Models Of Organisational Culture Management Essay

The research will present literature of various models of organisational culture. The research will concentrate on models of organisational culture by Schein, Hofstede, Denison and competing value framework models. This model will be presented to give a framework for organisational culture. The models of organisational culture are very important to the study as they explore the various perspectives of authors and how they are applied in organisational setting. The study will focus on the Denison model of organisational culture.

2.2.1 Schein (1992) discusses the levels of culture namely; artefact, espoused value, basic underlying assumption.

2.2.2 Artefacts

Artefacts deal with organisational attribute that can be perceived, felt and heard as new members join the organisation, they are difficult to measure. According to Du Toit (2002), artefacts are visible, obvious expressions of culture. They are the tangible and audible demonstration of behaviour supported by organisational norms, values and assumptions. They range from aspects such as architecture, office design, language, rituals and celebrations.

2.2.3 Espoused Values

This level deals with espoused goals, norms, standard, morals and principle, and it is measureable. It is the value from the foundation as to what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. They represent what is considered as right and wrong and forms an ethical code of the organisation.

Norms relate to value that indicate the expectancy amongst members in the organisation. Norms offers the organisation with unwritten rules that shows the expectations in terms of actions appropriate to certain situation. Norms and values support the artefact of a culture (Du Toit, 2002).

2.2.4 Basic Underlying Assumption

This level is the basis of the culture of an organisation. Basic assumptions are unconscious and are often taken for granted, but they are often how employees feel in an organisation. The basic assumptions are often taken for granted to the degree that there is little variation within culture unit. They serve as a guiding behaviour that tell people how to think, feel and perceive work, performance goals relationships and performance of co-workers. (Du Toit, 2002)

Figure 1 Schein’s Model of organisational Culture

Source: Schein, E.H. organisational culture and leadership, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 1992, figure 9.

2.3 Hofstede’s Model of organisational Culture

Hofstede’s four levels of culture are symbols, heroes, rituals, and values. This cultural model was for the relationship between organisational culture and local cultures. .

2.3.1 Symbols

Symbols is the first level of this cultural model. Symbols convey a specific meaning within a culture, (Davidson, 2004). According to Denison (1990), symbols are the most obvious elements of culture, presenting the gestures, objects or words, which are acknowledged by those who belong to the same organisational culture.

2.3.2 Heroes

Heroes according to Davidson (2004) are people who are recognised to have characteristics that are highly valued and most times are ‘winners’ in the organisation. They function as models of behaviour within the organisation (Hofstede, 1985).

2.3.3 Rituals

Rituals represent a number of activities in the culture that are extra but are considered socially vital. According to Hofstede (1985), symbols, heroes and rituals can be termed as practices, because they can be seen and observe.

2.3.4 Values

According to Hofstede, the essential aspect of culture is formed by values, which are broad propensities to have a preference of certain state to others which are the deepest level of culture (Denison, 1990).

Figure 2 Hofstede organisational culture model

Source Adapted from Davidson (2004, p.47)

2.4 Competing Value Framework Model

The competing value framework consists of two dimensions which have been encompassed into four groups. The first dimension is allied to organisational focus, from an internal emphasis on the well-being and development of individuals in the organisation and to an external emphasis on the well-being and development of the organisation itself. The second dimension distinguishes organisational preference for structure and signifies the difference between stability, control, flexibility and change. The two dimensions form the four quadrants of the model (Cameron and Quinn, 2006).

2.4.1 Clan Model

The clan model in the upper left quadrant places a great importance on the flexibility and internal focus, and stresses on cohesion, moral and human resource development as standard for effectiveness. This model focuses on friendly working environment, like one big family where individuals have a lot in common and share things among themselves. Leaders are seen as mentor, and they represent a parental symbol. What keeps the organisation together is loyalty, custom and teamwork. The organisation focuses on long-run remunerations of individual’s development with a sense of high unity and morale being important, whilst commitment becomes very high (Cameron & Ettington, 1988). Accordingly, Cameron and Quinn (1991) argued that clannish organisations place importance on attachment, affiliation and membership support. The definition of achievement at this level is in terms of thoughtfulness to clients and concern for people, exceptional focus is on teamwork, involvement and harmony in the organisation (Cameron & Quinn, 2006).

2.4.2 Adhocracy model

The Adhocracy model is located in the upper right quadrant emphasising on flexibility and external focus, and highlight on readiness, growth, resource, acquisition and external support. The organisation is measured as a vigorous, enterprising, and resourceful workplace, where employees stick their necks out to take risks for the organisation. Leaders are ambitious, productive and risk-oriented. The organisation is held together by commitment to experiment and invention. The focus is being at the foremost edge of work knowledge, products and other services. Willingness for change and meeting new challenges are significant. The organisation’s long- run emphasis is on fast growth and obtaining new resources. Denison and Spreitzer (1991) argued that, the resources are predicted to cultivate innovation and cutting-edge output. Behaviours come from members’ creativity, self-determination and adaptability (Cameron and Quinn, 2006).

2.4.3 Market model

This model is located in the lower right quadrant with emphasis on control. It has internal focus, and stresses on the role of information management, communication, stability and control. The most important attention is for work to done. Leaders become motivating creators, directors, and contestants. Leaders are tough and demanding. The bond that holds the organisation together is on importance on winning. The long-run concern is on competitive movements and achieving strategic goals and targets. The style of the organisation is striving on competiveness (Cameron and Quinn, 2006).

2.4.4 Hierarchy model

Hierarchy model is in the lower left quadrant. This model emphasises on control. It has external focus, and views planning, goal setting, productivity and efficiency as effective. It is branded as a formal and organized place to work. Measures and well define practice govern what people do. Leaders in the organisation are good coordinators, planners, and efficient experts. The long-run of the organisation are constancy, expectedness and efficiency. Official guidelines and policies hold the organisation together (Cameron & Quinn 2006). Behaviours that affect these values consist of conformity and predictability. Denison and Spreitzer (1991) argued that these values, in turn, promote efficiency, timeliness, and smooth functioning.

