Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

William P. Foster, EdD, Director; Peter Gregg, PhD; Susan M. Zgliczynski, PhD


case study, culture change, Leadership studies, Northern Telecom Electronics, organizational effectiveness


This study examines one organization in its attempt to improve organizational effectiveness by effecting a change to the organizational culture. In late 1984 the Rancho Bernardo division of Northern Telecom Electronics began a long term effort to change its culture. This study answers four research questions regarding this organization's attempt at culture change: 1) What were the strategies used by the Northern Telecom Electronics-Rancho Bernardo division to attempt to change organizational culture? 2) To what extent did the organization's culture change between 1984 and 1988? 3) In what ways did organizational effectiveness change between 1984 and 1988? and 4) What was the relationship between any changes in organizational culture and any changes in organizational effectiveness? Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected in order to answer the research questions. Investigative tools used include: participant observation, archival records, physical artifacts, an employee opinion survey, newly generated statistics, interviews with internal staff, and interviews with corporate officers and customers. In addition to documenting the steps used by the Northern Telecom Electronics-Rancho Bernardo organization to attempt a culture change, this evaluative case study presents the following findings: 1) The organizational culture changed substantially between 1984 and 1988; further change is expected in the months and years to come. 2) The organization's productivity steadily improved between 1984 and 1988; employee job satisfaction changed significantly in the same time frame. 3) Changes in the organizational culture were viewed as the cause of improvements in employee job satisfaction; these same changes as well as organizational maturation were viewed as the causes of improvements in productivity. Recommendations for future research include: 1) studying this same organization through approximately 1991 in order to fully evaluate the impact of culture change and 2) conducting similar evaluative case studies of other organizations so that students of organizational change can draw sound conclusions regarding the viability of improving organizational effectiveness through culture change.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access