People and Organizational Culture in Health Care

Introduction

This critique assignment is designed to give me a chance to use other scholars’ work, and learn from them through the analysis of the concepts presented in their work, and the theories they have brought forth in their journals. In the critique, there is the aspect of linking the concepts and theories found in the two journals with my PhD thesis topic, which is on “the impact of organizational culture in knowledge sharing behavior in organizations”. It is believed that critically analyzing different related journals and linking them to my thesis is very important to me when doing the literature review, choosing the methodology design, analyzing the data, discussing the research findings and in the making of the recommendations in the conclusion of the research. After critically analyzing the journals, I will be at a position to produce quality PhD paper. In this task therefore, I will look at the purposes in the two journals, their objectives and research questions, concepts and theories presented, the methodology in the research and the discussions, and link them with my thesis (the impact of organizational culture in knowledge sharing behavior in organizations). First, I will critique each journal separately, and later, in one paragraph compare the two studies through selection of similar concepts, and explain whether the two articles have the same or opposing views. This means that I will first focus on one article looking for theories and concepts that relate to my thesis and use the knowledge obtained from that paper in thinking and analyzing the other journal. The two journals I will use for this critique are “People and organizational culture: A profile comparison approach to assessing person-organization fit. Academy of Management Journal, 14, 487-516 by O’Reilly, C. A., Chatman, J., & Caldwell, D. F. (1991), and The Quantitative Measurement of Organizational Culture in Health Care: A Review of the Available Instruments. Health Services Research, 38(3), pp 923-945 by Scott, T., Mannion, R., Davies, H & Marshall, M. (2003).

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Journal 1: People and organizational culture: A profile comparison approach to assessing person-organization fit

This journal focuses on bringing together some three organizational behavior themes, which are a) person-situation interaction, b) organizational culture assessment and c) person-situation interaction through Q–sort or template matching approach. The study came up with an instrument to assess person organization interaction fit through data collected from accountants, students and employees in government organizations. In the results, employees have preference dimensional for organizational culture. It was also found that when there is job satisfaction and organizational commitment, there is an effective person- organization fit. It is therefore evident that organizational culture should fit the individual preferences.

Purpose and objectives

Organizational behavior and culture are very important. However, it has been hard to define and measure behavior and culture. It is known that culture determines how an employee fits in an organization. From the interact ional psychology, it is easy to see the person- culture fit where an individual’s response is affected by the combination of the individual and the present situation in the organization. The situations presented by the organization such as the norms and incentives interact with individual’s aspects such as the expectations and values to affect how the individual respond and behave around the organization. It is therefore important to assess the relevant aspects of persons and organizational cultures using theories of job choice, career, adjustment of work and the climate in the organization. The measurement of person –situation is very important in determining how personality and situational variables explain the behavior and attitude of people. Therefore, the purpose of the research is to determine the person- culture fit, and how it affects the organizational attitude and behavior at work.

Key concepts and theories

Person – situation fit

Person fit is very important in the behavior of an organization. Knowledge of the interaction of the individual characteristics and the attributes of the organization are very important. Also, it is important to establish the fit between organizational characteristics and its people. While determining the match between the organizational characteristics and the people, individual skills that match job specifications are very important.

In vocational choice for example, people select or go for jobs that fit to their self-concepts. This has been evidenced to be very positive since there are better results and that the person is more likely to stay in the job. If there is harmony between the organization and the individual, there will be better results, and it is easier to sustain the individual to that environment compared to a situation where there is no harmony between the individual and the environment. This means that the person and the environment should be complimentary for a better fit. If the employee has self-concept that is similar to the organizational image, then the individual is likely to prefer to stay in that environment satisfactorily.

Additionally individuals should understand the job requirements for them to adjust well to the job. This is called the person- job fit. The motive and needs of the individual and the requirements of the job determines the person- job fit. When individuals match to the requirement of a situation in an organization, there is always a positive response by the individuals. However, there is a controversy on the definition of ‘fit’. To define fit, personality is measured normatively to assess the characteristics of the individual to distinguish situations. This allows people to be described using a single language, and on the other hand situation is described using another different language, thereby making it hard for scholars to develop person- situation theory since it becomes hard to establish the real effects of person situation interaction. Even if similar, jobs vary in different organizations, and calls for another move in measuring job characteristics where individual organizational settings should be used in determining specific job characteristics.

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Additionally, it is hard to describe personality. Individuals are not adequately described and personality characteristics measured may not apply to the people or present organizational situation. Due to the lack of proper description of fit and personality, it is very difficult to assess the interaction between the person and the situation. Techniques employed to assess this relationship should compare the two across multiple dimensions. There is no given trait that will be applicable to all individuals, and this calls for variables that are pesonological to a central individual. This is only achievable when individuals are rated in relation to a specific attribute. In methodology, a template matching technique is used to easily to rate the individuals where variables within a person are configured. Q sort technique is employed in the obtaining semi-idiographic assessments of fit.

