Change management impact on organizational culture with an application on public water utility in Saudi Arabia

Globalisation exerts pressure on companies and governments to adopt policies of liberalisation and privatisation, aimed at securing a more efficient use of resources and improving the quality of life (Brittan, 1986. Kay and Thompson, 1986. Micklethwait and Wooldridge, 2000. Stiglitz, 2000 and 2002).
Caught amidst these changes are organisations and workers undergoing radical transformations in their cultures and work processes. Unless these changes are managed well, liberalisation and privatisation cause severe human suffering, lead to economic failure, or in its worst case, push a country to turn its back on globalisation (Machovec, 1995. Vickers, 1995. Fischer, 1999. Summers, 2000. Stiglitz, 2000).
Our paper investigates the impact of change management on the restructuring and privatisation of the public water utility Ministry of Water and Electricity in Saudi Arabia, (hereafter MOWE) and its transformation into a privately-owned organisation. We examine the importance of reducing staff resistance to change and aligning their behaviours and values with the strategic requirement of the change programme. We also look at measures to elicit targeted behaviour such as making the organisation more customer-orientated.
SeResearch Objectives
The research study attempts to answer the following questions:
How does change management affect the public organisation’s culture during the transition period
How does change management reduce employee resistance
What are the effective tools and methods to change organisational culture
What kind of leaders and leadership style are effective in leading change
Does change management make any difference in cultural change
What dimensions of organisational culture could be changed in the organization
Importance of the Study
The study will contribute to the existing body of research in two major ways:
First, by focusing on an organisation in Saudi Arabia, the research will be an important addition to the body of literature on change management predominantly founded on western models.
Second, documentation of change management and their effects on public sector organisational culture in an Arab country act as a useful guide to policy developers and decision makers facing similar challenges in other Arab countries.
Relation to Previous Research
We look at the key