Police organizational culture and commitment

Material Information

Police organizational culture and commitment the relationship between the individual's perception of organizational culture and continuance, instrumental, and normative commitment in police personnel
Tantratian, Manote
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
xvii, 317 pages : forms ;


Subjects / Keywords:
Police -- Attitudes -- Case studies -- United States ( lcsh )
Organizational behavior -- Case studies -- United States ( lcsh )
Corporate culture -- Case studies -- United States ( lcsh )
Corporate culture ( fast )
Organizational behavior ( fast )
Police -- Attitudes ( fast )
United States ( fast )
Case studies. ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Case studies ( fast )


Includes bibliographical references (pages 272-317).
General Note:
School of Public Affairs
Statement of Responsibility:
by Manote Tantratian.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
38175076 ( OCLC )

Full Text
Manote Tantratian
B.P.A.(Police), Royal Thai Police Academy, Thailand, 1985
M.P.A., University of Missouri Columbia, 1989
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Public Administration

1995 by Manote Tantratian
All rights reserved.

This Thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
degree by
Manote Tantratian
has been approved
John Parr

Tantratian, Manote (Ph.D., Public Administration)
j Police Organizational Culture And Commitment: The
I Relationship Between the Individual's Perception of
| Organizational Culture and Continuance,
Instrumental, and Normative Commitment in Police
| Thesis directed by Assistant Professor Linda deLeon
This cross-sectional multivariate correlational
survey study explores the issues associated with
organizational culture and commitment in police agencies.
It identifies, from the perspective of the individuals,
the perception of organizational culture and
organizational commitment, empirically illustrates their
existence and relationships, and considers implications
for the practice of police administration.
A total of 488 respondents from six small- to mid-
size municipal police departments in the same state and
geographic location of the Rocky Mountain region
voluntarily participated in this study. Three dimensions

of organizational commitment -- Continuance,
Instrumental, and Normative -- were measured. Factor
analysis of scores measuring the individual's perception
of the organization's value characteristics defines five
components of organizational culture: Progressive,
Coordinative, Outcome-oriented, Details-oriented, and
The results from multiple regression analyses
demonstrate that a sizable part of the instrumental and
normative dimensions of organizational commitment can be
explained by the individual's perception of
organizational culture, while much less of the
continuance commitment can be so explained. The
individual's perception of the agency as having a strong
"Liberal" values (estimated by the sheaf coefficient of
the Progressive and Coordinative components of
organizational culture) is related to lower levels of
continuance and instrumental commitment and higher levels
of normative commitment. Similarly, the perceived high
Certainty-oriented values are associated with lower
levels of Instrumental commitment and a high level of
Normative commitment. The individual's job level,
however, appears to moderate these relationships.
The findings of this study have two clear
implications for police administration: first, a
direction for an organization's diagnosis, change, and

development efforts; and second, the need for an
understanding of the individuals within the workforce.
Since there has been relatively little research done on
either police organizational culture or the individual's
organizational commitment in relation to the
administration of a police organization per se, this
study provides needed practical and theoretical
understandings of these issues.
The abstract accurately represents the content of the
candidate's thesis. I recommend its publication.
Linda deLeon
Faculty member in charge of thesis.

This work marks another level of achievement in my
life. The support and assistance of many people helped
make it possible.
First and foremost I want to thank my dissertation
committee: Dr. Linda deLeon, Chairperson of the
committee, especially for the fact that she facilitated
my intellectual growth. Never once has she failed to
fascinate me with her own way of thinking and teaching.
She has respected my judgment and valued my interest in
pursuing the topic of this study. She has strengthened
my courage to stay the course at the darkest moment of
this work. From her, I learnt the supremacy of
perseverance. Dr. Franklin James always showed concern,
caring, and sensitivity to my needs. He never failed to
offer a helping hand and much needed suggestions during
many difficult periods through my years as a doctoral
student. Dr. Sam Overman, Dr. Michael Cortes, and John
Parr, as individuals and as a group, created an
intellectual environment, provided needed guidance,
helpful suggestions, and constructive criticisms for the
development of this work. I am most grateful that these

J phenomenal and remarkable individuals recognized my
| potential, accepted my proposition, and selflessly worked
j with me through each and every step of the dissertation
process- Together, they helped me find my own voice,
j Without them, the completion of this work would have been
| next to impossible. Their encouragement and assistance
i have never gone unnoticed or unappreciated.
| I also want to recognize Dr. Erick Poole who
| tirelessly advised me through the time consuming and
i energy draining statistical analyses employed in this
j study. From him, I learned the invaluable lesson that
persistence and determination are omnipotent. Riki
1 Matthews professionally and carefully proof-read and
! edited versions upon versions, from the first draft to
; final product, of this work. Her contribution is behind
j every word that appears herein. I also owe thanks to
| Andrea Suun, the most exceptional Foreign Student Advisor
I have ever encountered, hard-working co-worker, friend,
' and mentor, who faced with her own challenges, supported
: me through the ups and downs of the course of this long,
I and otherwise dreary, journey. The memory of these
! individuals, their help, and support will be with me,
j I would like to recognize the Royal Thai Police
i Department for granting me the study-leave permission to
j pursue this doctoral education. The University of

Colorado at Denver, Office of Academic Affairs
continuously awarded me the Foreign Scholar status during
the last years of my study. The Graduate School of
Public Affairs, Doctoral Program has supported me through
the incessant granting of assistantships. I would also
like to thank the Office of Student Employment and
Financial Aid and the Bursars Office, particularly, Rod
Anderson, who considerately took time to "translate" the
Scholarship and Grant letters into financial figures.
In addition, to the representatives and all
personnel from the six police departments who partook in
this study, I offer my deepest appreciation. Without
their participation, I would not have this study to
report. And to all my previous teachers, friends,
colleagues, and many anonymous others who have helped
with my living and learning. Without their help and
support, I may have not been able to reach this point.
Finally, I am much obliged to my only brother, Dr.
Sumate Tantratian, who set the standard, by being an
example, and inspired my ambition to be a better student.
Above all, my highest recognition goes to my mother,
Suwan Tantratian, and my father, Police Major Sutum
Tantratian, who have tirelessly raised and continuously
nourished me with unconditional love, caring, and
support. They instilled in me the values of education
and provided the foundation for my being today. This
work is dedicated to them.

TABLES.................................................xv i
1. INTRODUCTION...........................................1
Current Problems in Public Sector: The Call for
Organizational Commitment..............................2
Organizational Culture and Commitment: Connection to
an Alternate Answer....................................8
Growing Concerns .................................... 10
Conceptual Framework of the Study.......................12
Definition and Operationalization of Terms..............14
Research Question and Hypothesis........................16
Significance of This Study..............................17
Significance to Public Administration Theory ........ 18
Significance to Police Administration Practitioners.20
2 . LITERATURE REVIEW....................................24
Ideological and Historical Explorations

Pre-industrial Period ................................. 27
Industrial Period..................................... 29
Humanistic Period ..................................... 30
Pro-Human Relations and Beyond ........................ 32
The "Word Game" : Resolving Some Issues on Commitments...35
Employee/Organization Identification.....................37
Work Commitment.........................................38
Career Commitment ..................................... 39
Job Commitment..........................................40
Union Commitment........................................42
Organizational Commitment ............................. 43
Organizational Commitment...............................4 6
Concepts of Organizational Commitment ................. 47
Framework of Organizational Commitment ................ 48
Consequences and Determinants of Organizational
Organizational Culture...................................57
Philosophies and Foundations of Organizational Culture
Concepts of Organizational Culture .................... 66
Organizational Culture, Climate, and Corporate
Culture: Another "Word Game?" ......................... 70
Frameworks of Organizational Culture .................. 77
Determinants and Consequences of Organizational
Individual-level Perspective of Organizational
Subject of the Study: The Police........................103

Police Commitment ..................................... 106
Police Culture ........................................ 109
On the Changing Ground: The Administration of Police
Statement of the Problem.................................122
Framework of the Study: Police Organizational Culture
and Individual Commitment...............................126
3 . METHODOLOGY............................................131
Research Sites and Subjects..............................132
Instrumentation and Measures ............................133
Pilot Study.............................................141
Components of the "Actual" Survey Instrument .......... 147
Data Collection Procedures...............................152
Method of Processing Data................................156
First Level of Analysis.................................157
Second Level of Analysis................................158
Third Level of Analysis.................................159
Fourth Level of Analysis .............................. 165
Fifth Level of Analysis.................................166
4. FINDINGS...............................................174
Demographic Characteristics of the Respondents ......... 174
Components of Organizational Culture.....................177
Properties of the Instruments............................181

Relationships between Organizational Commitment and Organizational
Continuance Commitment and Organizational Culture . 187
Instrumental Commitment and Organizational Culture 188
Normative Commitment and Organizational Culture . . 190
5. DISCUSSION..............................................192
Present Findings.........................................192
"Liberal" culture and Commitment ..................... 194
Certainty-oriented Culture and Commitment ............ 197
Outcome- and Details-oriented Culture and Commitment200
Job Level as a "Moderating Variable"...................206
Managerial Implications..................................218
Direction for an Organization's Diagnosis, Change, and
Development: Creating a High Commitment Police Force219
Awareness of Work-force Comprehension: Realizing and
Confronting the Difference ........................... 229
Observations on the Instruments..........................236
Measurements of Organizational Commitment ............ 237
Measurement of Organizational Culture ................ 241
Limitations of the Study.................................244
Suggestions for Future Research..........................247
A. POWER ANALYSIS........................................254

B. PILOT STUDY'S INSTRUMENT........................258
C. "ACTUAL" SURVEY INSTRUMENT......................266

2.1. Interpersonal Communication (Hypodermic Needle)
2.2. Intrapersonal Communication Model.................98
2.3. Interactive Communication Model..................100
2.4. Interactive Model of Organizational Culture and
Organizational Commitment: The Individual-Level
Perspective......................................12 8
3.1. Relationships Between a Dimension of
Organizational Commitment (DVs) and Components of
Organizational Culture (IVs) in the Multiple
Regression Equation.....................................169

3.1. Correlation Coefficient Matrix Among Measurement of
Dimensions of Organizational Commitment................144
3.2. Correlation Coefficient Matrix Among Items
Measuring Continuance Commitment.......................146
3.3. Result of the Initial Trial Factoring on the 54
Items Measuring Organizational Culture.................161
3.4. Correlation Coefficient Metrix of Organizational
Culture Value Components...............................163
4.1. Demographic Characteristics of the Respondents......176
4.2. Sorted Results of the Principal Component Analysis
of the Organizational Culture Values Measurement.......179
4.3. Intercorrelation Matrix, Factor Reliability
Coefficient (Theta, or 0) and Scale Reliability
Coefficient (Alpha, or a) .........................183
4.4. Variable Scale, Weighted Descriptive Statistics,
and Normality..........................................184
4.5. Relationship Between Each Dimensions of
Organizational Commitment and the Components of
Organizational Culture.............................186

5.1. Comparison of the Average Weighted-score on
Commitment Dimensions and Cultural Components among
Six (6) Police Departments...........................202
5.2. Multiple Regression Analysis on the Relationship
Between Each Dimensions of Organizational Commitment
and the Components of Organizational Culture by
Organizational Level..........................208
5.3. Mean Weighted-score of Variables by Organizational
5.4. Results of the Trial Factor Analysis on the
Measurements of Organizational Commitment.............239
5.5. Comparison of Values Characteristics Found to
Comprise the Components of the Organizational Culture
(Present Study vs. O'Reilly, Chatman, and Caldwell
[1991]) ..........................................243

