Organizational Culture

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An organization prospers if its culture becomes the breeding ground for its effectiveness. Higher Education Institutions provide intellectual and professional output to a society. Researchers have shown interest in studying the organizational culture and effectiveness of Higher Education Institutions throughout the world. Research conducted by Deal and Kennedy (1982) indicated that strong cultures create goal alignment, employee motivation, needed structures and controls to improve organizational effectiveness. Batista (2008) has identified that organizational culture is a key element of organizational effectiveness.

There is research evidence that constructive organizational culture facilitates goal accomplishment (Stanciu, 2008). In order to improve organizational effectiveness, it is expected from new members of an organization to seek and learn about the organization's culture (Ashkanasy, Wilderom & Petersons, 2000). Early research conducted by Pettigrew (1979), Schein (1990) and Van (1979) reflected the importance of organizational culture as a social system. The organizational culture drastically influences its effectiveness because culture helps in external adaptation and internal integration issues of the organization (Schein, 1990, pp. 49-84).

Culture is referred to as “social glue” by Schein (1990) which holds the organization together. It is highlighted by Ogbonna (1993), that “culture is the interweaving of the individual into a community which consists of values, norms, beliefs and customs that an individual holds in common with members of the social unit or group”. Hence, this reveals the importance of organizational culture and effectiveness.

This research will focus on evaluating the organizational culture and effectiveness of public and private sector universities. The Higher Education Commission has long been taking initiatives for the development of higher education sector of Pakistan by ranking of universities/Degree Awarding Institutions (DAIs). In the context of Pakistan, not many research studies have been conducted which address the culture and effectiveness of higher education institutions. Therefore, a thorough study of the organizational culture and effectiveness of universities in Pakistan will contribute to serve the purpose of developing the higher education sector and research in this area.


The literature review for this study is divided into three sections. Section I presents evidence of previous research studies conducted in the area of organizational culture and effectiveness of educational institutions. Section II consists of a detailed analysis of organizational culture, its characteristics, functions, models, perspectives and relevant concepts. Section III discusses organizational effectiveness, its measures and approaches. A detailed structure of this literature review is presented in 1 (p. 3).

2.1 Research on Organizational Culture and Effectiveness

Many research studies have been conducted on the organizational culture and effectiveness of educational institutions throughout the world. A research conducted in Hong Kong examined the importance of various dimensions of organizational effectiveness of higher education institutions (Kwan, 2002). In a much similar research by Obenchain, Johnson and Dion (2004), it was discovered that organizational culture effects innovation in higher education. The results of research by Fralinger and Olson (2007), revealed that there is a link between organizational culture, departmental performance and students' perception.

In the context of Pakistan, a much relevant research conducted by Arshad (2003) highlights the relationship between organizational culture & effectiveness of secondary schools of Punjab. Masland (1985) indicated that institutional culture is a potential source of stability because it emphasizes on the institution's ongoing values. Early research conducted by Chaffee (1984), has also shown that colleges which emphasized traditional values and culture were more successful in dealing with environmental turbulence as compared to those which merely emphasized on adaptation with the environment ignoring their tradition.

Results from a study of nearly two hundred secondary schools showed that both human resources and employee oriented processes were important in explaining and promoting effectiveness in organizations (Ostroff, 1992). Burns and Stalker (1961), have also identified two cultural extremes in their research that existed in every college, the mechanistic culture and organic culture.

The measures and evaluation of organizational effectiveness in higher education have been analytically discussed by Karagoz and Oz (2008), and nine dimensions of organizational effectiveness are suggested, (a) educational satisfaction of students, (b) academic development of students, (c) professional development of students, (d) personal development of students, (e) job satisfaction of lecturers, (f) professional development of lecturers, (g) system clarity and environment, (h) ability to acquire source, and (i) organizational health.

2.2 Organizational Culture: An Explanatory Review
2.2.1 Organizational Culture

Organizational culture represents the unwritten part of the organization in which everyone participates but it generally goes unnoticed. Organizations realize the power of culture only when they try to implement new strategies or programs that go against basic culture norms and values (Daft, 2000, p. 314).

Organizational culture exits at two levels as articulated by Schein (1990) and illustrated in 2. On the surface are visible artifacts and observable behaviors they way people dress and act and the symbols, stories and ceremonies organization member share. The visible elements of culture, however, reflect deeper values in the minds of organization members. These underlying values, assumptions, beliefs, and thought processes are the true culture.

The most associated scholar in the study of organizational culture, Schein (1990) defined culture as:

A pattern of basic assumptions - invented, discovered, or developed by a given group as it learns to cope with the problems of external adaptation and internal integration - that has worked well enough to be considered valuable and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems.

More recently Martin (1992) discussed the differing perspectives of the cultures in organizations as:

When individuals come into contact with organization, they come into contact with dress, norms, stories people tell about what goes on, the organization's formal rules and procedures, its formal codes, rituals, tasks, pay systems, jargon, jokes only understood by insiders and so on. These elements are some of the manifestations of organizational culture.

