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The delivery of higher education used to be exclusive to the public sector in Malaysia. However, legislative changes made in 1996 led to the coexistence of public and private higher education institutions. The democratisation of higher education saw many private universities and university colleges being established throughout the country. The establishment of Malaysian National Higher Education Fund and the formulation of Malaysian Qualification Framework further shaped the new form of Malaysian Higher Education system. The private higher education sector is now recognised as a strong contributor towards meeting Malaysia's need for human resources. At the same time the expectation on private institutions of higher education to be the engine of innovation and creativity is rising. Quality and value for money are two issues among the many emerging issues relating to the transformation of Malaysian higher education system. In accordance with the Malaysian Private Education Act 1996, private educational institutions in this country are registered as private limited companies or public listed companies, like any other business entity. And like any other business entities, these organizations are profit motivated. Thus in these organizations bottom-line indices such as sales, profit, return-on-investment, market share and overall financial performance is of importance. Meeting the bottom-line while offering quality education drives the private higher education sector.
Creativity and innovation plays a critical role towards achieving the organization's goals. In the management perspective, creativity and innovation in the organization could be regarded as process innovation and product improvement; and from the educational context standpoint, educational institution innovation could lead the educational institutional system and work process innovation, and improving the quality of education and policy. (McRoy and Gibbs, 2009)
Creativity and innovation in the organization is critically related to the organization's cultural aspects. In fact, organizational culture has been identified as one of the essential factors that affect the efficiency and productivity of an organization (Alas et al., 2009). It has been strongly advocated that through cultivating and maintaining culture that is conducive to stimulating performance improvement, the efficiency of organizations can be improved (Gordon and DiTomaso, 1992). Some aspects of organization culture such as personal characteristics and group behaviour are quite visible, like punctuality, friendliness, good mannerisms are all visible part of a culture. But what really contributes or affects the organizational performance are the invisible aspects relating to performance traits such as being able to work as a team, work towards business the vision of the organization, being able to understand the core business values and ethics of the organization, and working towards customer satisfaction.
In this regard, this study aims to investigate the impact of organizational culture towards the creativity of academic staffs in one of the private higher educational institutions in Malaysia.
Background of Study
Private education is a fast developing business entity in Malaysia with more and more players joining in. Being a highly service oriented business organization, these organizations must take into consideration the human relation factor. Therefore, the researcher believes that a study in organizational culture in private higher education institutions will provide information on its impact on the creativity of the teaching staff of these institutions.
The institution being surveyed in this study was founded in 1987, and offers a wide spectrum of academic programmes and trainings, ranging from Accountancy, Business, Early Childhood Education, Information Technology, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, and English Language. This institution has earned a strong reputation throughout Sabah for its successful provisions of trainings in ICT and Languages. As an institution of higher learning, this institution continues to strive towards educational excellence in the years ahead.
Statement of Problem
In most private institutions in Malaysia there are a good number of administrators as there are lecturers. This is because private education is run as a business. Even lecturers, apart from their academic abilities and skills, must equally be good in their administrative skills. Lecturers are often burdened with plenty of administrative work which they are not familiar with. Lecturers are required to be course or subject managers rather than just being lecturers in the class. As course managers, they must be knowledgeable about management practices. Above all, they have an additional commitment to see that the business of the institution, as well as the profitability of the institution is taken care of. In short, the performance of these private institutions depends on the management abilities, creativity, and the culture portrayed by both the administrators and academicians.
Previous studies (Mukerjea, 2000; Alex, 2004; Chua 2004) found that most educational management's problem solving in the Malaysian context still based on strict rules and regulations rather than creative thinking. Staff depended a lot on job knowledge, usual practices and influence of superiors handling the daily operations. Many resisted creativity as they viewed themselves as they had always been working in a stable environment and therefore it was sufficient to just maintain their status quo.
There are staffs that do as what they are told and follow rules without knowing why the rules exist. When a situation arises that does not quite fit the rules, the staff does not know what to do. Staff who is rigid fails to explore the impractical or even the unusual possibilities. As a result, ay institution could have lost its competitive edge if the staff could not meet the expectations of the customers. In order to enhance creative behaviour, creative thinking needs to be fostered intentionally and continuously through the culture of the organization.
Objective of Study
Many studies have been made with reference to organizational culture and its link to employee's creativity. However, most of these studies were done on other business organizations like manufacturing, production, constructions, and many other industries. There is hardly any study made on the education industry. This could be because education, be it public or private has been perceived as an organization to meet the social obligations, and are not meant to be money-generating organizations. There is no clear-cut educational equivalent to the main private sector objectives such as profit maximization, output maximization or product diversification.
