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Organisational Culture:Concept, Context, and Measurement(In Two Volumes)


  • Elizabeth Kummerow

    (The University of Adelaide, Australia)

  • Neil Kirby

    (The University of Adelaide, Australia)


In 1989, the prominent organisational culture scholar, Stephen Ott, lamented what he saw as the failure of the organisational culture perspective to have the kind of lasting influence ¡ª whether empirical, or in terms of its contribution to practice ¡ª that had been hoped for. In attempting to explain this state of affairs, Ott observed that: ¡°Some of the most important unanswered questions are methodological, and without methodological advancement, the perspective will not achieve maturity.¡± The situation today, more than two decades after Ott voiced these concerns, is that academics, researchers, and practitioners alike continue to struggle with the question of how best to decipher and measure an organisation's culture. Organisational Culture: Concept, Context and Measurement (In Two Volumes) aims to encourage an agenda for organisational culture research that gives a renewed emphasis to methodological issues. In pursuit of this aim, consideration is given to both conceptual questions and questions of measurement. In Volume I of the book, the main focus is on the concept of organisational culture. Based on an analysis and critique of existing treatments, as well as a comparison of organisational culture with a number of closely related concepts, consideration is given to how the concept might usefully be elaborated and further refined. In Volume II of the book, the focus is on methodological issues. Drawing on the findings of a series of empirical studies conducted over a number of years, consideration is given to what would be required to develop a measure for organisational culture that is practically useful and also capable of accessing culture at its deepest, and arguably most influential yet most elusive, level. In particular, an approach is advocated that seeks to contextualise organisational culture, in terms of various time and experience domains, and that also promotes the use of attributions analysis as a means whereby to further understand culture at this level. A valuable resource for scholars and practitioners alike, the book provides readers who are interested in understanding the role and influence of culture in organisations with a comprehensive analysis of the development and application of the organisational culture concept. For readers who are interested in conducting research into the measurement and practical application of organisational culture, the book provides a methodological approach that can be used to guide their research. Contents: Volume I: The Concept: Organisational Culture: Development and Early Application Conceptualising Organisational Culture Describing Organisational Culture: Structure, Strength, and Differentiation Related Concepts: Organisational Climate and National Culture Social Representations Measurement and Context: Deciphering Organisational Culture Introduction to a Contextual Framework Volume II: Exploring Method: An Exploratory Study of Organisational Culture (Study 1) Piloting a Prototype Method (Study 2) Analysis Context: Towards a Refinement of the Method (Study 3, Part 1) The Use of Semi-Structured Interviewing (Study 3, Part 2) The Operationalisation of Context (Study 3, Part 3) Evaluation and Further Research: A Contextual Analysis of Organisational Culture: Evaluation and Recommendations for Future Research Developing Attributions Analysis for Assessing Organisational Culture Readership: Advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students in organisational psychology and business (including students enrolled in coursework and/or research Masters and PhD programs); organisational psychology or business academics engaged in organisational culture research; organisational change agents and consultants involved in change programs related directly or indirectly to organisational culture. Key Features: Reviews the research literature on organisational culture and related concepts including organisational climate, national culture and social representations and addresses issues of integration and differentiation within and between these concepts Describes a comprehensive contextual framework that takes time and experience into account, and that can serve as a basis for understanding the development of different organisational cultures and how they are maintained or changed over time Provides an empirical illustration of a methodology based on a contextual approach to understanding organisational culture that can be used to effectively and efficiently measure the deeper-level beliefs and assumptions that constitute arguably the most influential aspect of the concept in practice

Suggested Citation

  • Elizabeth Kummerow & Neil Kirby, 2013. "Organisational Culture:Concept, Context, and Measurement(In Two Volumes)," World Scientific Books, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., number 7146.
  • Handle: RePEc:wsi:wsbook:7146

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    More about this item


    Organisational Culture; Origins; Historical Development; Popularisation; Measurement; Context; Attributions; Climate; Social Representations; Change; Field Research;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L00 - Industrial Organization - - General - - - General


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