Figure 3 Competing Value Framework

Source from Cameron and Quinn (1999)

2.5 The Denison Organisational Culture Model.

Denison (1990) established four basic views of organisational culture traits namely; mission, consistency, involvement and adaptability


Denison (1990) postulates that, culture that offers a shared definition of the role and purpose of the organisation is not only positively linked with putting in their efforts in the interests of the organisation, but also helps in finding the direction and goals which makes it easier to select appropriate course of action for the organisation. A sense of mission permits an organisation to shape present behaviours by predicting a desired future state. Being able to adopt and recognise with an organisation’s mission contributes both short and long-term commitment to the organisation.

Organisations that have low mission scores usually have top executives who concentrate on controlling their organisation, second-guess their direct report and make thorough decisions about products, people and resources. Also, organisation with low mission scores respond to competitors who have redefined the rules, goals and not very understanding to many employees and the long term drive of the organisation is not very motivating.

The mission model has three divisions;

2.5.1a. Strategic Direction and Intent

A clear strategy intention communicates the organisation’s purpose and has a clear indication on how everyone in organisation can contribute and make an impact in the organisation (Denison et al., 2006). This affirms the argument by (Baker., 2002) that strategic planning and identification are very important for maintaining organisational culture (Baker., 2002).

2.5.1b Goals and Objectives

According to Denison et al (2006), a clear set goals and objective can be associated to the mission, vision and strategy and this give a clear direction to employees in an organisation.

To be able to function effectively an organisation should be able to plan future course of action and also have a well-defined understanding of where they are going and the strategy to get there.


Denison et al (2006) posit that, the organisation has a shared view of preferred future and it stands for core values and apprehends the heart and minds of the members of the organisation, whiles giving guiding principle and direction. Mobley et al (2005) discovered from a study when assessing a global office furniture firm that, high score on vision may be indicative to people in the organisation having a clear idea as to the vision of the organisation.

Denison and Fey (2006) argued that mission is the most significant cultural characteristics for the organisations concentrating on sales growth.

2.5.2 Consistency

Denison (1990) suggests that, a reliable procedure for exchanging information is communication because it brings about an agreement on the meaning of words, actions and other symbols and further argued that organisational members will enhance their internal co-ordination and stimulate meaning and a sense of identification when they have a common perspective, shared beliefs and communal values. Organisations are effective when they are consistent and well incorporated (Safflord, 1998). To back this view, Denison, 2006; Gordon and Ditomaso,1992; Schein, 1992; argued that, behaviour is rooted in the set of core value, that leaders and followers are capable in agreeing and including various points of view and that the organisation’s activities are well coordinated and integrates. A consistent organisation cultivates an idea and produce organisational systems that build an essential system of authority based on consensual support.

2.5.2a Core Value

Members of organisations often share a set of values which generates a sense of identity and a clear set of expectation. A research in Russia, conducted by Denison and Fey (2006) indicated that employees viewed core values to be important. The response of employees showed that the main purpose of the firm is to uphold the integrity of the current authority structure.

2.5.2b Agreement

When members of organisations are able to reach agreement on critical issues, there is an agreement. This involves the fundamental level of agreement and the capacity to settle the differences as they happen (Denison et al., 2006). A study conducted on the effect of organisational practices on individual attitudes and behaviour by Fisher and Alford (2000) discovered that it is important to establish if agreement within the organisation is about the main organisational practices. Agreement will build up the impact of organisational practices of individual work behaviour. Disagreement on the other hand will weaken the connection between organisational practices and work attitude and behaviour.

2.5.2c Co-ordination and Integration

Different departments of organisation are able to work together to accomplish a common goal whiles organisational boundaries do not affect getting the work done (Denison et al., 2006). The Wyandotte city council did a research to determine ways to decrease operational cost and to enhance customer service. The Denison culture survey was administered and the outcome was low consistency scores which point out that the city council should enhance integration and co-ordination in order to increase operational effectiveness, (Buno and Bowditch, 1998).

Organisations that have low consistency score most of the times have customers who get unsatisfied for the reason that no one seems to be able to speak for the whole organisation.

According to Rondeau and Wagner (1999), strong consistency cultures which highlight adherence to formal roles, rules and regulation and traditions, were discovered to be usually less likely to use systematic approaches when reacting to change.

2.5.3 Involvement

Involvement incorporates the significance that the organisation places on building the capabilities of its professional and administrative employees. The value that the organisation has on team orientation against individual accomplishment and the feeling of ownership is created by the high level involvement. According to Denison, Jonovics Young and Cho (2006), employees are committed to their work when they feel a strong sense of ownership. They indicated that, people at all levels believe that they have some contribution into decisions that will affect their work and will make them believe that their work is directly connected to the organisational goals. The involvement view on organisational culture postulates that, the role of organisational effectiveness is the level of involvement of organisations members’ participation. A sense of ownership and responsibility is created by a high level of involvement and participation. This ownership produces a high level of commitment to the organisation and an increasing ability to operate under circumstances of ambiguity. The outcome is an increase in the level of employee commitment to the organisation which tends to reduce the needs for formal systems of control in organisation and leading to performance improvement (Denison, 1990).

Organisation with a high level of involvement depends on informal, voluntary and implicit control system instead of formal, explicit, bureaucratic control systems. On the other hand, organisation with low involvement generally shows an organisation whose employees are detached from their work, ignorant of its importance and its link to the rest of the organisation, reluctant to accept greater responsibility and are tentative about working with people who are not from their immediate circle (Denison et al., 2006)

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The involvement part of the Denison model has three divisions.

