Change Management within the Cultural Context. A qualitative study regarding change management in relation to Global Commerce and 8 Operating Companies in Western, Central and Eastern Europe.
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Organization X has set the objective to change the organization within a couple of years, going from a (internal) product-oriented organization towards a (external) consumer-oriented organization, within Western, Central and Eastern Europe. Within Organization X these extensive changes are implemented through change programs, which are developed by the departments of Organization X International (Head Office). Thereupon they are, depending on the size of the program, implemented into the Operating Companies (OpCo’s) which are located in more than 90 different countries. The research examined how the Marketing Directors (part of the Management Team) of 8 different OpCo’s have “translated” previous change programs developed by Global Commerce (department of the Head Office) into the daily business of their OpCo. It also studied to what degree the managers’ cultural background affects how they fulfil their management role during the process of change. Based on 16 interviews with 8 Marketing Directors and 8 of their employees within Western, Central and Eastern Europe is found that how the Marketing Directors “translate” the change programs into their daily business, is related to how they give meaning to the change programs. Through the process of sense making it seems to differ per Marketing Director and per change program how they “translate” the change programs into the daily business. Themes such as autonomy, implementation, ownership, endorsement and engagement seem to be central within this process and are therefore further explored in the study. The research also found that the management role of the Marketing Directors is not completely biased by their cultural background.