Author Dr. Myles Sweeney (Profile)
Culture is surely the bogey man of Organizational Science insofar as it is cited as a primary cause of OD/CM failure, M&A underperformance, etc., but there is very little definition beyond the standard description that is offered in terms of “how we do things around here”. It is sad to think that these points capture the state of offering with 50% of all firms actually auditing Culture according to the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors as referenced by PWC, because they see it as critical, even though such approaches are recognized as with disdain e.g., “lacking depth and richness” PWC
Numerous researchers have used factor-analysis approaches to classify Cultures according to traits and some are validated at micro, meso and macro-level systems, but with no insight into how such classifications lead to better outcomes for developmental interventions. Dynamiv Systems Maturity Theory (DSMT) changes all of that, and over the next few pages the argument is made that Culture should now be defined in terms of Habituation at one of the defined Stages along the natural Maturation process, and therefore, that development should address Culture in the same Integrative fashion as the DSMT engages with all Habituated systems by pitching the intervention at that Level and bringing the system through subsequent developmental Phases.
In this paper we outline the underpinning relationship between DSMT and Organization Culture, the practical application of this research is codified and available to organizations’ in the Organization Capability Maturity Framework ( OrgCMF™ ). OrgCMF™ is a Scientific; Reference Model ; Body of Knowledge ; and Maturity Assessment tool set available on-line on the OrgCMF™ Digital Platform.
DSMT Developmental Process as Culture Change in Preparation for specific Change Initiatives
There is a great saying that has resonated across the sports and business worlds many times and most profoundly by Roy Keane in his row with the management of the Irish soccer team at the World Cup in Japan – Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail. Nowhere does this saying ring more truly than in the Corporate World where Failure Rates for Change/Growth/Development initiatives average 75% as explained elsewhere. If as also explained elsewhere, this type of majority applies also to the prevalence of Bureaucratic/Linear/Neurotic Culture that will not accommodate necessary change, then it is a matter of scientific corollary, that organizations need to prepare for change by reconfiguring its Culture accordingly.
Organizational Cultures that “Eat (or Drive) Strategy” as DSMT Maturity Levels
It is an important maxim that “Culture eats Strategy”, but among many such commentaries, Denning (2011) provides an objective independent account of Organizational Culture and its role in hindering change initiatives unless effectively countered by Preparatory Intervention:
Changing an organization’s culture is one of the most difficult leadership challenges. That’s because an organization’s culture comprises an interlocking set of goals, roles, processes, values, communications practices, attitudes and assumptions. The elements fit together as a mutually reinforcing system and combine to prevent any attempt to change it. That’s why single-fix changes, such as the introduction of teams, or Lean, or Agile, or Scrum, or knowledge management, or some new process, may appear to make progress for a while, but eventually the interlocking elements of the organizational culture take over and the change is inexorably drawn back into the existing organizational culture Forbes - Denning
What Denning refers to as “a mutually reinforcing system” of “interlocking set of Goals, Roles, Processes, Values, Communications Practices, and Assumptions”, etc. can be seen literally as the Learning Constructs of an organization at a particular Maturational Level. These will inevitably act through the natural processes of Assimilation that especially in Linear/Bureaucratic and other Neurotic Cultures, bring an Inversive Hysteresis to bear on all Integrative initiatives. It follows that the optimal remedy is surely to move the system from its Habituated Level by systemic process that accounts for all Levels of Culture and offers normative Phases to proceed sustainably through Cultural evolution as facilitated by the DSMT model to levels where such Inversion is deterred, and instead, the growth drive is reinforced by Integrative process and ultimately a Regenerative Culture keeping in mind that Sustainability of any Level depends on the support of each other Level of e.g., Planning, Leadership Accountability, Socio-Emotive engagement, Operational Excellence, Dynamic Customer Care, Innovation and Systemic Integrity.
How Culture works as cause of Failure
Organizational Culture can hinder new change efforts, especially where employees know their expectations and the roles that they are supposed to play in the organization. This is the conclusion of Mazur and Zaburek (2016) who argue that 70% of all change efforts fail because of the culture of an organization's employees. They say that change is difficult because organizational cultures – and the organizational structures in which they are embedded – often reflect the "imprint" of earlier periods in a persistent way and exhibit remarkable levels of “inertia” (Marquis and Tilcsik, 2013), and the language used reinforces the DSMT positioning as Habituated Learning patterns.
