Design Thinking and Organizational Culture


Organizational culture is a set of underlying principles, assumptions, and interactions which guide behavior and create a specific social and psychological environment within a workplace. Such culture can be complex, consisting of various factors such as leadership, company vision, expectations from employees, and overall practices and inner-workings of the organization. This report will present a description of a highly effective organizational culture and ways to create it.

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Type of Culture

The department can be characterized to follow an innovative organizational culture, one which is highly adaptable, open-minded, and willing to take on new ideas. While there are official leadership positions, the roles are largely downplayed as the primary value of the department is corroboration in order to innovate. It is a culture that greatly celebrates successes while attempting to learn from failure rather than punishing them.

A constant strive for improvement and risk-taking are encouraged by employees, providing opportunities to work on projects based on individual ideas alongside company-mandated ventures. There are also some aspects of a people and team-oriented culture as employees within the department demonstrate respect and support for each other while engaging in collaboration, which is emphasized as the best method to achieve positive outcomes (Organizational Behavior, 2017).

Organizational culture has been proven to have a direct impact on employee performance and productivity. A strong culture that produces an engaging and learning environment with active support for its employees is considered beneficial to effectiveness (Kontoghiorghes, 2015). A large aspect of this can be linked to satisfaction levels and motivational factors that the organizational culture of the department provides in the workplace.

Employees in the department attempt to maintain a positive organizational culture through their workplace interactions and shared values. As discussed, teamwork is encouraged with all tools of collaboration and conflict resolution being made available.

Communication and transparency between leadership and employees are open and trustworthy, which allows holding common goals of helping the organization to succeed and innovate. Managers are always understanding and maintain appropriate workload expectations as work-life balance is highly prioritized. The fairness in treatment, common values, and high employee morale all contribute to an effective organizational culture.

Creating Culture Change

One of the most difficult aspects of business transformation and innovation is considered implementing organizational cultural change, as it requires a rapid and uncomfortable reversal of mindset. Designing cultural change should be done with clear identification of the culture and values of an organization, with tools to both implement it and maintain it. These tools may range from training material to prolific company events to invite participation in organizational change. Communication is key to creating change as all employees should be made aware of upcoming changes and feel safe for their employment.

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Incompetent communication leads to employee resistance to change and overall dysfunction within an organization (Elsbach & Stigliani, 2018). Within the process of creating cultural change, both employees and leadership should be involved, but managers should attempt to lead by example in adopting new values. Finally, it should be expected that cultural change is a gradual process that will take time to institute. Meanwhile, appropriate physical and psychological conditions should be created to align and accommodate organizational-level cultural change.


It is evident that organizational culture can be a powerful aspect in the functioning of a department and employee effectiveness. A variety of factors ranging from competent communication and collaboration to trust, fairness, and innovation can contribute to a positive environment. Each organization is unique but some general principles should be followed in adopting widespread cultural change that will ensure a gradual transition process for employees.


Elsbach, K. D., & Stigliani, I. (2018). Design thinking and organizational culture: A review and framework for future research. Journal of Management, 44(6), 2274–2306. Web.

Kontoghiorghes, C. (2015). Linking high performance organizational culture and talent management: satisfaction/motivation and organizational commitment as mediators. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 27(16), 1833–1853. Web.

Organizational Behavior. (2017). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Libraries.

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"Design Thinking and Organizational Culture." StudyCorgi, 16 June 2021,

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StudyCorgi. "Design Thinking and Organizational Culture." June 16, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Design Thinking and Organizational Culture." June 16, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Design Thinking and Organizational Culture'. 16 June.

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