This study examined the relationship between
organizational culture and organizational commitment in
one of the most important segments of public service
bureaucracies -- the police.* While the notion of
extrinsic reward has long dominated the philosophy of
motivation in public sectors, the present financial
constraints make such conduct in police agencies neither
practical nor realistic. Instead, the management of
human factors through the utilization of social
reinforcement from organizational culture to create a
self-rewarding work condition (intrinsic rewards) through
organizational commitment has become a promising method
for securing the police personnel's contribution to
better policing.
Because of their unique position in the society, the
police present a clear necessity for a strong individual
commitment toward the work organization, not only because
the appropriate dimension of commitment enhances the
It is important to make clear at this point that the word Police" used here represents the sworn
men and women of every level, rank and position (unless specified otherwise) within law-
enforcement agencies, which include but are not limited to, police, sheriffs, and highway patrol.

individual's retention and effectiveness and secures
maximum performance, but it also serves as an ethical
foundation for individual police officers, who exercise
wide discretion and may use legitimate force in working
directly with the public.
Current Problems in Public
Sector: The Call for
Organizational Commitment.
Every organization, public and private alike, is now
facing threats of economic hardship. This situation
requires organizations to operate in an increasingly
competitive environment with a tighter budget. It calls
for the most efficient and effective way to run a
business in order to get the most for less. The
downsizing and rightsizing strategies are used as tools
to "trim the fat" in business. Ironically, the
"rightsizing" incidents often actually increase
productivity and improve results in the immediate future.
The fact is that, people will do almost anything to keep
their jobs. Yet, questions remain whether the long-term
results can reasonably be anticipated.
Since the "rightsizing" strategies are less
applicable to the public sector, the issue of
"reinventing" has emerged as the survival alternative for

bureaucracy. Decentralization, less control, and more
flexibility have become the characteristics of a
productive government. Employee's discretion-in-work is
increasingly seen as a vital factor at the implementation
level. The rules of the game are changing from the
controlling, top-down process of enforcing rules and
regulations in order to guarantee accountable performance
to commitment, a bottom-up process where employees are
bounded by their own perception of loyalty to "go extra
miles," expend the extra effort, and do the best for the
benefit of their organization.
Equally important, the rapid growth of high
technology has had a major impact on the organizational
operation, as it has compelled increasing professionalism
and specialization. Each individual person has become
more than just a replaceable cog in a machine. Rather,
the individual is viewed as an integral component in the
operation of day-to-day functions necessary for
organizational achievement. Loyalty of these personnel
is becoming crucial. Personal commitment to an
organization becomes the heart of operational success in
public services.
At the federal level, for example, the Volcker
Commission -- the National Commission on Public Service
(1989) -- reported on the crises that was facing and now
faces the government and its employees. One of the most

alarming aspects of the crisis has been regarding
personnel issues. The commission reported that the image
of government work has failed to attract the "high
caliber" graduate into the system, and experienced
personnel are quitting: the "brain drain" phenomena.
There is no "new blood" to inject into the system, while
the remaining blood is rapidly dissipating. This
retention problem needs to be treated as the first
priority to stop the bleeding before the government is
drained of productive personnel. Even though there is no
comparable evidence on the status of the state and local
governments, they no doubt suffer from similar problems.
Apparently, low morale and high dissatisfaction are found
to be the causes for low retention and the low level of
performance in every level of the public sector.
The conventional solution to these human resource
problems is the improvement of the incentive and benefit
system. The principal behind this solution is to
increase the reward of staying with the government or
make leaving more costly. Theoretically reasonable as
this solution sounds, it is not completely practical.
Spending more money "buying" bureaucrats is unrealistic,
especially at present when public services at every level
are operating on a very tight budget. In addition, the
reality of freezing taxes, spending cuts, along with no
avenue for raising needed funds, is threatening all

levels of budgeting and finance. The current situation
makes this reform of rewards irrational, even impossible.
Budget and financial constraints, which are the driving
force for the shift to the "reinventing strategy,"
prohibit the government from spending money on additional
extrinsic rewards or incentives. Moreover, Perry and
Wise (1990), who researched on public service motivation,
concluded that the high rates of pay may not attract the
appropriate individuals to participate and perform in
public service agencies. This is a "clear call" for an
alternate solution.
The administrator in the public sector must find a
resolution to retain productive/valuable employees,
increase employee morale, as well as increase the level
of performance, at the lowest cost possible. Besides,
the committed bureaucrats are needed to best serve the
public and maximize the public service's accountability
and productivity. We need to find a way to increase the
level of employee identification with the organization.
To tackle the human resource crisis by focusing only
on increasing extrinsic rewards, such as offering more
incentives and benefits, is looking at only one-half of
the picture, the expensive half. Proficient
administrators should look more closely at the other
half, that of fostering intrinsic rewards, which satisfy
higher-order needs such as self-esteem and self-

actualization. The higher-order needs are what have been
found to be the reason that brought many outstanding
individuals to join public service agencies rather than
their private counterparts (cf., Buchanan, 1975; Downs,
1967; Karl, 1979; Lasson, 1978; Perry and Wise, 1990).
This is where the issue of commitment comes in. Downs
(1967), for example, in his widely cited book Inside
Bureaucracy, theorized commitment, not the monetary
incentives, as an important motive for public managers.
This is to say that the means to better public service is
not only limited to the handling of the obvious in
physical and financial resources, but also the management
of human components.
The management of human components has long been a
crucial factor in police management. Competent police
administrators realize that the department rules and
regulations are helpful providing guidelines for
departmental operations, but they cannot guarantee the
officer's behaviors or conduct (Sparrow, Moore, and
Kennedy, 1990). The "rank-and-file" walking the beat or
patrolling the street, for example, are usually by
themselves or with one of their partners and are thus
beyond effective immediate supervision. Individual
police officers are given wide discretion to develop and
carry out policies in their own way, with their own
description of what is "fairness" or "justice" (Kelly,

1994). It is the officers' sole decision whether "to
enforce the law [which] is sometimes to create disorder,
[or to] maintain order [which] is sometimes to violate
the law" (Sander and Mintz, 1974, p. 460; see also,
Skolnick, 1966) In order to maintain accountability and
liability to the public, the police administrator must be
able to inculcate a proper habit of mind among the
officers with the hope that the individual officer will
use his/her authority and utilize the available resources
to benefit the society and the credibility of their
organization, as well as deliver peace and justice for
In addition, current developments in policing, e.g.,
problem-solving policing, and policing by objective, are
calling for innovative strategies and contributions from
the "street cops" personnel at the implementation level.
The police administrator, now more than ever, is in need
of their "front-line" operational officers' involvement
and suggestions to develop better policing. An
individual officer's organizational commitment, though
not the only answer to the management of modern police
organization, appears to be an effective way by which the
administrator can create cooperation, consistency, and
predictability among all ranks and can help control
discretionary decision making at the operational level.

Organizational Culture and
Commitment: Connection to an
Alternate Answer
Previous studies showed that the highly committed
employee has a high job performance (for example, Larson
and Fukami, 1984; Porter, Crampton, and Smith, 1976;
Steers, 1977; Van Maanen, 1975), low absenteeism (e.g.,
Koch and Steers, 1978; Smith, 1977), and low turnover
(such as, Angle and Perry, 1981; Larson and Fukami, 1984;
Price and Mueller, 1981). When individuals identify
themselves with the organization, Fink (1992) explained,
they are satisfied and rewarded, intrinsically, just by
staying with and contributing to the organization. The
employees experience the organization and its values as
an extension of themselves.
Since the late 1960s, the issue of organizational
commitment has been brought to scholars' attention by its
importance in the field of organizational psychology and
development. To a certain extent, an employee's
organizational commitment is culturally determined.
Organizational culture is a creator of "collective
identity and commitment" (Trice and Beyer, 1993; 10),
which operates as a stable, monolithic structure molding
the individual to the preset environment (Van Maanen and
Schein, 1979). It has been verified that, given a
particular characteristic of organizational culture, the

employee will exhibit certain behaviors and attitudes
(Ouchi, 1981; Peter and Waterman, 1982; Schein, 1985,
1992; and to a certain extent Osborne and Gabler, 1992).
For example, in a business firm that institutes the
Japanese management style (Ouchi's Z-type, 1981), the
employees will be close to each other, and value team
efforts over individualism. This finding indicates that
by maneuvering the characteristics of the organizational
culture, we can foster preferred behaviors and attitudes
in the employee. If we put this idea into the stream of
correlation, we can see that the characteristics of
organizational culture, which are reflected by the
individual perception of cultural values of the
organization, should influence individual member's
attitudes toward the organization and, as a result,
generate organizational commitment.
Witten (1989) suggested that if the organization is
serious about winning a genuine commitment from its
employee, the employer must "take an honest look at the
operating culture of the organization" (p. 99) to
observe, for example, what type of person or behavior is
rewarded -- that is the values of the organization -- and
react to promote commitment accordingly. After all, to
restate Mottaz (1989), the relationship between the
employee and the organization is the function of
exchange. To this point, it is reasonable to conclude

that organizational culture can be utilized to influence
the individual employee's commitment attitude toward the
Growing Concerns.
Historically, the classical psychoanalysts (such as
Beck, Rush, Shaw, and Emery, 1979; Freud, 1955; and
Prochaska, 1979) who have put their primary emphasis on
exploring the individual's "inner world" acknowledged
that intrapersonal functioning influences an individual's
affect and behavior (Kerr, Glodfried, Hayes, Castonguay,
and Goldsamt, 1992). It is logically sound that the
values of organizational culture, which affect the
individual's "inner world," should bring forth certain
types of behaviors and attitudes directed toward the
organization. The fundamental principle of this study is
based on the argument that the different cultural values
that each individual employee perceives as advocated by
their organization will have an impact on the level of
his/her organizational commitment.
Unfortunately, the relationship between
organizational culture and commitment has never gained
serious attention, if any at all, from management
scholars. Aside from speculation (e.g., Deal and

Kennedy, 1982; Peter and Waterman, 1982; Trice and Beyer,
1993), there have been only a few empirical studies
linking organizational culture and organizational
commitment. It is more alarming that the study of
organizational commitment and organizational culture in
the public sector is even less popular (for exception,
see, Odom and associates, 1990, 1991; and to a certain
extent, Chatman and associates, 1991, 1994). However,
former studies of private sector organization confirm
that the level of commitment is enhanced by a matched and
supportive organizational culture (e.g., Wallach, 1983;
Koberg and Chusmir, 1987).
Furthermore, in the study of organizational
behavior, there is a growing call for exploring new
territory related to the interaction between cultural
values and commitment within work organization. Werther
(1987), for example, noted that the "research and many of
the models related to organizational commitment focus on
the salient variables that shape an employee's
commitment" (p. 5), but not the day-to-day dynamics
within the organization. He suggested that "more
research is needed in assessing the patterns of
interaction that exist between organizational levels" (p.
6). Recently, in the public sector, Perry and Wise
(1990), after their research on The Motivational Bases of
Public Service, have called for a better understanding of

the linkages between individual values, organizational
environment, and outcome.
In addition, with regard to the strong positive
relationship between organizational culture and
effectiveness (see, for example, Kilmann, 1985; Saffold,
1988; and Wiener, 1988), Wiener and Vardi (1990)
expressed their concern for the "noticeable neglect" in
the literature concerning the relationships between
organizational culture as an phenomenon and individuals
within the organization. Since the values held by the
organization and its members play a central role in
organizational culture, Wiener and Vardi (1990) noted, it
is 11 reasonable to expect a strong and predictable
influence of the culture ... on the individual members"
(p. 295).
Conceptual Framework of the Study
In responding to the pragmatic call for alternate
solutions to the public sector's crises in human
resources management and academic injections to
investigate new ground, this study offered the beginning
of an exploration of organizational commitment through
the lens of organizational culture at the individual

