural Adaptability and Organizational Change: A Case Study of a Social Service Organization in Hong Kong", Contemporary Management Research, Vol.10, No.4, pp.303-324, 2014. Permanent link to this document: http://dx.doi.org/10.7903/cmr.12186

Author Biography

Paul Lester Nesbit, Macquarie University
Graduate School of Management Senior Lecturer in Management
Published
2014-12-03
Section
Organization Behavior and Human Resource Management