Person – Culture Fit

Every organization has a culture that may or may not be attractive to some individuals. This means that an organizational culture that attracts a particular individual may not attract another different individual. Individuals behave differently in different cultures. However, there is a debate on the definition of ‘culture’, the method to investigate culture and analysis of cultural studies. However, in the studies, similar terms and constructs are used. Culture is thought to be a set of cognitions that are shared by individuals in a setting. There are elements common in an organization shared by its members.

There are values in an organization that determines its culture since norms, rituals and all organizational activities revolve around them. Values are therefore the elements that define the organizational culture since members believe in them. The values therefore guide the behavior of an organization’s members. When focusing on the organizational norms, the social expectations of individuals are determined based on the values. The values therefore determine how connected the members of the organization are to the organization. The culture of the organization gives its members a sense of association and belonging, and tends to be associated with it. When an organization has values similar to those of the individuals, the individuals are strongly drawn to that organization. On the other hand, while looking for employees, organizations recruit those people they know will share their organizational values. If new employees come in an organization, and fail to fit with the values, then they leave the organization. It is therefore evident that the fit between the values of an organization and those of its members is core to the relationship between the person and the organizational culture.

There have been difficulties in measuring culture. There is controversy in assessing culture quantitatively. Culture may be constituted by unique constructions of reality, which could not be conscious of the culture members. Quantitative assessment therefore is important in determining the effect of culture on the behavior of the organization’s members. To assess culture, focus is laid on the central values that are central to the individual self. The values of an organization are identified and then individuals show their consensus to the identified values. If members show little agreement that a value in an organization is important, the organization is said to lack strong culture. When there is a culture-person fit, there is increased commitment since the employees are satisfied, and will stay long in the organization.

Methodology

Organizational culture profile was constructed (OCP), which has value statements used to determine the effect of values on members and the preference of an individual to the values. To calculate the person culture fit therefore, correlation is done between the profiles of organizational values with individual preference profile. The organization culture profile has characteristics used to assess the organization and its people. People show different preferences to the organizational values and individual personality variables elate differently to the organizational values.

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First, the organizational culture profile was developed for use in the research. The generated OCP contained 54 value statements that generically capture the values for individuals and the organization. The 54 items were sorted by the respondents into nine categories. This sorting depended in whether the respondents described their preferences, their values or the culture of the organization. Different individuals were used to assess the culture of the organization, and rate the preferences.

First, the organizational values were described from the available literature about the organization. The identified values characterized the individuals and the organization. There were assumptions made such that an identified item should be relevant to any organization, items resided on different categories, for the items to be commonly shared they must be readily.

To obtain the organizations characteristics, key informants should be identified to sort the items to suit the culture of the organization of each of them. The individuals should described the items was very important. This followed the assessment of the individual preferences where participants sorted the items depending on their response to the asked questions. Some questions the respondents were supposed to answer were on the importance of the characteristics in their organizations. Biases were also prevented by casting the items in socially neutral terms.

To calculate the person organization fit score correlation was done on the individual preference profile with organization’s profile of the company the respondents worked for. The general hypothesis of the study was that person- organization fit has a relationship with work outcomes. This hypothesis was tested by measuring some variables.

The commitment of the organization was measured using 12-item scale. Eight items identified commitment based on the acceptance of the values of an organization. Instrumental commitment was defined by 4 items that described commitment related to a specific reward. Job satisfaction was measured using the single item faces scale since it captured both the positive and the negative cognitions and effects. The intentions of the respondents to leave the organization were measured with the four 7-point Liker-type questions, which are; the preference of another job to the present, how they thought of changing their present organizations, how long they intend to remain working for the organization and the question as whether if they had their own means they could continue working for the organization.

Practical implications

Value congruency was used to measure the person organization fit. The results imply that the OCP is reliable. There is variation in the individual preference in different organizations due to the differences in the individual characteristics. The individual characteristics also are responsible for the selection of firms an individual would wish to work for. This therefore means that organizational culture is very important in determining the behavior of its members. Examination of the organizational values evaluates the organizational culture. Even if organizations are similar, they have different value structures in which they operates.

Individuals can adjust to organizations through insights from the person organization fit. When an individual is satisfied and committed to the work, there seems to be an efficient relationship between the person and the organization. On the other hand, person culture fit is based on the norms and values of the organization. When the fit between the person and the organization is high, the results are that there will be high commitment and employees will be satisfied. The demands of the situation should be known, and how an individual is competent in that specific situation. The question that should be asked is as to whether the individual’s preferences fit the situation in the organization. For an individual to feel satisfied in an organization and stay there for long, they must match their values with those of the organization and find out whether they fit into each other. Organizations on the other hand should recruit employees who fit a particular situation.