When cultural members interpret the meanings of these manifestations, perceptions, memories, beliefs, experiences, and values will vary, so interpretation will differ - even of the same phenomenon. The patterns or configurations of these interpretations, and the way they are enacted, constitute culture (p. 3).

A conceptual framework is provided by Lundberg (1985), to understand the process of cultural change that is grounded in organizational learning theory and incorporates internal and external contingencies that facilitate and hinder efforts to intervene in the culture change cycle.

In other words, organizational culture is quite complex. Although there are a number of problems and disagreements associated with the conceptualization of organizational culture, most definitions, including the preceding, recognize the importance of the shared norms and values that guide organizational participants' behavior. In fact, there is research evidence that not only these cultural values are taught to newcomers, but newcomers seek out and want to learn about their organization's culture (Ashkanasy, Wilderom &Petersons, 2000).

2.2.2 How Organizational Culture Start

Schein (1990) describes that organizational culture can develop in a number of different ways; the process usually involves some version of the following steps:

1. A single person (founder) has an idea for a new enterprise.

2. The founder brings in one or more other key people and creates a core group that shares a common vision with the founder. That is all, in this core group believes that the idea is a good one, is workable, is worth running some risks for, and is worth the investment of time, money and energy that will be required.

3. The founding core group begins to act in concert to create an organization by raising funds, obtaining patents, incorporating, locating space, building, and son on.

4. At this point, others are brought into the organization, and a common history begins to be built.

2.2.3 How Cultures are embedded in Organizations

An organization's initial culture is an outgrowth of the founder's philosophy. Over time, the original culture is either embedded as is or modified to fit the current environmental situation. A well known organizational behavior scholar, Schein (1983) explained that embedding a culture involves a teaching process. That is, organizational members teach each other about the organization's preferred values, belief, expectations, and behaviors. This is accomplished by using one or more of the following mechanisms:

1. Formal statements of organization philosophy, mission, vision, values, and materials used for recruiting, selection, and socialization.

2. The design of physical space, work environment, and buildings.

3. Slogans, language, acronyms, and sayings.

4. Deliberate role modeling, training programs, teaching, and coaching by managers and supervisors.

5. Explicit rewards, status symbols (e.g. titles), and promotion criteria.

6. Stories, legends, and myths about key people and events.

7. The organization activities, processes, or outcomes that leaders pay attention to, measure, and control.

8. Leader reactions to critical incidents and organizational crises.

9. The workflow and organizational structure.

10. Organizational systems and procedures.

Organizational goals and the associated criteria used for recruitment, selection, development, promotion, layoffs, and retirement of people.

2.2.4 Characteristics of Organizational Culture

Organizational culture has number of important characteristics. Some of the most readily agreed upon are following (Luthans, 2005):

1. Observed behavioral regulations. When organizational participants interact with one another, they use language, terminology, and rituals related to deference and demeanor.

2. Norms. Standards of behavior exist, including guidelines how much work to do, which in many organizations come down to “Do not do too much, do not do too little”.

3. Dominant values. There are major values that the organization advocated and expects the participants to share. Typical examples are high product quality, low absenteeism, and high efficiency.

4. Philosophy. There are policies that set forth the organization's beliefs about how employees and/or customers are to be treated.

5. Rules. There are strict guidelines related to getting along in the organization. Newcomers must learn those “ropes” in order to be accepted as full-fledged members of the group.

6. Organizational climate. This is overall “feeling” that is conveyed by the physical layout, the way participants interact, the way members of the organization conduct themselves with customers or with outsiders.

2.2.5 Functions of Organizational Culture

An organization's culture fulfills four functions as articulated by Smircich (1983). Following are the four functions which are also illustrated in 3:

Give members an organizational identity:

This function of culture helps to give a common identity to all of the employees.

Facilitate collective commitment:

This function of culture helps the organization to raise the level of commitment among the employees. Employees tend stay for long periods of time, because they like values, environment and facilitation.

Promote social system stability:

Social system stability reflects the extent to which work environment is perceived as positive and reinforcing, and conflict and change are managed effectively.
Shape behavior by helping members: This function of culture helps employees understand why the organization does what it does and how it intends to accomplish its long-term goals.

2.2.6 Relevant Concepts of Organizational Culture Organizational Values

Organization values and beliefs constitute the foundation of an organization's culture. They also play a key role in influencing ethical behavior. Value is enduring belief in a mode of conduct or end-state (Schwartz, 1992).

He further explains that value possesses five key components which are (a) concepts or beliefs, (b) desirable end-states or behaviors, (c) transcend situations, (d) guide selection or evaluation of behavior and events, and (e) relevant importance.

Two types of generic values are discussed by Schein (1983).

(a) Exposed Values

Exposed values represent the explicit stated values and norms that are preferred by an organization. They are generally established by the founder of a new or small company and by the top management team in a larger company.

(b) Enacted Values

Enacted Values, on the other hand, represent values and norms that actually are exhibited or converted into employee behavior. Value System

The fact is highlighted by Schwartz (1992) that culture reflects the patterns of conflict and compatibility among values, not the relative importance among values. It highlights the point that organizations endorse a constellation of values that contain both conflicting and compatible values (p. 4). Culture Strength

Arogyaswamy and Byles (1987), have referred culture strength to the degree of agreement among employees about the importance of specific values. If the widespread consensus exists about the importance of those values, the culture is cohesive and strong; if little agreement exists, the culture is weak.

