The fit between the concepts of organizational culture and climate

The fit between the concepts of organizational culture and climate

Mehmet Y. Yahyagil


The purpose of this paper is to clarify the nature of the complex interrelations between organizational culture and climate. In terms of the basic assumptions, values and beliefs, it is the culture of an organization which dictates the expected employee behavior permits to form a compatible work environment, namely, the organizational climate. The key point is that these two concepts exist in work settings, and they are not mutually exclusive. This study is conducted from the behaviorist approaches of organizational theorists such as (Schein, 1992; Denison, 1996; Cameron and Quinn, 2006), and focuses on the examination of the match between a shared value system, organizational culture, and its reflection on daily business practices, organizational climate. Two different sampling procedures and three measurement instruments were used in four organizations in the present study. The first sample frame covers all of the managerial and administrative staff from three organizations, with the sample size comprising 121 respondents. The second sampling frame includes the first two organizations and another one covering 145 respondents.

The research findings indicate that there is a fit between the concepts of organizational culture and climate with statistical analyses indicating a meaningful composition of cultural and climatic variables. The organizational values which are related to the stability and control (i.e. bureaucratic nature) of organizations clearly separated from the rest of the values. In turn, the values which are about the flexibility and discretion are related to corresponding climatic features (such as decision making, interpersonal relations, and communication). The establishment of such a fit between these conceptual elements could possibly lead organizational behaviorists and practitioners, to have a clearer picture of the contextual structure of organizations and to take the necessary measures to maintain or to change certain values and business practices, thus planning changes in strategies more effectively. It would also be of help for human resources departments both for employee selection, and planning programs for designing interventions to improve organizational effectiveness and efficiency.



This paper (1) focuses on the assessment of the interactions and overlap between the concepts of organizational culture and climate through an empirical investigation conducted in Turkey. Organizational culture has become a subject in which conceptual work and scholarship provides guidance for managers (Cameron & Quinn, 2006; p. 16). This study is not cross cultural per se. However, since the term science can be characterized, among others, as being objective and universalistic, the location of the sample of the present study should be looked at as a scientific attempt aiming at the corroboration or the falsification of the relevant theories (Popper, 1963; pp. 233-240; Denison, Haaland & Goelzer, 2004; p.98). This should be true regardless of the economic, sociological and cultural differences in the environments where these studies are conducted.

The purpose of this paper is to clarify the nature of the complex interrelations between organizational culture and climate. In terms of the basic assumptions, values and beliefs, it is the culture of an organization which dictates the expected employee behavior permits to form a compatible work environment, namely, the organizational climate. The present study relies on the behaviorist approaches of organizational theorists such as Schein (1992). Since employee behaviors are the reflections of organizational culture, there ought to be a fit between the roots of culture (such as basic assumptions and values), and the rules and daily business practices of employees (i.e. climate). In terms of the internal and external dynamics of organizations, this theoretical approach is, inevitably, in line with Martin’s (2002) integration and differentiation perspectives as well as Cameron and Quinn’s (2006) competing values model. With the assumption of this theoretical framework, one would be expect finding empirical evidence which indicate the interdependence between certain cultural attributes and climatic features of organizations regardless of their idiosyncratic characteristics. If the values are at the core of the concept, “normative climates and artifacts become visible as symbolic devices manifesting cultural values” (Howard, 1998). Though the similarities as well as dissimilarities between the concepts of organizational culture and climate are of importance in the organizational behavior literature (Ashkanasy, 2003; Martin, 2002; Cooper, Cartwright & Earley, 2001, Ashkanasy & Jackson, 2001; Denison, 1996; Reichers & Schneider, 1990), no study focused directly on the interplay between these two concepts. Yet, the shortcomings in defining the concepts of organizational culture, and climate have resulted in a number of difficulties in the measurement process (Hofstede, 2000; Lewis, 2000).

The assessment of such a fit between these concepts could lead organizational behaviorists and practitioners, to have a clearer picture of contextual structure of organizations and to take necessary measures to maintain or to change certain values and business practices, and finally to plan change strategies more effectively (Brookfield, 2000, p.17). One recalls the study by Hofstede, Neuijen, Ohayv and Sanders (1990) who examined the concept of organizational culture under the heading of manifestations of culture as symbols, heroes, rituals, values, and practices. They stated that employees’ shared perceptions of daily practices should also be considered as the core of the culture. In other words, the cited study of Hofstede et al. (1990) supports empirically that there is a link between organizational values (culture) and daily practices and customs (climate).

The assumptions of the rationale of the present study may be more clearly explained with reference to the person-environment fit (P-O Fit) theory. The P-O fit literature identified four different operationalizations of P-O fit, and one of the most frequently studied types of fit theory is the person organization (P-O) fit (Sekiguchi, 2004). The P-O fit can be defined in terms of the match between the values of individuals and the value systems of organizations. As Sekiguchi (2004) states the fourth operationalization of the P-O fit is “the match between the characteristics of individual personality and organizational climate sometimes labeled organizational personality”. It is, in fact, the rationale of this study that there should be a relationship or compatibility between the cultural attributes of organizations (organizational personality) and their climatic features. This rationale could be defined an expansion of the P-O fit in relation to the multidimensional concept of the person-environment (P-E) fit.

