Changing Organizational Culture


Course Objective

1. Acquire basic knowledge and understand concepts and theories on
organization culture, and cultural change and intervention
2. Acquire practical tools to design cultural change interventions for
3. Apply theoretical perspectives and concepts to resolve practical
cases of cultural change work in organizational settings

Course Content

The course debates the nature of organizational change and focuses at
interventions in organizational cultures. What is an organizational
culture, and can it be deliberately changed? Frequently, the focus of
cultural change programs is on top-down planned change, where employees
are often regarded as passive receivers of a change process rather than
as active agents who make sense of and shape the change as well. In this
course, students are taught to criticize the top-down, managerialist
approach and emphasize the bottom-up, multi-level (micro, meso, macro)
and multi-actor (top management, middle management, employees) character
of change by focussing at the actual change process and work practices
transpiring at the work floor. Besides gaining basic knowledge regarding
concepts and theories about the subject matter, students are urged to
continuously ask questions, engage in critical debates and to apply
their knowledge in the real world.

Teaching Methods

Interactive lectures and work groups (compulsory).

Method of Assessment

The course will be assessed through paper assignment (30%) and exam

Entry Requirements

Participation in Organization Sciences (S_OS)


Alvesson, M. and S. Sveningsson (2015). Changing Organizational Culture.
Cultural change work in progress, Routledge, London.
Furthermore: 15 e-journal articles

Target Audience

Students choose this course in a combination with one other course:
Culture and Identity in Organizations, or Transnational Organizations.

Additional Information

Participation in working groups is obligatory.

Explanation Canvas

Canvas will be used for organising feedback on individual papers

Recommended background knowledge

Students are expected have prior knowledge on organizational culture
E.g. Alvesson, M. 2002 Understanding Organisational Culture. London:

General Information

Course Code S_COC
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator prof. dr. A.H. van Marrewijk
Examiner prof. dr. A.H. van Marrewijk
Teaching Staff prof. dr. A.H. van Marrewijk
R.E. Martinius

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: