Validating The Organizational Context Measure Business Essay

Published:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The objective of this paper is to validate an instrument for the Ghoshal and Bartlett model and operationalize its four attributes into a multidimensionality instrument questionnaire. This study operationalizes the four attributes, namely stretch, discipline, trust and support into a multidimensionality instrument questionnaire and tests their validation using data from 317 Malaysian MCS status companies.

Design/methodology/approach -This study follows the procedures of building a scale measure suggested by Churchil (1979). This was carried out in three main stages. The first stage is the generation of scale items. The purpose of this stage is to identify and analysis items based on intensive literature review. The next stage is the assessment of face validity to ensure the correspondence between the individual items and the constructs intended to measure. The final stage is the statistical validation, which includes the assessment of validities and reliability of the introduced instrument.

Findings - The paper introduces a 23 multidimensional questionnaire items which contribute to organizational context dimensions

Research limitations/implications - This study suggests that these organizational context dimensions can be investigated with a high degree of confidence, especially where organizations studied may have different climate characteristics. However, this instrument needs additional testing in different context and environments. The empirical evidence supplied for testing the hypothesis behind the developed model was derived from IT executive managers. Generalizability is also a concern which may be achieved in future research by conducting further test the validity of the instrument using larger sample data which some other statistical validation methods.

Practical implications - The measure offers researchers a comprehensive and flexible approach to the assessment of organizational context and collective learning from a managerial action perspective. This measure may be useful for a broad range of research interests, enabling researchers to investigate some theoretical propositions related to managerial action, such as the relationship between organizational climate and organizational performance. The measure also helps to establish the relationship between organizational context and collective learning in the organization.

Originality/value - This research will help to fill the gap on the development of the organizational climate through both conceptual and empirical work, which is still limited in the literature. There is therefore a need for a measured, testable instrument to facilitate the empirical evaluation by the modern organization. This measure will also help to make a better understanding on the managerial role on crafting the behavior of the organization's members and the development of collective learning through distributed initiatives and mutual cooperation. This study also confirms that these organizational context dimensions can be investigated with a high degree of confidence, especially where organizations studied may have different climate characteristics.

Keywords:

Organizational Context; Managerial Action; Organization Climate; Stretch; Support; Trust; Discipline; Collective Learning

Introduction

Organizational climate has been consistently described as employees' perceptions of their organizations (Patterson et al., 2005). However, the measurement constructs have suffered over the years from conflicting definitions and inconsistencies in operationalization. The dominant approach conceptualizes climate as employees' shared perceptions of organizational events, practices, and procedures. These perceptions are often not considered affective, but instead primarily descriptive (Patterson et al., 2005; Schneider and Reichers, 1983). Moreover, the lack of a theoretical basis for many climate instruments has led to many variations in the dimensions of organizational climate and context employed in different measures. The objective of this paper is to introduce and validate an instrument of the organizational context model developed by Ghoshal and Bartlett (1994, 1996). Since its introduction in 1994, research on the development and validation of the attributes of the model through both conceptual and empirical work has been limited (Black and Boal, 1997; Gardner and Moynihan, 2005; Gibson and Birkinshaw, 2004; Thumin and Thumin, 2011). There is therefore a need for a measured, testable instrument to facilitate the empirical evaluation by the modern organization. This instrument can be used to measure the attributes of the model, and test their validation. The measure offers researchers a comprehensive and flexible approach to the assessment of organizational context from a managerial action perspective. The following sections review the literature on the managerial theory and organizational context including the Ghoshal and Bartlett model. Next, the research methodology reports on the process of development of the measure and the various procedures taken to validate the instrument. Finally, the paper concludes by presenting the results and discuses some implications and limitations of the study.

Managerial theory

The resource learning theory put forward by Mahoney (1995) is a synthesis learning theory which focuses on the development of the firm's human resources. According to Mahoney, resource-based analysis is not sufficient because it does not articulate the management practices needed by firms to excel. He further highlighted the importance of the role of management and managerial skills in achieving organizational effectiveness. However, he did not address the question of how such a role or skills should be put into practice, in order for organizational effectiveness to ensue (Haakonsson et al., 2008). The managerial theory of the firm presented by Ghoshal and Bartlett (1994) fills this gap, as it is based on core management processes, which are direct consequences of the interactive development of managerial action and organizational context. Managerial action is the result of choices managers within firms make over time. Subsequently, organizational context is the consequence of the managerial action.