Hence, the aim of this study is to understand the nature of a common pattern between the vast variety of cultural attributes of organizations and their corresponding (not identical), reflections in the work environment (i.e. organizational climate). Such an assessment (fit) could be defined as the contextual and mental picture of organizations based on employee perceptions. It would also be of benefit to senior management to know grasp the cultural form organizations and the interplay between this vital formation and its effect on ongoing business styles and practices. Moreover, if social scientists were able to decipher some sort of pattern which indicates a fit between these conceptual dimensions in different parts of the world then, it could lead to a global sort of empirical evidence.


Organizational Culture

According to Reichers and Schneider (1990), following Smircich (1983), there have been two distinct approaches to the definition of culture. While the first approach treats organizational culture as “something an organization is, the second one accepts culture as something an organization has” (1990, p.22). Although almost all of the academicians agree upon the second approach including Schein (1992), Killman (1985), and Hofstede (2000), the concept of culture has not yet been clearly defined and accepted.

In the light of the functionalist approach, the development of organizational culture is related to the capability of organizations in solving their “external adaptation and internal integration problems,” and the development of culture is “identical to the process of group formation” (Schein, 1992, pp.51-52). In a similar manner, Hofstede states, “one can only define culture for a group of people … organizational culture is that which distinguishes the members of one organization from other people” (2000, p.135; 1991, p.262).

Marcoulides and Heck (1993) introduce organizational culture as “… consisting of three interrelated dimensions: a socio-cultural system of the perceived functioning of the organization’s strategies and practices, an organizational value system and the collective beliefs of the individuals working in the organization” (p.209).

In his widely accepted and well-known definition, Schein (1992) defines culture as: “A pattern of shared basic assumptions that the organization learned as it solved its problems of external adoption and internal integration, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think and feel in relation to those problems” (p.12). Furthermore, Schein (1992) suggested that organizational culture is composed of three levels as artifacts (the visible level), values (not observable, at the mid-level) and basic assumptions (at the core of the formation). For Hofstede (1990), levels (or in his words, manifestations) of culture have four categories -from top to deepest-as symbols, heroes, rituals, and values. He claims that symbols, heroes and rituals are considered as practices and are visible part of the cultures while values constitute its intangible part (1998, p.2).

The 3-perspective theory of integration, differentiation and fragmentation is also worthy of attention (Martin, 2002). The integration approach accepts organizational culture as a shared and unambiguous phenomenon, whereas, the differentiation approach suggests that there are a number of subcultures in organizations. The fragmentation approach, however, describes organizational culture to be ambiguous and not even known by the members of an organization. Regarding the study of Martin (2002) Ashkanasy (2003) underlined the richness as well as the complexity of the cultural terrain.

Organizational Climate

The organizational climate, broadly speaking, is, related to the work atmosphere that consists of ways and methods of organizational functioning undertaken by the organizational members. It has been widely defined as the shared perceptions of employees regarding organizational functioning and practices. According to Taguiri and Litwin (1968) climate is “the relatively enduring quality of the total environment that (a) is experienced by its members, (b) influences their behavior, and (c) can be described in terms of the values of a particular set of characteristics (or attributes) of the organization” (p.25).

Schneider et al (1992) define the concept of organizational climate as “employees’ perceptions of events, practices, and procedures as well as their perceptions of behaviors that are rewarded, supported and expected” (p. 705). Chinho Lin (1999) defines organizational culture as the shared assumptions and values by group members and climate as the shared perceptions about organizational conditions. Lin (1999) bases his definitions on Litwin and Stringer’s (1968) organizational climate questionnaire. This well-known measurement device covers nine dimensions of the concept of organizational climate: structure, responsibility, reward, risk taking, support, warmth, standards, conflict and identity.

Schneider, Brief and Guzzo (1996) define the four dimensions of organizational climate as ‘nature of interpersonal relationships, nature of hierarchy, nature of work and focus on support and rewards’. Though there is an ongoing debate among scholars as to the relevance of the dimensions regarding the concept of organizational climate, these dimensions are mainly considered to be employee perceptions of organizational procedures, operations and practices.

Moran and Volkwein (1992) examined the concept of organizational climate under four dimensions, namely, cultural, perceptual, structural and interactive. These dimensions are, in fact, complementary depending upon the viewpoint of researchers. Schein’s definition of the climate concept is “the feeling that is conveyed in a group by the physical layout and the way in which members of the organization interact with each other, with customers or with other outsiders” (1992, p.9). If the analysis of organizational climate were held on an individual level, the concept would be named “psychological climate. The aggregation of psychological climate would basically form the organizational climate (Isaksen, Lauer, Ekvall & Britz, 2000-01, p.172).