Strong culture can have a powerful impact on organizational performance, and is typically characterized by frequent use of ceremonies, symbols, stories, heroes, and slogans. These elements increase employee commitment to the values and strategy of a company. In addition, managers who want to create and maintain strong corporate culture often give emphasis to the selection and socialization of employees (Daft, 2000). Uniformity of Culture

Uniformity of the culture is discussed by Morey and Luthans (1985) that all organizations have culture in the sense that they are embedded in specific societal cultures and are part of them (p. 221). According to this view, an organizational culture is a common perception held by the organization's members. Everyone in the organization would have to share this perception. However, all may not do so the same degree. As a result, there can be a dominant culture as well as sub cultures, throughout a typical organization. Dominant Culture

A dominant culture is a set of core values shared by a majority of the organizations members. Subculture

Important, but often overlooked, are the subcultures in an organization. A subculture is a set of values shared by a minority, usually a small minority, of the organization's members. Subcultures are typically are a result of problems or expectations that are shared by members of department or unit.

2.2.7 Models/Perspectives/Types of Organizational Culture

A useful model for understanding organizational culture was developed by Vijay (1983), a Harvard researcher. Four general manifestations or evidence of organizational culture in his model are (a) share things called objects, (b) shared sayings called talk, (c) shared doings called behavior, and (d) shared feelings called emotion. One can begin collection of cultural information within organization by asking, observing, reading, and feeling. Adaptive Versus Unadaptive Perspective of Organizational Culture

Adaptive corporate cultures have different values and behavior than unadaptive cultures (Kotter & Heskett, 1992). In adaptive cultures, managers are concerned with customers and employees as well as the internal processes and procedures that bring about useful change. Behavior is flexible and managers initiate change when needed, even if it involves risk. In unadaptive cultures, managers are more concerned about themselves or their own special projects, their values discourage risk taking and change. Thus, strong healthy cultures, such as those in learning companies, help organizations adapt to the external environment, whereas strong unhealthy cultures can encourage an organization to march resolutely in the wrong direction.

Adaptive Corporate Cultures

Unadaptive Corporate Cultures

Core Values

Manager care deeply about customers, stockholders, and employees. They also strongly value people and processes that can create useful change (for example, leadership initiatives up and down the management hierarchy.

Managers care mainly about themselves, their immediate work group, or some product (or technology) associated with that work group. They value the orderly and risk-reducing management process much more highly than leadership initiatives.

Common Behavior

Managers pay close attention to all their constituencies, especially customers, and initiate change when needed to server their legitimate interests, even if it entails taking some risks.

Managers tend to be some what isolated, politically and bureaucratic. As a result, they do not change their strategies quickly to adjust to or take advantage of changes in their business environment.

Developing and Preserving an Adaptive Culture

The adaptive perspective assumes that the most effective cultures help organizations anticipate and adapt to the environment change (Daft, 2000, p. 80). Kilman, Saxton and Serpa (1986), a team of management experts defined this culture as follows:

An adaptive culture entails a risk-taking, trusting and proactive approach to organization as well as individual life. Members actively support one another's efforts to identify all problems and implement workable solutions. There is shared feeling of confidence: the members believe, without a doubt, they can effectively manage whatever new problems and opportunities will come their way. The members are receptive to change and innovation (p. 356). This process is illustrated in 5.

Adaptiveness is promoted over time by a combination of organizational success and a specific leadership focus. Leadership must get employees to buy into a timeless philosophy or set of values, that emphasizes service to the organization's key constituents - customers, stakeholders, and employees - and also emphasizes the improvement of leadership. Management does this by consistently reinforcing and supporting the organization's core philosophy or values of satisfying constituency needs and improving leadership. Types of Organizational Culture

There has been considerable research to identify and measure various types of culture to study the relationship between types of culture and organizational effectiveness. There are three generally types of organizational culture and each associated with a different set of normative beliefs (Cooke & Szumal, 1993). Normative beliefs are discussed by Kreitner and Kinicki (2001) as individual thoughts and beliefs about how members of a particular group or organization are expected to approach their work and interact with others (p. 75).

(a) Constructive Culture

A constructive culture is one in which employees are encouraged to interact with each other and to work on tasks and projects in ways that will assist them in satisfying their needs to grow and develop. Four normative beliefs are endorsed by this type of culture, which are (a) achievement, (b) self-actualizing, (c) humanistic-encouraging, and (d) affiliative (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2001, p. 75).

The behaviors in this group help people meet satisfaction needs - the kind of satisfaction derived, for instance, from reaching one's potential. People balance expectations for thinking independently and taking initiative with expectations to work consensually and share power. They regularly voice unique perspectives and concerns while working toward agreement. Constructive cultures are evident in environments that value (and reward) quality over quantity and creativity over conformity. Cooperation is believed to lead to better results than competition.