Since it has been found by other researcher, that there is a link between organizational performance and cultural traits, the researcher is keen to conduct the study on a private higher educational institution to investigate the impact of the organizational culture on the academic staff's creativity.
The effect of corporate culture on the staff's creativity of an organization is quite broad based and may lead to a number of research questions. Even if the culture is strong, the creativity of the staff could be affected due to external events, which is not included in this study. Thus, based on the purpose of this study, after careful considerations, the following research questions were formulated:
What is the perception of the respondents with respect to the cultural strength of the organization
Is there a significant impact of organization culture on the creativity of academic staff?
What are the organizational culture factors that have the most significant impact on academic staffs' creativity?
Is there any significant difference in perception regarding the impact of organization culture on staffs' creativity in terms of gender, age, education level, years of service, and annual salary?
Significance of Study
As the competition in the educational field becomes greater and greater by the day, more and more operators are coming into the business of private education. As the competition gets tough one has to look into all aspects of being able to stay in business. This means that the students must be given quality education and also an affordable and reasonable cost to make profit.
Being in the service industry, and also complementing and supplementing the government's effort of having an educated society, human factor will play a very important role. One of the human factors in this type of organization is behaviour which determines the culture of the organization. This study will enable us to find out the impact of organizational culture on academic staff's creativity, which in turn will have an effect in providing better service and thereby increasing the effectiveness of the organization. In the context of the organization under study, effectiveness is a measure of student achievement, course development, staff job satisfaction, and the profit which would result in overall performance of the organization.
This study will be important to this particular private institution whereby they can focus on certain traits of organizational culture to improve on their organizational performance through academic staff's creativity.
This study will also help students and parents at large to understand the commitment of private colleges in providing quality education, this will in turn also help build up the confidence of potential students overseas to come to Malaysia for their higher studies which is being widely encouraged by the Malaysian government. Besides that, this study will also contribute to the body of knowledge for further researches on culture and creativity.
Framework of Study
This study is based on Denison's Organizational Culture Survey (DOCS).
The DOCS is designed to assess an organization's strengths and weaknesses as they apply to organizational performance. The survey has 60 items that measure specific aspects of an organization's culture in each of the four traits and twelve management practices outlined in the Denison Model.
Therefore, the dependent variable in this study is creativity of the academic staff. The dependent variable is controlled by eight independent variables that are the culture traits: Involvement, Consistency, Adaptability, and Mission.
Figure 1: Schematic diagram for the theoretical framework
Capability DevelopmentCultural Traits
Coordination & Integration
Hypothesis of Study
Strategic Direction & Intent
Goals & Objectives
Independent Variable Dependent Variable
Management scholars have argued that culture is an asset that can be leveraged to increase firm performance (Denison,Â 1990). Historically, the word culture comes from the Latin root colere (to inhibit, to cultivate, or to honor). In current literature, "the way we do things around here," for instance, is a common definition of culture (Got and Sanz, 2002). To relate the cultural concept to the organizational setting, Schein (1983) sees it as the pattern of basic assumptions which a group has invented, discovered or developed in learning to cope with its problems of external adaptation and internal integration in which he then termed as "organizational culture".
Similarly, Cole (1997) considered culture as a two tiered set of "shared values, norms and beliefs within an organization". On the surface it is the explicit culture, which manifests itself in the 'official' organizational structure and communications. Beneath the surface it is the implicit culture that management and staff consider really important. Moreover, Smircich (1983) defined OC as the social glue that holds members in an organization together. It expresses the social ideals, values and beliefs that members of an organization come to share. These values or patterns of belief are manifested in symbolic devices such as myths, rituals, stories, legends, and specialized language (Smircich 1983).
Schein (1985) also pointed out that there may be several cultures operating within an organization: a managerial culture, various occupationally based cultures in functional units, group cultures based on geographical proximity, and worker cultures based on shared hierarchical experiences. The organization as a whole will have an overall culture "if that whole organization has a significant shared history".
Organization are expected to contribute positively to the community by effectively addressing the delicate balance of its stakeholders' (e.g. owners, employees, customers, society and government) interests. Organizations which achieve this balance are often praised and admired, whereas those that do not are criticized and abhorred. Organizational culture is often attributed to be one of the distinguishing characteristic of organizations that achieve this balance (Schein, 2004).
As organizations seek to manage change in order to maintain advantages and respond to external pressures, the vital role that culture plays in successful change is being realized. Hence, the interest in organizational culture stems from the belief that culture influences behaviour, decision-making and organizational strategies and performance (Denison, 1990; Kotter and Heskett, 1992).
