Melita Moretti, PhD

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“If you can’t explain it simply, then you haven’t understood it well enough.”—Albert Einstein

Organizational Culture vs. Organizational Climate

In this comprehensive monograph, we delve into the genesis and essence of organizational culture and climate, offering an insightful assessment to better understand a company or organization’s performance. Our focus is on three primary objectives:

  1. Encouraging Thought and Research: We aim to stimulate thought and research in the realms of organizational culture and climate. As Giorgi, Lockwood, and Glynn (2015) suggest, these constructs are central to organizational studies. After a surge of interest in the 1980s and 1990s, these topics have regained prominence among theorists, researchers, and practitioners (Weber and Dancin, 2011). Organizational culture and climate are now recognized as key drivers of sustainable competitive advantage (Barney, Ketchen, and Wright, 2011) and are pivotal for a company’s success (Flamholtz and Randle, 2014).
  2. Providing Comprehensive Insights: Our monograph offers an in-depth view of the theoretical foundations of organizational culture and climate. We explore the connections and distinctions between these constructs and extend the research scope traditionally associated with organizational climate to include deeper psychological aspects, a broader range of variables (including myths and stories), and the exploration of the wider social and natural environment in which organizations operate. We also advocate for the use of qualitative research methods in this field.
  3. Presenting Diverse Perspectives through Original Research: We focus on presenting findings from original quantitative research conducted in Slovenia, covering multiple organizations and organizational units. The emphasis is on the scientific contribution of these studies, both in theory and practice. Based on these findings, we propose measures to improve organizational culture and climate in selected organizations, offering practical benefits for those striving for organizational success.

The monograph is divided into two main parts:

  • Part One: This section reviews the literature on organizational culture and climate, covering six chapters. It includes historical overviews, descriptions of concepts and subcultures, research methodologies, and main quantitative research instruments. It also discusses the influence of organizational culture on policy definition and strategy implementation, and the controlled and uncontrolled changes in organizational climate.
  • Part Two: This section presents various aspects of organizational culture and climate through original quantitative research in Slovenia. It covers topics like the current and desired organizational culture in public sector organizations, the predominant culture in Slovenian theaters, the relationship between organizational culture and financial value in foreign companies in Slovenia, and the impact of organizational culture on employee sick leave in medium and large Slovenian companies. It also explores organizational climate in Slovenian health resorts, assessing categories like quality orientation, motivation, innovation, and internal relationships.

In summary, this monograph offers a rich, detailed exploration of organizational culture and climate, emphasizing their crucial role in organizational success and providing actionable insights for future research and practical improvements in these areas.

Chapter Summaries*

 

To understand the internal environment of a company or other institution, it is helpful to have an understanding of both the organizational culture and the organizational climate. There are similarities and differences between the two.

The similarities between organizational culture and organizational climate are as follows:

  • (1) both constructs are complex, multidimensional, and multilevel;
  • (2) both constructs focus on a macro view of the overall effects of individuals and their behaviour in the organization;
  • (3) with both constructs, we focus on the internal environment in the organization and not on individuals;
  • (4) in the case of both, we focus more on the whole organization or its organizational unit (unit of analysis) more than on individuals;
  • (5) the implementation of both constructs in the organization should have the greatest and direct influence on the founders, owners and managers;
  • (6) the two constructs differ in the power and influence that is supposed to be important for understanding the multitude of interdependent effects of organizational culture and organizational climate in an enterprise or other institution;
  • (7) both constructs cannot always be linked to the performance of a company or other institution.

The predominant differences between organizational culture and organizational climate are as follows:

  • (1) the theoretical starting points of organizational climate are based on psychology, and research mostly uses quantitative data collection methods, whereas the theoretical starting points for organizational culture are based on anthropology and qualitative data collection methods;
  • (2) the organizational culture is oriented towards the past or the future; the organizational climate is geared towards the current situation;
  • (3) organizational culture functions on the level of relationships and values, is relatively invisible and present in the subconscious of individuals; organizational climate acts within an individual’s awareness is more visible and works on the level of relationships and values;
  • (4) organizational culture is more difficult to change than organizational climate, but both cannot be implemented easily and quickly;
  • (5) organizational climate research is focused on strategic aspects, while organizational culture research mostly does not focus on a specific theme.

*Source: MORETTI, Melita. Organizacijska kultura in klima: Kako blizu in narazen sta si? Kaj se raziskovalci posameznih konstruktov lahko učijo eden od drugega? (Organizational culture and climate: similarities and differences. What can researchers of the two learn from one another?) (In Slovenian). In: MORETTI, Melita (ed.), MARKIČ, Mirko (ed.). Organizacijska kultura in klima v Sloveniji (Organizational Culture and Climate in Slovenia). Koper: Založba Univerze na Primorskem, 2017.


Other Chapter Summaries: Organizational Culture & Organizational Climate.

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The similarities and differences between organizational culture and organizational climate.