The interdependence between the concepts of culture and climate

Despite the fact that the interdependence between the concepts of organizational culture and climate is of vital importance for both theoretical and practical reasons, “most researchers have ignored the similarities and differences between organizational climate and organizational culture” (Fey & Beamish, 2001, p.855). In this respect, a great part of the studies (Denison & Mishra, 1995, p.204; Kotter & Hesket, 1992, p.11; Pettigrew, 1990, p.415; Deal and Kennedy, 1982, p.5), examined the relationship between overall performance of organizations and organizational culture. Another part of the studies focused on the examination of the association, not only between organizational culture and climate, but/and also between relevant organizational issues such as person-environment fit, creativity, innovation or managerial values (Fey & Beamish, 2001; Kirsh, 2000; Wallace, Hunts & Richards, 1999; Amabile, 1996; Ahmed, 1998; Verbeke, Volgering & Hessels, 1998; O’Reilly, 1991).

The mechanism which shapes the nature of the match between culture and climate is purely about the human side of organizations, linking these two concepts to each other. The key point is that these two concepts exist in work settings, and contrary to the general belief they are not mutually exclusive (Ashkanasy & Jackson, 2001, p.402). Denison (1996) gives an example of overlapping conceptual dimensions in the relevant literature in relation to the use of risk-taking dimension as a conceptual dimension of organizational culture as Litwin and Stringer (1968) suggested, or like Chatman (1989) who accepted risk-taking as one of the conceptual dimensions of organizational climate. As academicians and researchers, all we can say is that there is a blurred but potential link (Wallace, Hunt, Richards, 1999) between organizational culture and climate.


Sampling procedure

The study was conducted in four well-known organizations located in two major cities (Istanbul and Kayseri) of Turkey. There were a total of 73 employees (senior staff excluded) in the first company (organization A), operating in the finance sector with a total of 41 responses yielded a response rate of 56.2%.

The second company (organization B) was a large-scale organization, operating for almost 10 years in the textile sector with a number of branches both domestic and international. It had five main divisions and the ‘marketing department’ as a functional unit, was included in the sample. There were 50 employees and all of them responded. The main reason of this selection is related to the homogeneity of a single department as suggested by Hofstede’s (1998); “theoretically it is obvious that in order to be a meaningful subject for the study of its organizational culture, a unit should be reasonably homogeneous with regard to the cultural characteristics studied …” (p.1).

The third company (organization C) which was operating in the manufacturing sector had only 43 employees at different managerial levels apart from assembly line workers. Of these, 33 responded to the questionnaire. A total of 30 questionnaires were taken into account because of the high amount of missing values.

The fourth and the last one (organization D) which was one of the leading pharmaceutical distribution companies, had a total of 81 employees, and the sample frame covered all of them. A total of 54 responses yielded a response rate of 67%.

Two different sampling procedures were applied in the present study. The first sample frame covered all of the managerial and administrative staff from the first three organizations (A, B and C), and the sample size comprised 121 respondents. The second sampling frame which included organizations A, B and D covered 145 respondents. The reason for the creation of two different data bases were due to both the use of three different measurement instruments for data collection purposes, and the comparison of the outcomes of the data analyses in a more reliable manner.

The climate questionnaire was necessarily used for all of the organizations. The Denison Questionnaire was used for organization A and C, while Wallach’s Organizational Culture Index (OCI) was employed for organizations A, B and D for making comparisons. Regarding the first data base, there were two sets of data collection one of which was for organizations A and B with a sample size comprising 91 respondents. The second one covered 71 respondents who were the members of organizations A and C. That is why the first sampling frame that included 162 different responses for 121 members of the three organizations were the main data base.

Another data base was created by including organization D along with organizations A and B, covering 145 responses. The second data base was only used to see whether there are similarities with the outcomes of previous analyses regarding the first sample frame.

Measurement devices

Three different instruments are employed for this study:

1. The organizational climate questionnaire: This measurement instrument developed in this study (see Appendix 1A), was based, mainly, on the Organizational Climate Questionnaire (Litwin and Stringer, 1968), and the study of Schneider, Brief and Guzzo (1996) as well as other leading scholars’ studies (Kirsh, 2000: Fey & Beamish, 2001; Jones & James, 1979). Each of the measurement devices that were developed by the above cited scholars have differing numbers of conceptual elements (up to 50 items) depending upon both their own perspectives and the complexity of the measurement. This is a 6-point Likert scale ranging from ‘totally agree’ (6) to ‘totally disagree’ (1). It comprises 26 items capturing the10 dimensions of the concept of organizational climate (20 items), and also contains 6 items about socio-demographics.

Appendix 1A displays a detailed description of the conceptual dimensions of organizational climate questionnaire. These conceptual dimensions, which were operationalized in this study, were selected according to the frequency of their usage and the importance given by above cited scholars and the author. The final design of the questionnaire is based on the results of four different studies (Yahyagil & Deniz, 2004; Yahyagil, 2003; Dikmen & Yahyagil, 2001; Yahyagil, 2001) conducted in Turkey. The factor and reliability analyses that were performed for these studies indicated that this measurement instrument was both valid and reliable (Cronbach alpha = .90). The translation of the 20 items of the climate questionnaire is also given in Appendix 1B as for complementary information.