The Denison Organizational Culture Model
In this section of literature review, the model that has been used by the researcher for this study will be discussed. As mentioned above, the Denison model which links culture with performance, based on the four main traits of business culture that is the involvement trait, adaptability trait, the consistency trait and the mission trait. In his model, each of the four traits is further sub divided into three categories as described below.
Involvement is a cultural trait which is positively related to effectiveness (Ahmad, 1998). He further cites Denison and Mishra (1995) that the involvement of a large number of participants appears to be linked with effectiveness by virtue of providing a collective definition of behaviour systems, and meanings in a way that calls for individual conformity. The main contributing factor of this trait is the building of human capability, ownership and responsibility. For an organization to have this culture, the management must encourage empowerment, where individuals have the authority, initiative and ability to manage their own work. By doing so, the employees will have a sense of belonging and responsibility toward the organization. Participation gives the employees a sense of belonging or ownership that energizes productivity (Wagner and Hollenback, 1998). Sharing of information among each other and with the management in the organization adds to the involvement trait. Giving employees access to information about the company, its products and performance is an important part of getting employees more involved ion decisions-making (National Centre For Employee Ownership, 2002). Wagner and Hollenback say that a bureaucratic culture constantly drives the people towards a maintenance mentality and are not prepared to take challengers and risks. The common feeling is that a bureaucratic system is that mistakes are punished more vigorously than achievements are rewarded. Inward-looking and bureaucratic corporate cultures not only reduce profitability and growth, they also inhibit firms from doing what is needed to make them into stronger competitions over time (Kotter, 199). Block (1987) relates a case at a pharmaceutical company where the manager, upon taking over, restructured the organization. He encourages the people to feel empowered and responsible for the success of business. The manager had established a reward system where the salary of the employees was based on the profitability of the dividing. The employees made all the own decisions about equipment, structure, working procedures and performance criteria and evaluation. Including the manager himself all the perquisites were the same for all. The result of such involvement and empowerment of the employees the division became profitable after two years and passed the forty million dollar sales in the third year after taking over.
Team orientation is another component of the involvement trait. Importance is given to working cooperatively toward common goals whereby employees feel mutually accountable. Robins defines work teams as formal groups, made up of interdependent individuals, responsible for the attainment of a goal (Robins and Coulter, 1999). They emphasize that only formal groups can be work teams. Robins further reiterate that a formal work group is capable of generating positive synergy through coordinated effort, where individual efforts can result in a level of performance that is greater that the sum of those individual inputs (Robins, 1998). Teams are considered the primary building blocks of the organization. Many companies are now using organization strategies that rely on teamwork and employee empowerment rather than on traditional comment-and-control; type of bureaucracies (Wagner and Hollenbeck, 1998). Highly-involved individual managers who understood the concept of teamwork to accomplish tasks should know how and when to use team approach to solve problem. He should be able to foster teamwork with the unit and be capable of designing work so that it can be done by a team. Valuing the contribution of the people he works with and acknowledging team accomplishment are key functions of manager (Eige, 2002). Eige refers to the research on teamwork and its relation to performance by Petty and Beades, II, Chapman, Lowrey and Connell. In that research, according to Eige (2002), twelve organizations at two separate times found that a culture promoting teamwork was strongly correlated to successful company performance. She further refers to them by saying that the behaviour in organizational cultures that emphasizes teamwork, such as employees helping each other, sharing information and resources, and working in a team or group seem to heighten organizational performance. In the finding by Robins and Coulter, they found Whole Foods Market Inc, the largest natural foods grocer in the United States, has been growing for eighteen years by building a business model that depends on team work and autonomy. Even hiring is done by a vote, and the company's financials are open to all employees. In other examples, they have cited that organizations as varied as Burlington Northern, Knight-Ridder and Hewlett-Packard have found that teams eliminate waste, slash bureaucratic overhead, stimulate ideas for improvement and generate more output per work-hour than do more traditional individual-focused work designs.
In order for people to get involve in their organization, managers must train the employees so that the individual capability can be developed. Denison defines capability development as one where the organization constantly invests in the development of employee' skills in order to stay competitive and meeting on-going business needs. For an organization to be strong in this component of the involvement culture, managers must be able to build the capability of the employees into an important source of competitive advantage. Exploring the diversity of the work force, and where necessary coach others in the development of their skills, so that the organization always has a good "bench strength", will enhance the capability development of the members of the organization. Most important is that the manager must be able to use reward and recognition to motivate good performance, and recommend capable people for promotion.