DSMT resolving Criticism of the Concept of Culture
Criticism of the usage of the term Culture by managers began early in the emergence of its useage in the early 80s (e.g., Smircitch, 1983). Most of the criticism comes from the writers in critical management studies who for example, express skepticism about the Functionalist and Unitarist views about Culture that are put forward by mainstream management writers. They stress the ways in which these Cultural Assumptions can dissent from management and reproduce what they refer to as propaganda and ideology. They suggest that organizations do not have a single culture and that cultural engineering may not reflect the interests of all stakeholders within an organization. It has to be said in passing that in Skepticism, one sees the overreaching of Linear Mindset and Culture at work, and as predicted by DSMT, is fearful of any approach that undermines Linear approaches including Exploitation, Power, Dominance, Divisiveness, Containment, etc.
However, to move beyond the containment of Skepticism and actually resolve such perceived theoretical shortcomings, only the DSMT modelling can cope with such diversity and complexity by showing Cultural effects across a range of Capabilities, Functionalities and Groupings within and across a system. Within what are termed Critical-Management studies, Smircitch criticized theories that attempt to categorize or 'pigeonhole' organizational culture (Brewis, 2005). She uses the metaphor of a plant root to represent Culture, saying that it drives organizations rather than vice versa. In other words, Organizations are the product of organizational culture; we are unaware of how it shapes behavior and interaction. This is also implicit in Schein's (2002) underlying assumptions, and so this approach asks - how can we categorize it and define what it is? Again, in answer to such criticism, the DSMT Modelling allows us to see – in terms of Levels of Growth – how the Cultural dimensions of the organization have evolved and habituated, as well as how they can be further developed.
The problem with prevailing definitions and approaches to Culture is whether to distinguish it from Behavior, in the belief that Culture affects Behavior when the DSMT makes it clear that Culture is Behavior, and that collective Habituations of Behavior promote such Habituation in individuals according to the Social-Learning processes covered elsewhere.
Gathering support for defining Habituation as Culture from prevailing models
There are a host of models and theories of Organizational Culture and a galaxy of related attributes that seemingly identify Culture. Using the DSMT model as a prism through which each can be evaluated, it is fair to say that the most that they do is identify which Level of Learning is operational in a system; and such access is probably better through the model’s diagnostics with graphic display and differentiation as well as normative developmental prescription ready to hand.
For example, Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn (1999) conducted research on organizational effectiveness and success. Based on the Competing Values Framework, they developed the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument that distinguishes four culture types. The Competing Values Framework produced polarities like Flexibility Vs Stability and Internal Vs External focus – these two polarities were found to be most important in defining organizational success. The polarities construct a quadrant with four types of culture.
According to Cameron and Quinn (2006), an organizational culture that matches the Hierarchical form has the characteristics related to a formalized and structured workplace where a long-term interest of the organization is stability, predictability and efficiency. Market culture is a working environment that is primarily result-oriented, and long-term interests are related to competitive actions and achieving very demanding goals. The clan culture is characterized by a friendly working environment in which people share and exchange many personal elements, and great importance is given to high degrees of cohesion. Adhocracy culture is characterized by a dynamic, entrepreneurial and creative working environment, and the focus is placed on the tendency to have a leading role in the field of new knowledge, products and services.
These four types of culture are organized based on two key dimensions. The first dimension constitutes a continuum that goes from organizational versatility and flexibility on the one side to perseverance and durability on the other side. The other dimension is related to the continuum that goes from the internal focus and integration to the external focus and differentiation (Cameron and Quinn, 2006). Below, standard descriptors are presented in Italics and relatedness to DSMT in normal script:
• Clan culture (internal focus and flexible) – A friendly workplace where leaders act like father figures. An Equilibrial organization but with Tropistic Linearity effects as to be expected
• Adhocracy culture (external focus and flexible) – A dynamic workplace with leaders that stimulate innovation. (Clearly a Creativity Zone)
• Market culture (external focus and controlled) – A competitive workplace with leaders like hard drivers. (loosely defined and could be a Complexity Zone but hard drivers could define either of the Stages of the Chaos Zone)
• Hierarchy culture (internal focus and controlled) – A structured and formalized workplace where leaders act like coordinators. (Hierarchy and Formalization range with diminishing effect through the maturation Levels, but co-ordination rather than e.g., authoritarianism, would imply the Operational Level)
Each of the mentioned Value Orientations is seen to be important, and because there is supposedly, no single, ideal type of culture, Cameron and Quinn state that it should not be expected that only one of the value orientations is emphasized, so that all four types of Culture at organizations are valuable and needed and none of them is better or worse than others (Cameron and Quinn, 2006, p.80). Again, while they are all needed in organizations, only the DSMT model shows how Integrative Development organizes these dimensions into a unified learning process, and its diagnostic methodology allows analysis of which is dominant in shaping organizational outcomes.
