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Increasingly, organizations are trying to draw the energy needed to solve problems and innovate from all members of the enterprise. Most of the organizations pursuing this new learning and decision making path must first overcome problems associated with having a mix of occupational groups whose different values, priorities, and decision making strategies frequently produce cultural barriers to overall progress in reframing their culture. These cultural barriers can be thought of as occupational frames that can be both limiting and self-protective. A key strategy to dealing with these barriers can be an educational effort in culture awareness and practical systems theory led by support staff professionals. Those charged with carrying out that type of strategy would be well advised to be familiar with (or refamiliarize themselves with) the underlying theory to both organizational transformation and the impact of occupational frames. These issues are discussed in detail and specific means to overcome these barriers are offered.


This article was originally published in the Journal for Quality and Participation. Copyright © 1995 American Society for Quality.