Understanding Both Cultures
As an organizational consultant tasked with Endothon’s acquisition of Techfite, it’s important to be mindful of the differences in both company’s structures and cultures. This will help find the best way for Techfite’s clan culture-based employees to smoothly integrate with Endothon’s more market-fixated culture.
While innovation is key in both companies, there will be a resistance to change. We have to meet employee’s needs so that they feel comfortable and empowered, despite going from an employee-focused model to a customer-focused organization.
By developing an understanding of both company’s structures and cultures, using Kotter’s eight steps as a change model, utilizing a horizontal structure, and providing facilitation and support during the acquisition process, I will do my best to help Techfite’s transition into Endothon’s family.
Before making any changes or adjustments, it’s important to understand the structures and cultures of both Techfite and Endothon and the employees that work there.
Techfite is an employee-focused organization that values flexibility and empowerment. Thus, the Techfite employees probably enjoy a more organic structure with flexible networks of multi-talented people who perform a variety of diverse tasks and decentralized decision-making. It is most-likely an organization without boundaries, or at least more so than Endothon, and provides flexible schedules for those that need it while fixating on what the employees need more so than what the customers want (Kinicki & Fugate, 528). Techfite is clan culture that devotes its resources to hiring and developing their employees, are a little more informal in conversation, and they collaborate their strategy.
Endothon has more of a market-based culture that focuses more on the customer’s wants than their employee’s desires. Endothon values stability and control and is far more competition than Techfite with a strong want to deliver results and accomplish goals (Kinicki & Fugate, 539). Their managers are more interested in productivity and profits than they are in developing their staff. Thus, the Endothon employees may not be as diversely skilled as those at Techfite. Their conversations are going to be more formal, there will be more bureaucracy, rules, and regulations there, and their views on innovation will not be as liberal as the shared views over at Techfite.
Techfite employees will not be eager to go from their more laid-back, employee-focused atmosphere over to Endothon’s stricter, customer-based model. Thus, the organizational change process will have to be handled with care and efficiency, with the communication lines clear and explanations for every step taken in the transition.
Kotter’s Eight Steps
Utilizing Kotter’s eight steps for leading organizational change is the best method to apply to this situation. First off, I need to properly explain the reasons for why the change is needed and then create a cross-functional team of influential Techfite and Endothon members to help guide the change.
With a coalition set up, we must work together to develop a vision and strategy to use as our guide for the organizational change and, once such a plan is clear, it’s crucial that it is communicated to the rest of the employee’s in both companies. One of the largest causes of resistance is a lack of information and, while there will be defiance regardless of how this transition goes, the most effort I as a consultant can put in to reduce the variables of resistance, the easier it will be to smooth the transition in the long run.
Once the vision and strategic goal are communicated to the staffs of Techfite and Endothon, the coalition must fixate on getting rid of the systems and structures that constrain rather than facilitate, and anything else that could upset the success of the goals in place. It’s important that we focus on and generate short-term wins while continuously changing things that support the vision. Employees will be much more adaptive to change if they see that the communicated goals are generating positive results.
Lastly, it’s crucial that we highlight all the positive results and communicate the connections between the new behaviors and the improvements made as a result of those behaviors (Kinicki & Fugate, 570). This will further enforce that this change is both positive and necessary, even if Techfite and Endothon employees aren’t initially excited about the process.
A Horizontal Structure
The best way to compliment Kotter’s eight steps in leading organizational change and merge Techfite’s culture with Endothon’s is by utilizing the horizontal structure. This structure fixates more on customers than employees but is also great for innovators, cross-functional teams and for communication.
Techfite’s employees will not enjoy the numbers of freedoms they had before being acquired by Endothon, but they won’t be near as micromanaged as they would be in more vertical structures with small spans of control. Techfite’s employees will be able to use their diversified skill sets to Endothon’s advantage because the horizontal structure allows for teams to develop new products faster and more efficiently than others working in a more traditional structure (Kinicki & Fugate, 539).
As the organizational consultant, I believe that this structure is both aligned with Endothon’s culture and values, but is also a smooth transition for Techfite employees, who won’t feel like they are losing their freedoms during the acquisition.
Techfite employees will not be happy with every change that must be made. They will lose some of their flexibility and have to learn to be more formal in their day-to-day jargon. There will also be rules and regulations at Endothon that weren’t there at Techfite, and even their dress code will be less casual than before.
Perhaps the largest reason for resistance, however, is Endothon’s more customer-focused model. Techfite employees will not enjoy the same freedoms and development over at Endothon because Endothon is more fixated on profits and productivity. Thus, Techfite employees that transition into Endothon will be working on a lot of the same tasks, so job rotation will not be as common.
Schwartz’s Value Theory
The best way to help Techfite employees adjust to this resistance of change is with a combination of Schwartz’s value theory and facilitation and support. Schwartz’s value theory is incredibly helpful because it allows me as a consultant to understand the Techfite employees. These employees could probably work for other companies with different cultures and structures, but they chose to stay with Techfite for however long they have been employed there.
Understanding their values and finding a way to incorporate them into Endothon’s model will help Techfite’s employees feels like they are cared about during this acquisition, and provides them with a greater reason to stay (Kinicki & Fugate, 40).
To encourage them to stay even further, I feel that using the facilitation and support method is the best way to help both Techfite and Endothon employees while they are adjusting to this acquisition. Of Kotter and Schlesinger’s six methods for managing resistance to change, it is the best approach to help deal with adjustment problems (Bateman & Snell, 612). Keeping the employees of Techfite and Endothon’s values at heart and keeping them as happy and well-adjusted as they can be during this acquisition is the best way to deal with potential resistance.
By assessing the cultures and structures of these companies, keeping their employee’s needs in mind, and finding a structure that will help absorb Techfite’s culture into Endothon’s is not an easy task, but it is achievable. By using the Schwartz’s value theory, facilitation and support, the horizontal structure and Kotter’s eight steps to lead the organizational transition, I believe that this acquisition will be a smooth one.
Bateman, T. S., & Snell, S. (2015). Management: Leading and collaborating in a competitive world. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
Kinicki, A., & Fugate, M. (2016). 5.2 Content Theories of Motivation. In Organizational behavior: A practical, problem-solving approach. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.