Organizational Culture

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Core Dimensions of Organizational Culture

Running head: CORE DIMENSIONS OF ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE

Measuring Core Dimensions of Organizational Culture:
A Review of Research and Development of a New Instrument

Nathalie Delobbe
Université catholique de Louvain
Louvain-la-Neuve

Robert R. Haccoun
York University
Toronto

Christian Vandenberghe
Université catholique de Louvain
Louvain-la-Neuve

Address all correspondence to Nathalie Delobbe, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut d’Administration et de Gestion, Place des Doyens, 1, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. E-mail: delobbe@rehu.ucl.ac.be

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Core Dimensions of Organizational Culture

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Abstract
This paper reviews twenty organizational culture questionnaires to identify the common cultural dimensions tapped and the level of psychometric support for these dimensions. Conceptual overlaps between questionnaires bring to the fore four core dimensions of organizational culture. Nevertheless, no instrument covers with precision and exhaustiveness these four conceptual domains. Moreover, psychometric support for most instruments is weak. Consequently, the paper describes a new culture measure (ECO) able to capture the commonality among cultural dimensions. The instrument was tested with a large sample of respondents working in a diversity of firms and industrial sectors. This new measure demonstrated improved psychometric properties as well as strong convergent-discriminant and consensual validity. Overall, results supported the view that generic cultural dimensions can be identified. The implications of these findings for culture research and measurement are discussed.

Résumé
Cette étude passe en revue une vingtaine de questionnaires de culture organisationnelle afin d’identifier les dimensions culturelles communes à ces instruments et examine les qualités psychométriques de ces échelles. Les recouvrements conceptuels entre ces instruments mettent en évidence quatre dimensions culturelles centrales. Toutefois, aucun des instruments analysés ne couvre avec suffisamment de précision et d’exhaustivité ces quatre domaines conceptuels. En outre, la plupart présentent d’importantes faiblesses psychométriques. En conséquence, un nouvel instrument (Echelles de Culture Organisationnelle) a été développé de façon à couvrir un ensemble suffisant de dimensions culturelles génériques. La validation de cet instrument sur un vaste échantillon de répondants issus d’entreprises diversifiées démontre des qualités psychométriques appréciables, notamment en termes de validité convergente et discriminante et de validité consensuelle. De manière générale, cette étude tend à confirmer l’existence de dimensions culturelles génériques. La discussion se centre sur les implications de cette étude en matière de conceptualisation et de mesure de la culture organisationnelle.

Core Dimensions of Organizational Culture

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Measuring Core Dimensions of Organizational Culture:
A Review of Research and Development of a New Instrument

Organizational culture is postulated to be one of the greatest theoretical levers required for understanding organizations. Verifying and using those theories minimally requires comparisons between the cultures of different firms, which in turn implies the identification of common dimensions for assessing organizational culture.

Qualitative approaches used in initial research on organizational culture assess culture along unique dimensions, reflecting the inner view of organization’s members. Although rich in detail, this process has two inherent weaknesses: (a) the dimensions of culture identified in one milieu through this approach are idiosyncratic and not necessarily relevant in another context, (b) this approach is unable to produce culture information coherently linkable to major outcomes such as organizational performance (e.g., Cameron & Freeman, 1991) and individual behaviors (e.g., Koberg & Chusmir, 1987). To allow...
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