Effectiveness is judged at the overall level, not just at a unit or department level. In constructive organizations, levels of satisfaction, teamwork, service quality and sales growth tend to be high. They tend to have a dual focus - on financial success today and on developing people, strategy and market share to ensure more success in the future. Employees (both staff and management) at a variety of industries - including newspapers - identify the constructive culture as the “ideal” for their organizations. This is true even in high-reliability organizations, such as the military and power plants (Human Synergistics, 1998). The characteristics of constructive culture are provided by Stanciu (2008):

Everyone is expected to provide initiative.
Low distortion in communication.
People are encouraged to be decisive, take moderate risks, take initiative and be accountable.
Grow people rather than use them as career advancement tools.
Pursue standard of excellence.
Externally focused -- beat competitors not each other.
Open, candid discussion and decision-making.

8. Non-political atmosphere.

Leadership vs. Management

Facilitating goal accomplishment rather than monitoring activities.

(b) Passive-Defensive Culture

This type of culture is characterized by overriding belief that employees must interact with others in ways that do not threaten their own job security. Four normative beliefs are endorsed by this type of culture, which are (a) approval, (b) conventional, (c) dependant, and (d) avoidance (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2001, p. 75).

The behaviors in this group play to a need for security and low risk. People do what it takes to please others and avoid interpersonal conflict. Rules, procedures and orders are followed without question. In this highly directed environment, jobs are narrowly defined and supervision is intense. Managers rarely catch employees doing things right, but never miss when they do things wrong.

Unresolved conflict and turnover are common in such organizations, as well as low satisfaction and motivation. Passive/Defensive cultures are often found in “protected” organizations, such as government agencies, organizations that are closely regulated by government or ones that operate as monopolies. Lack of competition and a belief that the customer base will remain constant often leads these organizations to preserve the status quo rather than look for major opportunities and improvements. (Human Synergistics, 1998). The characteristics of passive-defensive culture are provided by Stanciu (2008):

1. Systematically undermines long term performance.

2. Prevents the organization from identifying and implementing strategies and tactics that are needed to compete in an increasingly competitive world.

3. Turf wars drive decisions.

4. Win or lose based on beating your associates rather than competitors.

5. How you look, not what you accomplish is most important.

6. Achieve a dominant market position due to success, vision or luck.

7. Success leads to more success.

8. Begin believing it because of their brilliance.

9. Arrogance sets in.

10. Internal focus begins to build a bureaucracy.

11. Deterioration of long-term performance.

12. It's always someone else's fault.

(c) Aggressive-Defensive Culture

This type of culture encourages employees to approach tasks in forceful ways in order to protect their status and job security. Four normative beliefs are endorsed by this type of culture, which are (a) oppositional, (b) power, (c) competitive, and (d) perfectionist (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2001, p. 75).

The need for security is also a strong driver of behavior in this type of culture. But whereas the dynamic in a passive/defensive culture is more person oriented (for instance, avoiding interpersonal conflict), the focus here is more task oriented. People approach tasks forcefully, not to further the overall goals of the organization as much as to protect their status, security and “turf.” These cultures encourage people to appear competent and superior, even if the underlying skills and experiences are lacking. Those who admit shortcomings or ask for help are seen as weak. There is an emphasis on confrontation, competition and criticism. An unrelenting pressure to appear perfect and expert mitigates against customer service, admission of errors, trying new and perhaps risky things and teamwork. It can also depress motivation and health. Although professing otherwise, management tends to put its own interests before those of its key constituents - customers, employees and stockholders. Often they are able to appear effective (although not indefinitely) because of the past successes of the organization. But this sort of culture prevents organizations from adapting to changes in their environment and will ultimately affect financial performance.

This culture is found in fast-paced organizations, where people have to think and take action quickly on a regular basis. Examples would be the computer and telecommunications sectors, with a high level of competition and short product cycles; the military; and emergency services where fast, physical, logistical movement is essential. It is also found in organizations that suddenly and unexpectedly experience huge sales growth (such as biotech and e-commerce firms.) The nature of such environments leads many companies to falsely conclude that to be aggressive and compete externally they need to mirror those qualities internally. But internally aggressive cultures do not produce the best results. Quality is often sacrificed for quantity and coordination is bypassed in favor of immediate personal success. This culture is also found in organizations that have gone through downsizing or who emphasize traditional methods of quality control. For instance, putting quality responsibility at the supervisor level (Human Synergistics, 1998).

2.3 Organizational Effectiveness: An Explanatory Review

Daft (2000) discusses that an organization is created and designed to achieve some end, which is decided by the chief executive officer and/or the top management team (p. 50). Organization structure and design is an outcome of this purpose. With reference to Kotter (1973) the primary responsibility of top management is to determine an organizational goals, strategy and design, therein adapting the organization to a changing environment. Etzioni (1964) defined organizational effectiveness as the degree to which an organization realizes its goals (p. 8). It is a very broad concept and involves multiple variables and multiple goals.

Organizational efficiency is amount of resources used to produce a unit of production. It can be measured as the ratio if inputs to outputs. It is a limited concept because it only deals with the internal working of the organization (Sandefur, 1983). If one organization can achieve a given production level with fewer resources than other organization it would be described as more efficient (Steers, 1977, p. 51).