Robins (1998) suggest that employee stock ownership plan as the pinnacle of the involvement trait. Employee stock ownership plan are company-established benefit plans in which employees acquire stock as part of their benefits (Robin, 1998). He further cites that he achievement in organizational performance through employee job satisfaction and working motivation in Polaroid, where twenty per cent of the company is owned by the employees. In Avis Corporation seventy one per cent is owned by employees and Weirton Steel is one hundred per cent owned by employees. He concludes by saying that Germany, France, Holland and the Scandinavian countries, and other nations including Japan and Israel have traditionally practiced employee participation for decades (Robin, 1998).
The adaptability trait consist of three sub-elements, namely, being able to create change, to be customer focused, and be able to encourage learning. As Parsons refer to (Morse, 1961), who defines adaption as the process whereby the environment is accurately perceived and thereby adapting to the environment to achieve goals of the organization. He further says that Members of the organization must be able to translate the demands of the business environment into action. An organization that is responsive to change and is prepared to take the challenges to adopt new and improved ways is said to have a good adaptable culture. (Mowday and Sutton, 1993), in encouraging adapting to change, says that although individual and organizational change is generally perceived as a threat, this perception is prevalent if the organization culture that the members share accepts that perceived loss is part of the change process and is a learning process at the individual and group levels. They further add by saying that the down payment for cultural change is uncertainty and instability which is capable of yielding many dividends of adaptability and gives a new stable pattern of shared beliefs, feelings, values, and actions that should be continuously updated.
In the consistency trait the core values of the organization and that practiced by the members of that organization are of prime importance. If the core values are in place, then coordination among the members of the organization and the ability to reach an agreement will be achieved. As mentioned by Deal and Kennedy (1992), values are the bedrock of any corporate culture. They add on to say that values a sense of common direction for all the members of the organization and also act as guidelines for their day-today behaviour. They emphasized their views by saying that organizations are able to gain strength from shared values. Deal and Kennedy have also outlined how shared values could affect organizational performance. They say that in broad terms, shared values act as an informal control system that tells people what is expected of them. To be more specific, they say, shared values affect performance in three main ways. Firstly, managers and others throughout the organization give extraordinary attention to whatever matters are stressed in the corporate value system. Secondly, down-the-line, managers make marginally better decisions, on average, because they are guided by their perception of shared values.
Finally, they say, people simply work a little harder because they dedicated to the cause. But they also warn that very strong values can result in obsolesce, resistance to change the risk of inconsistency.
The mission trait provides an organization to have strategic direction, definite goals and objectives and most importantly a shared vision. A well-defined mission serves as a constant reminder of the need to look outside the organization not only for "customers" but also for measures of success. A shared vision creates excitement and motivation among the members of an organization.
The Denison's Model uses a circular profile display where the mean score of the above four traits and their elements within each trait is featured and provides a powerful graphic representation of a manager's skill and ability in managing in a way that constructively impacts organizational performance. The four quadrants of the model represent the four traits. Each quadrants includes three indices are presented in terms of two underlying dimensions, flexibility vs. stability on the horizontal axis and external vs. internal focus on the vertical axis. The interpretation of the graphical presentation is that an organization that has a strong culture (fourth quadrant) in the adaptability trait and the mission trait is has good external focus. Whereas an organization that is strong cultures in the involvement and consistency trait are more internally focused. An organization that has strong cultures in the mission and consistency trait is stable. On the other hand, an organization having strong cultures in the adaptability trait and involvement trait are flexible. Typical examples of a strong performing organization (Figure 2) and the other a weak performing organization (Figure 3) are graphically presented using the Denison's circular profile.
Figure 2: Denison's Circular Profile of a strong performing organization
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Figure 3: Denison's Circular Profile of a weak performing organization
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Creativity and Innovation in the Organizational Context
Creativity is often defined as the development of ideas about products, practices, service or procedures that are novel (unique) and potentially useful (having direct or indirect value) to the organization (Amabile, 1996). Mumford and Gustafon (1998) suggest that creativity could range from suggestions including incremental ideas for adaptations to radical and major breakthroughs in the development of new products.
Creativity is increasingly recognized as a key component to success in the workplace (Mumford and Licuanan,Â 2004). Creativity can contribute to success in terms of new products, new services, and new procedures to reduce costs, enhance quality, or optimize performance (Getz and Lubart,Â 2009).
