Corporate Culture Can Facilitate Change

                According to Edgar Schein, culture is “a pattern of shared basic assumptions that was learned by a group as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way you perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems” (Schein, 2005, p.17).  Culture, leadership, and external circumstances (customer demands, competition, etc) all promote and enable change in an organization (Smith, 2019).  This is because, although leadership may say that the company is doing something or believes in something, the people in the organization are the ones that actually do it.  Corporate leaders can draft values, mission, vision, and goals, but it is just paper unless the people of the company actually stand for them.  Culture is the reality of the company and the perception of the people within it (Mallinger, Goodwin & O’Hara, 2009).  The transformational ability of culture can be harnessed when a company uses the energy and emotional commitment of culture into driving organizational change (Aguirre, 2013).

                Organizational cultures at companies have varying abilities to influence change, varying levels of comfort with ambiguity, and varying amounts of individualism or collectivism (Mallinger, Goodwin & O’Hara, 2009).  Influenced by beliefs and assumptions based on individuals’ observations and learning experience (Denison Consulting, 2016), many cultures may have a lot of fear of uncertainty and can oppose change.  Some companies have an openness to feedback and change, which allows them to make change more readily (Mallinger, Goodwin & O’Hara, 2009).  According to Schein, most change is not successful because the ideals behind the change never actually confront the realities of the organization (it’s climate and culture), and that there are deep layers of understandings and assumptions in an organization that will “make or break” an organizational change (Cebula, 2012, p.4).

                Therefore, if an organization wants to make a change, it needs to transform the culture first.  It needs to gain buy in from the people and do battle with any fears of change, any assumptions, or anything in opposition to the change at a cultural level.


Aguirre, DeAnne. (2013, December 5). Culture’s Critical Role in Change Management.

Cebula, N. (2012, April). Culture and Change Management. Retrieved from

Denison Consulting. (2016, August 15). What is organizational culture? [Video]. YouTube. 

Mallinger, M., Goodwin, D., & O’Hara, T. (2009). Recognizing organizational culture in managing change. Graziadio Business Review, 12(1).

Schein, E.H. 2005. Organizational Culture and Leadership, 3d ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Smith, C. (2019, September 16). How Does Organizational Culture Affect Change?

Published by Art Ocain

I am a DevOps advocate, not because I am a developer (I’m not), but because of the cultural shift it represents and the agility it gains. I am also a fan of the theory of constraints and applying constraint management to all areas of business: sales, finance, planning, billing, and all areas of operations. My speaking: I have done a lot of public speaking in my various roles over the years, including presentations at SBDC (Small Business Development Center) and Central PA Chamber of Commerce events as well as events that I have organized at MePush. My writing: I write a lot. Blog articles on the MePush site, press-releases for upcoming events to media contracts, posts on LinkedIn (, presentations on Slideshare (, posts on the Microsoft Tech Community, articles on Medium (, and posts on Quora ( I am always looking for new places to write, as well. My certifications: ISACA Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Web Application Security Professional (CWASP), Certified Data Privacy Practitioner (CDPP), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), VMware Certified Professional (VCP-DCV), Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE), Veeam Certified Engineer (VMCE), Microsoft 365 Security Administrator, Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator, Azure Administrator, Azure Security Administrator, Azure Architect, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, ITIL v4 Foundations, Certified ScrumMaster, Certified Scrum Product Owner, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner See certification badges on Acclaim here: My experience: I have a lot of experience from developing a great company with great people and culture to spinning up an impressive DevOps practice and designing impressive solutions. I have been a project manager, a President, a COO, a CTO, and an incident response coordinator. From architecting cloud solutions down to the nitty-gritty of replacing hardware, I have done it all. When it comes to technical leadership, I am the go-to for many companies. I have grown businesses and built brands. I have been a coach and a mentor, developing the skills and careers of those in my company. I have formed and managed teams, and developed strong leaders and replaced myself within the company time and again as I evolved. See my experience on LinkedIn here:

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