Efficiency and Effectiveness

Daft (2000) argued that some times efficiency leads to effectiveness. In other organizations, efficiency and effectiveness are not related. An organization may be highly efficient but fail to achieve its goals. Likewise, an organization may achieve its profit goals but be inefficient (p. 64).

2.3.1 Measures of Organization Effectiveness

It is the view of Weick and Daft (1982) that overall effectiveness is difficult to measure. Organizations are large, diverse and fragmented. They perform may activities simultaneously. They purse multiple goals and they generate many outcomes, some intended and some unintended. Effectiveness of an organization can be measured in many different ways.

Daft (2000) categorized two types of approaches to measure the organization effectiveness. Contingency effectiveness approaches and balanced effectiveness approaches also illustrated in 7. Contingency Effectiveness Approaches

Contingency effectiveness approaches include goal approach, resource-based approach and internal-process approach. These approaches focus on sector.

(a) Goal Approach

It is one of the oldest approaches to measure organizational effectiveness. The goal approach to effectiveness is elaborated by Price (1972) as the identification of an organization's output goals, assessment of how well the organization has attained those goals and measurement of progress towards goal attainment.

Hall and Clark (1980) implied that operative goals are important to consider. Efforts to measure effectiveness have been more productive using operative goals than using official goals. Official goals are difficult to measure because they are abstract, whereas operative goals are the activities the organization is actually performing.

The application of this approach is discussed by Daft (2000) that it is used in business organization because output goals can be readily measured. Business, firms typically evaluate performance in terms of profitability, growth, market share, and return on investment (p. 66). Two problems that must be resolved are the issues of multiple goals and subjective indicators of goal attainment. Objective indicators of operative goals can be identified, such as profit, loss and growth. But subjective assessment is required for some other goals, such as employee welfare or social responsibility.

(b) Resource-Based Approach

Organizational effectiveness is defined as the ability of the organization, in either absolute or relative terms, to obtain scarce and valued resources and successfully integrate and manage them. (Russo & Fouts, 1997)

It is articulated by Daft (2000) that obtaining and successfully managing resource is the criterion by which organizational effectiveness is assessed (p. 67). He provides the following indicators of effectiveness according to the resource base approach:

Bargaining position is the ability of the organization to acquire/obtain resources.
Organization decision makers' abilities to assess the properties of external environment.
The abilities of managers to use tangible (supplies, people, machines) and intangible (knowledge, culture) resources to achieve superior performance.
The organizational ability to quickly respond to the changes.

It is very useful when other indicators of performance are difficult to obtain. This approach only vaguely considers the organization's link to the needs of customers in the external environment.

(c) Internal Process Approach

It is discussed by Daft (2000) that internal process approach is measured as internal organization heath and efficiency (p. 68). An effective organization has a smooth, well-oiled internal process. Employees are happy and satisfied. Department activities are integrated with each other to ensure high productivity. He also argues that one indicator of internal process effectiveness is the organization's economic efficiency. However, the best known proponents of a process model are from the human relations approach to organizations.

Argyris (1964), Bennis (1996), Likert (1967) and Beckhard (1969) have all worked between human resources and effectiveness. Seven indicators of an effective organization are provided by Cunningham (1977) as seen from an internal process approach:

Strong corporate culture and positive work climate.
Term spirit, group loyalty.
Confidence, trust and communication between workers and management.
Decision making near sources of information, regardless of where those sources are on the organizational chart.
Undistorted horizontal and vertical communication; sharing of relevant facts and feelings.
Reward to managers for performance, growth and development of subordinates and for creating an effective workgroup.
Interaction between the organization and its parts, with conflict that occurs over projects resolved in the interest of organization.

Shortcomings of this approach are discussed by Daft (2000) that total output and the organization's relationship with the external environment are not evaluated (p. 69). Evaluations of internal health and functioning are often subjective, because many aspects of inputs and internal processes are not quantifiable. Mangers should be aware that this approach alone represents a limited view of organizational effectiveness. Balanced Effective Approaches

Balanced effective approaches include stakeholder approach and competing value approach. These approaches are concerned with the various parts of the organization. They combine several indicators of effectiveness into a single framework.

(a) Stakeholder Approach

It is also called the constituency approach; the satisfaction of such groups can be assessed as an indicator of the organization's performance (Tusi, 1990). Each and every stakeholder has different interest in the organization therefore they have different criteria of effectiveness.

The initial work on evaluating effectiveness on the basis of stakeholders included ninety seven small businesses in Texas. Seven stakeholder groups relevant to those businesses were surveyed to determine the perception of effectiveness from each viewpoint (Friedlander & Pickle, 1996). The following table shows each stakeholder and its criterion of effectiveness.

Obedience to laws, regulations.

The implications of this approach are discussed by Daft (2000) that it is difficult for a small business to simultaneously fulfill the demands of all groups. One business may have high employee satisfaction, but the satisfaction of other groups may be lower. Nevertheless, measuring all sever stakeholders provides a more accurate view of effectiveness than any single measure. Evaluating how organizations perform across each group offers an overall assessment of effectiveness. The stakeholder approach is gaining in popularity, based on the view that effectiveness is a complex, multidimensional concept that has no single measure (Kanter & Brinkerhoff, 1981).