2.5.3a Empowerment

According to Denison et al (2006), people have the authority, initiative and aptitude to manage their own work. This produces a sense of ownership and responsibility to the organisation. Greastey, Bryman, Dairity, Prince, Soetanto and King (2005) did an investigation on how empowerment is perceived by employees in a construction firm and discovered that the strict regulations and rules under which construction workers operate, hinder their freedom to impact the work that they do. Additional discoveries suggest that the role of the employees’ direct supervisor has a strong impact on the diffusion of empowerment. To concur this view, findings of an investigation done by Benko (2001) perceived that if employees were not constrained by rules, regulation and limitations, they were able work more efficiently, promptly and effectively.

2.5.3b Team Orientation

Denison et el (2006) postulate that, organisation depends on team effort to get work done as value is placed on working together towards a common goal for which every employee feel jointly responsible. Scott et al (2003) conducted a research on team orientation; they found out that, group association and teamwork have been linked with greater implementation of continuous quality development practice.

2.5.3c Capability Development

According to Denison et al (2006), capability development of the organisation is the continuously investment in the development of employees skills to enable the organisation to stay competitive and meet on-going business demands. Managers and employees must learn how they can work well in a market economy, so an organisational culture that place importance on training and capability development of workers is very essential, (Puffer, 1992).

Research point out those effective organisations empowers and engages their employees, build their organisation around teams and develop human skill at all levels (Block, 1991; Buckingham &Coffman, 1999; Lawler, 1996; Spreitzer, 1995). Fey and Denison (2006) discovered that involvement is the most key dimension of organisational culture for organisation whose primary aim is employees’ satisfaction.

To harmonise this view, research conducted examining organisational culture in a hospital setting found that strong involvement cultures were possible to increase employee participation, increase employee training and development expenditure, and increase use of self-managed work teams (Rondeau and Wagner, 1999).

2.5.4 Adaptability

Denison and Mishra (1995) argue that organisation which has a strong adaptability generally experience sales and growth market share. Organisations which have low adaptability score generally have an internal focus and struggle to respond to competitors, customers and employees with new ideas. Low adaptability organisations operate on apathy and their past accomplishment may possibly create barriers for future success. Top managers in these organisations devote their time responding to results of standard operating procedures, controlling the organisation and managing short-term performance, instead of leading change or long-term thinking (Denison et al., 2006).

2.5.4a Creating Change

Denison et al (2006) argued that, an organisation is able to create adaptive ways to meet changing needs. It is also able to read the business environment to react quickly to trends and predict future changes.

A research conducted by Price (2003) in assessing organisational culture in a manufacturing firm, discovered that most employees showed that they were not rewarded or respected for discovering new and better ways of doing things, and they are not able to quickly adapt, change is met with opposition and the organisation is not taking the initiative. Areas that need improvement were identified in order for the organisation to adapt to the external environment.

2.5.4b Customer Focus

Customer focus mirrors the extent to which the organisation is motivated by a concern to satisfy its customers. The organisation recognises and responds to their customers and predicts their future needs (Denison et al., 2006). Price (2003) when assessing the organisational culture of the manufacturing firm reached that most employees felt that they were meeting the needs and expectations of the customers.

2.5.4c. Organisational Learning

The organisation obtains, interpret indicators from the environment into opportunities. The opportunities serve as a means to inspire innovation, gain knowledge and develop competences (Denison et al., 2006). Rondeau and Wagner (1999) from the study they conducted reported that strong adaptability cultures emphasis employees’ innovation, risk-taking, internal flexibility and entrepreneurialism. Also according to Doherty and Hardy (1996) adaptability to the environment is an essential element in ensuring innovative success.

Figure 4: Denison organisational culture model

Adapted from


The idea of organisational commitment has increase in the literature on industrial and organisational psychology (Cohen, 2003). The theory of organisational commitment is a concept different from other concepts such as job satisfaction, job involvement, career salience, occupational commitment, turnover intentions and work group attachment (Cohen, 1993; Mathieu & Farr, 1991; Meyer et al.,1993; Morrow &McElroy, 1986; Mueller et al; 1992). Apart from being a different concept, organisational commitment adds exclusively to the forecast of important outcome variables such as performance, turnover and withdrawal behaviours (Mathieu and Zajac, 1990; Meyer et al, 1993; Tett and Meyer, 1993). Research has emphasised that commitment has a great impact on the successful performance of an organisation. A highly committed employee in an organisation will identify with the goals, objectives and values of the organisation and will have a strong desire of being associated with the organisation.

2.6.1 Definition of organisational commitment.

The concept of organisational commitment was defined by Mowday et al (1982, p.27) as, the relative strength of an individual’s identification with and involvement in a particular organisation. O’Reilly and Chatman (1986, p.493), defined organisational commitment as the psychological attachment felt by the person for the organisation; it will reflect the degree to which the individual internalises or adopts characteristics or perspective of the organisation.

Organisational commitment has been defined as a psychological state that binds the individuals to the organisation (Allen and Meyers, 1990, p.14). Mathieu and Zajac, (1990, p.171) also defines organisational commitment as a bond or link between the individual and the organisation. However, Steers (1977) defined organisational commitment as a comparative strength of an employee’s identification and participation with an organisation.

According to Mowday, (1992), commitment consists of three components, it is identification with the goal’s and values of the organisation, a desire to belong to the organisation and willingness to display effort on organisation’s behalf. Researchers suggest that commitment impacts behaviour independently of other motives or attitudes and, might lead to the persistence in a course of action even in the face of conflicting motives or attitudes. Thus, commitment can lead individuals to behave in a way that, from the perspective of neutral observers, might seem in contrast to their own self-interest, e.g. a temporary employee who is productive despite having no job security (Meyer and Herscovitch, 2001, p. 301).

For the purpose of this research, the definition and components given by Allen and Meyer (1990) will be used.