2. The second measurement instrument is the Organizational Culture Index (OCI) originally developed by Wallach (1983). This instrument measures three major cultural dimensions, bureaucracy, innovation, and support. This is a 4-point Likert scale that includes 24 items ranging from ‘does not describe my organization’ to ‘describes my organization most of the time’. It is, in fact, a 24-item adjectival trait questionnaire ranging from 0 to 3. This instrument was especially preferred for this study since it creates the cultural profile of an organization based on perceptual descriptions of the members of the organization (Yahyagil, 2004). This instrument was translated into Turkish by a team of organizational behaviorists and was tested in two different pilot studies. Its internal consistency reliabilities were between (C.Alpha) .68 and .72 that indicated statistical significance (See, Hair et al. 1998).

3. The third measurement instrument is the short (36-item) version of Denison’s Organizational Culture Questionnaire. Denison and Mishra (1995) examined the cultural attributes of an organization within two categories as the internal integration and external orientations of organizations. Each category was divided into two main dimensions as four cultural traits.

The cultural traits of involvement and consistency are related to

internal dynamics while the traits of adaptability and mission are

related to external environment of organizations. Each trait has

four main conceptual dimensions and each of them is composed of

three sub dimensions totaling 4 x 3 = 12 dimensions. Each sub

dimension comprises 5 items, and giving a total of 60 items to

measure the concept of organizational culture.

Denison’s measurement instrument was first translated into Turkish by Goksen (2001), and then it was revised and used in another study (Ic2n, 2002). Finally, the original instrument was examined, and 2 items were excluded from each sub-dimension for the sake of a better adaptation to the Turkish context. In this process, similar items and the ones that might be interpreted incorrectly because of the cultural and linguistic and cultural differences of Turkish people (i.e. 1-‘Teamwork is used to get the work done rather than hierarchy’ and 2- People work like they are part of a team’) were removed. As an example, the removal of the second item is due to the fact that members of Turkish organizations consider themselves as team members, but what they generally mean is to work with others in their department or division where they work The 36-item version of Denison’s measurement device consists of four main and twelve sub-dimensions, each of which covers three items instead of five items. There is also a validity and reliability study of the short version of the Denison Questionnaire by (Yahyagil, 2004).


The results of the analyses for the climate questionnaire indicated a reliability coefficient value (C. alpha) of (.91) for organizations A, B, and C, and (.88) for organization D. The reliability coefficient value (C. alpha) of Wallach’s OCI was (.78) for organizations A, B and (0.79) for organization D, while it was (.87) regarding the Denison Questionnaire for both organizations, namely A and C. All of these values indicated statistically satisfactory results for all of the measurement instruments.

Three exploratory factor analyses (with eigenvalues greater than one) were performed (varimax rotation with Kaiser normalization) to explore the underlying structure of the observed variables for understanding the match between theoretical constructions and the observed data. A principal component analysis of a 20-item climate measurement instrument indicated the KMO measure of overall sampling adequacy as .846 (p<. 000), and extracted five factors with, and accounted for 67 % of the total variance.

The second principal component analysis of the 24-item Wallach’s organizational culture instrument had a KMO measure of overall sampling adequacy as .758 (p<. 000), and yielded seven factors that accounted for 70% of the total variance. The final factor analysis of the 36-item Denison short version organizational culture instrument had a KMO measure of overall sampling adequacy of .708 (p<. 000), with 9 factors extracted, and accounted for 70% of the total variance.

The second set of exploratory factor analyses were conducted by entering the main conceptual dimensions (not the individual items) of all three questionnaires. Ten main conceptual dimensions of organizational climate, and four main conceptual dimensions of Denison’s culture concept were entered as independent variables for performing the first exploratory factor analysis (with eigenvalues greater than one and varimax rotation with Kaiser normalization) to assess whether there would be a meaningful factor structure. The analysis indicated a KMO value of .845 (p<. 000), and yielded two factors accounting for 59% of the common variance. The first factor included nine main climatic dimensions out of ten, and the second factor was composed of all four cultural traits (dimensions) together with a supportive climatic dimension as presented in Table 1.

As Kline (1994) explains principal component analysis provides a matrix of correlations, and the factor loadings are the correlations of the variables with the factors (p.40). Regarding the findings, which are related to Denison’s questionnaire, indicated that cultural and climatic variables were assigned into two different (components) groups as climatic features and cultural traits. Such a separation, which is meaningful regarding the observation of cultural and climatic variables empirically, and indicative of the construct validity of the measurement instruments, has been used in the present study.

The second factor analysis was performed in the same manner as the previous one. Ten main climatic dimensions and three main dimensions of Wallach’s culture concept were entered as independent variables. The analysis (See, Table 2) resulted in a KMO value of .870 (p< .001), and yielded two factors accounting for 57 % of the common variance. Three points deserved attention. The first one was the separation of bureaucratic culture dimension from the rest of the cultural and climatic variables. The second one was the combination of innovative cultural dimension with the two climatic variables of risk-taking and decision making. Finally, the third one was the blend of supportive cultural dimension with most of the climatic variables similar to the composition of Denison's involvement trait with climatic variables (See, appendices 4 and 5). All indicated the validity of the measurement instruments and the existence of logical as well as the meaningful composition of cultural and climatic variables. Furthermore, since the third factor's initial eigenvalue was exactly 1.000 as shown in the scree plot (See Appendix: 2), this result was taken into account in the set of confirmatory factor analysis.

