Changes in Organizational Beliefs

The changes in organizations that are taking place across the world reflect a very deep shift in the values and beliefs that are held by these organizations. The following chart outlines the shift from the traditional beliefs in the industrial era to the emerging beliefs of the information era.

Traditional Beliefs:Emerging Beliefs:

Valuing loyalty and tenure

  • Acceptable career patterns show stability of employment
  • Loyalty to a company is rewarded by tenure with the company
  • Personal sacrifices are often necessary "for the good of the company"

Valuing commitment and performance

  • Acceptable career patterns show commitment to personal ideals; loyalty to these ideals results in the development of confidence
  • Value is placed on making contributions and for being adaptable to new demands
  • Team contributions and team loyalty are important


  • Growth is equated with promotions; climbing the corporate ladder equals success


  • Growth is associated with personal development and meaningfulness and typically involves broadening one's knowledge and skill base
  • Engaging in personlly meaningful activities equal success

Employee Development

  • Organizations focus on employee development; individuals focus on career paths within an organization and seek security by acquiring the skills the organization deems important; the organization is responsible for employees' career development

Personal Development

  • Organizations focus on personal development; a workplace that encourages on-going learning and development of employees will be the most successful; responsibility for career development rests with the individual


  • The longer the tenure, the better; personal security associates with 'permanent' employment; one should stay with the same employer for a long time


  • Security is now linked to personal competence and adaptability; one is unlikely to stay in the same setting for very long

Organizational Model

  • Organization is compared to a nuclear family; "mom and Dad" (the senior management) will take care of us

Organizational Model

  • Organization is compared to extended family; partnerships and networks are important and services are shared

Organizational Structure

  • Structure is based on a hierarchy of positions, which leads to the use of defined jobs

Organizational Structure

  • Structure is based on work that needs to be done, which leads to the use of contracts, alliances and networks