(b) Competing Values Approach

The competing values approach to organizational effectiveness was developed by Quinn and Rohrbugh (1983) to combine the diverse indicators of performance used by managers and researchers. The first value dimension refers to organizational focus, which can be internal or external. Internal focus reflects a management concern for the well-being and efficiency of employees and external focus represents an emphasis on the well-being of the organization itself with respect to the environment. The second value dimension refers to organization structure, which is stability versus flexibility. Stability reflects a management value for efficiency and top-down control, whereas flexibility represents a value of learning and change (p. 71).

The combination of dimensions provides four models of organizational effectiveness according to Quinn and Rohrbaugh (1983). Each model reflects a different management emphasis with respect to structure and focus as in 9.

Two contributions of competing values approach are discussed by Daft (2000). First, it integrates diverse concepts of effectiveness into single perspective. It incorporates the ideas of output goals, resource acquisition and human resource development as goals the organization tries to accomplish. Second, the model calls attention to effectiveness criteria as management values and shows how opposing values exist at the same time (p. 72).

Managers must decide which values they wish to pursue and which values they receive less emphasis. The four competing values exist simultaneously, but not all will receive equal priority. For example, a new small organization that concentrates on establishing itself within a competitive environment will give less emphasis to developing employees than to the external environment.


The problem to be focused in this study is to provide an in-depth understanding of the organizational culture along with the conceptual clarity of organizational effectiveness of Higher Education Institutions. Higher Education Sector has been and still in the spotlight in terms of government priorities, massive foreign funding and discussion in intellectual circles throughout the country. The effectiveness of Higher Educational Institutions is always questioned all over the globe, on the basis of which universities are globally ranked.

In order to assess and develop the effectiveness of higher education institutions, the Higher Education Commission has setup a Quality Assurance Division. Delivery of quality services by these institutions will only be possible if their organizational culture complements effectiveness.

Therefore, an in-depth understanding of the organizational culture along with the conceptual clarity of organizational effectiveness and their inter-relatedness is mandatory. Hence, the problem addressed in this study, is to identify the organizational culture and explore its relationship with organizational effectiveness of the universities in Pakistan.


The objectives of this study are: -

To identify the organizational culture of universities in Pakistan.
To measure the organizational effectiveness of universities in Pakistan.
To identify the relationship between the organizational culture and organizational effectiveness of universities in Pakistan.
To identify the differences (if any) between the organizational cultures of public and private sector universities in Pakistan.
To identify the differences (if any) between the organizational effectiveness of public and private sector universities in Pakistan.
To suggest measures for enhancing organizational culture of universities in Pakistan.
To suggest measures for improving organizational effectiveness of universities in Pakistan.


The link between objectives and hypotheses of the study is explicitly illustrated in 10. The following null hypotheses are generated in the study:

H01: There is no significant relationship between the mean scores of adaptive culture and effectiveness scores of universities.

H02: There is no significant relationship between the mean scores of adaptive culture and effectiveness scores of public universities.

H03: There is no significant relationship between the mean scores of adaptive culture and effectiveness scores of private universities.

H04: There is no significant relationship between the mean scores of unadaptive culture and effectiveness scores of universities.

H05: There is no significant relationship between the mean scores of unadaptive culture and effectiveness scores of public universities.

H06: There is no significant relationship between the mean scores of unadaptive culture and effectiveness scores of private universities.

H07: There is no significant difference between the mean scores of adaptive culture in public and private universities.

H08: There is no significant difference between the mean scores of unadaptive culture in public and private universities.

H09: There is no significant difference between the effectiveness scores of public and private universities.


There has been a growing interest in the study of organizational cultures in colleges and universities in an effort to understand effective managerial and organizational performance (Chaffee and Tierney, 1988; Dill, 1982; Gumport, 1988; and Tierney, 1988). The performance of higher education Institutions in Pakistan has been rigorously discussed and assessed since the establishment of Higher Education Commission (Presidential Ordinance, 2002).

Hardy (1990) identified that the research on organizational culture in higher education is far behind the corporate management literature. Therefore, this research will help in generating crucial information regarding the prevailing cultures and effectiveness of different universities/degree awarding institutions in Pakistan. Moreover, it will produce useful empirical data to the current or future quality assurance bodies within or outside the Higher Education Institutions.

This study will assist in ranking higher education institutions in Pakistan with respect to their cultural characteristics and effectiveness. It is also expected that the results of this study will provide beneficial guidelines for organizational development in terms of improving culture and effectiveness of the higher education sector in Pakistan.

Conceptual Framework

This research study lays its conceptual foundations on the broad area of ‘Organizational Behavior' with specific reference to educational institutions. The findings of research studies by Cameron and Ettington (1988), Smart and Hamm (1993) and Cameron and Freeman (1991), suggested that organizational culture might well influence the ultimate effectiveness of the institutions, and campus leaders may want to consider modifications of the prevailing campus culture in an effort to enhance institutional performance.