Three sets of confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) which were based on the maximum likelihood procedure were performed following the exploratory factor analyses to determine whether the number and loadings of observed variables would confirm the predicted factor structure. The first confirmatory factor analysis was performed to understand whether or not main cultural dimensions (the Denison questionnaire) and climatic dimensions were separated from each other. For this analysis, the KMO value was .845 and p .05) and the chi-square value should be large (George and Mallery, 2001) regarding the outcomes of this test are concerned.

The pattern matrix indicated two factors, and the solution explained 60 % of the total data variance. While one of the factors consisted of all the main climatic dimensions together with Denison’s involvement trait, the second factor was composed of the remaining three cultural traits.

While the overlaps were the indicators of core conceptual dimensions (i.e. interpersonal relations, communication, nature of work) among the concepts of organizational culture and climate, the interdependence between the involvement trait of Denison’s culture concept, and certain climatic features (Table No: 3) were suggesting reciprocal relationships between the relevant variables.

The second CFA was conducted in the same manner for ten main climatic and three main cultural dimensions (Wallach’s culture index). The number of factors to be extracted was specified as three factors based on the result of previous principal component analysis. For the outcome of this analysis, the KMO value was .870 at a high significance level (p< .000), and the result accounted for 64% of the total variance (See, Table 4). The goodness of fit test indicates good model fit (chi-square = 53.451, df = 42, p = .111). The results indicate that the interdependence, specified a priori exists between observed values and their underlying latent constructs. Since the components share a common variance following a nonorthogonal rotation (promax), the total amount of variance, which is satisfactory, is explained by three factors.

The interpretations were based on a pattern matrix, which provides partial correlations between basic conceptual dimensions and factors after rotation. While the first factor indicated high degrees of correlations between the majorities of climatic dimensions with supportive culture, the second factor included only innovative type of culture with an extremely large loading, and should therefore be interpreted as an independent component. In contrast, the third factor included the bureaucratic culture dimension with a significant negative sign together with two basic climatic dimensions namely, decision-making and risk taking. The overlaps among basic dimensions (See Table 5) represent the quality of interdependence between the concepts of organizational culture and climate especially in the light of the general characteristics of the two organizations.

As it is displayed in Table 6, a correlation analysis was used to see the relationships between multiple climatic and cultural dimensions. Wallach’s main cultural and climatic dimensions were entered only in this analysis. The outcome indicated that the relationships between innovative cultural dimension, and innovation (.48), risk taking (.35) and decision making (.31) statistically significant and meaningful. The same climatic dimensions together with support (.62) and team work (.66) were also correlated significantly with supportive cultural dimension. Similar results were obtained regarding Denison’s main cultural traits and climatic dimensions. As it is presented in appendices 4 and 5, almost identical results were also obtained as outcomes of the factor plots of two different factor analyses.

Furthermore, a set of regression analyses was also performed to understand which climatic dimensions explained the four main cultural dimensions within the context of Denison’s organizational culture model. The outcomes of the analyses (See Table 7 & 8) indicated that the climatic dimensions of interpersonal relations and communication explained 46.4% of the cultural trait of involvement while the dimensions of innovation and support explained 25% of the cultural trait of consistency. For Wallach’s culture index, the climatic variables of team work, innovation and reward mechanism accounted nearly %30 of the variance in the variable of supportive cultural dimension.

These findings were not only statistically meaningful, but also revealed important empirical evidence. The climatic variables of innovation, communication, support and interpersonal relations had statistically considerable beta weight in explaining the variance of the cultural dimensions.

The result of a final factor analysis which was based on the second data base (covering Organizations A, B and D) was run by entering 10 main climatic dimensions together with 3 cultural dimensions of Wallach (See Table 9) for comparison reasons regarding the previous analyses. This final factor analysis had a KMO value of (.902) at a very high level statistical significance (p=.000), yielding 3 factors explaining the 62% of the total variance. The most striking outcome of this analysis was related to the bureaucratic culture dimension which was totally separated from all of the variables, while supportive and innovative culture were together with innovative, risk taking, reward mechanism and the nature of work as the main climatic features. This result deserved attention because all of the analyses were able to indicate that three main cultural dimensions with corresponding climatic ones were separated from each other in a similar way in spite of the fact that Organization D, regarding Wallach’s OCI, was perceived as being equally bureaucratic and innovative by the members of relevant organization, in compare to organizations A and B (See Appendix 3). Furthermore, a regression analysis (See table 10) was used both to see the nature of the relationship between the main climatic dimensions and Wallach’s culture dimensions as well as the comparison of these results with the outcomes of previous (See Table 7 and 8) regression analyses.


Since there has been no agreement on the conceptual dimensions of organizational culture and climate, it was the assumption of the investigator to compare the outcomes of the use of different measurement instruments. They have been developed for measuring the same concepts, and the comparisons were based on different conceptual models to see whether or not there was a statistically meaningful association.