There has been growing interest in the identification and development of creative potential over the past decade (Malakate, Andriopoules, and Gorsi,Â 2007). In general, creative potential can be defined as the capacity to produce novel, original work that fits with task constraints (Lubart,Â 1994). Work refers to all types of ideas and productions. This work must be novel in the sense that it goes beyond a replication or copy of that which exists. In addition to novelty, the extent to which a proposed idea fits with constraints is the second defining component of creativity. We distinguish creative ideas from bizarre ideas, which are also novel, because creative ideas take into account the parameters of a situation, the constraints. Thus, novel productions that are in some way useful and appropriate in a given context are creative.
In organizational research creativity has often been used interchangeably with innovation (Smolenski and Kleiner, 1995). An attempt to distinguish these concepts has identified creativity as the production of novel perspectives, ideas or products, while innovation has been identified as the implementation of these perspectives, ideas, or products, and as such innovation involves creativity (Ford, 1996; Oldham and Cummings, 1996; West and Farr, 1990).
The capacity to be creative is considered a latent ability, a potential, which can be solicited. The capacity to produce novel, adaptive work is rooted in a set of specific psychological resources that come into play during the creative act of producing an idea or work of any kind. If the psychological resources exist for a given individual, and are brought into play in an optimal way, the resulting production should be very creative.
The environment is considered a resource for creativity because it can provide physical or social stimulation to help generate ideas and to nurture these ideas (see Ceylan, Dul, and Aytac, 2008). Hunter, Bedell and Mumford (2007), in a meta-analysis, identified several environmental factors that consistently influence creativity, such as autonomy in the workplace, positive supervisor relations, access to resources, challenge, mission clarity, intellectual stimulation, and top management support. Additionally, the environment evaluates creativity through social judgment. It is essential to generate creative work but it is also essential to have the original nature of one's work recognized and appreciated by one's peers or superiors.
Cultural values are forces to increase creative thinking for people. In addition, society as an influential factor of creativity can support creators or promoting investment in cultural practices. Societies can impact creativity by laws and regulations of aiding and developing creative thinking. People get familiar with the concept of creativity in society. For example, school system demonstrates the important tools to encourage creativity and social success.
To establish culture-based creativity, it is required to increase personal abilities, technical skills and providing a conductive social environment that stimulate creativity. When these achieved, creativity becomes an expression of human sensibility which makes creativity an advantage expression of the being values.
Relationship between Organizational Culture and Creativity
Organization's culture and creativity neither practically nor theoretically is separated (Guldenmund 2000, Reiman, 2001). The culture of a creative organization is what a group comprehends to treat with problems. Research showed that creativity is affected by organizational culture and its subset. Even though organizational culture is not the only factor that affects creativity, it is considered as one of the most important (Chang and Chiyang, 2008).
The interaction between culture and creativity is an issue for every business. There must be right conditions and available resources for creativity to emerge and flourish. Indeed, the most predominant source of creativity stemming from culture is people. Cultural values are forces to increase creative thinking for people.
A positive and open culture in the organizations leads to creative organizational environment with making satisfactory outcomes. Similarly, creativity cannot be flourished without an open culture and climate (Florida, 2002). Diversity and exchanging the ideas among employees is a source of creativity. Internal organization's operation at the external orientation expenses, are what culture typically focused (Cameron and Quinn 1999).
Organizational culture factors impacting creativity
Organizational culture standardized different factors of member's behaviour regarding the way they think, feel and act within the framework of the organization. Management and creation of culture is particularly one of the most salient functions of organization founder or leaders. In order to establish a creative culture, a number of organizational culture factors impacting creativity need to be considered. In this study we put emphasized on four most important factors of involvement, consistency, adaptability, and mission.
In this section, several method-related issues are presented, including the data collection procedure and sample framework, and research instruments.
Data Collection and Sample Framework
This study sampling method is based on the probability sampling which is simple random sampling approach. In this method of sampling, each individual has an equal chance of being selected. This sampling's advantage is its probability to produce a representative sample. This method is easier to conduct as time and finance is constrained for this research. An invitation to complete the questionnaire was distributed electronically to all the academic staffs in the target educational institution. The email addresses of the academic staffs were acquired by permission from the Chief Executive Officer of the target educational institution. A total of 90 academic staffs were identified to participate in the study. 93 responses were received, for a return rate of 79 percent.
The primary purpose of this research was to examine structural relations of four cultural traits to measure direct and indirect impacts to staffs' creativity. A survey instrument was used to gather the data needed to address the research questions.
First, general information questionnaire was developed by the researcher pertaining to demographic information. Participants were asked to provide information with regard to their gender, age, years of teaching experience, years of teaching in the institution, and highest degree attained.
Second, to measure organizational culture, the Denison Organisational Culture Survey was used. This instruments includes four cultural traits namely, involvement, consistency, adaptability and mission, that are further sub-divided into three categories each with its own indices (Denison, 1990). The survey is based on 15 years of research on over 1000 organisations and 40 000 individuals. It has 60 items which focuses on four cultural traits that have a significant impact on the organisation.