One of the significant outputs of this managerial theory is that managerial processes are the outcome of an act of managerial choice, in the form of managerial formal roles and the interpretation of such roles by collective action (Nardon, 2011). Hence, managerial processes are the result of the organizational inaction processes. Formal functional roles are vertically planned but they can be executed through a horizontal level of authority, depending on the type of context, which management has been able to build in the organization. Figure 1 illustrates the relationship between managerial choices, managerial action and organizational context.

Managerial Choices

Managerial Action

Organizational Context

Figure 1: the relationship between managerial action and organizational context

Recognizing this relationship between organizational context and managerial action, Ghoshal and Bartlett have contributed further towards operationalizing the notion of organizational culture, which is another important organizational resource (Barney, 1986; Fiol, 1991). They reviewed the works of the founding fathers of the management discipline regarding the basic roles of management, such as the Bower (1970), Chandler (1962) and Cyert and March (1963). These works were the state of the art in businesses activities in the sixties and the seventies, when the new multidivisional organizational form was invented to cope with the ever increasing size of companies. As a result, Bartlett and Ghoshal (1993) proposed a fresh look into organization and management. This fresh look does not emphasize organizational structures and formal managerial roles, but instead on managerial processes and their interrelationships.

Organizational context and organizational learning

While climate has been consistently described as employees' perceptions of their organizations, its dimensions have suffered from elusive definitions and inconsistencies in operationalization. The dominant approach conceptualizes climate as employee's shared perceptions of organizational events, practices, and procedures (Patterson et al., 2005; Zohar and Luria, 2005). However, consensus is not easily achieved in this area, since there are both theoretical and empirical differences of what climate represents. Many of these differences are revealed in the debate about the distinction between organizational climate and organizational culture. Indeed, the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably (Patterson et al., 2005).

However, Schneider (1990) suggests that organizational climate represents the descriptions of the things that happen to employees in the organization. This description may not be one whole concept applicable to the whole organization or the global climate. Because climate is behaviorally oriented as he suggested, each organization creates a number of different types of climates. Hence, there are two options to understand organizational climate: the first one is to consider the type of behavioral outcome of the climate, such as leadership climate. The second option is to consider the desired unit of analysis in the organization, such as IT department climate. In the sense where climate is taken as a manifestation of the behavior of a particular occupational group within the organization, a climate can be considered as a subculture.

Climate and context also overlap to a great extent, and many researchers used the two expressions with interchangeable meanings (Fiol, 1991; Ghoshal and Bartlett, 1994; Hansen and Wernerfelt, 1989, Thumin and Thumin, 2011). This is because within this approach, organization is seen as a knowledge system, an entity which is capable of cognition and learning, and directly affects the performance of the organization. According to Sackmann (1991), organizational learning is about increasing the collective stock of knowledge, whereby culture is about creating the conditions for knowledge development. Hence, while culture is about stability, organizational learning is about change, and the outcome of the tension between individual creativity which represents individualized organizational learning, and the control exerted by group norms and values which represent socialized organizational learning. From this perspective, organization context is concerned with the intangible qualities of the organization (Denison, 1990; Gibson and Birkinshaw, 2004). However, it differs in its emphasis because it is more concerned with understanding the underlying belief systems and values of individuals in the organization, rather than the formal systems and processes leaders put into place (Denison, 1990; Ouchi, 1981; Schein, 2004).

On the organizational climate measurements, the lack of a theoretical basis for the existing climate instruments has resulted in much of the variation in climate dimensions employed in different measures (Gagnon et al, 2009; Patterson et al., 2005). One of the earliest instrument is the organizational climate questionnaire (OCQ) developed by Litwin and Stringer (1968). This measurement consists of 50 items assessing nine dimensions of climate. Rogers, Miles, and Biggs (1980) reviewed the instrument and concluded that OCQ lacked validity and was not a consistent measurement device. Patterson et al., (2005) introduced the organizational climate measure (OCM) based upon the competing values model (Quinn and Rohrbaugh, 1983). They further suggested a global approach that provides an overall snapshot of organizational functioning, and allows a view of the ways the whole organization operates (Quinn et al., 2011). This multidimensional global approach can also highlight subcultures and identify the effects of particular dimensions on specific outcome measures, such as organizational productivity or innovation (Ashkanasy et al., 2000), and employee's performance (Day and Bedeian, 1991). The CRISO psychological climate questionnaire (CRISO-PCQ is another instrument introduced by CRISO-McGill (2008). This instrument is derived from the work of Jones and James (1979) and reduced its dimensions from 35 dimensions to 15 dimensions. Gagnon et al., (2009) followed previous methods of measuring work climate (Parker et al., 2003) and presented the result of a cross validation procedure of this questionnaire. Using the concepts of shared perceptions and organizational climate to understand the climate of work groups, Anderson and West (1998) introduced a 44-item instrument called the team climate inventory (TCI) in order to describe and diagnose the team climate and performance in the organization. Loewen and Loo (2004) studied the team climate inventory using both qualitative and quantitative approach to enhance our understanding on how an effective team climate develops. More recently, Thumin and Thumin (2011) introduced the survey of organizational characteristics (SOV) using various attributes of climate, and raised the issue of whether climate should be considered descriptive or evaluative. These studies show that despite the proliferation of the climate and context attributes, there is a slowdown in operationalization of these climates attributes (Schneirder, 2000, Thumin and Thumin, 2011).