Interestingly, from a Systems Theory of Levels Ontology which is core to DSMT, at the Macro-Level, Racelis (2005) identified industries that correlated to these organizational culture types. Based on the commonality of characteristics of organizations she devised the following classifications:
Clan (industries: architecture, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, retail, social welfare) – organizations that are extremely cohesive, treats employees as family, leader acts as a parent figure, and develops a sense of family within the company
Adhocracy (industries: computer hardware/software, consulting, education, engineering, print/publishing) – organizations that are adaptable and creative, whose leaders are entrepreneurs, innovators, and risk takers
Hierarchy (industries: banking and finance, government, social welfare, transport) – organizations that emphasize order, uniformity, and regulations where leaders are seen as administrators or coordinators
Market (industries: architecture, chemicals/oils, distribution, food and beverage, manufacturing, property development, services, utilities) – organizations that are competitive and motivated by goal achievement, led by decisive and achievement-focused leaders .
The results further showed commonalities in the characteristics of organizational cultures among firms in the same industry, emphasizing that culture can be shaped by the competitive environment, customer requirements, and the expectations of the society where the organization operates (Racelis, 2005). These findings are highly consistent with the Habituation patterns of DSMT, and the classifications correspond to its Levels as follows:
Clan = Equilibrial; Hierarchy = Tropism; Adhocracy = Creativity; Market = Complexity. Of course, the DSMT brings so much more and would divide these classifications to more clearly define what Level of Learning is in play because some banks would typically position in the Operational Level, while others are Tropistic and even – as evidenced in many financial scandals and crashes – Sociopathically Absorptive, while much effort has been spent towards changing staff from the stereotypical bureaucratic clerks to sales people.
Of course, none of these classifications should theoretically preclude the existence of what Chadegani and Jari (2016) refer to as Ethical culture which they describe in terms of promoting ethical behaviors and conduct; and also another Cultural classification that Teehankee (2010) proposes as Humanistic which interestingly, corresponds with Regenerative Leadership, and was found to impact employees’ integral human development positively as anticipated by the DSMT correspondence. However, DSMT would propose that for these cultural effects to be evident sustainably in organizations, their systems, as wholes would need to be operating at the Creative/Expressionist Level at least.
Cameron and Quinn proceeded to designate six characteristics of organizational culture that can be assessed with the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI) which are Dominant Characteristics, Organizational Leadership, Management of Employees, Organizational Glue, Strategic Emphasis, and Criteria of Success. The task of shifting organizational behavior sustainable in systemic fashion would ask a great deal of facilitating consultants with these elements alone, especially using 4 Descriptive measures of progress, and falls short when compared to the range of Critical Points of Failure espoused by DSMT along both its axes.
Values Theory as a Basis for Understanding Culture as DSMT Levels
One theory that ties Culture to defining Values, is the Schwartz Value Theory (1992) which identifies ten different motivating Value Orientations which allegedly involves the key Values recognized in Cultures throughout the world. The definitive characteristic of every one of the ten key Values is that it describes its central motivational goal. The following list presents each defining Value with their related constituent motivational goals and the DSMT Stages that correspond in brackets:
Self-Direction: independent thought and acts, choice, creation, survey (Creativity, based on an Integrative Complexity re. personal choice, etc.);
Stimulation: taking risks and adventure (Reflexism or Complexity depending on the degree of Executivism);
Hedonism: egocentric meeting of personal needs (Absorption, defined by Egocentricity, physical focus, etc.);
Achievement: competitive personal success (Complexity as discussed re. Need Theory);
Power: social status and prestige, control of persons and resources (Tropistic or Absorptive Singularity depending on whether there is a need to feel power or additionally a need for a victim to feel it);
Security: safety and stability, harmony of society, mutual relations and personal harmony (Equilibrium);
Conformity: self-limitation and subordination of personal affinities to expectations of others (Inertia, Insulation or Equilibrium depending on degrees of Reciprocity and Self-Limitation);
Tradition: respect, devotion and acceptance of customs and ideas offered by the traditional culture and religion (Tropism or Equilibrium depending on the degree of devotion as in e.g., worship, blind faith, obedience, etc.);
Benevolence: preservation and improvement of wellbeing of those persons that the person is frequently in touch with (Integrative Leadership is indicated if improvement for others is a motive);
Universality: care and tolerance to the benefit of all people and nature (Regenerative Leadership, as indicated by scope of concerned engagement as Global Citizen if emphasis is on improvement and willingness to take a stand on issues).