level within organization. This attempt based on the
idea that the different components of cultural values
that each individual perceives as advocated by his/her
organization will have an impact on his/her attitude
toward the organization, and, as a result, alter the
level of organizational commitment. As organizational
commitment is a reflection of the individual employee's
psychological response to the factors within the
organization, and organizational culture is found to have
an influence over employee attitudes and behavior, the
exploration of organizational commitment through the
cultural lens should shed some light on the subject
matter of the employee's identification to the work
organization -- organizational commitment.
By applying the related knowledge (although most
studies have been done in the business environment) and
keeping our focus on the public sector, the conceptual
framework of this study is to use organizational culture,
which is reflected by the individual's perception toward
the cultural values within organization, as a lens in
order to make sense out of the psychological connection
and/or identification between the individual and the
organization concerning the employee's organizational
commitment. With the ability to empirically distinguish,
identify, and describe the characteristics of cultural
values in association with different dimensions and

levels of the individual's organizational commitment,
which is the primary aim of this study, the police
administrator can apply this knowledge toward an
alternate solution for human resource management in
general and police administration, in particularly. By
no means is this study intended to fabricate management
"trick(s)" for the brass to manipulate the rank-and-file
officers. But rather, it is to discover the overlooked
connections between the organization and the individual
within it.
Definition and
Operationalization of Terms
The following discussion delineates both operational
and conceptual definitions of terms pertinent to this
Organizational commitment is conceptually defined as
the level of an individual police personnel's
psychological attachment and identification to his/her
police department, which can be assessed by his/her
attitudinal disposition in three dimensions: continuance,
instrumental, and normative commitment. Although all
three dimensions of organizational commitment reflect the

link between the individual and the organization that,
for example, decrease the likelihood of turnover, the
nature of the link is quite different. The continuance
dimension of organizational commitment was defined, by-
Allen and Meyer (1990), as the degree to which an
individual is psychologically attached to an employing
organization through the magnitude and/or number of
investments individual makes and a perceived lack of
alternatives. Continuance commitment is assessed by the
Continuance Commitment Scale (CCS, Allen and Meyer,
Second, the instrumental dimension of organizational
commitment is based on the involvement an individual
exchanges for a specific reward, explained Caldwell,
Chatman, and O'Reilly (1990), while the normative
commitment, thirdly, is based on values shared with the
organization. Both instrumental and normative commitment
is measure by adapting parts of the instrument used in a
prior study conducted by Caldwell, Chatman, and O'Reilly
Organizational culture is conceptually defined as
the values of social interaction within the police
department, which is operationalzed by appraising the
level of an individual officer's perception toward such
values through an instrument called the Organizational
Culture Profile (O'Reilly, Chatman and Caldwell, 1991)

f adapted to use specifically in this study. The
components of the principle values of organizational
culture were emerged from the factor comparability
analysis. This study found five value components,
| namely, Progressive, Coordinative, Outcome-oriented,
| Details-oriented, and Certainty-oriented.
Research Question and
The purpose of this study is to determine the
relationships between the degree of individual's
perception on the values components of organizational
culture (the aspect of organizational culture that is the
specific focus of this study, for detail discussion on
this issue, see, the Literature Review) and different
levels and dimensions of employee commitment. Since
little aid could be gained from empirical data existing
in the literature in regarding the relationship between
organizational culture and organizational commitment,
this study is conceptualized as essentially exploratory.
Based on an assumption, which is widely supported in
previous studies, that there are distinguishable and
empirically measurable characteristics of organizational

culture values, as well as, levels and dimensions of
organizational commitment that exist within the police
department, this study specifically addresses a
fundamental research question:
What is the relationship between the value
components, of organizational culture and the
employee's organizational commitment within the
police organization?
In order to empirically answer this question, a
hypothesis was tested to find out the relationship
between organizational culture and the level of
organizational commitment. This hypothesis read:
There is a correlation between the individual's
perception of cultural values and the level of
his/her continuance, instrumental, and
normative dimension of commitment within the
work organization.
Significance of This Study
Whereas (a) organizational culture has a direct
influence over the environment within a work
organization, (b) organizational commitment is the
product of such environment, and (c) maximum levels of
commitment from an employee bring about the most

productivity and the least turnover, this study will
empirically distinguish the endowment of an individual's
commitment attitude by focusing on his/her perception of
the cultural values within the organization, accounted
for as organizational culture: that is, to examine, from
the level of individual's perspective, the relationship
between the officer's perception of the organizational
culture's values, on the one hand, and the officer's
identification with the organization by means of his/her
commitment, on the other. This is an attempt to
elaborate the implications of an applied management
theory for the practice of police administration. Thus,
this study has significance for both the scholastic and
pragmatic domains.
Significance to Public
Administration Theory
This study is significant to Public Administration
in two areas: filling the gap in the study of
organizational commitment; and, extending boundaries of
and providing a bridge to the study of organizational
culture. First, as many scholars call for the
examination of a long-ignored issue in employee
commitment, e.g., the influence of "work-place governance

patterns" (Lincoln and Kalleberg, 1991, p. 11), and the
day-to-day dynamics within the organization (Werther,
1987; Wiener and Vardi, 1990), this study responds to
these calls by examining the significance of
organizational culture, which represents the "customary"
organizational/social governance factors of the
employee's work environment, on organizational
commitment. This study results in a better understanding
of the linkages between individual perception,
organizational values, and an employee's commitment
attitude, which further contribute to an improved
understanding of "human factors" in the theory of
motivation and reward within public sectors.
Second, based on the growing trends to provide an
alternate perspective for looking at the issue of
organizational culture from different angles (Alvesson,
1993; Hatch, 1993; Rousseau, 1990), this study extends
beyond the conventional premises and considers the
individual's perception of cultural values (which may or
may not conform with the actuality) as a critical factor
that shapes an individual's attitudinal responses within
the organization, i.e., the level and dimension of
organizational commitment. This innovative direction is
constructed in correspondence with the increasing
scholastic pleas for the exploration of a "missing link"
in the study of organizational culture (e.g., Alvesson,

1993; Golden, 1992; Hatch, 1993; Rousseau, 1990). From
the theoretical standpoint, the focus on the individual
level of perception in this study, where the individual
member in the organization is the primary unit of inquiry
and level of analysis, presents two benefits. First, it
sheds some light on the consideration of the relationship
between the individual perspective of organizational
culture and the attitude of the organization's members.
And, second, the assessment of organizational culture by
quantitatively measuring the individual perception of the
cultural values, used in this study, is a "brave new
step" beyond the conventional perspectives, i.e.,
qualitative methodology. This quantitative method
contributes some new ground to further insights within
the study of organizational culture.
Significance to Police
Administration Practitioners.
From the practitioner standpoint, this proposed
study can benefit police administrators in four ways.
First, the knowledge from this study, which explores the
issue of commitment relative to organizational culture,
can assist police administrators in promoting the

components of cultural values where the full potential of
an employee's commitment can flourish.
Second, scholars and proficient police executives
confirm that commitment is one of the most critical
elements in the success of modern policing techniques and
strategies, such as problem-solving policing, team-
oriented policing, and community policing because
committed officers offer sincere participation, peak
contribution, and innovative ideas needed for modern
policing techniques. To accommodate these techniques,
the police administrator who strives for better policing
can apply the knowledge from this study to bring about
the needed dimensions of commitment from the individual
member within the police force. In addition, it is the
committed officers who are highly productive.
Third, this study can help police supervisors better
manage an officer's use of discretion, which is neither
desirable nor possible to eliminate from the front-line
personnel. Enforcing rules and regulations to control on
officer's discretion is an expensive mechanism (and its
effectiveness is also very questionable). Knowing that
particular components of the cultural values correlate
with a particular attitudes, the police administrator can
promote the "appropriate" cultural components and secure
the individual to the organizational values that serve as
an ethical foundation for the individual police officers

who exercising discretion. This will create consistency,
predictability, and trust among all members. The
components of cultural values can be used as an informal,
supplementary control mechanism to the officer's
discretionary judgment. The fundamental element is to
understand the connection between the values and the
attitude within the individual, which this proposed study
will offer.
Finally, with this knowledge, police administrators
can better comprehend their organization and the people
who work for them. They will be better equipped to
create their organization's strategic plans and to
understand their officers' behavior, thus improving
retention, increasing morale, and maintaining
accountability and responsibility to the citizenry. The
more police administrators know about their organization
and people, the better they can manage the internal and
external environment to confront the challenges of modern
Although this study is not likely to establish and
verify all the important elements of a complex conceptual
relationship between organizational culture and different
dimensions of organizational commitment, it offers a
better explanation of this linkage and draws inferences

regarding some important issues for police personnel

This chapter will explore, identify, and investigate
the development of ideas, concepts, definitions, and
perspectives regarding the issue of employee/organization
identification which is studied under the rubric of
organizational commitment, as well as that of
organizational culture. The primary focus of this
literature review will be set forth with a broad scope,
general overview of the subject matter, and related
ideas. As the discussion be narrowed down to the
specific elements of interest, the subjects of this study
-- the police -- will be examined. At the end, the
problem statement, framework, and hypotheses of this
study will be discussed.
Generally, the issue of organizational commitment
and organizational culture are faced with different
complications. The study of organizational culture faces
internal complexities, such as underlying philosophy,
definition, and measurement. On the other hand, the
study of organizational commitment is faced with external

difficulties, that is, to separate itself distinctively
and meaningfully from other forms of employee's
commitment within the work organization (e.g. work
commitment, job commitment, and career commitment).
Extra attentions will be given to clarifying these
complications. Therefore, the literature review of
organizational commitment and organizational culture in
the followings may not appear similar in emphasis and
From a thorough literature review, a long history of
employee/organization identification, which is the origin
of organizational commitment, can be traced back to the
ruling of ancient societies. Interestingly, though the
issue of culture has been at the center of
Anthropological studies since the beginning of human
civilization, the idea of organizational culture (or the
study of culture within a particular organization), on
the other hand, has only clearly emerged in the modern
management era.
The following section will be dedicated to an
exploration of the long ideological trends and historical
development of employee/organization identification --
which leads to organizational commitment, together with a
similar look at the evolution of organizational culture
from conventional to contemporary management. As
commitment and culture are both subjective issues, there

are some terms that have originated with the field and
need to be clarified. The subsection entitled "word
games" will serve this purpose.
Detailed examination of commitment and culture,
respectively, in the work organization will be offered.
As the issues of employee/organization identification
contain different -- yet overlapping and competing --
aspects of commitment, we will briefly explore the
differentiation of employee commitment to each element of
work organization before specifically examining the
organizational commitment, which is the focus of this
study, in detail. However, the culture within an
organization -- organizational culture -- is quite
distinctive, and attention will be focused directly on
the content and context of this issue.
Ideological and Historical
Loyalty and commitment are considered the most
valuable sociological and psychological attachments that
managers can anticipate from their employees. Throughout
history, we have been searching for techniques to secure

the loyalty of workers. These techniques have become
more complex with each historical period.
Not until the early 1980s did the term
organizational culture enter the business world and draw
some serious attention and become widely adopted by
management scholars (e.g., Deal and Kennedy, 1982;
Kilmann, Saxton, Serpa and Associates, 1985; Ouchi, 1981;
Pascale and Athos, 1981; and Peters and Waterman, 1982) .
Since then, this subject has increasingly been examined
from many related viewpoints: that of organization
theorists, philosophers, anthropologists, and
Pre-industrial Period
In pre-industrial times, Balch (1985) explains,
bureaucratic organizations used several striking
techniques, such as castration, celibacy, kidnapping, or
adoption, to ensure the loyalty of their officers (p.
316). These techniques were based on the concepts of
Sociobiology that alienating the bureaucrats from their
families and other social bonds would secure them from
any of the potential disruptive effects of family
obligations. Instead, the officers' attachment,
feelings, and obligations would be exclusively redirected

to and/or reestablished with the sovereign organization.
These techniques did resolve the organization/family
conflict, decrease disloyal acts, such as corruption, and
diminish the potential threats to organizational
strength and discipline (p. 323) which might be caused by
family ties.
The study of culture has been of interest since the
establishment of Anthropology, but the concept of culture
as an aspect of management first appeared in the Greek
era, in 431 BC, according to Clemens (1986). At the
funeral of Athenian soldiers, Pericles (the father of
Athens's Golden Age) made a "powerful statement of the
Athenian shared values and beliefs" (p. 161) -- the
culture of Athenian organization. The Athenian's culture
included belief in: the ability and equality of each
member, having fun after hard work, striving for
innovation in ideas & opinions, and valuing members'
involvement in politics & society. These values and
beliefs "coalesced (the Athenian] into a unified team";
as a result, Athens became "the strongest of the Greek
city-states" (Clemens, 1986, p. 161).