Research conducted by Fjortoft and Smart (1994) elaborated the importance of organizational culture and mission agreement with organizational effectiveness. It has been noted by Denison (1990) that mission agreement contributes to the enhancement of organizational performance through providing purpose and meaning, as well as a host of non economic reasons why the work of an organization is important and clear direction and goals that serve to define the appropriate course of action for the organization and its members (p. 13).

The recent findings of Smart and Lerner (1993) support the hypothesis that the effective performance of complex organizations is contingent on a close alignment between the shared beliefs and values central to the organization and actual management policies and practices if the organization is to obtain a high degree of integration and coordination.

In the context of Pakistan, some of the research studies conducted in the area of organizational behavior are organizational structure, leadership style & physical facilities of public and private secondary schools (Iqbal, 2005), academic functioning of the universities in Pakistan (Ali, 2005), and quality of higher education in public & private sector (Hamidullah, 2005).

However, there has been a dire need for research studies to be conducted regarding the organizational culture and effectiveness of Higher Education Institutions in Pakistan. Therefore, this research will assist in the understanding of organizational culture & effectiveness of universities/degree awarding institutions in Pakistan.


This study will be delimited to all the universities/degree awarding institutions of Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) due to time, mobility and financial resources. However, it is worth mentioning that 44.2% of the whole population (which consists of universities/DAIs in Pakistan) falls in the Punjab and ICT region (AEPAM, 2008, p. 41; Government of Pakistan, 2008).

Definition of major terms

Organizations are social entities that are goal directed, are designed as deliberately structured and coordinated activity systems, and are linked to the external environment (Daft, 2000, p. 12).

Organizational Culture

It is defined by Duncan (1998) that culture is the set of values, beliefs, and understandings, and ways of thinking that are shared by members of an organization and is taught to new members as correct.

Organizational Effectiveness

An organization is created and designed to achieve some end, which is decided by the chief executive officer and/or the top management team. Organization structure and design is an outcome of this purpose (Daft, 2000, p. 50).

The following definitions are proposed by Daft (2000):


It concerns the amount of output achieved from available resources. It is typically described as the amount of resource inputs required to reach desired outputs and are thus stated in terms of cost for a unit of production, units produced per employee, or resource cost per employee.

Organization Design

It is the administration and execution of the strategic plan. It is also used to implement goals and strategy and it also determines organization success.


A stake holder is any group within or outside an organization that has a stake in the organization's performance.

Normative Beliefs

Normative beliefs represent an individual thoughts and beliefs about how members of a particular group or organization are expected to approach their work and interact with others.

Following are the definitions of culture types according to Cooke & Szumal (1993):


Organizations which do things well and value members who set and accomplish their own goals. Members are expected to set challenging but realistic goals, establish plans to reach these goals and purse them with enthusiasm (Pursuing a standard of excellence).


Organizations that value creativity, quality over quantity, and both task accomplishment and individual growth. Members are encouraged to gain employment from their work, develop themselves, and take on new and interesting activities (Thinking in unique and independent ways).


Organizations that are managed in participated and personal-centered way. Members are expected to be supportive, constructive and open to influence in their dealings with one another (Helping others to grow and develop).


Organizations that place a high priority on constructive interpersonal relationships. Members are expected to be friendly, open and sensitive to the satisfaction of their work group (Dealing with others in a friendly way).


Organizations in which conflicts are avoided and interpersonal relationships are pleasant - at least superficially. Members feel that they should agree with, gain the approval of, and be liked by others (“Going along” with others).


Organizations that are conservative, traditional and bureaucratically controlled. Members are expected to confirm, follow the rules and make a good impression (Always follow policies and practices).


Organizations that are hierarchically controlled and nonparticipative. Centralized decision in such organizations leads members to do only what they are told and to clear all decisions with superiors (Pleasing those in position of authority).


Organization that fail to reward success but nevertheless punish mistakes. This negative reward system leads members to shift responsibility to others and avoid any possibility of being blamed for a mistake (Waiting for others to act first).


Organizations in which confrontation and negativism are rewarded. Members gain status and influence by being critical and thus are reinforced to oppose the ideas of others (Pointing out flaws).


Nonparticipative organizations structured on the basis of the authority inherent in members' position. Members believe they will be rewarded for taking charge, controlling subordinates and, at the same time, being responsive to the demand of superiors (Building up one's power base).


Wining is valued and members are rewarded for outperforming one another. Members operate in “win-lose” framework and believe they must work against (rather than with) their peers to be noticed (Turning a job into a contest).


Organizations in which perfectionism, persistence, and hard work are valued. Members feel that they must avoid any mistake, keep track of everything and work long hours to attain narrowly defined objectives (Doing things perfect).


Research Design

This study will be an Ex post facto (also called Causal-Comparative) research design which implies that the variables of the study will not be under control of the researcher. The variables of the study include ‘organizational culture' and ‘organizational effectiveness' which already exist and will not be manipulatable by the researcher.