Ghoshald and Bartlett model

In their theory building, Ghoshal and Bartlett give a great emphasis to managerial values. They state that improved organizational performance depends primarily on the organizational context that managers are able to build in fulfilling their managerial roles and processes. They suggest that an organization can create and embed in its context a work ethic that would induce rational, yet value-oriented actions on the part of its members in furthering the interests of the organization as an end in itself, not just a means to an end. As the outcome of their research into the practices of successful companies, Ghoshal and Bartlett have identified a number of value-oriented characteristics of managerial action, which they claim are the key dimensions for collective learning, and induce the creation of a favorable, supportive organizational context for improved organizational performance. Organizational climate is subsequently distinguished from psychological climate, which consist of individual interpretive perceptions (Klein and Koslowski, 2000; Patterson et al., 2005). Although individual perceptions of an organization climate may be used to assess it, if these perceptions are homogenous, they can be aggregated to represent climate as a property of an organization (Klein and Koslowski, 2000; Zohar and Luria, 2005). The broad notion of organizational context encompasses three elements: it reflects a combination of the structural context, culture, and climate of a business unit, and it considered an objective, higher-level attribute of the unit or organization as a whole (Gibson and Birkinshaw, 2004, Raisch and Birkinshaw, 2008). This view manifests in the definition of organizational context by Ghoshal and Bartlett (1994, 1996), as four behavioral attributes, which are created and reinforced by a variety of multi-level actions taken by managers in an organization. Ghoshal and Bartlett (1994) defined these four attributes as follows:

Discipline

Discipline is the attribute of an organization's context that induces its members to voluntarily strive for meeting all expectations generated by their explicit and implicit commitments. Establishment of clear standards of performance and behavior, a system of open, candid, and rapid feedback, and consistency in the application of sanctions contribute to the establishment of discipline.

Trust

Trust is the attribute of an organization's context that induces its members to rely on the commitment of each other. Fairness and Equity in organization's decision process, involvement of individuals in decisions and activities affecting them, and staffing positions with people who possess and are seen to possess required capabilities contribute to the establishment of trust.

Support

Support is the attribute of an organization's context that induces its members to lend assistance and countenance to others. Mechanisms that allow actors to access the resources available to other actors, freedom of initiative at lower levels, and senior functionaries giving priority to providing guidance and help rather than to exercising authority contribute to the establishment of stretch.

Stretch

Stretch is the attribute of an organization's context that induces its members to voluntarily strive for more rather than less ambitious objectives. Establishment of a shared ambition, the development of a collective identity, and the ability to give personal meaning to the way in which individuals contribute to the overall purpose of an organization contribute to the establishment of stretch.

These four dimensions which form the organizational context are created and renewed through concrete management actions. This context influences the actions of all members of the organization. According to Ghoshal and Bartlett, an interactive development of context and action lies at the core of a company's management process and is a key influencer of its performance (Ghoshal and Bartlett, 1994). This also suggests that the underlying value resulted from accepting the managerial role is manifested in the norms of all members of the organization (Lucas and Kline, 2008). The four dimensions "influence the levels of individual initiative, mutual cooperation and collective learning within companies". They can be created and reinforced by a variety of macro and micro level actions taken by managers at all levels of an organization (Ghoshal and Bartlett, 1994; 1996; Bartlett and Ghoshal, 1995). This combination will result to a collective learning emerged from the two elements of distributed initiative and mutual cooperation which, in turn, require stretch, trust, discipline and support as the antecedent conditions of organizational context (1994). Figure 2 illustrates Ghoshal and Bartlett model.