2.6.2 Models of organisational commitment

The research will present literature of various models of organisational commitment. The research will concentrate on the Morrow’s model, O’Reilly & Chatman’s model, Etzioni’s model, and Allen and Meyer model. These models will be presented to give a framework for organisational culture. The models of organisational commitment are very important to the study as they explore the various perspectives of authors and how they are applied in organisational setting. The study will focus on the Allen and Meyer’s model of organisational commitment.

2.6.3 O’Reilly and Chatman’s model of commitment

The model of commitment by O’Reilly and Chatman according to Herscovitch and Meyer (2001), was based on the theory that commitment signifies a frame of mind towards an organisation, and that there are different ways through which attitude can be cultivated. O’Reilly and Chatman (1986) argued that commitment takes three different forms, established on Kelman’s work on attitude and behaviour change. The three commitment forms are as follows:

Compliance Commitment, which is the instrumental involvement for specific extrinsic rewards.

Identification commitment, which involves attachment based on a desired for affiliation with the organisation

Internalisation commitment which involves envisaged on congruence between the individual and the organisational values.

2.6.4 Morrow’s model of commitment

Morrow (1983) gives five different forms of organisational commitment. The forms of commitment are divided into two broad categories.

The first category looks at commitment that impact work attitude with no association to organisation where one is working. These are Protestant work ethic (Mirels and Garret, 1971), Career commitment (Greenhaus, 1971) and Job commitment.

The second category looks at commitment that are impacted by the organisation where one is working, these are continuance and affective organisational commitment (Allen and Meyers, 1993)

2.6.4a Protestant Work ETHIC (PWE)

Protestant work ethic (PWE) according to Aaron Cohen (1999), determining factor are felt to be a principally a function of personality and secondarily a function of culture (Morrow, 1983). The character connection is based on the observation that ethical authorization with stable personality and demographic traits. Power work ethical is related to work experience variables or to work outcomes (Morrow, 1983).

2.6.4b Job Commitment

Job commitment according to Aaron Cohen is a function of personality or individual difference and the work situation (Morrow, 1993). Thus demographic and work experiences are expected to relate to job involvement (Blau and Boal, 1989).

2.6.4c Career Commitment

Blau(1985) suggest that the principal determinants in career commitment are; individual differences and situational characteristics. Therefore, for the demography variables, the same pattern of relationship is expected for career commitment with the job involvement.

2.6.4d Affective Commitment

Affective organisational commitment was discovered to be related to a wide variety of literatures. Affective commitment is related to both demographic characteristics and work experience. (Mowday, Porter and Steers, 1982; Morrow, 1993)

2.6.4e Continuance Commitment

Continuance commitment, which reflects the recognition of costs associated with leaving the organisation, should be related to anything that increases perceived costs. Direct or indirect investments in the organisation, side bets, represents such costs bets, represents such cost best, and were operationalized mainly by variables like age, education and tenure (Becker, 1960). Morrow (1983) posits that career commitment is linked to continuance and affective commitment to the organisation. Also continuance commitment to the organisation relates to affective commitment, both of these commitment influence job involvement. Morrow further argued that there is a reciprocal between the different levels of commitment.

2.6.5 Etzioni’s model of commitment

The Etzioni’s model of commitment has three different forms, namely Moral commitment, Calculative commitment and Alternative commitment.

2.6.5a Moral Commitment

Moral commitment is classified Etinio’s (1961) originate from a symbolic compliance structure which can epitomise one of the two affective commitment. Moral commitment is categorised by positive affective attachment and internalisation of organisational goals and values based on an agreement structure that stresses on material or symbolic reward, shared norms and personal dedication (Etzioni’s 1975; Penley and Gould, 1988) cited in Hornung (2010). Moral commitment is categorised by its identification with organisational goals (Patchen, 1970). Hall (1970) argued that moral commitment can be seen as a kind of organisational identification. To concur this, Wiener (1982) argued by presenting moral commitment as a form of affective organisational attachment commitment. He aligned it with the commitment work of Porter and his colleagues (Porter, Steers, Mowday & Boulian, 1974; Steers 1977). Therefore, arguments such as Hall (1970), and Porter (1974) are presently intented to operationalize affective scopes of commitment, similar to Etzioni’s (1961) moral involvement.

2.6.5b Calculative commitment

The calculative commitment is established on employee getting incentives to their match contributions. According to Etzioni (1996), this type of attachment to the organisation as typical agreement systems based on exchange. It is theoretically embedded in the theory of Barnard (1938) and the theory of March and Simon (1958). Calculative commitment needs not to be decreased to willingness to keep organisational members. It may be seen in a wider terms of contributory attachment. The traditional perception of calculative commitment retention of organisational members may be more closely linked to the affective form of organisational commitment.

2.6.5b Alienative commitment

The alienative commitment is characterised by a negative form of attachment in light of being forced to a course of action by environmental pressure, experienced loss of control and lack of alternative (Hornung, 2010). According to Etzioni (1975), alienative commitment is emblematic of a prison which a force compliance system is prevalent. Alienative commitment can be regarded as a foundation for organisational commitment if one thinks of organisational members’ commitment to the organisation as a result of lack of control over the internal organisational environment and recognised absence of substitutes for organisational commitment (Etzioni, 1961)

The word alienation was acquired from Karl Max who gave alienation its classic meaning, a lack of control. To the alienative committed employee, rewards and punishment may be seen accidental instead of lack of alternatives for organisational commitment (Etzioni, 1961). The worker may see the random

2.6.6 Allen and Meyer’s model of commitment

However, Allen and Meyer (1991) also give three forms of organisational commitment has made the biggest contribution to organisational commitment literature. Their three models will be chosen because it has gone through a wide empirical evaluation to date. Allen and Meyers argued the belief that commitment binds people to an organisation, thus decrease the probability of turnover. The main alteration is in the mind-sets assumed to categorise the commitment. These reproduced the three different types of commitment:

2.6.6a Affective Commitment

Affective Commitment is the employee emotional attachment and identification to the organisation. Affective commitment is also the individual’s emotional connection to, acknowledgment with and partaking in the organisation, (Allen and Meyer, 1997). Employees who are affectively committed to the organisation will possibly continue working for it for the reason that they want to (Allen and Meyer, 1991). Employees who are dedicated at an emotional level generally keep on working with the organisation because they see their individual employment relationship with being in harmony with the goals and value of the organisation. Affective commitment development according to (Becks and Wilson, 2000) includes acknowledgment of the organisation and internalisation of organisational values and standards.

