Leadership Competence for Cultural Change in an Organization


Cltural changw within the organization is a difficult this that requires good leadership competency to carry out. Competency is the individual’s ability to activate through daily practices, use and connect the acquired knowledge within the organization in relation to the changing trends (Philips & Byrne, 2013). Competency can also be the ability to use knowledge and other capabilities within the individual’s skills, necessary for the successful and efficient accomplishment of the job called for in transaction of work, the global realization of a specific or a given role in the business (Taylor & Martindale, 2013). According to Masculli (2011), leadership competency is the skill and the behavior of leadership that contributes to the best performance and the competency approaches as the basis for the organizational control. This research raises the question whether leadership competencies are required for effective cultural change within an organization. In addition, this raises the question concerning the role played by leaders in effecting cultural change within an organization.

Previous studies have heavily focused on other elements of leadership and cultural change within the organization. However, these studidies have not adequately explored the leadership competencies that arerequired for a cultural change within the organization.This paper is an overview of the leadership competencies of the cultural change in an organization through the description of different aspects of competency generation. This study will employ a survey to determine the competency levels needed in for an effective cultural change within the organization.

Research Question

What competencies can leaders use to facilitate effective culture change in organization X?

Literature Review

According to McGuire (2003), a leader should be competent enough and has the ability to maintain peace among employees and good relationship with the others within and outside the organization. The leader under this domain should be able to be self-directed, have interpersonal skills and be ready to make a working team consisting of people from different cultures. This personal relation within the organization incorporate the different cultures; hence, making strong cultural bonding thus keeping the working condition of the organization prolonged for a wide duration of time (Story, 2004). The establishment of the stable organization, cultural team work will ensure incorporation of the cultures showing a working family within the organization. According to McGuire (2003), the competency of the leader combing the bodies will make the employees to establish a strong character which is the best for the future success of the cultural relation within the organization.

The cultural transformation within an organization can be a problem when the competency of the organization is not taken into the control. All the traditional factors are to be considered with the new cultures in the management of an organization to void the conflict of the current and old cultures. The cultural transformation is a factor that must be assessed by the leaders within an organization and the competency of the leaders should help them to examine and assess the successfulness of change management. The competitive nature of the market and the cultural variation is a challenge to the cultural management within an organization. The competency of the leaders is to be tested by the possibility of the leadership role to compete on the market with a diversity of cultures incorporated together with little or no conflict.

The potentiality of the leaders during the operation of the business organization and their ability to merge cultures is achieved and the leader’s capability ranked from the output (Heifetz, Grashow, &Linsky, 2009). The highly prolific leader should be promoted in the generation of the operation to ensure successful cultural changes in the management. As the management through the human resource operation identifies the prolific leaders, other competency should be put in place for the development of the organization. According to Wu and Martinez (2006), the future expectation in trends should also be a factor in the development of the organization’s cultural success and the management should have the full competency to ensure the work of the individuals. A unique leadership brand comprising of the prolific competent leaders in relation to their prolific behaviors and this trend makes the leaders to readily deal with the current trends in the organization (Scott, Hui, & Elizabeth, 2013). Trends in an organizational cultural views and changes are challenges that the community and organization faces and the solution are to be established with the highest level of competency.

According to Pandya, (2014), the leadership competency for cultural changes in an organization is a competitive part of the organization with wide and long term investment that should be realized in an organization without failure. The culture and believes within an organization should not be ignored and the leaders should show the highest level of competence to maximize the profit of the organization (Mansour et al, 2014). A group of competent leaders should welcome the challenges and the views of all the cultural groups within an organization to bring the cultural harmony for successful management. The trends in the challenges within an organization should never be an excuse for the uncontrolled or failure of the cultural success in the business but should be solved to achieve the business objective (Galvin et al, 2014).The leaders need to motivate people to work towards achieving the organizational goal and be in a position to foster communication where everyone can air their views as they deem necessary.

Participation need to be highly embraced; since, the contribution of everyone in the organization will yield to the success of the organization, which becomes a benefit to all. A leader ought to be very inspiring and encourage his followers to also get inspired in their duty for them to work towards achieving the organizational goal of success (Hyejung et al, 2013). The leaders should be well determined in serving and empowering their followers to be hardworking to achieve their goal as required. The leaders in the not-for-profit sector face broader applications from the Christian tradition competence and they are inclusive of the empathy and stewardship to ensure that the followers grow in all aspects of life (Decker et al, 2014). The leaders should be in a position to think across the borders and be very sharp in getting a solution to many a rising problem that may arise in their leadership term. Leaders on the other side need to be competent, intelligent and demographic when it comes to the dealing with the increasing diversity that surrounds all of them at large (Mendenhall et al, 2014).The leaders ought to have the meta-cognitive intelligence, which will help in perceiving the cultural preferences of different people during the interaction time and even after the interactions are over. It is necessary for leaders to handle situational appropriate behaviors, which may be portrayed among the workers. The confrontation prejudice model is very useful not-for-profit sectors; since, it entails decision making, which is best in the behavioral hurdle to better the changes that need to be enforced in an organization. If discriminatory behavior is observed in an organization, the leaders need to act on it as an emergency situation that is facing the organization, and ensure they take the responsibility of, the situation to ensure change is attained on the better side (Ary et al, 2010). The organization led by the leaders ought to be culturally competent and this is well known in the retaining of the diverse staffs in the organization comfortably. To have highly competent level in an organization, leaders need to have high levels of auditing the cultural competence in their organizations best done by the use of training methods to impact new knowledge to the organizational workers (Story, 2014). The mission and values of the organization should also contain the commitment to diversity for all workers to be equal despite them having come from diverse areas together with the cultural inclusion to bring focus to all workers.