Stretch

Discipline

Trust

Support

Shared Ambition

Collective Identity

Personal Meaning

Performance Standards

Fast-cycle Feedback

Involvement

Competence

Access to Resources

Autonomy

Guidance

ance and Help

Distributed Initiatives

Mutual Cooperation

Collective Learning

Equity

Consistent Sanctions

Figure 2: Ghoshal and Bartlett Model

The model of Ghoshal and Bartlett provides a starting point for assessing the organization's quality of management from a managerial action perspective, due to its precedence in corporate strategy and empowerment (Barnard, 1938; Bower, 1970; Burgelman, 1983; Mintzberg, 1979). What makes the work of Ghoshal and Bartlett important and different from other works is that they relate the nature and function of organization within the economy with the nature of organization as a social entity, explaining the nature and function of management within the firm. They put forward their four key organizational value dimensions, believing that these value dimensions have not received the attention they deserve, as they are important to the analysis of organizational effectiveness (Ghoshal and Bartlett, 1994; 1996; Bartlett and Ghoshal, 1995). However, they do not explain which systems and structures are designed, but they emphasize more on how they are implemented through the ongoing managerial activity (Pastoriza, 2007).

Gardner and Moynihan (2005) studied these four dimensions as antecedents of collective learning where they were considered as management practices that foster the collective learning in the organization. This has led to the suggestion that these dimensions, discipline, stretch, trust and support still need further discussion on how to be operationalized within the managerial action in which the model was developed. This emerging collective learning in the organization is seen as mutually constitutive constructs that enable a dynamic organizational capability (Clegg et al., 2005). Black and Boal (1997) were the first to investigate the four attributes and introduced the context-for-learning (Black and Boal, 1997; Black et al., 2006), confirming the emerging of collective learning from the four attributes. They asserted that a presence of high level of all four high order attributes is necessary for the collective learning to occur. At the organizational level, the collective level of the context-for-learning is socially-created capability which emerges from the interaction of individuals (Black et al., 2008).

This study will complement these studies by operationalizing these dimensions in their original context and present a measured, testable instrument in order to facilitate the empirical usage of the model in the modern organization.

Research methodology

In order to operationalize the four constructs into instrument, the procedures suggested by Churchill (1979) to build good measures were followed and they were carried out in three stages. These stages are also consistent with the scale procedures suggested by Hinkin (1995). The first stage is the generation of scale items. The purpose of this stage is to identify and analyze items based on intensive literature review. The next stage is the assessment of face validity to ensure the correspondence between the individual items and the constructs intended to measure. The final stage is the statistical validation, which includes three separate steps. First, the preparation of data by checking the data purification and refined them if necessary. Second, statistical analysis was carried out through various steps including the assessment of validities and reliability of the newly developed instrument. The following sections describe each of the stages in details.

Stage 1: Generation of scale Items

The first stage implies the specification of the constructs. According to Hinkin (1995), the generation of items is the most important part of developing sound measures. This process involved the analysis of the construct and definitions in the literature in order to define the domain of the construct as suggested by Churchill (1979). A sample of items, which captured the definitions and characteristic of the domain as specified by the work of Ghoshal and Bartlett was generated.

The initial instrument consists of 30 items, which are intended to empirically validate the identified constructs. In order to test the content validity of this instrument, the instrument was given to twelve academicians in the field of organizational studies who were randomly selected from four universities and were agree to participate on this study. Their task was to review and evaluate the theoretical and conceptual relevance of the constructs. In this pretest process, the instrument was subjected to an intensive inspection for all validities in order to ensure the content validity of the instrument. Based on the comments, feedbacks, suggestions, six items were dropped.

Stage 2: Face validity

The second stage of the development process is to assess face validity. Face validity is the subjective and logical assessment of the correspondence between the individual items and the concept through rating by expert judges (Hair et al., 2010). A review of the instrument by experts in the field can establish the face validity. According to Hair et al., (2010), a measure is considered to have face validity if the items are reasonably related to the perceived purpose of the measure.

The present measurement items were given to two research teams composed of ten faculty members in the field of organizational studies from three Malaysian and four American universities. Following Isaac et al., (2006)'s procedures, they were briefed about the purpose of the study and its scope. The team members were asked separately to scrutinize the items and give their impressions regarding the relevance and contents of each item. They were asked to critically examine the measurement items, and give objective feedback and suggestions with regard to relevance, significance, comprehensiveness/coverage, redundancy level, consistency and number of items in each variable as suggested by Isaac et al., (2006). Their comments, suggestions and criticisms were first reviewed by authors and then discussed with team members. Comments that gained consensus among most of the team members were incorporated to improve the instrument.

