How Are Strategy and Organizational Culture Related? A Conceptual Discussion

  • Güven Alpay
  • Pınar Büyükbalcı
  • Meral Dülger
Conference paper
Part of the Eurasian Studies in Business and Economics book series (EBES, volume 9)

Abstract

This paper seeks to foster a conceptual discussion about the relationship between organizational culture and strategy. Organizations must find ways to handle global, national, market, technological and consumer demands whilst crafting relevant strategies to their internal workings and cultures. When the strategies of organizations are misaligned with market realities, the survival rate rapidly decreases. We suggest that the culture of organizations offer an anchor dictating how organizations perceive themselves, their surroundings, their customers and relevant stakeholders. The assumptions, beliefs and values determine how companies comprehend what is happening inside and outside the organization while dominating the strategy formulation and execution process. In a culture where change is avoided, prompt adaptation to market changes could be painful if not impossible. Thus, we propose that organizational culture can be utilized as a bridge for aligning inner realities of organizations with demands of the outer domain. Essentially, we suggest that organizations’ internal values and culture are generally not aligned with their strategic positions and that the focus of organizations need to be on a “fit” which will create a “competitive cultural persona” supporting the strategic posture in the marketplace. Such a “fit” will enable organizations to deploy resources effectively and manage information flow smoothly.

Keywords

Strategy Organizational culture Competitiveness New economy Organizational structure 

References

  1. Achrol, R. S. (1991). Evolution of the marketing organization: New forms for turbulent environments. Journal of Marketing, 55, 77–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, P. (1999). Perspective: Complexity theory and organization science. Organization science, 10(3), 216–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barney, J. B. (1986). Organizational culture: Can it be a source of sustained competitive advantage? Academy of Management Review., 11(3), 656–665.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Black, J., & Farias, G. (1997). Genesis of complexity cycles. In Eighth Annual International Conference of the Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology and Life Sciences. Boston, MA: Boston University.Google Scholar
  5. Carter, W. R. (2015). Ambidexterity deconstructed: A hierarchy of capabilities perspective. Management Research Review, 38(8), 794–812.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Conner, D. R. (1998). Leading at the edge of chaos: How to create the nimble organization. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  7. Duncan, R. (1976). The ambidextrous organization: Designing dual structures for innovation. In R. H. Killman, L. R. Pondy, & D. Sleven (Eds.), The management of organization (pp. 167–188). New York: North Holland.Google Scholar
  8. Galbraith, J. R. (1973). Designing complex organizations. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publication Company.Google Scholar
  9. Galbraith, J. R. (1994). Competing with flexible lateral organizations. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publication Company.Google Scholar
  10. Galbraith, J. R. (1995). Designing organizations: An executive briefing on strategy, structure and process. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.Google Scholar
  11. Gibson, C. B., & Birkinshaw, J. (2004). The antecedents, consequences, and mediating role of organizational ambidexterity. Academy of Management Journal, 47(2), 209–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Glass, N. (1996). Chaos, non-linear systems and day-to-day management. European Management Journal, 14, 98–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Goold, M., & Campbell, A. (2002). Designing effective organizations. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  14. Hamel, G., & Prahalad, C. K. (1994). Competing for the future. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  15. Hammer, M. (1996). Beyond reengineering: How the process-centered organization is changing our work and our lives. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.Google Scholar
  16. Hodgkinson, G. P. (1997). Cognitive inertia in a turbulent market: The case of UK residential real estate agents. Journal of Management Studies, 34(6), 921–945.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Johnson, M. W., Christensen, C. M., & Kagermann, H. (2008). Reinventing your business model. Harvard Business Review, 86, 50–59.Google Scholar
  18. Kotter, J. P. (1995, March–April). Leading change: Why transformation efforts fail. Harvard Business Review, 59–67.Google Scholar
  19. Kotter, J. P. (1996). Leading change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  20. Lane, D., & Maxfield, R. (1996). Strategy under complexity: Fostering generative relationships. Long Range Planning, 29, 215–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lawler, E. E., III. (1994). From job-based to competency-based organizations. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 15, 3–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lewin K (1947) Frontiers in group dynamics. In: Catwright D (ed) Field theory in social science. Social Science Paperbacks, London, pp 143–153Google Scholar
  23. Loewen, J. (1997). The power of strategy: A practical guide for South African managers. Sandton: Zebra.Google Scholar
  24. March, J. G. (1991). Exploration and exploitation in organizational learning. Organization Science, 2(1), 71–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Merry, U. (1995). Coping with uncertainty: Insights from the new sciences of chaos, self-organization, and complexity. Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
  26. Mohrman, S. A., & Cummings, T. G. (1989). Self-designing organizations: Learning how to create high performance. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing.Google Scholar
  27. Mohrman, S. A., Cohen, S. G., & Mohrman, A. M., Jr. (1995). Designing team-based organizations: New forms for knowledge work. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.Google Scholar
  28. Mohrman, S. A., Galbraith, J. R., Lawler, E. E., III, & Associates. (1998). Tomorrow’s organization: Crafting winning capabilities in a dynamic world. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.Google Scholar
  29. Nadler, D. A., Gerstein, M. S., Shaw, R. B., & Associates. (1992). Organizational architecture: Designs for changing organizations. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.Google Scholar
  30. O’Reilly, C. A., & Tushman, M. L. (2008). Ambidexterity as a dynamic capability: Resolving the innovator’s dilemma. Research in Organizational Behavior, 28, 185–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational culture and leadership (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Wiley.Google Scholar
  32. Schreiber, C., & Carley, K. M. (2006). Leadership style as an enabler of organizational complex functioning. Emergence: Complexity and Organization, 8, 61–76.Google Scholar
  33. Smith, A., & Fingar, P. (2003). Business process management: The third wave. Tampa, FL: Meghan-Kiffer Press.Google Scholar
  34. Spanyi, A. (2006). More for less: The power of process management. Tampa, FL: Meghan-Kiffer Press.Google Scholar
  35. Trompenaars, F., & Hampden-Turner, C. (1998). Riding the waves of culture: Understanding diversity in global business. Nueva York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  36. Tushman, M. L., & O’Reilly, C. A. (1996). Ambidextrous organizations: Managing evolutionary and revolutionary change. California Management Review, 38(4), 8–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Güven Alpay
    • 1
  • Pınar Büyükbalcı
    • 2
  • Meral Dülger
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of ManagementBoğaziçi UniversityİstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Business AdministrationYıldız Technical UniversityİstanbulTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Business Administration (Lectured in English)Marmara UniversityİstanbulTurkey

Personalised recommendations