The process of cultural change : a case-study, with particular reference to the grievance procedure in Cambridgeshire Constabulary
This thesis examines the process of cultural change within an organisation. The organisation is the police service in general, and Cambridgeshire Constabulary in particular. The research is action-based and interventionist in nature. It involved an attempt to change an aspect of culture within one police force. The change programme which introduced a new staff grievance procedure commenced in January 1994. In 1993, Cambridgeshire Constabulary had four recorded grievances. Independent research (Kelly 1. 1993) suggested that staff had no faith in the existing grievance procedure and overt sexist behaviour was endemic. Following this intervention 95 grievances were recorded in 1995, an increase of 2375%. Additionally, 69.5% of those grievances were resolved by first line managers compared to 0% in 1993. A comparative study of other forces with a similar grievance procedure indicated that none had experienced a similar change. Additionally, following the intervention, independent research into police occupational culture in Cambridge (Muston 1. 1996) could not find evidence of overt sexist behaviour, citing the new grievance procedure as a reason for this change. The most significant factor in facilitating this change in culture was the re-socialising of all police managers as part of a specialised training programme. This training focused on the micro-actions of change. This was possible because organisational defence routines and meta-directions were first identified. The training used aspects of culture to sub-consciously engage managers in the learning process. Role-play played a significant part in this process and allowed a new psychological contract to be developed between managers. These managers then acted as significant others and helped to change staff's belief in the grievance procedure. As staff began to use the procedure and managers dealt with previously undiscussible issues so aspects of the organisations culture changed.