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2.6.6b Continuance Commitment

Continuance Commitment, the second component of Allen and Meyer’s model of organisational commitment, is the perceive cost involve when employees leave the organisation. That is, referring to ‘awareness of the costs associated with leaving the organisational.'(Allen and Meyers, 1997, p.11). This definition is maintained by Kantar (1968, p.504), who postulate that, it is the ‘profit related with continued contribution and cost associated with leaving the organisation.’ Because of the individual’s consciousness or deliberation of expenses and threats associated to leaving the organisation, the mind at this position is considered to be calculative. (Meyer & Allen, 1997). Also Meyer and Allen (1991) identified, people whose utmost significant association with the organisation is established on continuance commitment stay for the reason that they need to.

2.6.6c Normative Commitment

Normative Commitment is the sense of obligation to continued employment. The third model, normative commitment, is the previous attitude and values of the employee before becoming part of the organisation, hence should not be significantly impacted by Human Resource practice, (Allen and Meyers, 1997). The normative commitment can also be expounded by Meyer and Allen (1997) as a responsibility to continue working a specific organisation. The normative commitment permits employees’ appreciated continual affiliation of a specific organisation, (Allen & Meyer, 1990). The element of this model is seen as commitment where by the individuals think about honourably concerning the right to remain with the a particular organisation, despite of how position improves or how the organisation gives the individual over the years (March & Mannari, 1977)

Figure 5 Organisational commitment

Allen and Meyers(1996) , proposed to researchers to examine the dimensionality of organisational commitment across cultures to determine if multidimensional approach advanced in US are appropriate to other culture or not.

2.6.7 Organisational Culture and Organisational commitment

Different authors have argued on the relationship between organisational culture and commitment (Cohen, 2003; Mathew and Ogbonna, 2009; Crawford and Lok, 1999). It attested that organisational culture affect employees’ work and commitment through the values, norm, and beliefs directly and through human resource practices indirectly. (Black, 1999).

According to Lawson and Schien (1998), corporate culture involves with social belief and criterion as well as the values and beliefs that individuals embrace that bind organisational groups. Culture is define by Martins and Martins (2003, p.380) as a system of shared meaning held by members, separating them from another organisation. The function of organisational culture is essential to understand organisational behaviour. To support this Wagner (1995) suggest that, organisational culture has a strong impact on organisational commitment.

To concur with Cohen (2003), Meyer and Allen (1991) suggest that, organisational culture is a precursor of organisational commitment. Meyer and Allen (1997, p.106) use the tri-dimensional model to conceptualise organisational commitment in three aspect, namely affective, continuance, and normative commitment. These dimensions describe the different ways in which organisational commitment develops and the implication for employees’ behaviours. According to Miller and Lee (2001), organisational commitment is a state of being in which organisational members are held by their actions and beliefs that maintain their activities and their own participation in the organisation. Reichers (1985), posit that organisational members are committed is individual to existing group. O’Reilly (1989) postulate that organisational commitment is individual’s psychological tie to the organisation, including loyalty and belief in values of the organisation and job task. It therefore be argued that organisational commitment is when employees accept and embrace the values, belief, goals of the organisation (organisational culture) and are psychologically bond to it (organisational commitment). To concur this view, Miller and Lee (2001), expounded that organisational commitment is the employees recognition of organisational goals and their readiness to use effort on behalf of the organisation to achieve the goal.

In researching this topic, organisational commitment is very important in spite of its surrounding because the increase of our understanding of the phenomenon may assist us in better understanding the nature of psychological process through which individuals choose to identify with different things in their environment and how they purpose in life, (Cohen 2003, p.3).

Research performed by O’ Reilly, Chatman & Caldwell (1991) discovered that people who acceptable the organisational culture are those who are committed value- based commitment dimension. However, according to Nystrom (1993), the relationship between organisational culture and commitment shows that individuals who are working in an organisation with strong culture are more committed.

Also Drenth, Thierry and Wolff (1998) discovered in their study that there is a positive relationship between high level of commitment and culture and two culture dimension (support-oriented culture and innovative – oriented culture.

There is an indication from the research that the relationship between organisational culture and employees’ organisational commitment.


The chapter has provided an overview of the relevant literature was presented to provide a basis for the study. The chapter explored the various definitions of culture by different authors. The various models of culture were presented. The various definition of organisational commitment and theoretical models of commitment were highlighted. The chapter concluded with views of various authors about the relationship between organisational culture and commitment.



3.1 Introduction

This chapter deliberates the research design carry out in the investigation of the hypotheses. The chapter starts with framework of the research. The chapter focuses on the description of the sample and the process followed. The measuring instrument including its psychometric properties and the rationale for using the instrument is extensively addressed. The chapter concludes with the statistical analysis conducted to test the hypothesis.

3.2 Framework of the Research

Research Model

The conceptual schema of this research concentrates on the impact of organisational culture on employees’ organisational commitment. Assessing the relationship between organisational culture and employees’ organisational commitment would to current knowledge of the relationship that is between them.

