Analysis Of Corporate Culture Transformation At Heinz Australia

Defining corporate culture

In this case, the transformation of corporate culture at Heinz Australia needs to be analysed so that to find out the issue prevailing in the organization. In addition, the reason needs to find out for that issue with the help of change management theory i.e. Cultural Web (O’Flynn, 2007). Afterward, various recommendations will be established for refining the situation according to the interest of the stakeholders.

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In an organization, culture is a philosophy including various values, beliefs, attitudes and practices that define the organization. In addition, corporate culture differs from company to company which includes several behaviour patterns and business practices found in an organization where management and the employees interact so that to proceed with business transactions (Wei, et al, 2008). Any successful transitions in an organization are due to the role of effective change management standards. It is a formal way of communication with employees and it occurs in many ways i.e. technological changes, strategic change or leadership change. Therefore, it is necessary to understand organization culture so that various strategies can be fit with the operation and activities of the organizations.

Culture consists of patterns, knowledge, morals, behaviour acquired and transmitted by symbols, leads to the differentiation between different groups of society and human groups (Milne, 2007). It also leads to patterns of information, which help in the exchange of understanding. Value derived from the culture, which consists of core principles and ideas. In a company, corporate culture is defined as the behaviour and beliefs, which is determined, by the various ideologies and practices. In culture, practices are the tangible methods framed under ethical principles and due to this company implement its value.

Therefore, from the above various definitions, it can be stated that every company is constituted of unique cultures and framed under a set of beliefs and the values of the individual working there.  In the modern organization and due to the evolution of the culture, it also defines various actions and activities in the organization which emphasis decision making, behaviour of people in the organization (Mosley, 2007). It means now and in the near future, culture will be the part of intangible reflection, which is not only written in the explicit rules but also includes the subconscious assumptions and beliefs. This all shape the behaviour of the organization from which various business activities and operations sustain. The organization structure is also framed under these aspects of the culture, which includes the style of leadership i.e. authoritative or participative, one-way or two-way communication, flexible or adaptive behaviour, simple or complex definitions and the tall or flat structure of the organization. It also includes the position of competitive strategy in an organization. Therefore, when someone talks about the organization culture in the market, it can be stated that it is more than an HR thing which the management needs to integrate with all activities, procedure and departments of the organization so that to undertand it from all the dimesnions. Collectively, it will bring significant productivity to the organization.

Importance of change management

In 1992, Gerry Johnson mentioned a tool called Cultural Web, which helps the organization to know their existing culture. It is an ideal tool which constitutes of the six elements and all are integrated and linked to form a paradigm called as web core. Cultural Web is the tool that helps the organization in the auditing of the culture by diagnosing both strengths and weakness and thus it is similar to the medical check-ups (Graetz and Smith, 2010). For those individuals, who are keen in managing the change in the organization, this was an opportunity for them as to unhidden the assumption, values and beliefs readily available on the surface.

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With the help of this, the change managers can able to easily find the bottlenecks on the path of business activities and along with this, they will also able to get the various supporters and allies that can be a part of change management. This process and tool will help them in prioritizing their objectives of change and so managing the change with the most preferable algorithm and mechanism. This tool can also highlight which of the component of culture is tangible or intangible. This whole work together will help in framing the competencies of the organization collectively and will lead to the development and growth of the business (Smith, 2011).

The culture web value can be identified by analysing the nature and dimension of the culture with its composite parts. This will help the management to find out to which extent the change can be possible in the existing culture of the organization (Holt, Armenakis, Feild, and Harris, 2007). The management of the organization need to understand the procedure of implementation in a deep manner relating to the culture operating now in the organization or exists within or with the culture; the company is planning to reach. This will help them in the process of re-adaption.

In the central of the culture web paradigm, the real core of the culture persists. This paradigm includes those parts of the life cycle of the company that are undercover or hidden and cannot be seen by any individual or it is hard for the management to explain about them (Langley, 2013).

In the Heinz, one of the major problems is the change in attitude and the dominant behaviour. This also results in the fear that the change will be negligible by the individuals unless and until these assumption that are hidden and deep seated are not brought to the surface and challenged.

Cultural web as a tool for cultural diagnosis

Even before the Widdow’s change, the paradigm was not positive at Heinz Australia and the disciplinary of the culture is aligned with the low risks. In the internal environment, the things were perceived to be very challenging due to the high inward focus. The confidence of the employee is being filled with the approach of Widdow and this also brings the positive and transparency in the company.