Industrial Period
As the invention of mass-production machinery
ignited the industrial revolution, the life of humanity
changed forever. In the industrial era, worker/employer
relationships were based on the exchange of utility.
Workers had labor and sought money in exchange. The
popular terms in this era were: mass production,
quantity, and efficiency. Frederick W. Taylor and his
Scientific Management (1923) answered the needs of the
industrial era with his "Time and Motion Study" (analysis
of the most efficient means of performing a task).
Employees were expected to be motivated by the provision
of extrinsic rewards, namely, money. Time and motion
studies suggested that maximizing productivity would
increase employees' income, and thus motivate them to
work even harder for further increases. The relationship
between workers and the hiring organization was simple:
the more you worked, the more you earned. The objective
of Taylor's scientific management was twofold: maximum
production and fair treatment (Weisbord, 1987) .
In addition, Taylor, for the first time, introduced
intrinsic rewards into the workplace, as he invited
employee involvement in creating the "one best way" to
accomplish the job (Schachter, 1989). He challenged
employees to discover better ways of doing things. Any

workers who won the challenge would have their method
used and named after them. This concept involved workers
in what until then had been only decisions made by
managers. The concept is that workers are motivated by
the intrinsic reward of pride and this generates job
commitment/involvement among line workers.
The industrial era spelled doom for the culture
concept in the management domain. The managerial
apprehension of the industrial era is on the quantitative
side of mass-production, requiring that managers focus on
palpable issues of the production process. Accordingly,
a less-tangible issue such as culture was left
unconsidered, even unnoticed.
Humanistic Period
The landmark theory of the human relations movement
was the Hawthorne Study in the 1930s. The Hawthorne
Study generated, for the first time, an awareness of the
social power among workers. The realization of social
power has become the foundation of contemporary
management theory regarding the relationship between the
work organization and its members. This understanding of
the worker-organization relationship engenders both a

modern cultural notion and the employee/organization
Roethlisberger and Dickson (1939) found that the
employees' shared values, group norms, and informal
social interactions have a powerful influence on workers'
behavior and performance. Extrinsic rewards or piece-
rate pay, which was the favored reward scheme of the
industrial era, is not enough to extract maximum
productivity from the employee. Adjusting work climate
and surroundings, and the social interactions among
employees, co-workers, and supervisors, is deemed crucial
to maximize productivity. One of the most important
outcomes from Hawthorne study was that the management
academics and pragmatists become aware of a unit larger
than the individuals, which initiated exploration to the
significance of informal social structure (e.g., Mayo,
1933; Barnard, 1938).
The cognizance of the uniqueness of "subjective"
surroundings, and its impact within different
organizations, was revealed in the 1940s, when the term
"cultural island" was used to explained the failure of
attitudinal training, such as leadership training. Even
though such training can bring about significant changes
in trainee attitudes, Schein (1990) explained, it lacks
long-term influence. The trainees, "revert to their
former attitudes" (p. 109) after returning to their day- 1

to-day environment. This phenomena has been attributed
to the fundamental difference between the training site -
- the cultural island -- and the "home" setting (Schein,
The attitude toward the worker has also shifted.
Supervisors are no longer to have the workers work for
them; they are to work with their employees. McGregor
(1960) confirmed the shift of the super-subordinate
attitude in his Human Side of the Enterprise (Theory X -
Theory Y). As the supervisor's assumptions regarding the
employees affects the working environment, it affects
employees' performance levels. Employees need positive
support from the working environment to be productive.
Pro-Human Relations and Beyond
Katz and Kahn (1966), in their milestone book, The
Social Psychology of Organization, build their entire
study around systems theory. The open-systems theory had
shifted the focus beyond the organization-machine period.
The dynamics of system theory have laid the groundwork
for understanding the interaction among individuals,
groups, the organization, and the surrounding
environment. "Thus, [it laid] the most important
theoretical foundation for later cultural studies"

(Schein, 1990, p. 110). Organizational culture is the
next step toward a "real" humanistic approach of
organizational management, as it introduces a new way of
viewing the organization and opens new territory for
theorists to explore the organization's identity.
Interest in studying the culture of a work
organization flourished in the 1980s. Many American
firms were facing a decline in quality and/or quantity of
production, and market competitiveness to their
counterparts in other countries, notably Japan. While
economists explained this phenomena as a contribution to
the "sunk-cost" of constructing modern industry,
fundamental disparities between the two countries, such
as culture, offer a more apprehensible explanation.
Researchers, such as Ouchi (1981) and Pascal and Athos
(1981), have observed and explored the two countries
before coming to the conclusion that what contributes to
high productivity and a more effective work-force is not
the national culture, but the work values and environment
-- the organizational culture. Deal and Kennedy (1982)
and Peters and Waterman (1982) agreed that organizational
culture played a major role in the success of American
firms, as well. These findings have established the
popularity of examining organizational culture by
contemporary management.

As we approach the present, there are various
studies confirming the fact that employees are affected
by factors that constitute their work environment.
Socialization, group norms, social values, and work
environment are as important as, if not more than, the
tangible aspects of the workplace in creating a
productive organization. The study of work groups and
group dynamics (for example, Homans, 1950; Lewin, 1951),
leadership theory (such as Blake and Mouton, 1982;
Bradford and Cohen, 1984; Gardner, 1990; Kouzes and
Posner, 1987), and organizational climate (Hellriegel and
Slocum, 1974; Litwin and Stringer, 1968; Schneider, 1975;
Tagiuri and Litwin, 1968) were all attempts to understand
the productive social ties within the work environment
and became the foundation for a constructive force
influencing the workers. Whereas these attempts shared a
common goal, that is to get maximum production from the
employee or "the most bang for the buck," the bottom
line, Fink (1992) argues, is to "make effective use of
these techniques without manipulating the people
outright" (p. 28).
The historical development in social sophistication
and the increase in worker education and maturity made
the use of pre-industrial techniques to gain employee
loyalty increasingly ineffective and unacceptable. As

management techniques advanced from autocratic
management, which relies on fear and punishment, to
cooperative management, which emphasizes vision-sharing
and the application of socio-emotional support (Banner
and Blasingame, 1988), the issue of culture within the
work organization, which used to be overlooked, acquired
its place in management regard, as have techniques to
gain employee commitment and loyalty.
The "Word Game": Resolving
Some Issues on Commitments
In The Enterprise of Public Administration (1980),
Dwight Waldo explained the semantic confusion in the use
of the terms "public administration" and "public
management." He came to the conclusion that, generally,
the choice of using the word "administration" or
"management" is the matter of preference or popularity
and nothing more than just a "word game" (pp. 62-64) .
Currently, we are faced with the same formidable task as
we try to distinguish "loyalty" and "commitment."
There have been many attempts to identify "loyalty"
and "commitment." As these studies have usually built on
multi-dimensional interactions (Pritchard, Howard, and

Havitz, 1991), the results indicate multi-perspectives,
and can be summarized in three basic perspectives: (1)
commitment is a part of loyalty (Day, 1969; Jacob and
Chesnut, 1978; Leek and Saunders, 1992); (2) loyalty is a
part of commitment (see, for example, Cook and Wall,
1980) ; and (3) commitment and loyalty both "represent
emotional and psychological attachment" (Beatty and
Kahle, 1988, p. 4). Without operationalization to
specifically identify the difference, "loyalty" and
"commitment" are conceptually similar (Werther, 1987) .
By putting the seemingly conflicting perspectives
toward the definition of "loyalty" and "commitment"
together, a more comprehensive picture emerges.
Researchers haggle over the definition, when the fact is
they are simply looking from different viewpoints at an
area where the two concepts overlap in meaning. The pro-
commitment researcher looks at "loyalty" from the
commitment-side perspective and considers "loyalty" as
part of commitment, while the pro-loyalty researchers see
just the opposite. This is an illustrating of the
expression, "Where you stand is a function of where you
Whereas the intention of this paper is not to label
but to understand the employee's psychological attachment
to the organization, namely organizational commitment,
the contrast in definitions between "loyalty" and

"commitment" is beyond the interest of this study. This
study will consider "loyalty" and "commitment" to be so
similar as to be interchangeable (cf. Warnick, 1983).
For the most part, the only difference between these two
words has been the preference of each particular
researcher. It is, as Waldo (1980) might say, simply a
"word game."
In the modern working environment, employees are
exposed to many work-related factors, which affect their
identification with the employing organization. The next
section will explore different types of employee
commitment to the various factors within the work
organization in general. The concepts and
characteristics of each form of commitment will be
There has been a tremendous growth in research
related to employee commitment. Morrow (1983) indicates
more than twenty-five commitment-related concepts and
measures. Unfortunately, as he suggests, the growth in

research "has not been accompanied by a careful
segmentation of commitment's theoretical domain" (p.
486). There is no agreement on the distinction nor on
the relationship among various forms and definitions of
Nevertheless, the focus of commitment can be used as
a mechanism to categorize and re-conceptualize the issue
(Fink, 1992; Morrow, 1983; Mueller, Wallace, and Price,
1992) By using this strategy, employee commitment can
be grouped into five (5) distinct, yet interrelated,
aspects: work or work values, career, job, union, and
organizational commitment. In order to get an idea of
the distinction between different forms of commitment, a
brief discussion of each aspect of commitment follows.
Work Commitment
Work-committed employees identify themselves with
being employed. The central theme of work commitment is
the belief that hard work is good in itself. Work-
committed employees hold a strong sense of duty toward
their work, placing intrinsic value on work as a central
life interest (Bielby and Bielby, 1984; Lincoln and
Kalleberg, 1990; Lodahl and Kejner, 1965), which is
comparable to Weber's Protestant work ethic (Blood, 1969;

Merils and Garrett, 1971; Randall and Cote, 1991). Even
though Mueller, Wallace, and Price (1992) argue that the
previous studies have conceptualized and operationalized
this aspect of commitment in a less than consistent
manner -- for example, work motivation (Lawler and Hall,
1970), work as a central life interest (Dubin, 1956), and
work involvement (Kanungo, 1982) -- the empirical studies
show that work commitment is distinct from other aspects
of commitment (Morrow and McElroy, 1986) and appears to
be stable over time (Morrow, 1983; Randall and Cote,
Career Commitment
The critical characteristic of those exhibiting
career commitment, Mueller, Wallace, and Price (1992)
explain, is the identification with and involvement in
one's occupation (p. 214). Career-committed employees
are not attached to the employing organization, or the
work in general, but to the particular occupation. This
aspect of commitment is conceptually similar or related
to career salience (Greenhaus, 1973; Randall and Cote,
1991), professionalism (Price and Mueller, 1986), and
occupational commitment (Ritzer and Trice, 1969).