According to McGuire (2003), the value of an organization is shaped by the leaders being committed to diversity and inclusion, which calls for togetherness and moving ahead of organizations plans. Jobs which are congruent with the lives of the employees are the best, following that they match their lives as required mostly if the leaders take care not to give the workers unnecessary tension. Tension and diversity ought to be well faced without fear, addressed and integrated together  to develop the ability to be connected to avoid interfering with one another at the cost of the other. If the two tensions do not overlap one another, they will be well integrated to imply that, there will be no overlapping problems on the organization’s vision and no mutual problems being experienced whatsoever. On the other side, all the workers and leaders will be comfortable to work towards achieving one goal. Leaders need to be very connected to address all the matters arising in an organization and get a solution to them as soon as possible (Mascuilli, 2011). Connective leaders are characterized by the possession of a political nature in them, the displaying of the authenticity and accountability with the ability to think about the long term plans by first implementing the short term plans.

Through the use of the different approach of competency, the organization can establish the specific approach for each level of management and the kind of the competency required in the levels (Haifetz et al, 2010). Always when the human resource professionals are to reconsider the competency of the individuals and compare them in relation to them to the ones that needs further development for the success in the leadership role. The cognitive competency is the early stage of an individual is achieved through the educational environment with the inclusion of the concepts of spontaneous experiences at the implicit level of knowledge (Masculli, 2011). Cognitive competence dimension controls its operation from the general principles, laws, theories and concepts which an individual needs to understand to improve his competence in his or her operation.

Most of the organizational conflict ranges from the individual differences of the cultural differences that the employees possess in an organization, and must be solved to achieve the objectives of the organization (Wu & Martinez, 2006). The leader should show their competency through the exhibition of the good language and communication skills and multicultural competence to solve the conflict within the organization. The technical function or operation of the business should be checked regularly to ensure that there is no stoppage in the organization. All the competent should be ready and willing to solve the technical problems within the organization, and thus the leader should have technological skills. The good international environment relation is to be sustained within an organization because it ensures that the cultures of all the individuals are taken care of.


This study will employ a survey to answer the research question by collecting primary data from the interviews. The primary data will be collected for a two month period from 20 persons. Semi structured interviews will be used in this study to interview the persons selected in this study. The interviews will be structured such that less indicating questions will be used at initial stages before embarking on complex questions (Ary, Jacos, &Sorens, 2010).

The target population of the study includes leaders of different organizations who have employed the cultural change in their organizations. Therefore, the study will comprise of school leaders with more than five years’ experience at managerial level. Already there are several managers who have more than five years in a managerial capacity and are likely to have experienced cultural change within their organizations. This leadership study only incorporates 20 research subjects following that, a large number would complicate the study and a very small number would not adequately act as a representative sample of the study. This portion of the population that will be studied will only act as a sample of the entire leadership population due to the nature by which they will be chosen.

Stratified random sampling will be used to select the leaders who with more than five years managerial experience. Stratified random sampling was preferred in this study to avoid the researcher bias in selecting the leaders and to ensure fair and equal representation of the variables selected for this study (Ader, Mellenbergh & Hand, 2008).

When conducting a survey study, the researcher should be very sensitive to the ethical issues that may surround the study (Bell, 2005; Andres, 2012). The conventional guidelines for ethical research study touches on the voluntary participation of the respondents, anonymity and confidentiality, no harm to the respondents, identifying the purpose of the study, commenting on the analysis and reporting of the research findings. However, this study touches on the managerial issues at various organizations, the names of individuals and organizations will be represented with letters such as X and Y. Data analysis will be done by the use of thematic analysis because it provides the themes in accordance to the research question (Clough & Nutbrown, 2007; Bryman, 2008).


The limitation of the above methodology is that the respondents may not be honest with the real issues concerning their company to help avoid negative perceptions of their company (Creswell, 2007). In addition, the respondents may not be free to provide answers that put them in unfavorable condition. However, the researcher used semi-structured interviewed questions, the validity of the response is somehow lower (Silverman, 2005; Lynn, 2009). The representations of certain answers may also not be correct; since, the answers will be provided in interviews. Survey methodology cannot adequately be used to predict the trends in leadership competencies because it only measures responses up to a certain limit.  In addition, the survey cannot be used to provide strong evidence of cause and effect of any particular phenomenon related to leadership competencies within the organization (Creswell & Plano, 2007).



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