Determine Whether Subcultures are Formed in a Large Organisation

By Nico Martins.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The objectives of the research were: to validate an organisational culture questionnaire; to verify and adapt, if necessary, the theoretical model of organisational culture; to determine whether subcultures are formed in a large organisation. Methodology: Two statistical procedures were used to validate the questionnaire, namely confirmatory factor analysis and principal axis factoring. The analysis of variance and t-test were used to detect subcultures. Sample characteristics: Four hundred and eighty seven (487) employees from a listed company participated in the survey. The sample was drawn from all eight regions and indicated biographical variables such as job grade, gender, race and employment status. Key findings: The results indicated that management processes appears to be the dimension which differs the most between biographical groups and leads to the creation of subcultures in the different regions. It also appears that subcultures are formed due to different interpretations of the vision and mission and operationalisation thereof according to the needs and circumstances of specific biographical groups. The results of the confirmatory factor analysis confirmed the original dimensions of the organisational culture model, with only one dimension being renamed. Discussion: An understanding of the subcultures in an organisation can assist managers to manage, not only strategically but also operationally, the relationships between the various employee groupings more effectively. The implications of the study is that managers should not blindly suppress subcultures, but rather understand them, incorporate them in strategic planning and manage them as a business advantage.

Keywords: Organisational Culture, Culture Model, Subcultures, Confirmatory Factor Analysis, Organisational System, Dimensions of Culture

The International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp.75-88. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 797.022KB).

Prof. Nico Martins

Professor, Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, University of South Africa, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Nico holds a PhD in Industrial Psychology and is a registered industrial psychologist and personnel practitioner. His M.Com thesis focused on organisational communication and his doctorate on organisational culture. Nico previously worked for Bankorp and Sasol Limited in various human resource management specialist jobs. These include Human Resources Manager, Training Manager, Head: Personnel Development and Manager: Development and Personnel Research. Presently he is with the Department of Industrial Psychology at Unisa and specializes in the field of Organisational Psychology and is Head of the Centre for Industrial and Organisational Psychology. Nico is also the Co-Director of Organisational Diagnostics, a closed corporation with the aim of focusing on organisational diagnoses, interventions, organisational change, employment equity, diversity and training and general human resources consultation. He also published several articles on organisational culture, organisational diagnoses, industrial relations and affirmative action and presented papers at several national and international conferences on the mentioned subjects. Nico has participated in about 350 reports on various aspects of organisational diagnoses. He has extensive knowledge in the fields of organisational assessment and (re)-design.


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