Thesis (Ph.D)

Climbing out of organisational depression: culture change project after a toxic leadership episode


The thesis aims to offer a culturally sensitive analysis of a culture change intervention undertaken in a Polish subsidiary of a North American Pharmaceutical corporation. This is achieved by first of all examining the context in which the initiative was undertaken and subsequently the many facets of its development and implementation. More specifically, the thesis investigates the underlying assumptions of the cultural intervention, its design and implementation, as well as the experiences and perceptions of different organisation members regarding it. The findings come from a longitudinal qualitative study. The data collection methods comprise eighty five semi-structured interviews, photo and word collages, observation and documentary analysis. Based on a constructivist ontology and interpretivist epistemology, the study pays special attention to the storied version of organisational reality as narrated by different participants. The study extends the previous work on the topic by offering insights into a relatively under-explored context of a traumatised Eastern European organisation which attempted to climb out of organisational depression by reinvigorating and promoting its long standing values. The study illustrates how the local situateness of the organisation, such as the communist history of the country, and the changes in the Polish political arena, affected the way participants perceived attempts at cultural manipulation. Furthermore, the thesis discusses how cultural interventions can perpetuate organisational delusion without necessarily leading to the desired behavioural changes. Finally, the findings highlight the instrumentality with which the espoused organisational values are approached and responded to by different organisational actors. To this end, the thesis puts forward the notion of the political reengineering of values to discuss how organisation members, both the agents and targets of change, can creatively engage in the official discourse to promote their individual or group interests.

Attached files


Ciuk, S

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Business and Management
Faculty of Business


Year: 2011

© Ciuk, S
Published by Oxford Brookes University
All rights reserved. Copyright © and Moral Rights for this thesis are retained by the author and/or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This thesis cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


  • Owner: Unknown user
  • Collection: eTheses
  • Version: 1 (show all)
  • Status: Live