The final component of the instrument is a creativity survey developed by the researcher based from previously validated instruments of Amabile et al (1996), George and Zhou (2007); Gilson et al. (2005), James Kershaw(1996), Tagger (2002), Perry-Smith (2006), Scott and Bruce (1994), Zhou and George (2001). It has 20 items on staffs' creativity.
All quantitative questionnaire items in section 2 and 3 were measured with a five-point Likert-scale namely: "Strongly disagree" =1, "Disagree" = 2, "Neutral" = 3, "Agree" = 4, and "Strongly agree" = 5. The interpretation of the response would be that if the respondent chooses a higher scale point in a single item was regarded as having a much stronger feeling as compared to one with a lower scale point. However, Question 15, Question24, Question 29, Question 39, Question43, Question 50, Question 58, and Question 64 are negative items and the scoring had to be reversed to provide a positive effect toward the situation of comment.
Reliability of the instrument was established by both split-half and test-retest method. This was found to be .86(N=40). Correlating the total scale scores using Pearson's Product Moment Coefficient of correlation method assessed validity of the scale. This was found to be .84 (N=40). The subscale validity was also determined using the same method the subscale scores. This was .78(N=40).
Analysis and interpretation of data
In this study, data analyses were performed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS Ver 20) to compare frequencies, percentages, measures of central tendencies of the independent variables on the four traits, namely involvement, consistency, adaptability, and mission traits, and the other independent variables like age, gender, years of working in the institution, and educational qualification. Personal creativity as perceived by the respondents were studied and analyzed as well.
Demographic data of respondents
The findings indicated that about 51.2% of the respondents were females, 29.8% were within the 30 to 34 age range (N = 84, M= 3.43, SD=1.72), and 36.9% of the respondents were Sabah Natives. About 10.7% of the respondents had 21 or more years of teaching experience, while 19% of the respondents have been with the organization for more than 10 years for an organization which is about 24 years old. This is the group that would have created the culture to be followed by the remaining 81% of the respondents. Approximately 44.0% of the respondents held bachelors degree. In terms of annual income, 31.0% of the respondents earn RM25,000.00 to RM30,000.00 annually ( N = 84, M= 3.1548, SD=3.1548)
Table 1: Summary of academic staffs' characteristics (N = 84)
20 - 24
25 - 29
30 - 34
35 - 39
40 - 44
1 - 5
6 - 10
11 - 15
16 - 20
21 - 25
Years Teaching In This Institute
Less than 2
2 - 5
11 - 15
Highest Degree Attained
Less than RM22,000
RM22,000 - RM25,000
RM25,000 - RM30,000
RM30,000 - RM35,000
RM35,000 - RM40,000
More than RM40,000
The Impact of Organizational Culture on Creativity of Academic Staff
The organizational culture, was quantified by the score of 60 items using a five-point Likert scale namely: "Strongly disagree" =1, "Disagree" = 2, "Neutral" = 3, "Agree" = 4, and "Strongly agree" = 5. Each item was rated by respondents, then the interpretation of the response would be that if the respondent chooses a higher scale point in a single item was regarded as having a much stronger feeling as compared to one with a lower scale point.
Using SPSS the mean and standard deviation of the perception by the respondents of the four cultural traits of the organization were obtained in order to study its strength. The mean score equivalent is interpreted based on the level and range as shown in Table 2 below.
Table 2: Level and Range of Organizational Culture
1 - 2.33
2.34 - 3.66
3.67 - 5
The overall mean of all four cultural traits gives a values of 4.01 indicating that the culture of the organization as perceived by the respondents is strong because based on the category level in Table 2, it falls in the high category as it is above 3.67 (4.01> 3.67). Therefore using the above Table 2, the strength equivalent of the culture of the organization can be determined. Table 3 below shows the overall score of culture of organization. Thus, according to the data set in this research, the Involvement Trait (M=4.27), Mission Trait (M=4.16), and Adaptability Trait (M=4.05) are highly perceived by the academic staff, whereas Consistency Trait (M=3.56) is perceived to be moderate.
Table 3: Overall Score of Organizational Culture
Std. Error of Skewness
Std. Error of Kurtosis
Table 4: Mean Score of the Four Cultural Traits of the Organization
Overall Mean Score
The score of the perception of the respondents on their own creativity is as shown in Table 5. The overall mean of academic staffs' creativity gives a values of 3.80 indicating that the creativity of the respondents is strong for it falls in the high category as it is above 3.67 (3.80> 3.67).
