How can a bureacracy be transformed using values to re-conceptualize organizational change management practices, ideas, concepts and insights?
1) Can value-memes be applied as an interpretive model to affect positive and productive change in a bureaucracy.
2) Do value-memes influence employees behavior in a bureacracy?
3) Do value-memes influence decision-making in a bureacracy?
4) Do value-memes influence process management in a bureaucracy?
5) Do value-memes influence organizational culture in a bureaucracy?
6) Do Value memes influence organizational performance in a bureaucracy?
This study examined organizational value-memes using the Adizes theory of corporate life cycles, the Spiral Dynamics framework of Beck and Cowan, and Young et al.’s schema psychology approach. The research addressed organizational value-memes in the context of schema psychology. The memetic-schema concept is set forth as an interpretive model to enable positive and productive change in a bureaucracy. A Department of Defense command was the subject of this 12-year ethnographic-longitudinal study. Grounded theory techniques were used to analyze 18 in-depth interviews evenly distributed between executives, middle managers, and change agents. The command’s climate, managerial norms, and employees’ attitudes were analyzed.
Data findings revealed the command (and arguably other bureaucratic organizations) operations were influenced by the organization’s structure and culture. Also, importantly, the findings revealed that the leadership’s collective perceptions, and the nature of their manifested value-memes (affirming or coercive) also influenced the organization’s processes and outcomes.
Further research involving values within organizations could use the twelve memetic- schemas identified in the study to design a data collection instrument for use in future change management practices. An aging and culturally closed organization can degenerate into petty internal win-lose competition, create self-serving truth, and ratchet up status wrangling. Keeping interpersonal and inter-group competitive core strengths healthy and focused on competing with outside competitors should be the main challenge. Application of the Memetic-Schema Transformation Framework can help shift such time-wasting internal activities to effectively meet customer needs and expectations.