The relevance of each item in the questionnaire were given to be rated on a five-point scale: (1) not important (2) fairly important (3) important (4) very important (5) extremely important. Whereby significance, coverage/comprehensiveness and redundancy were given to be rated on a five-point Likert scale, (1) Extremely low (2) Low (3) Medium/Satisfactory (4) High (5) Extremely high. Only those items that have an average score of 3 and above were retained. In the initial questionnaire, there were 24 items. Based on the feedback from the research team at this stage, one item was dropped which makes the final instrument contain 23 items.

In order to measure this instrument for the statistical validation, a five point Likert-type scale was used with (1) Strongly Disagree to (5) Strongly Agree. An option of neither disagree nor agree was also included and labeled as (3).

Stage 3: Statistical validation

Population and sampling methods

To validate the proposed instrument, Malaysian Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) status companies were selected for this purpose. According to the Malaysian Multimedia Development Corporation MDeC (2008), there are over 2173 approved MSC-status companies. The MSC project is part of Malaysia's long-term plan to become a fully developed nation and knowledge-rich society by the year 2020 (MDeC, 2008). The project also aims to take Malaysia's development through the creation of an ideal information technological environment for world-class companies to use as a regional hub (MDeC, 2008). Companies seeking MSC status and eligibility for incentives will need to fulfill the following criteria:

a. They must be a provider of, or a heavy user multimedia products or services;

b. They must employ sustainable number of knowledge workers,

c. The should provide technology transfer and/or knowledge to Malaysia, or otherwise contribute to development of the MSC, or support K-economy initiatives.

d. They should not be engaged in non-qualifying activities such as manufacturing, trading and consultancy.

From these criteria, organizations are strictly complied with a good atmosphere to perceive a healthier knowledge-based context in conducting their business activities. In addition to the knowledgeable manpower, this combination makes these organizations an ideal population to test the proposed instrument.

The proportional stratified random sampling was best appropriate for this frame as the MSC status companies are classified according to their business activities functions. Application Software, Mobility, embedded Software and hardware (MeSH), Shared Service & Outsource (Davis and Yen, 1999). The proportional technique for the random selection from the strata consists of selecting samples from each stratum following the proportion of that stratum to the whole population (Jewell, 1985). Following this technique, the final sample drawn was 618 companies.

Data collection methods

The questionnaire was sent to 618 executive managers, CEOs and directors of the MSC status companies. The questionnaire was sent to them via a web-based survey. The electronic version of the questionnaire has been designed and put in four parts in four HTML WebPages. The first part contains the organizational context dimensions items.The second page consists of demographical questions. Each page has a "next" button which leads to the next page.

Before sending the questionnaire, a database containing names, e-mails, addresses of the MSC status companies was created. All e-mails inserted in the database were of IT managers, CIOs and executives. The major advantage of this web-based survey application is that it associates a unique ID number to each case (i.e. organization) which acts as the unique identity of that organization before sending the questionnaire and after receiving the response. The second advantage is that the application prevents the respondent from replying to the questionnaire more than once. These two functions will allow full control of the data and prevent multiple submissions.

After sending the questionnaire, the companies receive an e-mail containing the invitation letter and the link of the website address where the questionnaire is uploaded. Each link sent to each organization holds the unique ID number of that particular organization to keep track on the respondent. When the respondent reaches the final page of the questionnaire and clicks the button "send", the data of that respondent will be uploaded to a MySQL database created in the server. This data will be retrieved to the local server and stored in the local machine as a MySQL database with the software interface.

Out of 618 questionnaire sent, 317 usable questionnaires were returned, which makes respondent rate at 51%, which is considered reasonable and acceptable (Bech and Kristensen, 2009). This sample size is also considered sufficient to obtain an accurate solution in exploratory factor analysis (Hinkin, 1995). Before reporting on the statistical analysis of the study, the remaining of this section reports on the data purification and refinement.

Data purification

One of the advantages of the web-based survey is the improved data quality with a lower proportion of item non-response and the reduction of errors which may occur in the data entry (Beck and Kristensen, 2009). Because this web-based survey associates a unique ID number to each organization, the dataset was free from any errors.

Data refinement

Before proceeding with the analysis, the data was screened as suggested by Mertlett and Vannatta (2001). A prescreening of dataset is usually encouraged in order to enhance confidence that the data analysis will produce valid conclusions. Mertler and Vannatta (2001) suggest that there are four reasons for doing this screening: (1) to avoid inaccuracy of the data, (2) to identify any possible missing data and determine the best strategy to deal with them, (3) to assess the effect of any outliers on the analysis, and (4) to assess normality, linearity, and homoscedasticy. For the dataset of this study, none of these issues were found.

