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Posted on September 28th, 2012, by

Traditionally, organizational culture was considered to be an essential component of an effective organizational performance. In actuality, the role of the organizational culture has increased dramatically because of the change of the contemporary business environment, where loyalty of employees becomes extremely important because it increases the stability of organizations. At the same time, in spite of numerous researches dedicated to the problem of organizational culture, its development, evolution and basic factors affecting organizational culture still need to be researched further. In this respect, researches conducted by D.R. Denison and A.K. Mishra, “Toward a Theory of Organizational Culture and Effectiveness”¯, M.J. Hatch, “The Dynamics of Organizational Culture”¯, and J.R. Detert, R.G. Schroeder, and J.J. Mauriel, “A Framework for Linking Culture and Improvement Initiatives in Organizations”¯, are particularly noteworthy. These researches contribute to the in-depth analysis of the organizational culture and processes which influence organizational culture and its formation within organizations. In such a way, it is possible to uncover important trends which can influence organizational culture and apply the findings of the researches in practice in order to optimize the organizational performance.

First of all, it is possible to dwell upon D.R. Denison and A.K. Mishra’s “Toward a Theory of Organizational Culture and Effectiveness”¯, where the researchers attempted to uncover the interdependence between organizational culture and organizational effectiveness. To put it more precisely, the researchers suggested the hypothesis that organizational culture can produce a significant impact on the organizational performance and its effectiveness. In order to research this issue, Denison and Mishra conducted a study involving 764 organizations as well as CEOs. In this respect, it should be said that researchers have failed to clearly state the demographics of their subjects, though it was quite natural since the main subjects of their research were organizations, while individuals involved in the study were CEOs, heading different organizations. Obviously, such an approach to the study does not contribute to the validity and reliability of the outcomes of the researchers, because the authors have not described in details what organizations exactly they researched, including the quantity of employees, the individual characteristics, such as gender, age, ethnicity, etc. Instead, they relied on the complex research of a large number of organizations. Taking into consideration the fact the researched involved over 760 organizations, it is quite logical that researchers either failed to describe these organizations or described them superficially. As for CEOs they were apparently selected randomly and researchers attempted to involve CEOs to conduct a qualitative research. At the same time, it should be said that the involvement of CEOs could lead to a one-sided representation or view of the organizational culture. On the one hand, CEOs are predominantly male and, therefore, the risk of gender discrimination persists. On the other hand, CEOs focus on the maximization of profits of organizations, whereas the position of employees could be ignored.

In addition, it is hardly possible to speak about the presence of any control groups. Instead, the researches focused on the analysis of various case studies which were supposed either to prove or reject their hypothesis concerning the impact of organizational culture on the effectiveness of organizational performance. In fact, the use of case studies can be viewed as very effective since it is based on empirical evidences taken and analyzed by the researchers. However, it should be pointed out that the use of case studies puts under a question the reliability of the research because case studies are rather individual and they do not always reveal the common trends. In such a context, the use of a large number of organizations becomes comprehensible, because, in such a way, researchers attempted to reveal common trends typical for many organizations.

Nevertheless, it should be said that the study conducted by Denison and Mishra have considerable flaws since it has a poor theoretical background, while empirical studies are conducted randomly without the use of the control group. The research conducted by M.J. Hatch, “The Dynamics of Organizational Culture”¯, is also oriented on the study of organizational culture, but, unlike the previous research, the author mainly focuses on the analysis of the development and change of the organizational culture. The main assumption made by Hatch is the idea that organizational culture is changing. The author argues that organizational culture is a dynamic entity which is susceptible to changes and which evolves in the course of time. On conducting her research, Hatch attempts to understand how organizational culture functions from within. For this purposes she amply uses interviews and discourse analysis, which she believes to be the most effective instruments with the help of which she can interpret process in action. In other words, through interviews and discourse analysis she attempts to understand how organizational culture actually changes and whether it changes at all.

In terms of her research, Hatch involves subjects working within organizations as well as she amply refers to other researchers conducted by other specialists, which focused their attention on the problem of organizational culture. At the same time, the author has not specified demographics of the subjects of the research, which, however, is very important, taking into consideration the fact that the research of dynamics of organizational culture naturally involves qualitative analysis. The use of qualitative analysis implies that the research has to take into considerations a number of variables, such as age, gender, position, education of subjects, and many other variables. However, Hatch has not paid much attention to this issue that naturally put under a question validity and reliability of her research. On the other hand, such an internal weakness of the study was backed up with the external validity since Hatch refers to reliable researchers, which have been already recognized as trustworthy. In such a way, Hatch’s research is a bit imbalanced because of the lack of internal validity, but her conclusions, concerning dynamics of organizational culture basically meet conclusions made by other researchers, to which she refers in her study.

Fnially, J.R. Detert, R.G. Schroeder, and J.J. Mauriel conducted a research, “A Framework for Linking Culture and Improvement Initiatives in Organizations”¯, dedicated to the interrelationship between organizational culture and its positive impact on organizations and improvements within organizations. In other words, the researchers suggest that organizational culture can be an important factor that can contribute to the improvement of organizational performance. Moreover, according to Detert, Schroeder and Mauriel, organizational culture can support improvement initiatives introduced within the organization. Unlike two aforementioned studies, the study conducted by Detert, Schroeder and Mauriel heavily relies on the research and analysis of the literature dedicated to the problem of organizational culture and its impact on organizations.

In this respect, it is important to underline the fact that, unlike the two studies discussed above, this study has a strong theoretical background because the authors attempted to analyze in details researched conducted by other specialists in the field of organizational culture and reveal its impact on the organizational performance. At the same time, the study seems to be overloaded with theoretical information which is not backed up in suffice with empirical data that naturally influences the validity and reliability of the research because interpretation of other studies could have been quite subjective. In such a way, the study apparently lacks the internal validity which cannot be fully compensated by sufficient external validity. In fact, this is the major flaw of the study conducted by Detert, Schroeder and Mauriel.

As for conclusions, made by the researchers, they are quite logical and naturally derive from literature analysis conducted by the researchers.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the problem of organizational culture and its impact on organizations is very important in the contemporary business environment. The studies discussed above prove the fact that organizational culture is susceptible to changes in the course of time and it can affect the effectiveness of organizational performance as well as it can influence improvement initiatives within organizations. At the same time, it is obvious that further researches are needed since the researches discussed above are imperfect and their conclusions are not always valid and reliable. The researches conducted in the field of the organizational culture reveal the fact that the effectiveness of organizational performance is highly dependent on the organizational culture. Hence, in order to maximize organizational performance, it is necessary to develop effective approaches to the formation of a positive organizational culture.

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