Attention has been paid to the relations between
career commitment and organizational commitment
(Hrebiniak and Alutto, 1972; Lachman and Aranya, 1986).
The basic argument expressing the inherent conflict
between organizational and professional goals (for
example, Blau and Scott, 1962; Kornhauser, 1965) states
that professional workers tend to commit to their
profession (career commitment) rather than to their
employing organization (organizational commitment).
Kalleberg and Berg (1987) explain this interchange level
of commitment as a zero-sum game, where an increase in
one form of commitment decreases the other. Along
similar lines, Morrow (1983) argues that career
commitment also appears, conceptually, to be interrelated
with work commitment, as it also includes such values as
the work ethic and job involvement. Alternatively,
Greenhaus and Sklarew (1981) managed to successfully
prove that career commitment can be measured
unidimentionally, and therefore career commitment is a
distinct aspect from any other type of commitment.
Job Commitment
Even though this aspect of commitment appears to
have a small overlap with work commitment (the Protestant

work ethic), job commitment shows a noticeably unique
character. It consists of two components (Morrow, 1983) :
first, the degree of daily absorption in work activities
-- job involvement (Lodahl and Kejner, 1965); and second,
the degree to which the total job situation is a central
aspect of life -- work as a central life interest (Dubin,
1956) Lodahl and Kejner (1965) explain the job
involvement component in terms of a performance-self-
esteem relationship, and involvement as a component of
self-image. Job-committed employees identify themselves
with the job. They even, according to Dubin's Central
Life Interest, construct their lives around it. It is
to the duties of their work that they are committed.
They are occupied with, absorbed by, and personally
involved in their work and work activities. To job-
committed employees, the better they can get their job
done the higher satisfaction level in life they
accomplish. With regard to its distinguishability, as
discussed above, job commitment appears to show the least
easily definable characteristics among all other aspects
of commitment (Morrow, 1983).

Union Commitment
As union institutions increased in influence among
employees' lives within organizations. As unions
increased their influence over the lives of many working
people, there has been increasing interest in the concept
of union commitment (for example, Klandermans, 1989;
Fullagar and Barling 1989; Tetrick, Thacker and Fields,
1989). Previous studies show that union commitment
concepts are analogous to Mowday, Porter, and Steers'
(1982) model of organizational commitment (Barling, Wade
and Fullagar, 1990; Conlon and Gallagher, 1987; Martin,
Mageneau and Peterson, 1982; Porter, Crampton and Smith,
1972), that a committed union member (a) has a strong
desire to remain a member of the union, (b) is willing to
exert a high degree of effort for the union, and (c)
believes in the [values and] objectives of [unionism]
(Klandermans, 1989, p. 869).
Union commitment has some naturally unique
conditions. Typically, Morrow (1983) argues, studies of
union commitment are constrained by two factors. First,
the universe of population in the union commitment
studies are the union-member employees, in which such
membership status may be mandatory or voluntarily.
Second, where organizational commitment is the employee's
attitude toward a particular hiring organization, union

commitment is the attitude toward the idea of unionism,
not toward a particular union institution. These unique
conditions of union commitment explain the absence of the
zero-sum game between the employee's commitment toward
the two seemingly competing institutions -- the union and
the organization. On the contrary, union-member
employees experience dual commitment, to the employing
organization and the union, especially when the
union/management relationship is positive (Angle and
Perry, 1986; Fukami and Larson, 1984; Gallagher, 1984;
Larson and Fukami, 1984; Martin and Peterson, 1987).
Organizational Commitment
Commitment to the organization occurs when the
employees' goals are congruent with those of the
organization. According to the most popularly used
definition, organizationally-committed employees, explain
Mowday, Steers and Porter (1979), desire to maintain
membership within the organization and are willing to
extend effort for the benefit of the employing
organization. Fink (1992) adds that the employee with
this dimension of commitment is attached to the
organization, takes pleasure in the organization's
success, and feels defensive when someone criticizes

his/her organization (p. 39). In addition to the other
kinds of reward, these employees feel an intrinsic reward
merely for being a part of the organization. In business
and public sectors alike, a high commitment to the
organization has been proven to increase the quality and
quantity of overall performance (Smith, 1992) .
The concept of organizational commitment, while used
as a foundation for union commitment, as discussed
earlier, is not a conceptually distinct model. Gould
(1979) found a conceptual overlap among the moral values
of organizational commitment and the Protestant work
ethic in work commitment, as well as the central life
interest value in job commitment. Despite these
conceptual overlapping, the measurement of organizational
commitment has been proven to exhibit internal
consistency, as well as being statistically reliable, and
valid (Mowday et al. 1979) .
This section has explored different aspects of
employees' commitment within the working environment.
These different aspects of commitment, though overlapping
and redundant in some ways, are conceptually
distinguishable. Five forms of commitment can be
identified: work, career, job, union, and organizational.
In short, work commitment focuses on the intrinsic value
of work. The perceived importance of one's career

generates career commitment. Job-committed employees are
absorbed in their work as it holds the center of their
life interest. For union and organizational commitment,
devotion and loyalty to the idea of unionism and
employing organizations, respectively, are the defining
characteristics. These breakdown of commitment into
different aspects, noted Koslowsky, Caspy, and Lazar
(1990), "permit a better understanding of the concept as
both a predictor and determinant of organizational
behavior" (p. 1074).
In the following section we will focus our attention
only on the organizational aspect of commitment. The
detailed discussion of different perspectives of
organizational commitment, consequences, and antecedents
will be identified and explored. There are three reasons
for this intent. First, organizational commitment
demonstrates the psychological and sociological
relationship between the employee and the employing
organization, which is crucial in the study of
organizational development. Second, organizational
commitment has attracted increasing attention, among both
private and public agencies, as being a possible solution
to improve employee performance, productivity, loyalty,
and morale.
Third, the constraint on resources, especially in
the government, puts a limit on the use of extrinsic

rewards as mutilators. Therefore, the government has
been suffering from a turnover crisis (the "brain drain"
phenomena) causing a shortage of skilled employees and a
very costly cycle of employee recruiting, training, and
turnover. The understanding of employees' organizational
commitment will help provide the public manager with the
essential knowledge needed to motivate his/her employees
to remain productive in the organization by stimulating
their sense of organization commitment, an intrinsic
Organizational Commitment
In business-based organizations, Cumming (1992)
reveals in a recent survey, from Sibson and Company,
Princeton, NJ, that "companies that emphasize employee
commitment are more likely to be successful -- with
financial performance in the top third of their industry"
(p. 29). This is one example of numerous studies of
business organizations that equate high company
performance with high employee commitment (see also, for
example, Sherwood, 1989). This should provide another
example where government agencies must learn from their
business counterpart.

Concepts of
Organizational Commitment
In the previous section, the general definition of
organizational commitment was offered.. Unfortunately,
earlier studies have looked at this issue from more than
one perspective. Organizational commitment, as Mowday et
al. (1982) explains, has been defined differently, for
example, as:
An attitude or an orientation toward the
organization that links or attaches the
identity of the person to the organization
(Sheldon, 1971, p. 143).
A state of being in which an individual
becomes bound by his actions and through
these actions to beliefs that sustain the
activities and his own involvement
(Salancik, 1977, p. 62) .
The process by which the goals of the
organization and those of the individual
become increasingly integrated or
congruent (Hall, Schneider and Nygren,
1970, p. 176).
The nature of the relationship of the
member to the system as a whole (Grusky,
1966, p. 489).
A partisan affective attachment to the
goals and values of an organization
apart from its purely instrumental worth
(Buchanan, 1974, p. 533).

After reviewing a substantial number of previous studies
on organizational commitment, Mottaz (1989) found at
least ten different ways to define the term. There is
little consensus when it comes to the meaning of
organizational commitment (Mottaz, 1989; Mowday et al.,
1982) With these various definitions of organizational
commitment, which have been accumulating in a variety of
studies for the past two decades, comes also different
trends, conceptual perspectives, and dimensions of
organizational commitment (for example, Popper and
Lipshitz [1992] have re-analyzed and regrouped the
concept of organizational commitment into three [3]
complicated "sets of dichotomies," which will not be
discussed here).
Framework of
Organizational Commitment
Generally, those who have done research on
organizational commitment base their research on the
principle of psychological distinction (see Etzioni,
1961; Fishbein, 1967; Fishbein and Ajzen 1975; Wiener and
Vardi, 1990) and conform to two (2) typical approaches:
behavioral and attitudinal. The principle of behavioral
commitment is based on the function of calculating the

consequence of each act and its worth to the individual.
On the other hand, attitudinal commitment is built on
subjective norms, which is conceptually explained as the
employee's total perception of the normative pleasures
(Wiener and Vardi, 1990) determined by social and
individual normative beliefs (Jaccard and Davidson, 1975;
Pomazal and Jaccard, 1976; Schwartz and Tessler, 1972).
On the other hand, Mowday et al. (1982) argued that the
attitudinal and behavioral approaches of commitment are
interrelated. Commitment attitudes lead to commitment
behavior, which in return reinforces commitment
attitudes. By and large, it is the psychological
interaction among individual employees and the perception
or expectation of extrinsic or intrinsic rewards from the
Behavioral Approach to Organizational Commitment.
The behavioral approach to organizational commitment is
based what Mottaz (1989) describes as a "social
psychological perspective" on how "individuals become
bound to an organization through their past behavior [or
investment, the "sunk-cost"] and how they adjust to it"
(p. 144). Also, it can be explained as a trade-off, a
utilitarian approach that calculates costs and benefits
(Wiener and Vardi, 1990). This sort of behavior can also
be termed "calculative commitment" (Hrebiniak and Alutto,
1972), which occurs as a "result of individual-

organizational transactions and alterations in side-bets
or investments over time" (Hrebiniak and Alutto, 1972, p.
556; see also Becker, 1960; Kiesler and Sakumura, 1966;
Salancik, 1977). Side-bets are when "commitment is a
function of the rewards and costs associated with
organizational membership" (Reichers, 1985, p. 468). The
individual may decide to "engage in consistent lines of
activity" (Becker, 1960, p. 33) based on recognition of
the costs associated with discontinuing the activity. In
other words, the side-bets concern a "profit associated
with continued participation and a cost associated with
leaving" (Kanter, 1968, p. 504).
The behavioral approach also includes commitment by
attribution, which is when "commitment is a binding of
the individual to [his/her own] behavioral acts." It
results when "individuals attribute an attitude of
commitment to themselves after engaging in behaviors that
are volitional, explicit and irrevocable." For instance,
the employee who has worked for the same company for a
long period of time, Mowday et al. (1982) explain, is
"likely to develop attitudes that justify remaining with
the organization in the face of alternative position[s]"
(p. 26). This definition of commitment has been shared,
for example, by O'Reilly and Caldwell (1980), and
Selancik (1977) .

