Melita Moretti, PhD

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Organizational Culture vs. Organizational Climate

Chapter Summaries*

 

To understand the internal environment of a company or other institution, it is useful 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.


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The similarities and differences between organizational culture and organizational climate.