Table 5: Mean and Standard Deviation of the Creativity measure (N = 84)
Std. Error of Skewness
Std. Error of Kurtosis
The organizational culture is strong as perceived by the academic staffs who are the respondents. The creativity of the academic staff was also high according to the data received. The impact of organizational culture on creativity of academic staff is then assessed through Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient Measures of dispersion were computed to understand the variability of scores for the age variable. The following are the results of this analysis; for organization culture : N = 84, M= 240.45, SD=5.70, while for creativity: N = 84, M= 75.98, SD=6.85. The result is shown in Table 6. Preliminary analyses are performed to ensure no violation of the assumptions of normality, linearity and homoscedasticity. There was negligible relationship, positive correlation between the two variables, r = 0.191, n =84, p = 0.082. The sig-t is 0.191. Since sig-t > Î± (0.191 > .01), fail to reject H0 and there is no significant relationship between the perceived organizational culture and creativity at 0.01 level of significance. Although organization culture has a positive impact on the staffs' creativity, it is negligible in this sample.
Table 6: Impact of Organizational Culture on Creativity
of Academic Staff
Total Perceived Organizational Culture
Valid N (listwise)
Table 7: Correlations of Organizational Culture on Creativity
of Academic Staff
Total Perceived Organizational Culture
Total Perceived Organizational Culture
A Pearson correlation analysis conducted to investigate the relationship among variables. The outcome of the correlation analysis indicates that the correlations among the variables are negligible. The analysis shows that the four independent variables are positively correlated with creativity. Adaptability trait is the most significant positive correlated factor with creativity, however the relationship is negligible.
Table 8: Correlations of the Four Organizational Traits
on Creativity of Academic Staff
The relationship between the creativity of the academic staff and the independent variables
A Multiple Regression Analysis was used to investigate which dimensions of creativity were significant predictors. Multiple Regression provides a view of relationship between a set of variables and an outcome variable. This study's predictors are involvement trait, consistency trait, adaptability trait, and mission trait. On the other hand, the outcome factor is creativity. To meet the objective of the study a model has been developed. The model encompasses the predictors and outcome factor. This model is helpful for managers of organizations to predict the important factors contributing in creativity. The model is as follows:
Creativity = Î±+ Î²1 involvement trait + Î²2 consistency trait
+ Î²3 adaptability trait + Î²4 mission trait
In the above model, Î± is the slope and Î²i is the regression coefficient of each predictor. According to the model summary, 5.2% of the creativity variance can be significantly explained by all four predictors (involvement trait, consistency trait, adaptability trait, and mission trait).
Table 9: Model Summary
Adjusted R Square
Std. Error of the Estimate
a. Predictors: (Constant), mission, involvement, consistency, adaptability
b. Dependent Variable: Mean Creativity
The coefficient table demonstrates predominant factors predicting creativity. The most salient factors in predicting creativity, based on results, is adaptability trait as its t value is 1.674 followed by mission trait and consistency trait. The 't' value is the error level present in the model which takes creativity as dependent variable and four variables as the independent.
Table 10: Factors Predicting Creativity
a. Dependent Variable: Total Creativity
The association between creativity of academic staff and independent variables (age and annual salary) were explored by using the correlation analysis. Correlation analysis was used to describe the strength and direction of the linear relationship between two variables. To run correlation analysis, preliminary analyses were performed to ensure no violation of the assumptions of normality, linearity, and homoscedasticity had taken place. The correlation matrix shows there are no significant relationships between creativity of the academic staff and, the age and annual salary.
Table 11: Summary of the Correlation Matrix of Independent Variables
Sig. ( 2-tailed)
There is a negligible relationship, positive correlation between creativity of respondent and their age, r = 0.155, n=84, P< 0.160. The sig-t is 0.160. Since sig-t > Î± (0.160 > .01), fail to reject H0 and there is no significant relationship between the creativity score and their age at 0.01 level of significance. There is a negligible relationship, positive correlation between the creativity of respondent and their annual salary, r = 0.136, n=84, P< 0.217. The sig-t is 0.217. Since sig-t > Î± (0.217 > .01), fail to reject H0 and there is no significant relationship between the creativity score and their annual salary at 0.01 level of significance.