Attitudinal Approach to Organizational Commitment.
The attitudinal approach to organizational commitment
refers to "an affective response {attitude or
orientation) resulting from an evaluation of the work
situation which links or attaches the individual to the
organization" (Mottaz, 1989, p. 144). It can be said
that committed employees have "a strong belief in and
acceptance of the organization's goals and values; a
willingness to exert considerable effort on behalf of the
organization; and a strong desire to maintain membership
in the organization" (Mowday et al. 1982, p. 27) It is
similar to what Reichers (1985) called
individual/organizational goal congruence,
"organizational identification" (Hall, Schneider, and
Nygren, 1970), or the "affective" approach to attitudinal
commitment (Allen and Meyer, 1990). This concept of
attitudinal commitment, which is widely shared among
scholars (for example, Angle and Perry, 1981; Bateman and
Strasser, 1984; Morris and Sherman, 1981; and, Porter and
his colleagues, 1974; 1976; 1979; 1982), diminishes the
prior confusion from the diverse definitions used in the
field (Balfour and Vechsler, 1990). In this approach,
employees commit to the organization because "they want
to" (Allen and Meyer, 1990, p. 3).
Likewise, the obligation-based concept (normative
approach, Allen and Mayor, 1990; Weiner, 1982) of

attitudinal commitment can be incorporated in the
attitudinal approach. It indicates that the employee is
influenced by his/her "belief about one's responsibility
to the organization" (p. 3). The individual employee's
personal norms or internal moral obligations guide
him/her "to act in a way which meets organizational goals
and interests" (Wiener, 1982, p. 471) Wiener suggests
that individual employees behave in a committed manner
because "they believe it is the 'right' and moral thing
to do" (p. 421). They commit to their organization
because "they feel they ought to do so" (Allen and Meyer,
1990, p. 3). Accordingly, the attitudinal approach of
organizational commitment is the relative strength of an
individual's identification with, moral obligation to,
and responsibility towards a particular organization.
Consequences and Determinants of
Organizational Commitment
This sub-section will summarize from the past
studies the known causes and effects of organizational
Consequences.of Organizational Commitment. The past
findings show direct consequences when employees do or do
not have organizational commitment. Studies have found

that a lack of employee organizational commitment will
increase employee absenteeism (such as, Koch and Steers,
1978; Larson and Fukami, 1984, Mowday et al. 1979),
intention to leave the organization (Ajzen and Fishbein,
1980; Koslowsky, 1991), and turnover (for example, Horn,
Katerberg and Hulin, 1979; Marsh and Mannari, 1977;
Porter, Crampon and Smith 1976; Porter, Steer, Mowday and
Boulian, 1974). Mathieu and Zajac (1990) conducted a
meta-analysis of the prior studies and confirmed that the
level of organizational commitment negatively correlated
with (a) the intention to search for job alternatives,
and (b) the intention to leave one's job. Furthermore,
high organizational commitment has been found to have
positive effects on the employees' performance (Larson
and Fukami, 1984; Van Maanen, 1975). In short, the
findings on the consequences of organizational commitment
suggest that high organizational commitment will produce
high performance with a low employee turnover/absentee
rate. o£_0rcranizational Commitment. The
studies concerning the antecedents of organizational
commitment, cover such disparate categories of variables
as personal characteristics, job characteristics,
organizational characteristics, the relationship between
the group/leader and role states. The studies on
individual employees' demographic characters are the most

popular, covering, for example, age (Alutto, Hrebiniak
and Alonso, 1973; Sheldon, 1971), tenure (Fukami and
Larson, 1984; Hrebiniak and Alutto, 1972; Lee, 1969;
Schneider, Hall and Nygren, 1974), sex (Grusky, 1966),
education (Mowday, et al., 1982), number of jobs
presently held (Baba and Jamal, 1992), and to a certain
extent, personal norms (Schwartz, 1977; Prestholdt, Lane
and Mathews, 1987). Mathieu and Zajac1 s (1990) meta-
analysis confirms some findings that female employees
express a higher level of organizational commitment, and
that age, tenure, and job level are correlated positively
with the level of commitment, while the employee's
education level shows a reverse relationship.
Although Mathieu and Zajac (1990) claim that there
is no theoretical model to explain the relationship
between job characteristics and commitment, Steer (1977)
theorizes the relationship as that desirable jobs are
likely to yield higher commitment. Some researchers in
this area include Blau (1987), Stone and Gueutal (1985),
Still (1983) and Wetzel and Gallagher (1990) In
summary, these studies find that job autonomy shows a low
correlation with organizational commitment, jobs that
need a variety of skills reflect medium correlation, and
job scope correlates more highly and more consistently
with commitment (Methieu and Zajac, 1990). In the
group/leader relationship category, there is no solid

relationship between group cohesiveness and
organizational commitment. Stone and Porter (1975) and
Welsch and LaVan (1981) report a positive correlation
between the two, where as Howell and Dorfman (1981)
report a negative relationship. In those situations in
which leaders initiate structure, demonstrate
consideration, lead communication, and practice
participatory leadership, only a moderate to high
correlation with organizational commitment has been
Role state variables (Mowday et al., 1982), which
include the study of role conflict, role ambiguity, and
role overload, show a moderate inverse relationship to
organizational commitment. Furthermore, some findings
are contradictory; for example, organizational
characteristics, which include size (Stevens et al.,
1978) and centralization (Bateman and Strasser, 1984; and
Morris and Steers, 1980), have shown conflicted findings,
but for the most part the relationship has been weak.
In addition, other studies demonstrate a conflict in
the causal relationship; for example, some scholars have
suggested that job satisfaction is a cause of the
employee's organizational commitment (Bartol, 1979;
Williams and Hazer, 1986), or have argued the causal
relationship is the reverse (Bateman and Strasser, 1984).
Others have noted that there is no causal relationship

between job satisfaction and the employee's commitment
(Curry et al., 1986), although they may correlate with
each other (Koslowsky, Caspy, and Lazar, 1991; Savery,
Soutar, and Weaver, 1990).
Thus far, we know that organizational commitment
increases the level of performance while decreasing
employee turnover. In trying to determine the specific
causes for this, the employee's personality has been
extensively explored. We do know more about how the
employee's individual personal characteristics affect
organizational commitment than about the impact of the
organizational/social factors. This notion is consistent
with Lincoln and Kalleberg' (1991) observation that prior
studies on the issue of employee commitment have "indeed
concentrated on the internal psychodynamics of the
commitment process and ignored the external work-place
governance patterns" (p. 11). This study is an attempt
to explore the missing link by investigating the impact
of the organizational/social factor, namely
organizational culture, on organizational commitment. A
detailed discussion on organizational culture is covered

Organizational Culture
In 1970, Thomas S. Kuhn, in his landmark book The
Structure of Scientific Revolutions, explained how
paradigms provide us with the assumptions on which we
base our ideology. Paradigms determine what is
acceptable, relevant and significant, and what is not.
The more our ideology is built upon the basic underlying
assumptions that compose paradigms, the stronger and
deeper it is rooted in the unconscious. To a certain
extent, how a paradigm affects science is similar to how
organizational culture affects the organization and its
members. As the organizational culture is established,
it is reinforced by the social interactions among the
collective members of the organization. Consequently,
the organization's members are bound up in and involved
by it.
Culture has long been an extensively and diversely
studied subject in Anthropology (e.g., Herskovits, 1948;
Kroeber, 1944; and Redfield, 1941). Kroeber and
Kluckhohn (1963, quoted in Gordon and DiTomaso, 1992)
reported more than 150 different meanings and/or
operational definitions of culture. As the term
"culture" has been borrowed by organization
theory/studies (Alvesson, 1990, 1993; Meek, 1988; Schein,
1990; Smircich, 1983), it has generated a theoretical

innovations (Meak, 1993). Yet, there is a danger in
borrowing concepts from another discipline, if the
concept is not borrowed in toto. "[R]ather than
accepting an entire 'package' -- which may include the
historical debates surrounding the 'proper' uses of the
concepts Meak (1993) argues, "people only select
aspects of the concepts that suit their interests and
thinking" (p. 454). Furthermore, organizational culture
researchers not only disagree "about what culture is or
why it should be studied, [but also] do not study the
same phenomena. They do not approach the phenomena they
do study from the same theoretical, epistemological, or
methodological point of view" (Frost et. al., 1991, p.
7) This is what contributes to the philosophical
complication and conceptual diversity in the study of
organizational culture.
Before we explore the different concepts and
definitions of organizational culture, it is important
that the different philosophies and foundations of the
organizational culture studies be examined. The
following offers a brief observation of the contextual
foundations (or "camps"), and philosophical contents (or
"perspectives") in the studies of organizational culture.

Philosophies and Foundations of
Organizational Culture Studies
The contextual foundations and philosophical content
of organizational culture serve as the underlying
ideological basis when a researcher analyzes the topic,
and thus, influence the conceptualization,
interpretation, and utilization of the studies. Instead
of identifying the foundations of the studies on the
basis of the researcher's discipline (e.g., Anthropology,
Sociology, or Organization Psychology) which is more
like judging a book by its cover, the substance --
context and content -- of the studies will be the
identification factors.
Contextual Foundations of Organizational Culture
Studies. There are, basically, bi-polar contextual
foundations, or camps, in the studies of organizational
culture (Smircich, 1983; Alvesson, 1993): the variable
camp, and the metaphor camp. First, there are the studies
of organizational culture that treat culture as a
critical variable to be managed in organization -- the
variable camp. The proponents of the variable camp hold
the assumption that the culture is one of the
organization's variables which comprise the organization.
Organizational culture is what organization has.

The underlying ideas of the variable camp are
positivist and objectivist, which emphasize causality.
The proponents of this camp believe that the cultural
variables, such as values, norms, rites, and ritual
ceremonies, have a distinct impact on efficiency and
performance of the organization (see, for example, Deal
and Kennedy, 1982; Gordon and DiTomaso, 1992; Kilmann et.
al., 1985; Kotter and Heskett, 1992; Kunda, 1992; Peter
and Waterman, 1982; Sheridan, 1992; Weiner, 1988; Weiner
and Vardi, 1990) For some proponents of the variable
camp, the universal and/or occupational characteristics
considered "appropriate" (Dunn, Norburn, and Birley,
1994), "good" (Mitchell and Willower,_1992), "strong"
(Deal and Kennedy, 1982), or "innovative" (Peter and
Waterman, 1982) are the cultural traits that can and need
to be uncovered. The academic purpose of studying
organizational culture in the variable camp is to "search
for suitable means of control and improved management"
(Alvesson, 1993, p. 14) and efficiency, while the
pragmatic duty of the manager is to mold and shape the
culture to result in a productive organization (cf.,
James, 1991; and Horne, 1991).
Second, culture as a root metaphor or fundamental
means for conceptualizing organizations -- the metaphor
camp. The proponents of the metaphor camp, instead of
seeing the culture as a variable that organization has,

treat culture as what organization is. "Culture as a
root metaphor promotes a view of organizations as
expressive forms, manifestations of human consciousness.
Organizations are understood and analyzed not mainly in
economic or material terms, but in terms of their
expressive, ideational, and symbolic aspects" (Smircich,
1983, p. 348) Accordingly, the underlying ideas of the
metaphor camp are hermeneutic and phenomenologic
(Alvesson, 1993).
The researchers in the metaphor camp interpret the
culture of the work organization as images of
organization (Morgan, 1986); "grammar" to explain the
organization's patterning (Ritti, quoted in Smircich,
1983); a pattern or theme of symbolic discourse (Manning,
1979; Turner, 1983); a direction-pointing instrument
(Wiener, 1988); an integrate and control mechanism --
social glue or magnet (Martin and Mayerson, 1988; Nord,
1985) ; or the expression of unconscious psychological
processes (Schein, 1985, 1992; White and McSwain, 1983).
Because the metaphor camp interprets culture in a broad
impression (i.e., nothing is "not culture" [Alvesson,
1993, p. 15]) frequently, the proponents of the metaphor
camp (e.g., Meek, 1988; Schein, 1985, 1990, 1992) harshly
criticize the variable camp (e.g., Kilmann and
associates, 1985) as shallow and very narrow in
conceptualizing the idea of culture.

