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Considering the influence of organizational culture in the transformation of traditional retailers towards omnichannel: first findings

Abstract : This empirical paper addresses the issue of the evolution towards omnichannel retailing (Rigby 2011) from a new perspective. Indeed, moving from multichannel to omnichannel organizations implies many adaptations and innovations for historical retailers (i.e. initially brick and mortars) in a fast-moving and highly competitive environment (Treadgold and Reynolds 2016). The existing literature exposes the new challenges retailers have to face regarding information system and technological implementations, supply chain management improvements and new management rules (Verhoef and Lemon 2016). An element that has not been taken into consideration in this context, as far as we know, concerns the role of organizational culture (Schein 1984) in this change towards omnichannel retailing. Then, organizational literature demonstrated the importance of organizational culture in the change management (McNeal 2009; Fakhar et al. 2012). Therefore, the goal of our research is to better understand its influence on retailers’ transition towards the omnichannel environment. We attempt to explore the dynamics between these firms’ organizational culture and their readiness and easiness to change towards omnichannel retailing. We conducted six interviews of top and middle managers in three retailing companies among the biggest in France, currently leading their transformation. The results of our qualitative study highlight the central role organizational culture plays in the process of change, especially the need for an evolution of structures and processes, an overhaul of jobs and ways of working, a close coaching of employees and a meaningful communication to develop involvement and commitment. We also identified the first signs of a retail culture through the identification of most shared cultural properties through our different cases’ organizational cultures. The study also reveals how organizational culture constitutes both a ‘porous and ambiguous’ (Allaire and Firsirotu 1984) concept. Organizational culture turns out to be ‘porous’ by being underlying at every levels in the organization and ‘ambiguous’ by being enabling and at the same time restrictive for retailers moving towards omnichannel. We then discuss the theoretical and managerial implications of these findings.
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Contributeur : Tiphaine Chautard Dardé Connectez-vous pour contacter le contributeur
Soumis le : vendredi 27 mars 2020 - 11:40:05
Dernière modification le : lundi 14 novembre 2022 - 02:56:07


  • HAL Id : hal-02521138, version 1



Tiphaine Chautard, Isabelle Collin-Lachaud. Considering the influence of organizational culture in the transformation of traditional retailers towards omnichannel: first findings. European Association for Education and Research in Commercial Distribution Conference (EAERCD), Jul 2017, Dublin, Ireland. ⟨hal-02521138⟩



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