Carrier Processes for Cultural Change Management

The situation:

You want to change the enterprise culture.
Typical examples:

  • from internal competition/silos to a cross-organizational cooperation culture;
  • from a not-invented-here culture to a proudly-found-elsewhere culture (from pure internal innovation towards open innovation).

The approach

Some companies believe that cultural change can be implemented solely with a communication initiative (typically driven by the corporate communication department and the top management). Such communication initiatives often achieve some awareness for the desired change but seldom lead directly to the desired change.

The more an initiative leads to a change of the daily operative behavior, the more sustainable is the change (in other words: if the communication initiatives does not change the behavior, why should suddenly the behavior change after the communication initiative is finished?). Communication initiatives are important and necessary but in most cases not sufficient.

What is needed is what I call a Carrier Process for change:

Carrier Process for Cultural Change Management

A Carrier Process for Cultural Change Management is a process which is already integrated into the operative business and can be adapted in order to support the strategic goal of the desired cultural change (if it is not already integrated or not even implemented, the effort and the risk to fail is higher – however it is not impossible).


  • Innovation Management/Technology Management/Knowledge Management is usually already in place but can be adapted in order to operate as a Carrier Process for the desired change (see for example the role of Siemens TechnoWeb for their cultural change process)

Research Questions

  • The carrier-change-fit: which Carrier Processes are appropriate for which change goals? Develop a Carrier Processes framework.
  • Case studies of Carrier Processes for cultural change management: success factors, speed of change (ideally compared to a similar situation without Carrier Process).
  • Is in some cases a completely hidden change management (without communicating the change goal to the employees) – just via strategically implemented Carrier Processes more effective?

Please, let me know if you are working in this field or if you plan to work in this field or if you know about already existing research in this field.

About heisss
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1 Response to Carrier Processes for Cultural Change Management

  1. Yanti Sutarno says:

    Hello Michael,
    I am going to try a Social Marketing approach to changing the culture within our business unit. Social marketing applies the marketing methodology to change the behaviour of a target group. (i.e. the 6 P’s). This methodology is traditionally applied to public health programs. For example the a non-smoking campaign. I see changing a company culture as trying to get people to change their behaviours. But I have not yet come across Social Marketing applied to change management. I wonder why?

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