There are a large number of studies that share the
characteristics of both camps or fall in between these
two aspects (Alvesson, 1993) For instance, Schein
(1985, 1992) and Ott (1986, 1989), on the one hand,
define the "real" organizational culture as a process of
unconscious basic assumptions, along with the metaphor
camp, which needs to be interpreted by ethnographic or
clinical descriptive method. On the other hand, the
final intention of their study is to use the
interpretations and understandings of culture to correct
the "problem" within the organization, the variable camp.
Apparently, without any judging of the propriety of the
two camps, the studies from the "variable camp" have
gained a wider popularity and acceptance, especially
among practitioners and pragmatic researchers. Because,
most importantly, the studies of organizational culture
in the "variable camp" provide findings supported by
comprehensible arguments and sensible implications, i.e.,
"practical utility for understanding, predicting and
changing organisational behavior" (Tucker, McCoy, and
Evans, 1990, p. 4), which are suitable to the "real"
Philosophical Contents of Organizational Culture
Studies. According to Martin and Meyerson (Martin, 1992;
Martin and Meyerson, 1987; Meyerson and Martin, 1988),
the philosophical content -- perspectives --of

organizational culture inquiries can be delineated by-
using three determination factors: "the relationship
among the cultural manifestations (consistency,
inconsistency, or complexity) ; the degree of consensus
(organization-wide consensus, subcultural consensus, or
multiplicity of views); and the orientation toward
ambiguity (excluding it, channeling it, or focusing on
it)" (Martin, 1992; 190). These three criteria become
the central characteristics of each cultural perspective.
Three perspectives of organizational culture studies are
defined as: integration, differentiation, and
fragmentation perspective.
First, the studies in the integration perspective
treat organizational culture as a clear, unified,
organization-wide consensus of values or appropriate
interpretation of manifestations to which all
organizational members ascribe. From this perspective,
anything that contains ambiguity is not considered to be
the organizational culture. In other words, if there is
an inconsistency, division, or ambiguity of values and/or
beliefs, it is defined as something other than
organizational culture. The classic organizational
culture studies that interpret organizational artifacts
(e.g. office physical appearance, rites, rituals, and
ceremonies), and normative practices as collective values
of the culture (such as, Beyer and Trice, 1987; Deal and

Kennedy, 1982; Ouchi, 1981; Peter and Waterman, 1982) are
good examples of this perspective.
On the other hand, the differentiation perspective
of organizational culture sees the inconsistency of
cultural distribution among sub-groups within and/or
across organization(s) Consensus and clarity within a
subculture are the only things that distinguish one
subculture from another. The coexistence of subcultures
in the organization may have "harmony, conflict, or
indifference toward each other. [The subcultures] are
islands of clarity; ambiguity is channeled outside their
boundaries" (Frost et. al., 1991, p. 8). From this
perspective, organizational culture is viewed as a system
of integrated subcultures, not as a unified set of values
to which all organization members ascribe (Riley, 1983) .
A number of cultural subgroupings can be found to exist
while an organization-wide cultural overlay is
identifiable (Sackmann, 1992; Van Maanen, 1991). The
studies of industrial culture (Chatman and Jehn, 1994),
and professional groups culture (Gregory, 1983) are good
examples of the differentiation perspective.
Third, the fragmentation perspective, takes another
angle in exploring organizational culture. The
proponents of this perspective focus not on the level of
consensus but on ambiguity, as it is "an inevitable and
pervasive aspect of contemporary [organizational] life"

(Frost et. al., 1991, p. 8). Ambiguity arises from the
complexity within today's culturally diverse
organizations. Although, each member of the organization
shares a certain level of similar orientations, purposes,
and concerns, different individuals interpret and respond
to the ambiguity in an organization from a multiplicity
of reasonings and backgrounds, which fosters confusion.
Thus, the two extremes of a completely shared consensus
or total disagreement are rare. Meyerson (1991),
Meyerson and Martin (1987), and Weick (1991) exemplify
this perspective, as they independently found layers of
ambiguity and fragmentation of concern among individuals
who share the same office, are involved in the execution
of a single policy, and even struggle in a catastrophic
incident, respectively.
The primary intention of the foregoing explorations
on the contextual foundations (or camps) and
philosophical contents (or perspectives) of
organizational culture studies is, by no means, to
pigeonhole individual researchers and his/her works. The
goal is not to judge the appropriateness of either the
camps or the perspectives but to frame the views of the
organizational culture studies and recover the crucial
differences in the basic assumptions of each camp and/or
perspective. Understanding the assumptions of each camp

and perspective is to recognize a lens that the
researchers use to view their world. Thus we should be
enabled to realize not only what has been presented but
also omitted by the research. This understanding equips
us to make a sensitive critique of the purpose, subjects,
and methodologies of the previous organizational culture
Throughout the history of organizational culture
studies, the researchers from different camps and
perspectives have defined and re-defined the meaning of
organizational culture in order to grasp the meaning of
the concept (for example, see Allaire and Firsirotu,
1984; and Frost, Moore, Louis, Lundberg, and Martin,
1985, 1991) Unfortunately, there is still no agreed-
upon definition of organizational culture, let alone a
clear vision of it. Therefore, the following will
explore the issue of organizational culture more narrowly
focused on the concepts that are applicable and
beneficial to this study.
Concepts of
Organizational Culture
Seemingly, one of the most troublesome tasks in the
study of organizational culture is to find the "right"

definition. It is widely compared to nailing Jell-0 to
the wall. For example, Alvesson (1993) attempts to use
an extensive collection of metaphors to explain what
organizational culture is. On the other hand, Trice and
Beyer (1993) define organizational culture by explaining
a list of what it is not.
John Steven Ott (1986) wrote his doctoral
dissertation, which later (1989) became a book, in an
attempt to define the term "organizational culture," and
its place within the field of organizational theory.
Generally, Ott's view of organizational culture is
similar to Kilmann and Associates (1985), who compare it
to the personality of an individual, which provides
direction and mobilization to the person's behavior.
Sackman (1991) differentiates organizational culture into
three broad perspectives: holistic, variable and
cognitive. Briefly, the first, holistic perspective,
defines culture as "patterned ways of thinking, feeling,
and reacting that are acquired and transmitted mainly by
symbols." Second, the variable perspective of culture
focuses on behavior and practices, as "the way to do
things, [say or react] here." And the cognitive
perspective focuses on ideas, concepts, beliefs, values,
and norms that underlie the collective standard for
making decisions (pp. 17-23) .

Schein (1985, 1992), one of the leading theorists in
the field, in one of the most quoted books on this topic,
Organizational Culture and Leadership, summarizes the
common meanings and definitions of organizational culture
as follows:
Observed behavioral regularities, when
people interact, such as the language used
and the rituals around deference and
demeanor [Goffman, 1959, 1967; Van Maanen,
The norms that evolve in working groups,
such as the particular norms of "a fair
day's work for a fair day's pay" that
evolved in the Bank Wiring Room in the
Hawthorn studies [Homans, 1950] .
The dominant values espoused by an
organization, such as "product quality" or
"price leadership" [Deal and Kennedy,
1982] .
The philosophy that guides organization
policy toward employees and/or customers
[Ouchi, 1981; Pascale and Athos, 1981] .
The rules of the game for getting along in
the organization, "the ropes" that a
newcomer must learn in order to become an
accepted member [Schein, 1968, 1978; Van
Maanen, 1976, 1979; Ritti and Funkhouser,
1982] .
The feeling or climate that is conveyed in
an organization by the physical layout and
the way in which members of the
organization interact with customers or
other outsiders [Tagiuri and Litwin,
1968]. (p. 6)

He also makes an argument that culture should not be
defined only by the surface levels of artifacts or values
but the "deeper level of assumptions" (Schein, 1992) .
Schein has constructed a conceptual framework for
analyzing and intervening in the organizational culture
(Hatch, 1993). Schein classified organizational culture
into three levels, from the most concrete to the most
abstract: level 1, artifacts; level 2, values; and level
3, basic underlying assumptions. For Schein, the actual
organizational culture exists only at the level of basic
assumptions. He defines culture as the pattern of basic
assumptions that is tested and accepted as appropriate
within an organization.
Sathe (1985) comments that "different people think
of different slices of reality when they talk of culture"
(p.6), but there are some commonalties. When we talk
about organizational culture, we look at the shared
assumptions, values, norms and philosophy among a
particular group of people -- defined as an organization
-- whether or not, they are embodied in an action. Trice
and Beyer (1993) have summarized the commonality of the
concept of organizational culture as: collective,
emotionally charged, historically based, inherently
symbolic, but dynamic, and inherently fuzzy (pp. 5-8).
To this point, it is very important to identify the
concept of organizational culture as well as to

differentiate it from, and associate it to, other related
ideas and terminologies. Once again, it is time to play
another "word game."
Organizational Culture.
Climate, and Corporate
Culture; Another "Word Game?11
There are many terms that have been used either to
describe or portray phenomena similar to or parallel with
the concept of organizational culture, for example,
social architecture (Bennis and Nanus, 1985) work group
norms (Homans, 1950) organizational character (Harrison,
1972), organizational climate (Drexter, 1977; Paolillo,
1982; Zohar, 1980), and corporate culture (Calori and
Sarnin, 1992; Deal and Kennedy, 1982; Denison, 1984;
Kilman, Saxton, Serpa, and Associates 1985; Schwartz and
Stanley, 1981). Out of the many terms, "corporate
culture" and "organizational climate" are used as
overlapping terms along with organizational culture and
thus deserve serious consideration.
Corporate Culture vs. Organization Culture. The
term "corporate culture" was first introduced to
management academia by Pettigrew in 1979. But it was not
until later when Terrence E. Deal and Allan A. Kennedy
(1982) titled their best-selling book Corporate Cultures:

The Rites and Rituals of Corporate Life that the term
"corporate culture" has became widely used.
The term "corporate culture" has been used, in
particular, to describe the culture of work organization,
especially within business settings (for example, Davis,
1984; and Enz, 1986). But this does not mean that the
term corporate culture is limited in use only to the
business discipline, with the term organizational culture
for outside such disciplines. As a matter of fact, in
most cases these two terms are used interchangeably. The
application and definition of both corporate culture and
organizational culture documents are drawn from the
similar pool of reference sources (see, for example,
Hassard and Sharifi, 1989; Meglino, Ravlin, Adkins, 1989;
Meek, 1988; Posner, Kouzes, and Schmidt, 1985; and
Sheridan, 1992). In addition, many periodical databases,
such as ABInform and PSYClit, use the term "corporate
culture" as a key-word for organizational culture
Based on the above practice, it is legitimate to
conclude that corporate culture and organizational
culture refer to basically the same subject. The
preference to use the one term over the other in some
particular areas may be that the word "corporate"
suggests cost-efficient enterprise rather than the word
"organization," thus implying a business connotation.