The research findings were able to indicate a fit between the concepts of organizational culture and climate due to the outcomes of a set of factor analyses which indicated a meaningful composition of cultural and climatic variables. What is meant by a meaningful composition of the variables is related to the separation and the blend of the cultural attributes and climatic features. Regarding Denison’s organizational culture model (See, Appendix 4), the involvement trait which includes sub-dimensions of empowerment, team orientation, and capability development linked with all of the climatic dimensions. Similarly, in terms of Wallach’s culture index, organizational values, which are relevant to the bureaucratic cultural nature of organizations, were separated from the rest of the cultural attributes indicating the importance of organizational structure (See, Appendix:5), and the flexibility for executing daily business activities. The innovative and supportive cultural characteristics of organizations indicated a strong association with the corresponding climatic features of organizations.

The findings of this study, to a certain extent, supported Denison’s (1996) conclusion that these two concepts address a common phenomenon (p.646). If certain cultural attributes of several organizations indicated a statistically significant relationship with the corresponding climatic features of the organizations in a part of the world, this could be accepted as a fit between these concepts. Furthermore this fit between the concepts of organizational culture and climate has certain characteristics regarding the interdependence between particular conceptual dimensions. The understanding of the nature of the interaction between organizational culture and climate bears importance not only from the theoretical perspective, but also its practical implications. It would be worth quoting the explanation of Geertz (See Weick, (1981, p.212) “culture moves rather like an octopus too _ not all at once in a smoothly coordinated synergy of parts, a massive coaction of the whole, but disjointed movements of this part (…) which somehow cumulate to directional change.” Although the application of organizational culture and climate fit are bounded with the interpretations of managers of the subject, the assessment of the organizational culture-climate fit could serve as a knowledge-tool for the betterment of organizational activities.

In today’s business world, the application of modern managerial principles for reaching maximum efficiency is needed to survive in a highly competitive medium. The realization of such efficiency depends on the establishment of a strong cultural base, and the creation of a compatible work environment. Neglect on the part of the senior management of organizations to understand their own cultural characteristics and the main features of their work environment is likely to prevent them from realizing organizational goals efficiently.

Today’s organizations have been spending much effort in adapting themselves both to implement new business strategies such as e-business, and to take new measures for reaching better organizational performance as a result of the rapid acceleration of new technological developments. Considering this fact, today’s managers have focused on understanding how work environments enhance creativity leading to an innovative organization. Creativity theories simply underline the fact that contextual factors of work environments can influence individuals’ creative behavior (Shalley, Gilson & Blum, 2000). In terms of the role of organizational culture in promoting innovation, O’Reilly (1989) emphasizes the functional role of widely shared norms held by members of an organization. In this regard, an attempt which might be made for the betterment of certain work conditions such as the introduction of flexible work hours and increment of job complexity would have been adequate unless senior management valued innovative ideas and supported them even if some of them were awkward proposals. In such a situation, a rigorous analysis of organizational culture and climate fit, in the light of the outcomes of the present study, would have been of help to introduce new organizational values, contextual modifications, and to make decisions on the nature of training and development programs for fostering creativity in organizations. As O’Reilly (1989) states, “for a strategy to be successfully implemented, it requires an appropriate culture (…) they sometimes fail because the underlying shared values do not support the new approach “(p.17).

The expansion of O’Reilly’s remark to the outcomes of this study would suggest nothing, but a significant need to activate organizational values in a compatible work environment for the achievement of organizational change strategies. Such a necessity is able to indicate the fact that there should be a fit between organizational culture and climate. Otherwise, neither imposing new organizational values nor making some modifications in the work atmosphere of work places would be of any help in reaching an effective organizational functioning.

The assessment of the match between the concepts of organizational culture and climate will also be of importance for human resource managers. Furthermore, the contemporary interpretation of the relation between human resources management, culture and climate are four folds (Ashkanasy & Jackson, 2001, p. 406) as attachment, commitment, socialization, and careers. Today’s human resources managers would not only look at the outcomes of different studies such as the assessment of P-O fit for selection purposes, but also assess the level of match between cultural characteristics of their organizations and corresponding climatic features. Such an assessment would serve to determine three important facets of managerial functioning. Firstly, it would be an effective tool for analyzing employee perceptions related to the application of basic managerial principles (i.e. the effectiveness of communication channels, degree of involvement both in business activities and in the decision-making processes). Secondly, it would be of help both for the interpretation of organizational values (organizational culture), and for making necessary modifications by senior management to achieve desired employee behaviors. Thirdly, human resources departments of organizations may find a practical use in the assessment of the fit between organizational culture and climate prior to the use of P-O fit analyses for selecting the right person for the right job.

In terms of the differences both in organizational attributes and the personality characteristics of individuals, there is a need for future research to understand the predictive validity of the match between organizational culture and climate by means of focusing on propositions such as a higher level of fit between organizational values (culture) and basic features of work atmosphere O’Reilly (1991, p.512) would indicate a higher level of P-O fit in relation to certain affective employee attitudes such as job satisfaction, commitment, organizational citizenship and willingness to recommend one’s organization.