Validity

Scale validity

In addition to the subjective and logical assessment of items and their constructs which was assessed in the first stage, convergent validity and construct validity were also assessed using various statistical methods. The next section reports on this process of validity analyses in details.

Convergent validity

The method used to check the convergent validity of the instrument was the assessment of the extent to which each item correlated with items on the construct (Mertler and Vannatta, 2001). Results show that all correlations among the items in the organizational instrument were significant. This means that the items have good convergent validity.

Construct validity

Construct validity is concerned with the relationship of the measure to the underlying attributes it is attempting to assess (Hinkin, 1995). Factorial analysis is often used to assess this validity (Straub, 1989; Mertler and Vannatta, 2001). It determines if the items for each instrument load in their respective factor to assess the construct structure (Mertler and Vannatta, 2001). This study used principal axis factoring (PAF) as the extraction technique with an oblique rotation due to the high likelihood that the factors would be correlated (Harrison et al., 1997).

Assessing the suitability of the data was an important step before conducting the factor analysis. Among the statistical procedures traditionally used for this purpose, three tests predominate in the research. The first is a high correlation among the items that indicates that the items can be clustered to measure an underlying construct. This has been assured in the assessment of the convergent validity. The second is the Kaiser's measure of overall sampling adequacy or the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) measure of sampling adequacy. KMO provides means to assess the extent to which the indicators of a construct belong together. Kaiser and Rice (1974) suggested that values greater that 0.8 are highly desirable, and values above 0.6 are acceptable. The overall KMO will indicate whether items suitable for principle component analysis as part of construct validity analysis. The third is the Bartlett's Sphericity test that assesses the viability of the correlation matrix for factoring. A high significance of this test indicates that the correlation matrix is appropriate for factoring. As illustrated in Table 2, the result shows a very good KMO measure of .904, as well as a significant level of Bartlett test. Therefore, it is concluded that that all correlation matrices of the new developed constructs are adequate for factoring.

The factor loadings for the four constructs are illustrated in Table 2. As the table shows, except one item, all items loading for their respective factors were equal or above the recommended level of 0.50 in the exploratory research (Hair et al., 2010). The factor loading of one item under trust was .474. This is also within the acceptable level as Tabachnick and Fidell (2007) have suggested. Therefore, it is concluded that the four attributes of organizational context have good construct and convergent validity. The significant loading of all the items on the single factor also indicates unidimensionality.

Discriminant validity

Discriminant validity refers to the extent to which items measure distinct concepts. Fornell and Larcker (1981) recommend the use of the average variance extracted (AVE) to assess discriminant validity. The average variance extracted should be greater than the variance shared between the construct and other constructs in the model. Fornell and Larcker's (1981) criterion that an average extracted variance should be 0.50 or more was used to assess the average variance extracted for all constructs. However, only stretch construct was found to be slightly below the recommended value 0.45.

Table 2: Statistical results of scale

Item-to-total correlation

Factor Loadings

AVE

Eigenvalue

%

Items

.58

3.17

52.83

Discipline

.767

.776

People in my organization are comfortable to follow ambiguous performance standards

Clear Standards

.825

.726

People in my organization voluntarily strive to meet all expectations in achieving the performance standards of the organization

.781

.683

People in my organization work towards improving the quality of internal feedback regarding their performance

Fast Cycle-Feedback

.865

.631

People in my organization strive towards improving the efficiency of performance feedback

.745

.609

People in my organization possess a norm of fairness and consistency

Consistent Sanctions

.632

.516

People in my organization enforce accountability through consistent sanctions

0.56

2.56

51.27

Support

.643

.780

People in my organization have access to resources within the entire organization

Access to Recourses

.743

.665

People in my organization encourage interdependency on accessing resources of various departments in the organization

.754

.634

People in my organization contribute frequently in developing autonomy within the organization

Autonomy

.776

.532

People in my organization have an inherent preference for decentralization

.654

.509

People in my organization are always willing to guide and help their co-workers in their work

Guidance and Help

.55

2.55

51.18

Trust

.546

.777

People in my organization give everyone sufficient authority to do their jobs well

Equity

.658

.661

People in my organization are given an equal chance to contribute towards the performance of the organization

.755

.617

People in my organization involve workers in decisions that affect their work

Involvement

.654

.584

People in my organization are given an opportunity to volunteer for important involvement in the organization

.876

.474

People in my organization possess a norm of self-efficacy

Competence

.760

.777

People in my organization possess a norm of personal empowerment

.45

2.56

51.25

Stretch

.887

.683

People in my organization have a shared positive ambition for the future of the organization

Shared Ambition

.789

.663

People in my organization share similar emotional commitment towards achieving highly challenging goals

.764

.634

People in my organization share a collective identity

Collective Identity

.631

.625

In my organization, there is a personal link between the individual's work and the organization's priorities

.866

.517

People in my organization believe in the overall purpose of the organization

Personal Meaning

.875

.683

People in my organization firmly believe that their effort will lead towards making the organization a better place.