And it has two less syllables. In sum, corporate culture
and organizational culture are identical. The difference
in utilizing one term instead of the other is nothing
more than the matter of personal preference. It's just
another example of what Waldo (1980) called the "word
Organizational Climate vs. Organizational Culture.
We have explored the concept of organizational culture
earlier. At this point, it should be beneficial to
briefly explore the definition and concepts of
organizational climate. Organizational climate, Tagiuri
(1968) explains, "is a relatively enduring quality of the
internal environment of an organization 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. 27). In short, organizational
climate is the configuration or quality of the
organization's members' perception of the organization's
environment. This definition of organizational climate
may seem straightforward and should not be hard to
distinguish from organizational culture. But the
boundary between organizational climate and
organizational culture is "fuzzy." Roughly, we can see
that the research on distinguishing organizational
climate from organizational culture forms a continuum

from one extreme, the clean segregation between the two
terms, to the other, being the merging of the terms. The
following will briefly explore this continuum before
coming to a conclusion on whether the difference between
organizational climate and organizational culture is
useful or just another "word game."
At one polar extreme, Ott (1989) clearly segregates
organizational climate from organizational culture. He
claims that organizational climate is "not an element of
organizational culture, [and that] it is a ... separate
phenomenon" (p. 47).
On the continuum, many researchers see
organizational climate, though discrete, as related to
and overlapping with organizational culture. Some
researchers even conduct a parallel examination to
uncover the conceptual and empirical relationships and/or
distinctions between these two terms (see, for example,
Rentsch, 1990; Schneider, 1990). Organizational climate
and organizational culture are two different
understandings of organizational events, Rentsch (1990)
explains. Organizational climate describes the member's
perception of the events, while organizational culture
interprets the meaning of such events. James, James and
Ashe (1990) make a primary distinction between the
overlapping terms climate and culture, stating that
climate is "a product of personal values and remains a

property of individuals irrespective of the empirical
level of analysis, whereas culture is engendered by
system values (and involves system norms) and is a
property of the collective" (p. 41). Likewise, Rousseau
(1988, 1990) notes that the overlapping terms,
organizational climate and organizational culture, are
separable through the production process. The climate is
the production of the individual's psychological process,
which generates individual perceptions of the
organization, whereas the social interaction produces
culture. It is the "descriptive belief individuals hold
regarding organizational properties ... contrast[ed to
the] normative beliefs, which are the product of culture"
(Rousseau, 1990, p. 159, original emphasis).
Further along, approaching the middle of the
continuum, there are an increasing number of theorists
who argue that organizational climate and organizational
culture are very similar concepts (Eubanks and Lloyd,
1992; Glick, 1985; Richers and Schneider, 1990;
Schneider, 1985; and to a certain extent Rhoads and
Tierney, 1990). Very recently, organizational climate
has been named one of the many "guises" of the
organizational culture concept (see, Eubanks and Lloyd,
1992). Reicher and Schneider (1990), as they acknowledge
that "culture exists at a higher level of abstraction

than climate" (p. 29) explain the similarity between the
two concepts:
both climate and culture deal with the ways by
[sic] which organization members make sense of
their environment. These sense-making attempts
manifest themselves as shared meanings that
form the basis for action. Both climate and
culture are learned, largely through the
socialization process and through symbolic
interaction among group members. Climate and
culture are at the same time both monolithic
constructs and multidimensional ones. ...
Culture and climate are both attempts to
identify the environment that affects the
behavior of people in organizations, (p. 29)
To the argument, such as Tagiuri's (1968) that "a
particular configuration of enduring characteristics of
the ... culture would constitute a climate, much as a
particular configuration of personal characteristics
constitute a personality" (p. 23), Richers and Schneider
respond that the climate is actually the manifestation of
the culture. Organizational climate and culture are
"reciprocal processes, [with] the one causing the other
in an endless cycle over time" (p. 24), and that to a
certain extent, organizational climate is similar to
organizational culture. It is obvious that the number of
similarities between organizational climate and culture
outweigh the differences. These similarities, as a
result, prompt some researchers to utilize these two
terms, organizational culture and organizational climate,

interchangeably (cf. Durivage, Barrette, Montcalm, &
Laberge, 1992) .
The reasoning for the separation of organizational
culture and organizational climate is, basically, that
they originated from different disciplines. The idea of
organizational culture was borrowed from Anthropology,
while that of climate originated in Social/Organizational
Psychology (Glick, 1985; Richers and Schneider, 1990) .
Richers and Schneider suggested that this exclusion
phenomena is an "artifact of time" and predict the
merging of organizational climate and organizational
culture in the future.
In fact, the cleavage between organizational culture
and climate appears to be closing, when Moran and
Volkwein (1992) explore the formation of organizational
climate from a cultural approach. They note that
organizational climate is still not identical to
organizational culture. Even though the climate and
culture evolve out of similar elements, through the
chronicle of the organization's social interpretations,
the climate, which is more "shallow ... forms more
quickly and alters more rapidly" (Moran and Volkwein,
1992; 39) Organizational climate, Moran and Volkwein
(1992) argue, is actually a sub-set embedded within
organizational culture and occupying a lower, less
subjective, level of values and attitudes.

Making a decision to consolidate or isolate the
terms organizational climate and organizational culture
is not an easy task. The difficulties contribute to the
"fuzziness" of the conceptual boundary. Thus far, Moran
and Volkwein's (1992) argument is reasonably sound. They
not only bridge the meanings of organizational climate
and organizational culture but acknowledge the
differences incorporating the similarities between the
two essences, but also providing logical connections and
a workable model. However, Moran and Vlokwein's (1992)
model can benefit from the definition applied by Rousseau
(1990), stated above, that climate is determined by the
individual perception of an organizational property,
where as the interpretation of social interaction
determines culture. In brief, this study will regard the
climate as not identical to organizational culture but as
a sub-set of it which is embedded in and affected by
organizational culture.
Frameworks of
Organizational Culture
Schein's (1985) perspective of organizational
culture appears to provide a rather promising basis for
reference. His conceptual model of organizational

culture, the only model available (Hatch, 1993), not only
defines the meaning of culture but classifies it into
three levels: artifacts, values, and basic assumptions.
Level 1 of Organizational Culture: Artifacts.
Artifacts are objects reflecting the culture, behavioral
patterns and the visible, tangible and/or audible results
of behavior. They include, but are not limited to, the
"organization's written and spoken language and jargon,
office layout and arrangements, organizational structure,
and dress codes" (Ott, 1986, p. 148). In any
organization, artifacts are the most easily seen, felt,
and sensed, but they are not necessarily easy to
comprehend. For example, one may easily sense the
bureaucratic environment and behaviors within the
organization, but this does not tell us why a particular
environment occurs and what significance it holds for the
Level 2 of Organizational Culture: Values. Values
involve a sense of "what 'ought' to be, as distinct from
what is" (Schein, 1985, p. 150). Sathe (1985) describes
values nicely as "how people communicate, explain,
rationalize, and justify what they say and do as a
community -- how they 'make sense' of the first level of
culture. We will refer to this level with the term
cultural communications and justifications of behavior,
or justifications" (p. 10, original emphasis). This

level of culture also includes "ethos, philosophies,
ideologies, ethical and moral codes, and attitudes" (Ott,
1986, p. 149). Knowing the values within an organization
will answer the question why employees behave the way
they do (e.g., display organizational commitment or not) .
Level 3 of Organizational Culture: Basic
Assumptions. This level of organizational culture
includes fundamental assumptions that have become so
"completely accepted and deeply ingrained that they have
moved into the organization member's preconscious or
unconscious" (Ott, 1986, p. 151). Only through an
intensive self-analysis, Schein (1990) explains, can one
"seek out and decipher the taken-for-granted, underlying,
and usually unconscious assumptions that determine
perceptions, thought processes, feelings and behavior"
(p. 112, original emphasis). These basic assumptions are
similar to what Argyris and Schon (1978) called "values-
in-use." It is from the level of underlying values that
people, consciously or not, react to the situation at
Although Schein's framework of organizational
culture (1985, 1990, 1992) is influential and has
provided some important insights, there is a growing
number of contemporary scholars who consider each level
of organizational culture (i.e. artifacts, values, and
basic assumptions) to be equally important in the study

and understanding of organizational culture (e.g. Barney,
1986; Gordon, 1991; Hatch, 1993; and Rousseau, 1990).
Hatch (1993) argues that the usefulness of Schein's model
is diminished because the dynamic links between each
level of culture were left unexplained. While grounded
in Schein-s model, Hatch introduces the cultural dynamics
of organization, as she makes some fundamental
adjustments to Schein's model:
First, symbols are introduced as a new element.
The introduction of symbols permits the model
to accommodate the influences of both Schein's
theory and symbolic interpretive perspectives.
Second, the elements of culture (assumptions,
values, artifacts, and symbols) are made less
central so that the relationships linking them
become focal, (p. 660)
In the dynamic model, Hatch (1993), while acknowledging
the distinctions, considers assumptions, values, and
artifacts (Schein differentiated their level of
superiority significantly), as equivalent elements of
organizational culture also adds one -- symbols. She
initiates a philosophical mind shift and looks at the
issue of organizational culture from a different point of
view -- that of the relationship between elements. As a
result, Hatch (1993) proposes that "culture is
constituted by [the dynamic processes of] manifestation,
realization, symbolization, and interpretation" (p. 661),

which link each of the cultural elements together. These
linking relationships are what constitute the culture.
Likewise, Rousseau (1990) shares a fundamental
ideology with Schein's (1985, 1992) framework, yet looks
at organizational culture from a different viewpoint.
Instead of arguing over what the "real" culture is, or
whether it could be measured, if at all, by what level of
components, and by what process, etc., her primary
concerns is with the type of data the researchers collect
and/or measure to determine the organizational culture
variable. This perspective differentiates organizational
culture into five layers: artifacts, patterns of
behavior, behavioral norms, values, and fundamental
assumptions. By constituting the layers of measurement
of organizational culture, Rousseau (1990) opens a new
territory for the culture studies. The scholars would
know the dimension of organizational culture their study
will represent from the method and/or subjects of
inquiries employed in their study. As Rousseau's (1990)
differentiation of organizational culture are being
widely accepted, the controversy over conforming to the
"one true" representation, methodology, and/or subject of
inquiry for studying, discovering, and depicting
organizational culture phenomena (i.e., Kilmann et. al.,
1989; Meek, 1988; Ott, 1986, 1989; and Schein, 1985,

1992), will be a thing of the past. Alvesson (1993) puts
it nicely that
The crucial issue is not so much choosing the
right or the best perspective . [but]
reflective understanding of what a particular
concept of culture highlights and what it
obscures. Here sensitivity is vital. Such
understanding can be facilitated by the
confrontation of different concepts of culture
not only mastering one perspective but
grasping its relations to others, (p. 91) .
To this end, the more important issue than the discovery
of a missing pieces in the jigsaw puzzle is the ability
to understand and determine the relationship of the
discovered piece to the whole picture of organizational
^alue.s_ as_.the_Asse.ssment of Organizational Culture.
Rokeach (1973) defined value, in an academic manner, as
"an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct or
end-state of existence is personally or socially
preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or
end-state of existence" (p. 5) Practically, Posner,
Kouzes, and Schmidt (1985) noted that, "values comprise
the things that are most important to us. [They are] the
deep-seated, pervasive standards that influence almost
every aspect of our lives, our moral judgments, our
responses to others, our commitments to personal and
organizational goals" (p. 294). For the purpose of this
study, values can be used as the means of measurement for

organizational culture. There are four reasonings which
justify this choice.
First, many scholars employ values (what is
important) to define organizational culture (see, for
example, Davis, 1985; O'Reilly, Chatman, and Caldwell,
1991), because values "represent an ideal, workable
blending of the ideationalist and adaptationist concepts
of culture" (Ott, 1986, p. 150). Values, though not as
tangible and visible as artifacts, are closer to Schein's
concept of "true" culture (the basic assumptions) --
while also being more tangible and less subjective than
the assumptions and thus easier to measure. Secondly,
the analysis of organizational culture by employing
values may "yield a view of culture that is significantly
narrower than the broad, all-encompassing anthropological
view," Wiener (1988) argued, the values "are a key
element in the definition of culture ... [and that,]
operational definitions and measurement of values are
feasible" (p. 534).
Thirdly, values lie at "the transformation/
translation point ... [on the border between] the
objective and subjective theorizing" (Hatch 1993, p.
684). Therefore, Hatch (1993) notes, it has capacity to
"represent the qualities and characteristics of both
domains ... which subjectivist and objectivist
orientations can be made to communicate and coexist" (p.