In sum, the outcomes of the present study provide empirical evidence that the concepts of organizational culture and climate, which are profound and fundamental components of organizations, are dependent on each other and combine the entire managerial system of corporations. From the organizational behaviorist’s perspective, an attempt to expand the concepts of organizational culture and climate is likely to lead to he acceptance of the idea that there is a construct which might be defined as the ‘organizational octopus’ as discussed by Weick (1981), following Geertz as a metaphoric but a functional term.

Appendix 1A

The 10 Conceptual Dimension of Organizational Climate

Litwin & Schneider,

Stringer Brief

& Guzzo

1- Formalization

Q.1 F.1 x x

Q.8 F.2 x x

2- Support

Q.3 S.1 x x

Q.13 S.2 x x

3- Nature of Work

Q.6 WN.1 x

Q.12 WN.2 x x

4- Reward

Q.4 RW.1 x x

Q.18 RW.2 x x

5- Interpersonal Relations

Q.10 Int.1 x x

Q.15 Int.2 x x

6-Risk Taking

Q.11 R1

Q.14 R.1 x x

7- Communication

Q.2 C.1

Q.16 C.2 x

8- Innovation

Q.9 Inv.1 x

Q.19 Inv.2

9- Decision Making

Q.5 Decm.1 x

Q.20 Decm.2

10- Team–work

Q.7 TW.1 x

Q.17 TW.2

Fey & Jones & Kirsh

Beamish James

1- Formalization

Q.1 F.1 x x

Q.8 F.2

2- Support

Q.3 S.1 x x

Q.13 S.2 x x

3- Nature of Work

Q.6 WN.1 x

Q.12 WN.2 x

4- Reward

Q.4 RW.1 x

Q.18 RW.2 x x

5- Interpersonal Relations

Q.10 Int.1 x x x

Q.15 Int.2 x x x

6-Risk Taking

Q.11 R1

Q.14 R.1 x

7- Communication

Q.2 C.1 x

Q.16 C.2 x x

8- Innovation

Q.9 Inv.1 x

Q.19 Inv.2 x

9- Decision Making

Q.5 Decm.1 x x

Q.20 Decm.2 x x

10- Team – work

Q.7 TW.1 x x

Q.17 TW.2

Appendix 1B

English version of the Organizational Climate Questionnaire (20 items / 6 point-Likert scale)

Q1) clearly defined jobs and business procedures

Q2) information given about organizational activities

Q3) getting assistance from top-management

Q4) reward in proportion to involvement in business strategies

Q5) involvement in decision-making process

Q6) challenging nature of work

Q7) emphasis given to teamwork

Q8) red tape is kept to a minimum

Q9) new and original ideas to receive consideration

Q10) warm relations between peers and superiors

Q11) having freedom and autonomy

Q12) motivating nature of work

Q13) availability of peer support

Q14) risk taking encouraged

Q15) easy-going work atmosphere

Q16) accessibility to information on job flow

Q17) efficient team work

Q18) recognition in proportion to individual performance

Q19) management welcomes new ideas and changes

Q20) emphasis on involvement in decision-making process

Appendix 2


Appendix 3: The Differences in the Mean Values of Wallach’s Cultural


Organization A B D

Bureaucratic 1.81 1.95 1.97

Innovative 2.07 2.38 1.95

Supportive 1.88 2.04 1.79

Appendix 4


Appendix 5



(1) This study is the second part of a research project based on the findings of a pioneering study the title of which is “The Interdependence between the Concepts of Organizational Culture and Climate: An Empirical Investigation” included two organizations only and published by The University of Istanbul, Turkey (See the reference list).


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Table 1: Factor Analysis Scores for the Main Dimensions of Climate and

Denison’s Culture Concept

Variables Component 1 Component 2

Decision-Making .867

Reward Mechanism .839

Interpersonal Relations .744 .412

Communication .656 .454

Team Work .654

Risk Taking .649

Innovation .581 .485

Formalization .560 .447

Nature of Work .467 .416

Adaptation Trait .873

Mission Trait .817

Consistency Trait .759

Involvement Trait .549 .561

Support .407 .510

Eigenvalues 6.81 1.56

Proportion of variance 33.4 26.4

Note: Principal Component Analysis with Kaizer Normalization. Bolds

represent main cultural traits

Table 2.: Factor Analysis Scores for the Main Dimensions of Climate and

Wallach’s Culture Concept

Variables Component 1 Component 2

Formalization .810

Support .772

Communication .761

Supportive .753

Reward Mechanism .717

Team Work .677

Nature of Work .671

Interpersonal Relations .658

Innovation .556 .553

Bureaucracy .717

Risk Taking .701

Decision Making .426 .640

Innovative .416

Eigenvalues 5.96 1.40

Proportion variance 45.9 10.8

Note: Principal Component Analysis with Kaizer Normalization. Bolds

represent main cultural traits.

Table 3: Pattern Matrix Scores for the Main Dimensions of Climate

and Denison’s Culture Concept

Variables Component 1 Component 2

Decision Making .967

Reward Mechanism .869

Interpersonal Relations .743

Team Work .647

Risk Taking .623

Communication .604

Innovation .518

Involvement Trait .472

Formalization .462

Adaptation Trait 1.012

Mission Trait .824

Consistency Trait .634

Note: Bolds represent main cultural traits.

