The Views of Bahir Dar University academic leaders on the role of organizational culture in implementing management innovations

Haftu Hindeya Gebremeskel


The purpose of this study is to understand the views of academic leaders on the role of organizational culture while implementing management innovation at Bahir Dar University. Using a qualitative case study, data were collected using an in-depth interview (from sixteen purposefully selected academic leaders) and relevant documents (such as the BPR document and university strategic plan), and were thematically analyzed based on the selected dimensions of organizational culture in the conceptual framework. The findings show that participants consider organizational culture as decisive factor for organizational success even though the university’s culture has been considered as a barrier to the implementation of the management innovation (Business Process Reengineering). Presence of poor understanding of the innovation, low commitment and sense of ownership, disconnection between middle and top level leaders, and reporting for conformity were some of the major challenges reported. Moreover, the participants seem to have poor recall of the university’s core values. Participants’ responses also indicate clash between old and new elements of culture, and less effort has been made to reconcile new values with old ones which later posed difficulty to live up to the underlying principles of the innovation. From the results, it can be said that the organizational culture at the time of this study was less conducive to implement management innovation (BPR in this case). Further suggestions for better considerations of organizational culture are forwarded.


culture; innovation; university; Ethiopia

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