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Learning and behaviour: addressing the culture change conundrum: part one

Learning and behaviour: addressing the culture change conundrum: part one

Coulson-Thomas, Colin (2015) Learning and behaviour: addressing the culture change conundrum: part one. Industrial and Commercial Training, 47 (3). pp. 109-115. ISSN 0019-7858 (doi:

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– Calls for culture change often result from a desire to change certain behaviours. The purpose of this paper is to summarise some key findings of a five-year investigation into quicker and more affordable routes to creating high-performance organisations. It suggests a practical and cost-effective way of quickly changing the behaviour of key work-groups independently of corporate culture which integrates working and learning and simultaneously achieves multiple corporate objectives.


– A programme of critical success factor, “issue” and other surveys was complemented with a five-year evaluation of more recent case studies to understand early adoptions of performance support and to assess their results and implications. The applications examined were discussed with the relevant technical architect and the results obtained corroborated with commissioner/user performance data and/or documented assessments/reactions.


– The use of performance support which can integrate learning and working represents an affordable way of changing the behaviour of particular and front-line work-groups independently of corporate culture. Changing a culture defined in terms of deeply held attitudes, values and beliefs is problematic, but required changes of behaviour can often be quickly accomplished using performance support, which can also address particular problems and deliver benefits for multiple stakeholders.

Practical implications

– Culture change is neither necessary nor desirable where there are quicker, practical and affordable ways of altering behaviours while organisational cultures remain unchanged. It might also be problematic in organisations that need to embrace a diversity of cultures and encourage a variety of approaches and behaviours across different functions and business units. One can avoid certain general, expensive, time consuming and disruptive corporate programmes in an area such as culture change and adopt a quick, focused and cost-effective alternative that can quickly deliver multiple benefits for people and organisations.


– This paper summarises the main findings of an investigation that has identified deficiencies of contemporary responses to a requirement to change certain behaviours that involve seeking to change a corporate culture and questions their practicality, desirability, time-scale and affordability. It presents and evidence-based alternative approach that is more affordable and can more quickly deliver changes of behaviour required and ensure compliance with relevant laws, regulations, policies and codes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: High-performance organizations, Performance support, Changing behaviour, Changing corporate culture, Corporate and organizational culture, Learning and behaviour
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GT Manners and customs
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Department of Human Resources & Organisational Behaviour
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2017 00:38

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