Spinning Wheels: How Resistance, Culture, and Assumed Continuity Interact to Paralyze a Company
This article details the development of a model that includes familiar OD concepts: resistance to change, cultural lock-in, and assumed continuity. Through the examination of behaviors that caused the demise of once-large companies, a model describing the behaviors was developed. The Spinning Wheel model identifies three factors (called C3) that interact to paralyze a company, causing blindness to market forces. These factors—resistance to change, cultural lock-in, and assumed continuity— spin and reinforce the dysfunctional behavior in each of them, impeding an organization’s progress. If these factors go uncorrected, the company’s existence can be jeopardized. While these factors have been individually researched, there is little documentation on their interrelationship. The model is then applied to small business, an often ignored yet significant component of the American economy. This paper will provide a viewpoint that, in fact, small businesses suffer from spinning wheels just as do large corporations. The severity is much the same; only the dollars on the income statement and employee count are smaller. One particular segment of small business—independent insurance agencies—is used to test the applicability of the model. Through research and first-hand experience, the author provides evidence of the Spinning Wheel model’s equally relevant and crippling impact to small business.
Keil-Hipp, Diane T., "Spinning Wheels: How Resistance, Culture, and Assumed Continuity Interact to Paralyze a Company" (2021). Graduate Student Publications. 12.
Organization Development Journal
Organization Development Institute
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