International Conference on Applied Economics – ICOAE 2008
A Study of Relationship between Organizational Culture and Leadership Farough Amin Mozaffari1
This research suggests that there is a lack of congruence between the Iranian Institutes of Higher Education culture and the faculties desired culture. This conclusion is based on empirical data that indicate that faculties believe that they operate on a day-to day basis in a profession whose culture is characterized by an overarching desire for stability and control, formal rules and policies, coordination and efficiency, goal and results oriented, and harddriving competitiveness. Emphasizing this lack of cultural congruence, the respondents of this study also indicated that the faculties culture should be one that emphasizes flexibility, discretion, participation, human resource development, innovation, creativity, risk-taking, and a long-term emphasis on professional growth and the acquisition of new professional knowledge and skills, which is more aligned with the universities strategic external environment. One of the principal reasons for the popular interest in the study of organizational culture is to determine the linkage between it and organizational performance (Berrio, 2003). This study has reviewed a previously assumed but unverified connection between organizational culture and leadership styles. It has uncovered a lack of congruence between the dominant type of organizational culture and leadership styles. This observed lack of congruence may be inhibiting performance and unconsciously perpetuating a cycle of caution and an over reliance on stability and control. Key words: Organizational culture- Leadership styles-Higher education
An examination of the literature in the fields of organizational culture and leadership finds that the two areas have been independently linked to organizational performance. For example, researchers have examined the links between leadership styles and performance (see Bycio et al., 1995), and also between organizational culture and performance (see Kotter and Heskett, 1992). Furthermore, numerous aspects of the organizational culture literature allude to the role of leaders in ‘creating’ and ‘maintaining’ particular types of culture (for example, Schein , 1992). Equally, the literature on leadership suggests that the ability to understand and work within a culture is a prerequisite to managerial effectiveness. However, despite the implicit and explicit linking of culture and leadership in many parts of organization theory, little critical research attention has been devoted to understanding the links between the two concepts and the impact that such an association might have on managerial effectiveness. The absence of critical literature exploring the effectiveness implications of the links between organizational culture and leadership is surprising given the numerous references to the importance of the two concepts in the functioning of organizations (see, Schein, 1992). The aim of this paper is to provide empirical evidence of the links between different types of organizational culture, a range of leadership styles and managerial effectiveness. This is achieved through the presentation of the results of a cross sectional survey of leadership style, organizational culture, and managerial effectiveness across nine universities in Iran. The paper begins with a brief review of the literature on organizational culture and leadership. This is followed by a discussion of the methodology adopted for the study and the presentation of the findings and analysis of responses to questionnaire exploring the links between the two concepts and managerial effectiveness. The evidence demonstrates that the relationship between leadership style and effectiveness is mediated by cultural congruence. In the final part of the paper, the conclusions and implications of the study are highlighted. As more and more...
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