Schwartz has developed an empirical scheme of what he considers a universal structure of human values and his system has two higher rows of Value dimensions: Openness to Changes (self-direction, stimulation and partially hedonism), as opposed to Conservatism (conformity, tradition and security) and Self-Enhancement (power, achievement and partially hedonism), as opposed to Self-Transcendence (universality and benevolence). This theory of Values is said to explain the structural aspect of Values, namely the dynamic relations among them, where neighboring values share motivational characteristics, whereas those that are more distant constitute more antagonistic motivational characteristics (Schwartz at al 2001; Schwartz, 2003).
What DSMT brings to this analysis of commonality concerns the degree to which those Values and Values Systems that correlate with the Disintegrative Division of the DSMT model are more Linear in descending order, than those of the Integrative Division which share increasing non-Linearity and Integrative capacity. It is not clear how definitive the tripartite classification is and DSMT would have issues with its simplicity. E.g., openness to changes can be associated with all three of its values, but from very different Psychological Profiles as Self-Direction implies an internalization of drive and rational attention, while Stimulation and Hedonism imply externalization of Locus of Control and instinctive processing respectively. Similarly, Power and Achievement, as noted by Murray are two very different motivations, and Self-Enhancement is loose enough to allow that diversity, while the Learning model is definitive that they are poles apart in terms of Psychological and Learning profile. On the other hand, the two Values of Self-Transcendence correlate very well with the two Phases of Integrative and Regenerative Leadership.
According to Schwartz (2003), the evidence of this theoretical structure has been found in samples of more than 67 nations, which he argues, points to a broad basis of motivations that may constitute a universal set of schemas on which the system of values is organized. People can differentiate the importance they give to certain values included in this frame of ten basic values, but the same structure of motivational opposites and compatibility may organize their values (Schwartz, 2003, p. 207). Given the considerable 1-1 correlation between Schwartz’s Values and the Stages of DSMT, the Learning Theory deserves to claim not only the same validity as Schwartz claims but moreso, due to the greater definition, prescription, operationalizable modelling, pan-system and pan-activity applicability, normative developmental process and of course, greater elaboration within those Learning Levels. It is worth reminding the reader that the correlations across so many models of so many dimensions of Behavior at all levels of system is because, unlike other models, DSMT is based on underlying Schemas rather than descriptive terms as explained elsewhere.
For diagnostic purposes, Schwartz developed a questionnaire of Personal Values that effectively examines similarities with some motivational goals and aspirations or Values rather than similarities with some special characteristics of a certain person, where the same term may also refer to a Value and characteristics (e.g. ambition, wisdom, obedience), because people who appreciate a goal such as Creativity, do not necessarily demonstrate the relevant characteristic of Creativity, and those who demonstrate the characteristic of Conformity do not necessarily consider Conformity as their goal (Schwartz at al. 2001, p. 523). In considerable contrast, because DSMT is learning-based, the emphasis is on behavior as expression of lived Values or Stages of Habituation, with the knowledge that personal development of Values has to be prescriptive from the diagnosed Level, rather than a matter of preference among poorly defined and disordered descriptive terms. Furthermore, the Learning Model emphasizes that in order for the higher Values to have Integrative rather than seeming nominal status for any system, the same Disconnect from Inversive Values and Maturation through Integrative Levels applies.