Table 4. Pattern Matrix Scores for the Main Dimensions of Climate and

Wallach’s Culture Concept_

Variables Component 1 Component 2 Component 3

Formalization .886

Support .830

Interpersonal Relations .751

Reward Mechanism .734

Supportive Culture .729

Communication .727

Team Work .690

Nature of Work .651

Innovation .502

Innovative Culture 1.036

Decision Making .689

Bureaucratic Culture -.420

Risk Taking

Note: Bolds represent main

Table 5: Structure Matrix Scores for the Main Dimensions of Climate and

Wallach’s Culture Concept_

variables Component 1 Component 2 Component 3

Support .787

Supportive Culture .785 .524

Communication .760 .405

Formalization .717

Interpersonal Relations .716 .437

Innovation .680 .506 .405

Reward Mechanism .675

Team Work .674

Nature of Work .663

Innovative Culture .417 .997

Decision Making .608 .823

Risk Taking .504 .425 .554

Bureaucratic culture

Note: Bolds represent main

Table 6: The correlations between Wallach’s 3 main cultural

and 10 main climatic dimensions

Dimensions Totform Totcom Totsuprt

Supportive .53 ** .58 ** .62 **


Innovative .27 * .31 ** .23 *


Dimensions Totrewrd Totdcsm Totwnatr

Supportive .56 ** .39 ** .49 **


Innovative .30 ** .31 ** .30 **


Dimensions Totteam Totinnov

Supportive .66 ** .63 **


Innovative .28 ** .48 **


Dimensions Totintpr Totrisk

Supportive .54 ** .38 **


Innovative — .35 **


(*) Denotes significance level of .05

(**) Denotes significance level of .001

Table 7: Linear regression with climatic variables as independents and

each of Denison’s cultural traits as dependent ones

Variables [beta] t [R.sup.2]

Interpersonal relations .47 4.18 .42

Communication .27 2.38 .46

Involvement trait (Dependent)

Innovation .36 3.23 .20

Support .23 2.1 .25

Consistency trait (Dependent)

Innovation .38 3.59 .24

Support .32 3.04 .33

Adaptation trait (Dependent)

Communication .35 3.12 .22

Innovation .27 2.42 28

Mission trait (Dependent)

Variables [DELTA] [DELTA] F p


Interpersonal relations .42 49.7 .000

Communication .04 5.67 .02

Involvement trait (Dependent)

Innovation .20 17.06 .000

Support .05 4.38 .04

Consistency trait (Dependent)

Innovation .24 22.1 .000

Support .09 9.25 .003

Adaptation trait (Dependent)

Communication .22 19.41 .000

Innovation .06 5.89 .018

Mission trait (Dependent)

Note: Beta values are standardized regression coefficients.

Table 8: Linear regression with climatic variables as independents and

each of Wallach’s cultural dimensions as dependent ones

Variables [beta] t [R.sup.2]

Team work dimension .39 4.93 .43

Innovation .32 3.98 .12

Reward .27 2.38 .05

Supportive culture (Dependent)

Innovation .38 3.61 .22

Risk taking .21 1.99 .04

Innovative culture (Dependent)

Variables [DELTA] [DELTA] F p


Team work dimension .42 63.9 .000

Innovation .12 52.1 .000

Reward .05 42.9 .02

Supportive culture (Dependent)

Innovation .21 24.86 .000

Risk taking .03 14.84 .000

Innovative culture (Dependent)

Note: Beta values are standardized regression coefficients.

No predictors for bureaucratic culture dimension.

Table 9: Factor Analysis Scores for the Main Dimensions of Climate

and Wallach’s Culture Concept

Variables Component 1 Component 2 Component 3

Innovative culture .809

Supportive culture .747

Innovation .744

Risk taking .583 .442

Nature of work .531 .480

Communication .821

Team work .701

Interpersonal Relations .641

Decision making .631

Formalization .512 .573

Support .503 .567

Bureaucratic culture .957

Eigenvalues 5.88 1.10 1.03

Proportion of variance 45.3 8.5 7.9

Note: Principal Component Analysis with Kaizer Normalization.

Bolds represent Wallach’s main cultural dimensions.

Table 10: Linear regression with climatic variables as independents

and each of Wallach’s cultural dimensions as dependent ones

Variables [beta] t [R.sup.2]

Innovation 0.31 4.42 42.00%

Reward 0.27 4.00 11.00%

Team work 0.25 3.93 5.00%

Risk taking 0.18 2.88 2.00%

Supportive culture (Dependent)

Innovation 0.45 5.89 28.00%

Risk taking 0.17 2.25 3.00%

Innovative culture (Dependent)

Variables [DELTA][R.sup.2] [DELTA]F p

Innovation 0.42 102.7 .000

Reward 0.11 78.9 .000

Team work 0.05 63.0 .000

Risk taking 0.02 51.8 .000

Supportive culture (Dependent)

Innovation 0.28 56.5 .000

Risk taking 0.03 31.6 .000

Innovative culture (Dependent)

Note: Beta values are standardized regression coefficients.

No predictors for bureaucratic culture dimension.

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