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  FORESTRY SYMPOSIUM 1996
FROM FOREST ADMINISTRATION TO FOREST MANAGEMENT MEETING THE CHALLENGE OF ORGANISATIONAL CULTURAL CHANGE WITHIN GOVERNMENT IN THE SRI LANKAN FORESTRY SECTOR.

Julian Gayfer
ODA Forestry Division

The culture of an organisation is an expression of the shared implicit and explicit assumptions that staff make about what is legitimate behavior within their organisation. This is reflected in the adopted strategy of the organisation, its structure, management processes, reward and control systems and its daily routines. Organisational culture is a product of the national culture within which the members of the organisation live and the historical changes that have taken place within the organisation.

This paper, drawing on recent work in Ghana and the case of Sri Lanka, offers a caricature of the organisational culture of classic Forest Departments identifying the cultural strengths that can help such public sector organisations manage the process of transition associated with a redefinition of their role and functions in a modern era.

It is suggested that in Sri Lanka like many other countries the challenge is to move from an administrative culture which emphasises compliance with procedures, to a managerial approach which focuses on the setting and achievement of performance targets and on the development and implementation of effective programmes to meet GOSL's forest policy objectives.

Cultural change is a process that needs to be actively managed. Key steps and considerations are outlined and discussed, and recommendations made on how to approach this important aspect of organisational change within the forestry sector in Sri Lanka.

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Department of Forestry and Environmental Science,
University of Sri Jayewardenepura,Sri Lanka. 1999. All rights reserved.