Organizational Values facilitating Micro-Analysis of Personal Fit in Organizational Culture Integrating some of the leading theories, Sahic and Stupar (2016) claim that Values are usually determined in such a way that they provide general behavior guidelines, and argue that the most influential definition of values was given by Kluckhohn as follows: "Values are implicit or explicit concepts of desirable forms, typical for an individual or a group, which impact the selection of adequate goals, manners and means of acting.'' (Kluckhohn, 1951, p. 395, in Hitlin and Piliavin, 2004, p. 362). Also, it is worth noting the congruent definition by Rokeach, according to which Values constitute basic convictions that ''a certain manner of behavior or final state of existence is personally or socially more desirable than the opposite or reverse manner of behavior or final state of existence'', which is deemed not less influential (Rokeach, 1973, p. 5, in Robbins and Judge, 2009, p. 120). Rokeach was of the opinion that a Value makes action meaningful, as opposed to Kluckhohn, who emphasized action (Hitlin and Piliavin 2004: 362). It is in this context that DSMT in describing and measuring Values in action, but any Learning Modelling that confined itself to desirable behaviors as these do, would be too simplistic by far.
Schwartz (1992) defines Values as desirable, trans-situational goals that vary in terms of importance and serve as guiding principles in people's lives. A key aspect that constitutes a difference between Values is the type of motivational goal that they express. In order to coordinate with others which goals are important for them, individuals and groups cognitively present these specific Values as schemas which organize communications and cultural narrative. According to Schwartz, key values are cognitive representations of three universal human motivations: (1) biologically-based needs of the organism, (2) needs for social interaction for the purpose of interpersonal coordination, and (3) social and institutional needs for the purpose of group wellbeing and survival (Hitlin and Piliavin, 2004, p. 362). Again, the main congruence with DSMT is how both employ the functionality of cognitively organizing principles or Learning Schemas, are congruent with Theory of Levels, and emphasise action.
Cultural Values in Macro-Economic Systems affecting Organizations: A DSMT Analysis
Recently, Schwartz's Cultural Values system, and that of Geert Hofstede, has been applied to research in the field of Economics, focusing on the performance of Economies in terms of Entrepreneurship and Business-Firm Creation. As discussed elsewhere, Business Firms are accepted to be the main micro and meso drivers of Macro-Economic Growth and it was thought that such Cultural effects might help explain why some countries are lagging behind others even when labor, natural resources, and governing institutions are relatively equalized. Again, even though this is a relatively new field of study in Economics, the empirical results so far, suggest that Culture plays a significant role in the success of Entrepreneurial efforts across countries, and most notably and definitively, even ones with largely similar governmental structures. As represented in Table 1, Liñán and Fernandez-Serrano (2014) found that the Cultural attributes detailed by Schwartz accounted for 60% of the difference in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) variance per capita across countries within the European Union. Given the validity that transfers from Schwartz to DSMT, it follows that the validity of its application to Macro-Economic Development is also thereby considerably validated, as is the corresponding Integrative progression of engagement.
The following is a fuller explanation of those Universal Values as Schemas, validated across 65+ nations, but not Integrative of Learning or ordered in Learning sequence, and the DSMT Habituative Stages to which each corresponds:
Self-direction: independent thought and acts, choice, creation, survey (Creativity);
Stimulation: taking risks and adventure (Reflexism);
Hedonism: egocentric meeting of personal needs (Absorption);
Achievement: competitive personal success (Complexity);
Power: social status and prestige, control of persons and resources (Tropistic Singularity);
Security: safety and stability, harmony of society, mutual relations and personal harmony (Equilibrium);
Conformity: self-limitation & subordination of personal affinities to others’ expectations (Inertia);
Tradition: respect, devotion and acceptance of customs and ideas offered by the traditional culture and religion (Tropism);
Benevolence: preservation and improvement of wellbeing of those persons that the person is frequently in touch with (Integrative Leadership);
Universality: care and tolerance to the benefit of all people and nature (Regenerative Leadership).
Table 1 Correspondence between Cultural Types as found to benefit GDP and DSMT Progression (defining corresponding feature of the Culture in brackets)
It has to be said that the Schwartz / Liñán thesis is a very interesting parallel to the Learning Theory across Psychology, Organizational Science and Economics: no other modelling has the same integrative cross-disciplinary applicability and validity. The advantage for DSMT is that the Schemas which both models share are sequenced in a Normative Learning Hierarchy that is operationalized for developmental purposes, while the former offers only Descriptive Correlational modelling. It is worth noting that although the Collaboration column covers typical progression as discussed in the section on Collaboration, there is no entry to correspond with Leadership.
