Managing Organizational Change in a Multicultural Context: The Introduction of Systems Applications and Products (SAP) at the African Union Commission (AUC)

Tefsehit Beyene


Organizations today are operating in a more competitive environment and adapting increasingly to various challenges in the environment. This calls for the implementation of change either in a radical manner, or on a small-scale in a continuous manner. This study therefore examines how change management initiatives in a multi-cultural environment are influenced by national cultural values in an organization such as the African Union Commission (AUC).  The study was also narrowed down to Systems Applications and Products (SAP) Project, as the major case study on how the dynamics of national culture manifest themselves in change management initiatives at the African Union Commission. The study is a descriptive case study that uses cross-sectional survey.  Using a Simple Random Sampling technique, 131 respondents (employees) were selected from a total population of 1743, with the sampling frame of 700.    Primary data were collected using a Self-Administered Questionnaire (SAQ) complemented by a Semi-Structured interview which was subject to subsequent statistical analysis using SPSS –version 20. Research findings generally reveal that awareness of the landscape in which the change takes place is essential. Power influences, and leadership dynamics are key aspects in the political landscape.  In the social landscape, communication plays a key role in the implementation of change, and the availability of adequate financial resources is a prerequisite for the success of change initiatives.

Keywords: Change management, National values, Systems Applications & Products (SAP)


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