The link between the dimensions of organisational culture and employees’ organisational commitment is illustrated in Figure. In this theoretical framework, organisational culture dimensions are the independent variables and the dimensions for employees’ organisational commitment are the dependent variable. The research therefore attempts to bridge the gap by giving the basis for a perceptive culture and employees’ organisational commitment. The model suggests that culture has a positive impact on employees’ organisational commitment.

Figure 6










Organisational culture Organisational commitment

Schematic of the Research Framework

3.3 Research Design

The research design and methodology used in this research to assess the relationship of organisational culture on employees’ organisational commitment in TK Maxx.


In accordance with the research objectives, the research will seek to identify the impact of organisational culture on organisational commitment while it strive to achieve it vision in terms of profit and stability in the current volatile economic climate. The following questions will be critically examined in order to get deeper understanding in the research area.

Main Research Question

Does organisational culture impact on employees’ organisational commitment?

Sub Research Question

What is organisational culture and what are the models of organisational culture?

What is organisational commitment and what are the models of organisational commitment?

What is the theoretical relationship between organisational culture and organisational commitment?


To answer the research question and attain the objective of the study, the hypothesis is advance, in order to allow the empirical testing of the relationship between these two variables, the research hypothesis addresses the objective of the study:

H 1: There is a positive relationship between organisational culture and organisational commitment

The research hypothesis will statistically be tested by analysing the relationship between organisational culture and organisational commitment

3.4 Sampling

A sample is a subdivision of the total population which is actually investigated by the researcher and whose characteristics will be generalised to the whole population (Bless et al, 2006).

The benefits of sampling are as follows:

Collecting data on a sample does not consume much time

It is less costly

Sampling is applied way to gathering data when population is very large.

3.4.1 Sampling design

Sampling methods can be divided into two, these are, probability and non-probability sampling. For the probability sampling, the probability of counting each element of the population can be determined. On the other hand, the non-probability sampling cannot decide the probability counting each element of the population in a sample. However, non- probability sampling was considered appropriate for the research. The intention for choosing non-probability sampling above probability sampling is because of the cost involved, time involve and human resource. Emory and Cooper (1991) posit that, probability sampling needs more planning and constant follow up calls to make sure that every member in the selected sample is contacted. These activities can turn out to be expensive. The non- probability sampling technique on the other hand, involves less cost, requires less human resource and it is not time consuming. Purposive sampling is a type of non-probability sampling (Cooper and Schindler, 2001)

3.4.2 Purposive Sampling

The sampling technique that was used in the research was purposive sampling. The choice for the method was based on the organisations request and due to time constraint which would have limited the participants to complete the survey when the organisations get busy.

According to Sekaran (2003), purposive sampling is restricted to particular types of people who provide the preferred information, either because they are the only ones who have it, or fit into some standards set by the researcher. The purposive sampling is done with a purpose in mind (Foxcroft and Roodt, 2002). Purposive sampling is a category of non-random sampling in which respondent are specifically required for or used when collecting investigative data from an uncommon population. It can be very useful for circumstances where a targeted sample is required hastily and where sampling for proportionality is not the principal concern. Ideas of the targeted population are obtained when you are using the purposive sampling, but there is a likelihood of getting several respondents for one subgroup and less for the others. The purposive sampling techniques can be used to measure a broader range of views within an organisation (Franck, 2005).

3.4.3 Population Sample

Population is define by Mouton (1996) as the complete set of data from which a sample is chosen of which the researcher desires to draw conclusions.

Considering the relatively small population size, all employees of ABC and XYZ (N=300) were ask to partake in the research survey voluntarily. Out of the three hundred (300) questionnaires that were administered, two hundred and fifteen (215) responded. Of the 215 response, thirteen (13) were rejected, remaining two hundred and two (202); thus, achieving a response rate of 67%. Out of the 202 response ABC organisation represents 49.5% whiles XYZ organisation represents 50.5%. Sekaran (2000) posits that, a response rate of 30% is considered as satisfactory for most research purposes. The good response rate could be because participant having information and understanding about the purpose and objective of the research.

3.5 Date Collection Instrument

The aim of the study is to assess the impact of organisational culture on employees’ organisational commitment. The hypothesis of the research is to assess if there is a positive relationship between organisational culture and organisational commitment.

Quantitative method was used to assess organisational culture and organisational commitment. The Denison organisational survey (Appendix A) was used to collect the culture date. Whiles Allen and Meyer’s organisational commitment survey was used to collect the commitment data. A quantitative approach was used for this research. According to Rojas (2000), the quantitative method is the method that is mostly used for receiving culture information through survey. A quantitative method gives a researcher an opportunity to make best use of values of an accurate, systematic, repeated, comparable, convenience, large scale, unobtrusive, and cost- effectiveness (McCoy and Evans, 1990). Quantitative method will enable the researcher to measure organisational culture and employees’ commitment and test for the research hypothesis.

3.5.1 Research survey

Survey, according Kendra (2010), survey is a type of data collection tool used to collect information about people. A survey may centre on accurate information about people, or it might aim to gather information about the opinions of the one taking the survey.

Survey in a research can either be a questionnaire or an interview.

Moreover, Mounton (1996) postulates the following advantages of surveys:

It is an efficient method of gathering information from a large number of respondents,

They can be used to study attitudes, values, beliefs, and past behaviours,

They are accurate and therefore are comparatively free from several types of errors

They are quite easy to administer

Disadvantages relating to surveys noted by Mouton (1996) are:

Survey is determined by respondents’ motivation, honesty, memory, and ability to respond

Response rates to survey are generally low

The respondents are generally self-selected, and therefore a non-probability sample exists from which the characteristics of the population sampled cannot be inferred.

3.5.2 Survey Questionnaire

A survey questionnaire was considered be the appropriate method for the data collection in this study, to assess the relationship between organisational culture and organisational commitment,

According Weiers (1988), there are precise benefits to using questionnaire.

The price per questionnaire is relatively low

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A well-structured information in the questionnaire makes analysing questionnaire relatively straight forward

Questionnaires offer respondents ample of time to formulate accurate responses.