Liñán and Francesco (2014), tell us that at the aggregate level, seven types of national cultural value orientations may be identified using Schwartz (1994) as follows: Embeddedness, Intellectual Autonomy, Affective Autonomy, Hierarchy, Egalitarianism, Mastery and Harmony, that have been grouped into three bipolar dimensions:
Embeddedness vs. Autonomy (intellectual and emotional): This dimension is regarded as covering what the authors refer to as “the troubled relationship between the individual and the group”. At the embeddedness end, the person is seen as an entity that is included in the community (examples of Values may be social order, respect for tradition, family security or wisdom); while at the other end, the person is an autonomous individual who finds meaning in their own difference (i.e., to be curious, open-minded or creative are values within the intellectual autonomy; pleasure, varied life or exciting life are affective autonomy values). Relative to DSMT, looseness of Definition is very evident because Embeddedness covers all DSMT Stages from exploitative Absorption which typically involves gangs of people around a dictator, to the embeddedness of Bureaucratic system at the Operational Level; and Autonomy could cover all higher Levels from the personal choosing of the Complexity (Competitive) Stage, to the Leadership Level, and whereas this only applies a Linear distinction between e.g., Embeddedness and Autonomy, DSMT provides an Integrative path from one to the other.
Hierarchy vs. Egalitarianism: They introduce the next bipolar grouping in terms of addressing what they present as the second most significant societal problem, i.e., “to guarantee responsible behavior that preserves the social fabric”, whereby “people must be induced to consider the welfare of others, to coordinate with them, and thereby manage their unavoidable interdependencies”. It addresses the responsible, cooperative behavior that will get societal tasks done, either by differentiating roles or by internalizing commitment and voluntary cooperation (Schwartz 1994). At the Hierarchy end of this dimension, the unequal distribution of power, roles and resources is considered legitimate representing social values such as power, authority, humility and wealth. Meanwhile, at the Egalitarianism end, the members of society are considered as equal beings who share a commitment to cooperate with others and pursue the common good, representing social values such as justice, freedom, responsibility and honesty. Again, the DSMT positions Hierarchy as organised for all of the proto-Self Levels by the Neurotic or Sociopathic Singularities whether the schemas are one’s own instincts or the directives of Dominant Leadership; while Egalitarianism as defined above would be a feature of the Global-Citizen dimension of Regenerative Leadership.
Mastery vs. Harmony: This dimension is described as helping regulate people’s treatment of natural and human resources. It addresses the problems of the relations between persons, and between person and nature. Those cultures heavily sided towards the Mastery pole are seeking personal gain through the exploitation and domination of nature and are ambitious, successful, competitive and risk-tolerant. In the Harmony side, on the other hand, are cultures that seek individuals fitting harmoniously with nature, protecting the environment and working for a world at peace). Again, Mastery if definitively Exploitative, corresponds to Absorptive Stage and Harmony would be covered by ideally, Regenerative Leadership but increasingly with maturation through the Integrative Levels.
The above line of research has also found a number of patterns regarding the relationship between these Cultural Value Systems and stages of Economic Development as predictable through the ordering of the DSMT correspondences, insofar as less-developed countries are typically characterized by a predominance of the Inversive Embeddedness and Hierarchy, while the Integrative Autonomy and Egalitarianism tend to prevail in developed countries (Schwartz 2008). In particular, Autonomy seems to be more strongly associated to Economic Growth, while Egalitarianism is more strongly linked to Social Change (Schwartz 2004), which shows the applicability of DSMT to address the full range of issues facing nations as Socio-Economic Systems. Regarding the relationship between Mastery/Harmony and Economic Development, a weaker correlation has been found (Schwartz and Ros 1995; Schwartz 2004). This Harmony concept has been related to Inglehart’s (1997) post-materialism and is found to be higher in most developed countries. In particular, this cultural orientation is highest in West Europe (Schwartz and Ros 1995), while in English-speaking (especially in the USA) and Confucian countries, mastery is prevalent (Schwartz 2008), which may have predicted the Mastery agenda of Brexit and the Trump ascendency in line with DSMT’s modelling of these phenomena as discussed elsewhere in the Economics and Actualization sections. Nevertheless, the relationship between these theoretical modellings and that of DSMT is very supportive of its applicability to Macro-Economic systems.