KMO Measure of Sampling Adequacy .904

Approx. Chi-Square 2696.289

Df 253

Sig. .000

Reliability

The reliability of the instrument has been assessed using two statistical methods. The first method is to assess the internal consistency estimates.. This analysis assesses the degree of consistency among the items in any measuring instrument (Hair et al., 2010; Straub et al., 2002). Hair et al. (2010) suggested coefficient level of 0.70 or greater for good reliability, whereby in exploratory studies, a value of .60 may also be accepted (Hair et al., 2010). The results of reliability analysis for the four attributes are shown in Table 3. For the discipline construct, the reliability coefficient is the highest among the four constructs, with a level of .819. Support and trust share a similar figure of .755, where the reliability coefficient of stretch is .761. From these results, it is shown that all constructs have high reliability level, which indicates a high level of internal consistency within the multi-item scale of organizational context.

Table 3: Reliability and agreement of scales

Scale

Internal Consistency

(Cronbach's alpha)

Intra-class Coefficient ICC(1)

Intra-class Coefficient ICC(2)

Average agreement

(rWG(j))

Discipline

.819

.404

.802

.819

Support

.755

.347

.726

.755

Trust

.755

.354

.732

.755

Stretch

.761

.375

.750

.761

The second method to assess the reliability of the measurement is the inter-rater reliability, also called interobserver reliability (Suen, 1988). This analysis has been conducted by converting the one-way of analysis of variance to intra-class correlations (ICC) (Shrout and Fleiss, 1979), with its two versions commonly known as ICC(1) and ICC(2) (Bliese and Halverson, 1998). These two coefficients assess the ration of variation within organizations to variance among organizations. Thus, high coefficients are related to small within-organization variance. This means that ICC(1) assesses the reliability of a single rating, and ICC(2) assesses the reliability of mean rating. Intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs) are also alternative statistics for measuring homogeneity (McGraw and Wong, 1996). James (1982) reports that the adequate values of ICC(1) would range from 0 to .50. Bliese and Halverson (1998) suggests that the values of ICC(2) above .70 are considered acceptable. The results of ICC(1) for the constructs range between .347 and .404, which is considered within the acceptable level. Concerning ICC(2), all values are above the desirable value of .70, demonstrating excellent inter-rater reliability of the instrument.

Following a suggestion by James (1982) that intra-class is also a measure of consistency besides being a measurement of agreement; a further agreement index was utilized. The within-group agreement index of multiple of multiple item scales developed by James et al. (1993) is a technique for assessing agreement among the judgments made on a single item in regard to a signal target. On this regard, Patterson et al. (2005) suggested that it is appropriate to use this technique when testing the climate perceptions within organizational unit. A value of .7 or above has been suggested as the cut-off point to indicate within-group inter-rater agreement (James, 1982). This is consistent with the values suggested by Nunnally (1994) for acceptable internal consistency reliability estimates in this type of research. All agreement results suggested a sufficient level of agreement between raters within organizations.

Conclusion

This paper introduces and validates an instrument measuring the four attributes of organizational context model suggested by Ghoshal and Bartlett (1994). The instrument was developed and tested with IT executives and managers of 317 companies drawn from 2173 Malaysian MSC status companies. The statistical analysis that followed the conceptual development suggested by (Churchill, 1979) revealed that the instrument has sound psychometric properties. Moreover, the validity and reliability of the scale was acceptable. The final 23 items and their attributes are presented and summarized in Table 4.