Also survey questionnaire allows researchers to gather information for quantifying organisational culture and organisational commitment.

To back the view of Weiers, Marshall (2004), posits the following advantages and disadvantages of survey questionnaire:


Survey questionnaire are cost effective.

Where respondents don’t want to be identified, survey questionnaire is an effective tool to collect data.

It is not time consuming


Where respondent don’t understand the question, the right answer is not given

Researcher sometimes may not know whether the targeted population answered the question.

Furthermore, as suggested by Dension and Fey (2003), the main strength of the survey technique is to study organisational culture by means of a technique that can be applied different organisations in the same method. The findings then offer a basis for comparison and generalisation.

3.6 Procedure

Meetings were held with the managers of the organisations to obtain permission to conduct the study. A presentation was made to the line managers elucidating the rationale for the research. It was decided that the researcher would administer the questionnaire and address any queries that arose. Thereafter a mail was sent via email to all employees explaining the purpose of the research, ensuring that confidentiality will be maintained and that participation was voluntary. The survey questions were approved by the research supervisor and the managers of the organisation. Attached to the survey was a cover letter (Appendix B) indicating the aims and objectives of the study and that responses would be confidential.

The researcher administered the surveys over a two-week period where group sessions were arranged for employees to complete the survey. The researcher was on hand to address any questions and concerns respondents might have.


The questionnaire used in this research study consists of three divisions (3). The forms are as follows:


Organisational culture questions section

Organisational commitment questions section

3.6.2 Biographical Questionnaire

The biographical questionnaire was self-developed tool relating to demographic information. Participants were asked to provide information with regard to their gender, name of organisation and their position

3.6.3 Organisational Culture Section

The organisational culture section of the questionnaire is designed to measure the four existing significant organisational culture traits of Denison organisational culture survey:





Each culture trait is further sub-divided into three types, which manifest that particular cultural trait. Five questions are used to measure each culture trait. The culture survey includes 60 questions. Each question is linked to a five-point Likert with response categories ranging from 1to5 according to following choices:

1= Strongly Disagree

2= Disagree

3= Neutral

4= Agree

5=Strongly Agree

3.6.4 Organisational Commitment Section

The organisational commitment of questionnaire is designed to measure the three existing important Allen & Meyer’s (1991) commitment component:




The commitment survey includes 14 questions; each component of commitment has different questions. With the affective commitment 6 questions were used to measure, 4 questions were used to measure the continuance commitment and 4 questions were used to measure the normative commitment. Each question is linked to five point Likert scale with response categories ranging from 1 to 5 representing strongly disagree to strongly agree.

1= Strongly Disagree

2= Disagree

3= Neutral

4= Agree

5=Strongly Agree

3.6.5 Description of Rating Scale

Davidson (2004) posits that, rating scale is defined as assembling of statement, words or symbols on which decisions regarding the strength of a specific attribute is noted. The Likert scale is a type of rating scale that is quite easy to create, generally reliable and is a summative scale. The value of the Likert scale format is the explicit ordinality of the response groups and its ability to measure the intensity of different items (Babbie &Mouton, 2001)

1= Strongly Disagree

2= Disagree

3= Neutral

4= Agree

5=Strongly Agree

The Likert Scale is named after Rensis Likert, who published a report describing it use (Likert, 1932).

3.7 Validity and Reliability of the Denison Organisational Culture Survey

Babbie and Mouton (2001) defined validity as a measure that precisely mirrors the concept it is intended to measure. Reliability is also defined as the value of the measurement method that proposes that the same data would have been collected each time in frequent observations of the same phenomenon.

Cho (2000) conducted a research on the validity and reliability of the Denison organisational culture survey, the four culture traits (mission, consistency, involvement and adaptability) were measured differently. An item-level analysis was conducted in which 15 items in every index were examined to decide if the three indices were taken out from the 15 items (Questions). The analysis procedures used involved factor analysis and exploratory factors analysis. For the indexes, two by two indexes were joined and then six measurement models. A scale-level analysis examining the six scales (3 scales from each index) were conducted to perceive how the six scales were interconnected to each other. The analysis presented that all indices had alpha coefficients in the range of 0.620 to 0.900.

A research conducted by Taylor, Oryly, Boyacigiller & Beechler (2008) on the impacts of organisational culture, human resource management and top management orientations on employee commitment in multinational corporations. The questionnaire was based on Denison organisational culture survey question and organisational commitment. It was realised that mission and adaptability are the two cultural dimensions that has a positive impact on commitment. The idea of the sense mission directly impacts commitment through its influence on global orientation of top management. The idea of culture of adaptability, on the other hand, influences commitment strongly and directly, and indirectly through global orientation. The outcome of this research is that an organisational culture delineated by high adaptability was discovered to have an important and direct impact an employee commitment.

Goldstone (2007) conducted a study on a total of 295 health care employees, who completed the Denison organisational culture survey and the job descriptive index. The study disclosed an important link between the traits of organisation culture (Mission, Involvement, Adaptability, Consistency) and aspects of Job satisfaction (satisfaction with pay, satisfaction with co-worker, satisfaction with supervision, satisfaction with opportunities for advancement, satisfaction with work itself and general job satisfaction). The four traits of organisational culture by Denison described 42% of the difference in satisfaction with co-worker precisely; adaptability culture greatly anticipated satisfaction with co-worker associations whereas organisations’ level of employee involvement anticipated satisfaction with pay and general satisfaction.

A research conducted on the relationship between hospital unit culture and nurses quality of work life in seven western part of United State cities hospitals by Gifford, Zammuto and Goodman (2002). The analysis showed that hospital unit culture did have impact on the nurse’s quality of work life and also human relation cultural values were positively linked to organisational commitment, job involvement, empowerment and job satisfaction.