DSMT and Core Cultural Development While ideally, Cultural Development would involve the whole system, the core of the organization for Culture Change is captured in the following dashboard, with Stage Titles amended to fit Cultural Analysis. Each Developmental-Learning Dynamic has 5 Construct Critical Capabilities which are the real data points for use in developmental interventions, rather than those aggregated on the Dashboard which are only indicative in nature. This approach across 50 Capabilities, clearly rebuts those criticisms below that Culture is too multiplicitous etc., to manage developmentally. It is probably worth reminding the reader that where Capabilities are measured in the Disintegrative Division of the model, the developmental process begins with the lowest Phase of Creative Disruption which involves creating a Disorienting Dilemma for people regarding the unsatisfactory situation to motivate change, and generating support for the Disconnect Phase of the change process, etc., etc.
Organizational Culture Re-defined in face of Post-Modernist perspective
DSMT’s Maturational-Habituation definition of Culture denies what Burnes 2016 describes as the fragmentary perspective of the Postmodern approach which sees Culture as inconsistent, ambiguous, multiplicitous and in a constant state of flux, and therefore not amenable to definition, or organized change (p. 197). He continues by noting that “the Japanese approach, with its inclusion of hard and soft elements … seems to reconcile elements of modernism and post-modernism” (p.197). This is very much the DSMT profile also as Integrative of multiple perspectives and philosophical orientations. Burnes further continues with reasoning that would seem to chime with DSMT when he notes that “a critical flaw in both perspectives” is that “both come from a Western, especially European, intellectual and cultural tradition” (p. 198) which DSMT would pitch as distinctly Linear, as exemplified in the inability to address Culture and therefore dismiss a feature of organizations that is constantly highlighted as the cause of failure for CM/OD initiatives.
Operationalizing Cultural Development
Obviously, this thesis sees Cultural Development in simple terms of maturation of the Critical Capabilities of relevant Learning Dynamics through the Phases. As usual, this begins with generating momentum for the awareness that prevailing Culture is inhibitive of growth. However, the Disconnect Phase of the process is a challenge, because the theory is pretty clear that Linearity is inhibitive of Agility, so what happens to Linear-Minded people? Fortunately, DSMT does not throw the baby out with the bathwater and offers a clear integration of both Linear and more Integrative mindsets. Linear people are necessary in so many ways for discipline, diligence, perseverance, quality, process, compliance, etc., if such matters are important. Furthermore, in the right circumstances, such people are also quite creative in problem solving, especially problems of a practical rather than theoretical nature. However, the problems for organizations arise when a) Linearity defines strategic thinking and Leadership, because while Linear Thinking is excellent when the causes of problems are singular, Systems or Integrative Thinking is required when causes are multiple or inter-related, or their management relies on multiple relationships; and b) when such Linearity is accompanied by personality traits of the Absorptive Stage such as Aggression, Narcissism, such people are genuinely toxic to organizational health and the organization needs to be protected from their influence. Protection from external influence needs to be manifold: most immediately through an informed Screening Process that is applied not only to employment candidates, but also for any people who enter the system, even as suppliers and possibly even customers who have influence towards shaping an organization. The Disconnect process internally could follow a 360-degree learning process, whereby people are informed about their behavior from colleagues who must be aware of the significance of Inversive patterns of behavior over time. Cultural re-enforcement is then a matter of heeding the instructions of DSMT in terms of maintaining the developmental process in cyclical renewal across the Dynamics which relates to all types of Messaging, shaping Physical Place, Personal Development, Community Involvement, Customer Intimacy, etc., to drive congruence with ideally, the highest developmental aspiration.
Values Vs Maturity in Diagnosis
It might seem unnecessary to say, but while in the above Tables, Values and Cultures are equated with a Maturity Phase, this does not mean that a person or organization is functioning with maturity of that Level if their behavior reflects a particular higher Value. In order for such an assessment of Maturity, the person would need to have matured through the Phases to that Level. Without having transitioned through such growth, it might be that a person has the characteristics of a Level without necessarily having the character associated with having matured through the Phases to achieve that Level.
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