The researcher aims to explore the relationship of cause-and-effect (if any) and positive or negative relationship between these two variables. Hence, it can be stated with clarity that the research design of this study is a combination of Ex Post Facto (also called Causal-Comparative) and Correlational research designs.

The population of this research study will comprise of all public and private sector Universities/Degree Awarding Institutions (DAIs) in Pakistan which are recognized by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). The population of this study comprises of two strata: (a) Public Universities/Degree Awarding Institutions (DAIs), and (b) Private Universities/Degree Awarding Institutions (DAIs) of Pakistan. The total number of public and private Universities/Degree Awarding Institutions (DAIs) in Pakistan are 118.


Random and Proportionate sampling method will be used to select sample from the Universities/Degree Awarding Institutions of Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory. This is done due to the delimitation of the study. Gay (2000) suggested that the sample size should be 30 for causal-comparative and correlational research in each group (p. 123). Similarly, Fraenkel and Wallen (2003) also recommended that the sample size should be 30 subjects for a causal-comparative study and 50 for correlational study (p. 113).

Hence, there is enough rationale for adopting the selected sample size. A detailed description of sampling methodology is presented in the sampling structure presented in 12. A sampling summary is also presented on page 38, which explains the procedure of sample selection for this research.

Sampling Structure

Sampling Summary

Total No. of Public and Private Universities/DAIs in Pakistan : 118

Total No. of Public and Private Universities/DAIs in Punjab & ICT (Islamabad) : 53

Total No. of Public Universities/DAIs in Punjab & ICT : 34

Total No. of Private Universities/DAIs in Punjab & ICT : 19

Using Proportionate sampling, 30% of Public universities/DAIs and

30% of Private universities/DAIs will be randomly selected from

Punjab and ICT region as sample for this research study. : 35

No. of Public Universities/DAIs selected as sample from Punjab & ICT : 19

No. of Private Universities/DAIs selected as sample from Punjab & ICT : 16

20 Faculty Members will be randomly selected from each University/DAI.

No. of Faculty Members randomly selected from Public Universities/DAIs: -

Lecturers from Public Universities/DAIs : 5

Assistant Professors from Public Universities/DAIs : 5

Associate Professors from Public Universities/DAIs : 5

Professors from Public Universities/DAIs : 5

Total Faculty Members selected from Public Universities/DAIs : 20 X 19 = 380

No. of Faculty Members randomly selected from Private Universities/DAIs: -

Lecturers from Private Universities/DAIs : 5

Assistant Professors from Private Universities/DAIs : 5

Associate Professors from Private Universities/DAIs : 5

Professors from Private Universities/DAIs : 5

Total Faculty Members selected from Public Universities/DAIs : 20 X 16 = 320

Total Subjects participating in the Research Study : 700

Research Tools

In this research three instruments will be used to collect data.

1. OCI (Organizational Culture Inventory)

2. OEI (Organizational Effectiveness Inventory)

3. Form for Demographic Information of Participants. This will be developed by the researcher.

The researcher has corresponded for the purchase of OCI and OEI acceding to the terms and conditions of Human Synergistics/Centre for Applied Research (HS/CAR). The written correspondence for the reference of use and application for acquisition of instruments are attached in Appendix D and E.

Validity & Reliability Evidence of Instruments

The Organizational Culture Inventory (OCI) was developed and researched by Robert A. Cooke and J. Clayton Lafferty at Department of Management, University of Illinois, Chicago, Human Synergistics/Centre for Applied Research (HS/CAR) (Cooke & Lafferty, 1987). It was in accordance with Kotter and Heskett (1992) model for identification of an organizational culture as adaptive and unadaptive culture. Cook and Szumai (1993) have calculated reliability of the instrument using Cronbach Alpha. The reliability coefficient was found between the range of 0.71 to 0.95 for one sample (Federal Aviation Administration). 0.67 to 0.92 for second type of sample (Retail Stores) and 0.65 to 0.90 for third type of sample (Educational Organizations).

The Organizational Effectiveness Inventory (OEI) was developed and researched by Robert A. Cooke. OEI is distinguished by its research base. The OEI report will offer the researcher to compare results with average (700 organizations) and 120 organizations with constructive cultures. In this way, the combined administration of OCI & OEI will clearly highlight the key drivers of culture within that organization, identifying those factors that must become levers for change to successfully implement culture development throughout that specific organization (Cooke, 1997).

Data Collection & ANALYSIS

The Organizational Culture Inventory (OCI), Organizational Effectiveness Inventory (OEI) and Form for Demographic Information will be administered to the faculty members of the selected sample of universities/DAIs. The statistical analysis of variables of OCI and OEI will be done with the help of SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences). The final results of the study will be compiled under two sections (I) Descriptive Statistics, and (II) Inferential Statistics.

Section I will provide the descriptive information about the variables under study. Descriptive statistics (Mean, Standard Deviation) will be applied and results will be presented and objectively described in tabular and graphical form. Section II will provide the results of hypotheses testing regarding the variables of study. Inferential statistics (Pearson r, t-test for r and ANOVA) will be applied for this purpose to arrive at judgmental conclusions relevant to the research.

Phasing & Timeline


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