Table 4: The final instrument of the organizational context measure

Discipline

Clear Standards

People in my organization are comfortable to follow ambiguous performance standards

People in my organization voluntarily strive to meet all expectations in achieving the performance standards of the organization

Fast Cycle-Feedback

People in my organization work towards improving the quality of internal feedback regarding their performance

People in my organization strive towards improving the efficiency of performance feedback

Consistent Sanctions

People in my organization possess a norm of fairness and consistency

People in my organization enforce accountability through consistent sanctions

Support

Access to Recourses

People in my organization have access to resources within the entire organization

People in my organization encourage interdependency on accessing resources of various departments in the organization

Autonomy

People in my organization contribute frequently in developing autonomy within the organization

People in my organization have an inherent preference for decentralization

Guidance and Help

People in my organization are always willing to guide and help their co-workers in their work

Trust

Equity

People in my organization give everyone sufficient authority to do their jobs well

People in my organization are given an equal chance to contribute towards the performance of the organization

Involvement

People in my organization involve workers in decisions that affect their work

People in my organization are given an opportunity to volunteer for important involvement in the organization

Competence

People in my organization possess a norm of self-efficacy

People in my organization possess a norm of personal empowerment

Stretch

Shared Ambition

People in my organization have a shared positive ambition for the future of the organization

People in my organization share similar emotional commitment towards achieving highly challenging goals

Collective Identity

People in my organization share a collective identity

In my organization, there is a personal link between the individual's work and the organization's priorities

Personal Meaning

People in my organization believe in the overall purpose of the organization

People in my organization firmly believe that their effort will lead towards making the organization a better place

The four attributes of the organizational context are considered key dimensions for collective learning in the organization which induce the creation of a favorable, supportive organizational context for improved organizational performance. Following calls from previous researchers for the need of instrument to measure the organizational context (Patterson et al., 2005; Gagnon et al., 2009), this paper introduced an instrument of the Ghoshal and Bartlett model in order to complement the few existing measures of organizational context and climate. This study also established a further understanding on the relationship between organizational context and collective learning. By operationalizing these four attributes into an instrument questionnaire, it is hoped that this measure will offer researchers a comprehensive and flexible approach to the assessment of organizational context from a managerial action perspective, which has been limited in the literature, and make a better understanding on the managerial role on crafting the behavior of the organization's members towards the organizational learning.

This study confirms that these organizational context attributes can be investigated with a high degree of confidence, especially where organizations studied may have different climate characteristics. The measure was developed from a theoretical base, the Ghoshal and Bartlett model, which reflects a solid precedence (Barnard, 1938; Bower, 1970; Burgelman, 1983) and posses a well argued justification (Mintzberg, 1979). This measure may be useful for a broad range of research interests, enabling researchers to investigate some theoretical propositions related to managerial action, such as the relationship between organizational climate and organizational learning. This instrument can also be applied in the studies of organizational change where the shift, transition of managers and executives may occur in the organization over time. This will give indication on how to minimize the change impacts on employees and avoid distractions. Finally, the measure can also be used in large organizations to assess differences between subcultures in different business units.

Although the development procedures have resulted to the development of an instrument of organizational context, some limitations worth mentioning that could be addressed in the future research. First, the items measuring the four attributes, discipline, support, trust and stretch, were entirely new and the theory behind them -although strong and well grounded- was compiled and analyzed in order to create them. Therefore, this instrument needs additional testing in different context and environments. The empirical evidence supplied for testing the developed measure was derived from IT executive managers' perceptions. Thus, this perception, although from managers, may not be a perfect benchmark to represent the overall perception of managers in a wider context. Second, the issue of sample and generalizability is an important concern. Although the number of respondents was adequate for the statistical validation, future research may test the validity of the instrument using larger sample data. Other statistical validation methods such as confirmatory analysis and cross validation may also be considered. Confirmatory analysis is also recognized to determine convergent and discriminant validity.

Writing Services

Essay Writing
Service

Find out how the very best essay writing service can help you accomplish more and achieve higher marks today.

Assignment Writing Service

From complicated assignments to tricky tasks, our experts can tackle virtually any question thrown at them.

Dissertation Writing Service

A dissertation (also known as a thesis or research project) is probably the most important piece of work for any student! From full dissertations to individual chapters, we’re on hand to support you.

Coursework Writing Service

Our expert qualified writers can help you get your coursework right first time, every time.

Dissertation Proposal Service

The first step to completing a dissertation is to create a proposal that talks about what you wish to do. Our experts can design suitable methodologies - perfect to help you get started with a dissertation.

Report Writing
Service

Reports for any audience. Perfectly structured, professionally written, and tailored to suit your exact requirements.

Essay Skeleton Answer Service

If you’re just looking for some help to get started on an essay, our outline service provides you with a perfect essay plan.

Marking & Proofreading Service

Not sure if your work is hitting the mark? Struggling to get feedback from your lecturer? Our premium marking service was created just for you - get the feedback you deserve now.

Exam Revision
Service

Exams can be one of the most stressful experiences you’ll ever have! Revision is key, and we’re here to help. With custom created revision notes and exam answers, you’ll never feel underprepared again.