  • Routines and Rituals – Widdow defined the mantra which states that it was a great place for working. The organization routine behaviour is formed by the various rituals in which one show respect towards another, give cooperation and assist by giving support to everyone opinion (Sun, Aryee and Law, 2007).
  • Stories – The senior management used the approach of “Walk the talk” in each behaviour and thus transmit the stories throughout the organization. In a certain behaviour, where the people need to behave and expect the behaviour of the other person, Widdow was the leader. He also perceived by every individual including staff and the top management in the organization as a role model.
  • Symbolic Aspects – With the relation of working in a great place, the symbolic expression of the employees is reflected in the behaviour of employees. In the organizational environment, they are always ready to face challenges, innovating new ideas with creativity and thus ready to make sustainable contributions (Anderson, Poto?nik and Zhou, 2014). The work of the Widow was seemed to be a challenging task but it can be achieved by constantly communicating with the employees.
  • Power Structures – Widow make believe the employees that the organization and the management are caring for them and he also emphasises on removal of the power structure. It can be seen through the various initiatives, which lead to the good relation between the management and the employees like – removing monitoring of staff, flexibility in the working weeks and options to take Friday as off. This also promotes mutual trust and understanding between the employer and employee.
  • Organizational Structures – Various changes and modification were brought into the light at Heinz, Australia through the decrease in the salary of staff by 25%, reformation of the members of the board by making their presence in the middle level of the board. With this decision, it can be easily analysed that the major source of the innovative idea was the middle and bottom level employees (Guthrie and Parker, 2014). The management can also able to change the attitudes of the employees with the help of this.
  • Control System – The reward system is measured by control Top management and Widows give a reward to all the employees and individuals who came up with their innovative and creative ideas and this can also be seen as a motivating factor from organization perspectives. This all is for the betterment of the organization as due to the individual contribution in the form of ideas and actions. This is a continuous process where all the people are the part of this activity i.e. finding an innovative way of doing the task and gives recommendations to the superiors. This situation is very different from the previous scenario where all individuals are afraid to take any decision or to speak. This shows that there was now more openness in the positive culture of the business enterprise.

The various key forces for and against the change can be identified with the tool of cultural web in an organization. It can be clearly analysed with the help of all constituted parts of the paradigm that it forces for or against the change. In the system of organisation change, the reformation in the organization structure is taken place by accepting suggestion of middle level people and giving them encouragement to their innovative ideas. As here, the receptiveness of the people towards change is increased; the change in the organization culture can be easily implemented (Chen and Huang, 2009). On the basis of symbolic aspects, with the change in the behaviour of middle management and showing the positive attitude to the new ideas, it represents the trust and confidence in the vision of the company and this behaviour will be shown by the middle level to their subordinate and staff both inside and outside the organization. The positive environment of attitude and work of the company has played an important role in the change implementation as per suggestions by Widdows. The increase in the loyalty for the company can be seen by the diminishing rate of attrition.

Routine and Rituals in one of the most negative aspects of paradigm which includes depressing and negative working environment, lack of confidence in the top management as all task requires too many efforts and decrease in the faith and optimism moving out of the organization. There was also a high degree of autonomy as the ideas and opinions of the middle management were not valued and included by the top management derived from the power structure. For the sustainability growth in any organization, one of the major important factors is innovation (Cetindamar, Phaal and Probert, 2009). However, at Heinz, Australia, the lack of creativity and innovation was there before the joining of Widdow. This makes the organization to be dull and dead by slipping it in to the mode of complacency.

Any change which is happening as a part of change management strategy needs to be aligned with the company overall strategic objectives. These changes result in the creation of a positive environment in the company including the openness and trust building and this all belongs to the basic ingredients of a strong culture (Oke, 2007).

  • Attitude and Behaviour Changes – It ensures that the organization should move from the inbound to the innovation and experimentation. Here, no one should be taken as granted. The senior management of the organization also sent a clear communication that they need to change, survive and grow with the aid of efficiency in operations and employee commitment.
  • Transparency and Openness – With the help of a cultural norm, a type of particular knowledge is transmitted in a particular situation. It can include rules, rewards, punishment and expectations. The culture at Heinz, Australia was characterised by transparency and openness and with the help of this, the positive knowledge is facilitated to every right person having capability to handle issues in the future (Kang and Snell, 2009).
  • Loyalty and Commitment – The high engagement with the superiors results in the development of the sense of loyalty, which helps the organization to retain new learnings and knowledge and also to spread this among various individuals. Employees find the organization as a great place to work and they achieve the organization goal before the common goal.
  • Self-Learning Mode for Continuous Improvement – The organization try hard to achieve strategic goals with the help of better learnings from previous mistakes (Alves, Dinis-Carvalho and Sousa, 2012). This will make them gain the competitive advantage over the others companies.
  • Sustaining the positive as well as Innovative Environment – One of the major factors needs to be ensured by Heinz, Australia that the negative culture is not to be brought back into the company so that it will always be the excellent place for the working. The employees can meet the external market challenges only when they were given a platform, which is made of a positive atmosphere, openness, creativity and innovation.
  • Avoidance of Complacency – The basic behaviour of the management should always be lie in the environment of trust and mutual respects as it will lead to the success and growth of the organization. Even after getting growth and profitability situation, the company should avoid becoming complacent (Seran and Izvercian, 2014). The reason for this is because; many researchers found that when the organization gets mature with the successful growth and profitability, they were attracted to the tendency of complacency. The staff and employees need to understand and communicate the vision, mission and strategic goals of the organization.
  • Fairness and Transparency – The organization should always achieve their corporate objectives and ethics by providing fair treatment to their employees. In response to the control system of the cultural web, the reward and recognition should be given to the competent employee so that the better performance can be fetched out.
  • Lead by Example – Widdow makes many extra efforts for changing the attitudes and minds of people so that to attain best for everyone and thus increase the corporate profitability (Beugelsdijk, 2008). The innovation is facilitated by the flexibility and Heinz, Australia can be sustained by beings flexible and innovative.

Identifying bottlenecks and supporters through cultural web


An organization that is inward focused can never be sustained. The condition was similar at Heinz, Australia until the Widdow leadership did not come in the light. This transformation helps the company in its development and sustainability of Heinz, Australia. Widdow successfully identifies the problems and issue through which the change will be possible. He also undertakes various steps to change the mind-set and attitudes of people by identifying the problems lies in the negative paradigm, inward approach and lack of confidence. Widow promotes openness and flexibility with the help of experimentation and exploration.


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