Corporate culture: an investigation into the operationalisation of the concept and into divergences between management and staff

Rietmann, Konrad (2013) Corporate culture: an investigation into the operationalisation of the concept and into divergences between management and staff. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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Abstract

Studies on corporate culture are mostly limited to samples drawn from management, and the integrative view of corporate culture as something unique within an organisation still dominates in the literature. Such a unitary stance bears the risk that cultural divergences in corporations remain undetected, thereby limiting the value of research on corporate culture. A further aspect found in the literature is the complexity and variety ascribed to corporate culture, which exacerbates practical implementation of the concept. The operationalisation of the cultural concept is still a prevalent problem not yet completely resolved. This research addresses these two concerns. The researcher conducted this research at Post CH Ltd. The study incorporated the design and implementation of a tailored survey, based on cultural dimensions from the literature, items from Swiss Post’s employee survey, and data from semi-structured qualitative interviews with members of top management. The survey involved employees of Post CH Ltd from all hierarchical levels, selected by proportionate stratified random sampling. The two thirds of the questionnaire recipients who responded could also comment on an optional open question. The researcher then analysed the qualitative and quantitative data in order to discover the degree of alignment on corporate culture. Finally, recommendations were elaborated on how to mitigate the explored divergences between management and employees. This research provides contributions in two distinct areas: first, it demonstrates that the perception of a unitary corporate culture is not always tenable. The researcher found distinctive and statistically significant divergences in corporate culture, as staff in line management positions are considerably more positive in their perception of corporate culture compared to employees without management responsibilities. Using content analysis, the researcher further discovered divergences in the perception of corporate culture between top management and employees. Second, it demonstrated the successful operationalisation of corporate culture research into practical application, by offering a thorough, concrete, specific, and tailored approach, contributing to a more practitioner friendly usage of the concept of corporate culture. The methods used here can be applied to other organisations in a similar way. Keywords: Corporate culture; organisational culture; cultural divergences; cultural fit; organisational change; organisational performance; Swiss Post; Post CH Ltd.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Nichol, Lynnlnichol@glos.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Agathangelou, Tonyaagathangelou@glos.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Uncontrolled Keywords: Corporate culture; organisational culture; cultural divergences; cultural fit; organisational change; organisational performance; Swiss Post; Post CH Ltd; Switzerland
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Business School > Business and Human Resource Management
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 08 May 2014 11:54
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2016 15:38
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/647

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