3.7.1 Validity and Reliability of Meyer and Allen organisational commitment survey

According to Abdullah (2011), the organisational commitment scale of Allen and Meyer has been applied worldwide and assessed for validity and reliability. Allen and Meyer’s commitment scale (1996) has been checked for construct validity (Convergent and Discriminant Validity) and Internal Reliability among banking sector employees of Pakistan.

To validate Allen and Meyer’s organisation scale, Abdul Karim & Noor (2006) conducted a research in Malaysian Academic Library settings, in study they used two scales: affective and continuance commitment. They discovered that the two scales presented instrument validity and internal reliability. No empirical study has been done in Pakistan on validating and assessing Allen and Meyer’s organisational commitment scales, so far, cited in (Abdullah, 2011)

3.8 Statistical analysis method

To test the hypothesis of the study, the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were combined to analyse the data.

3.8.1 Descriptive Statistics

According Sekaran (2003) descriptive statistics gives a statistical summary of the data that has been collected. For the present study, the descriptive statistics included percentages and arithmetical means. Babbie and Monton (2001) argued that, descriptive statistics are statistical computation describing either the characteristics of a sample or the relationship among variables in a sample. Descriptive statistics summaries are set of sample observations.

The descriptive statistics are reported in the form of frequencies, percentages, means, and standard deviations.

3.8.2 Inferential statistics

Inferential statistics are used to make inferences or judgements about a larger population based on the data collected from a small sample drawn from the population (Babbie & Mouton, 2001). Inferential statistics according to Hair (2003), is use to draw conclusions about a population from a sample. In this research it was employed for the purpose of the research of determining the relationship that exists between organisational culture and employees’ organisational commitment in TK Maxx. The type of inferential statistics that were utilised was Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation and the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA).

The types of inferential statistics are explained below:

3.8.3 Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient

The Pearson Product Moment Correlation according to Thorne & Giesen (2003) gives an indication of strength, magnitude and direction of the relationship between two variables. In other words, correlation coefficients are used to reveal the extent to which two measurement variables ‘vary together’. The Pearson Product Moment Correlation was used to determine whether there was a significant relationship between the dimensions of the survey. The Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient is therefore suitable for the purpose of this research since the research intends to determine the relationship between organisational culture and employees’ organisational commitment. This type of inferential statistics facilitates the significance test of the relationships.

3.8.4 Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)

This is describe by Tredoux and Durrheim (2002), as a type of inferential statistics use to test for differences between the means of more than two groups, and can be used in designs with more than one independent variable. Also it is describe by Babbie & Mounton (2001) as a test of the statistical significance of the differences among the mean scores of two or more groups on one or more variables.

In this study, the analysis of variance was used to determine whether significant differences regarding perception of the cultural traits in the different department s exist.

3.85 Limitation of the study

3.9 ¦Conclusion

This chapter addressed the research design adopted to conduct the study. Motivation for using the Denison organisational culture survey and Allen and Meyer organisational commitment survey as reliability and validity is reported on. Furthermore, the sample and the procedure followed to gather the data is highlighted and the chapter concludes with the statistical methods used to analyse the data.




This chapter reports on the results from the culture survey at Marigold UK, Purple Rain. The survey was distributed to 300 employees including 5 managers and 10 supervisors, with 67% response rate. A sample of questionnaire is in appendix……..The aim of this study was to assess the impact of organisational culture on employees’ organisational commitment. The main objective is, to determine the aspect of organisational culture that impact on employees’ organisational commitment.

4.1 Findings of the Descriptive statistic of organisational culture and commitment

Descriptive statistics is arranged in the form of arithmetic mean and standard deviations for the respondents were computed for different dimensions measured by the organisational culture survey. The mean and standard deviation of the dimensions of the Denison organisational culture survey instrument are presented in the Table 1 in the (Appendices)

Table 1, shows the mean for the four trait of culture which are, Involvement (empowerment, team orientation, capability development), Consistency (core values, agreement, coordination and integration) Adaptability (creating change, customer focus, organisational learning) and Mission (strategic direction, and intent, goals and objectives and vision) for both organisations ranging from a low mean of 2.87 to a high mean of 4.13.

The results indicate that, involvement trait of culture with regards to team orientation scored the highest mean (mean=4.13, s=.902), however, capability development score the lowest mean (mean=3.33, s=.812) .This shows that both organisations have a high culture of team orientation and the above results shows team orientation as a significant component of organisational culture. On the other hand, capability development culture traits for the organisation were weak.

The findings of consistency culture traits indicated highest mean score. Core value showed mean (mean=4.00, s=753), while agreement culture trait scored the lowest mean (mean=2.87, s=.868). A previous survey conducted on employees of Marigold UK and Purple Rain UK rated core values strongly than coordination and integration and agreement.

The results of adaptability culture traits showed customer focus with the highest mean score (mean=4.02, s=.753), however organisational learning scored the lowest mean (mean=3.30, s=.800). This low score indicates that improvement is needed on organisation learning in both organisations.

The findings of mission culture traits indicated highest means score on goal and objectives (mean=3.87, s=.955), whilst vision scored the lowest mean (mean=1.92, s=7.42).

Therefore in summary, Table 1(appendix…..) illustrates that employees of Marigold and Purple Rain perceived team orientation, core values, customer focus, goals and objective to have strong culture. On the hand, the perceived capability development, coordination and integration, organisational learning, vision to have a week culture why do you need this, you only need to make reference????

4.2 Descriptive statistics for organisational commitment

In Table 2, the analysis of organisational commitment shows the mean and standard deviation for the three component of the organisational model; namely, Affective commitment, Continuance and Normative commitment for both organisations ranging from a low mean of 2.87 to a high mean of 4.13.

The findings of affective commitment indicated the highest mean scores (mean=3.90, s=954), while the lowest mean (mean=3.45, s=.1.115).

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