The data was then is analyzed using Independent Samples T-Test to compare the creativity between the gender of male and female. The result is shown in Table 12 and Table 13. The sig-t is 0.682. Since sig-t > Î± (0.682 >0.01), fail to reject H0 and there is no significant difference for the creativity between the gender of male and female at 0.01. It can be concluded that there is no significant difference for the creativity between the gender of male (M=76.29, SD=7.69) and female (M=75.67, SD=6.01); t(82) = 0.412, p = 0.68 (two-tailed). The magnitude of the differences in the means (mean difference = 0.62, 99% CI: -3.24 to 4.58) was small (eta squared = 0.1). This result suggests that gender has no impact on the creativity of the academic staff in the organization.
Table 12: Group Statistics Comparing the Creativity between Gender
Std. Error Mean
Table 13: Independent Samples Test Comparing the Creativity
Levene's Test for Equality of Variances
t-test for Equality of Means
Std. Error Difference
99% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Equal variances assumed
Equal variances not assumed
A one-way analysis of variance is conducted to explore the difference in creativity towards the educational background of the academic staff. The result is shown in Table 14 to Table 15. There was not a significant difference at the p<0.05 level in creativity towards the highest degree attained by the academic staff: F(3, 80) = 1.84, p = 0.147. The actual difference in mean scores among the respondent with different highest degree attained is quite small. Post-hoc comparisons using the Tukey HSD test indicated that the mean score for respondent who have a diploma as the highest degree attained (M=78.36, SD=8.80) was significantly different from the respondents who have a degree as the highest degree attained (M=75.76, SD=6.58), the respondent who have masters as the highest degree attained (M=74.00, SD=6.38), and the respondent who have a doctorate as the highest degree attained (M=78.82, SD=5.74).
Table 14: Descriptive of Difference in Creativity Towards
the Educational Background of the Academic Staff
95% Confidence Interval for Mean
Table 15: ANOVA Creativity Towards
the Educational Background of the Academic Staff
Sum of Squares
Proportion of the Variance in the creativity of academic staff explained by the independent variable
To determine the proportion of the variance in academic staffs' creativity that could be explained by the independent variables, a multiple regression analysis was performed. Simple correlations were first performed to identify independent variables that individually correlate with the dependent variable, following Gay and Airasian's (2000) recommendations. These variables were utilized in the multiple regression equation to make a more accurate prediction of the dependent variable and to show the proportion of variance in the dependent variable explained by the independent variables. The independent variables that individually connected to the dependent variable were: age, and annual salary.
The summary of the multiple regression results are presented in Tables 16 and 17. As can be seen from the Table 16, R Square is about 0.025. It shows that two independent / predictor variables explain about 2.5% of the variance / variation in the creativity of the academic staff. This shows a negligible result. The value of F for the final model is 1.023 and the corresponding p-value was highly significant (p = 0.0001). So, it can be concluded that the regression model does not fit the data at 0.05 level of significance. In other words, this model is not a good descriptor of the relation between the dependent and predictor variables. Then, the estimated multiple regression model is not acceptable and not a stable one to explain the creativity of the academic staff.
As is shown in Table 17, two predictor variables were found to be insignificant in explaining the creativity of the academic staff. The two predictor variables were age (t = 0.714, p= 0.0001), and annual income (t = -0.246, p=0.0001).
Table 16: Summary ANOVA Table
Sum of Squares
Adjusted R Square
Table 17: Multiple Regression on dependent variable (Creativity)
Discussion and Conclusion
Just like any other element of business operation, culture of an organization plays a very important role in the performance of an organization, which is also influenced by the creativity of the employees.
The results of the study based on the Denison's Model to determine the impact of organizational culture on creativity indicated that the academic staff perceived the organizational culture to be positive and strong. However, the impact of the organization culture on the creativity of academic staff indicated that it is negligible. According to the data set in this research, the Involvement Trait (M=4.27), Mission Trait (M=4.16), and Adaptability Trait (M=4.05) are highly perceived by the academic staff, whereas Consistency Trait (M=3.56) is perceived to be moderate. The most salient factors in predicting creativity, based on results, is adaptability trait as its t value is 1.674 followed by mission trait (t=1.188) and consistency trait (t=0.979). Factors of gender, age, education level, years of service, and annual salary have no effect on creativity of the academic staff. With regard to this research findings, we can say that organizational with strong positive culture have no impact on the creativity of academic staff.
Creativity requires time and effort. In the current research there was no significant impact of organizational culture on creativity most probably because this particular organization with strong culture is highly supportive of its academic staff, regardless of their level of creativity. The high adaptability trait among the academic staff also contributes to the insignificant impact of organizational culture on their creativity. It is suggested that impact on creativity is studied from the point of an organization with weak organizational culture.
As the study was made on a medium-sized institution of private higher education, the results were only representative of the particular cohort under the study. Therefore, this result cannot be generalized to all private higher education institutions in the country.