Limitations of the study

It is relatively hard to define ‘fit’. Fit is not taken as simply the match between the individual and the job requirements. There are characteristics in the firm that impact the judgment during recruitment of employees for certain posts. There was no tool that assessed personality to determine the fit between the individuals and situations. Culture was not well validated though the research provided definitions of value patterns to define culture in a more robust way that needs to be sorted (O’Reilly, Chatman & Caldwell, 1991: 487-516).

Journal 2: The Quantitative Measurement of Organizational Culture in Health Care: A Review of the Available Instruments

This journal looks at the available quantitative instruments that are used in measuring of organizational culture through review of published articles that had a phrase ‘organizational culture’ in the health care setting. The inclusion criteria used identified 13 instruments that can be used in measuring the organizational culture, which differed in terms of scientific properties and format. The research found out that there are different instruments available for measuring organizational culture. The choice of the instrument to use depends on the research team conceptualizes organization culture and the purpose of the organization.

Purpose and objectives of the study

The purpose of this study was to review the quantitative instruments in health care used to measure the organizational culture.

Key concepts and theories

Organizational culture theory

Other than focusing on the structural change in the health care industry, focus has been laid on transformation of cultures to achieve any anticipated quality and performances. Organizational culture theory is thought to be a combination of the psychology of the organization and the society around it. Organization culture constitutes the analysis of the organization. An organization can either be a rational instrumental organization or a value infused organization. Organizations basically trap up people’s energies and make them achieve their aims and goals. Organizational culture denotes the social phenomena, which include the language, behavior values, symbols and dress among many other elements. All the organizational elements define the character and the norms of the organization.

There has been little agreement on the definition of the organizational culture, the methodology used to measure it and the methods that can be used to implement organizational change. There are those researchers who see organizational culture to constitute measurable variables while others see determination of organizational culture as a challenge to put capture as an intrinsic property. Others see organizational culture as an anthropological metaphor to view the society as a micro society.

Organizational culture comes into being as a result of the managing team struggling to strategize a manner in which the organization is able to cope with its problems both internally and externally. It is therefore very difficult for the organizations to reconcile its aims and actions of its members. In organizations culture however, there are shared values and assumptions that affect the belief and behavior of its members. This means that organizational culture does not only denote the way things are done in an organization. It is easy to change the ay things are done in the organization since this is a functional change, which is different from the organizational culture change.

The reason why organizational culture seems a bit harder to change is because it is hard to understand the reason behind why things are done the way they are in an organization. Again, whenever there is a change, it is faced with resistance of some kind due to various factors. This makes it hard to change the behavior of the organization, which is brought into existence by the organizational culture.

It is evident that in organizations, the culture affects the quality of work and the performance of different employees. Even though it is a bit hard to change an organizational culture, it can be managed. Through identification of an organization’s cultural attributes, those that affect the organization can be identified and aid the managers in designing strategies for cultural change. When organizational culture is changed, it offers the organization with various benefits compared to the case where there is id dysfunction in the organization culture. Policy makers are interested in the quantitative measurement of the organizational culture to determine the relationship that exists between the organizational culture and the quality and performances.

Methodology

Different databases were searched for articles on organizational culture, which emphasized on the health service research. To get the article, the search was based on the term organizational culture. The research had some guiding principles which included the following;

  1. The instrument researched was quantitative in nature since it measured the relationship between performance and the organizational culture.
  2. The identified instrument should assess different cultural characteristics
  3. Preference was given to instruments whose data showed their statistical validity and reliability in the measurement of organization culture.

Those instruments that had found use in health care setting were given priority.

Practical implication

Knowledge about organizational culture is very important in making sure that the organization has quality and effective performances. This knowledge is also very important for the managers who wish to change the culture in their organizations towards success. There are very many instruments that have been seen to measure organizational culture. Cultural assessment instrument is determined by the purpose and the context. There has not been any instrument found to measure organizational culture with validity, reliability and trustworthy assessment thereby proving that for better result, a multimethod approach needs to be employed in the organizations.

Culture plays a role in engaging the organizations and the problems it faces with meaning. Participants of any organization ready to improve the quality and performances in the delivery of services should understand quality and performance for them to assess themselves well. Investigators into organizational culture have a range of instruments. Since the culture is considered to be ambiguous and slippery, investigators should know what is studied and use multiple instruments for better results. The study therefore implies that singular efforts to define and measure culture are misplaced, and several tools need to be used in adherence to several methods to come up with good results (Scott, Davies & Marshall, 2003: 923-945).

Comparison of the papers between similar concepts

The two journals are about organizational culture and offers similar concepts in regard to the importance of organizational culture for better outcomes by the employees or people around the organizations. It is paramount to note that organizational culture is hard to define and measure. Both of the articles pinpoint that knowledge of organizational culture is important in determining the kind of relationship that exist between the organization and its members who determine its success or fall. Quantitative assessment therefore is important in determining the effect of culture on the behavior of the organization’s members. To assess culture, focus is laid on the central values that are central to the individual self.

Conclusion

Organizational culture is an area that organizations seeking to improve their quality and performance need to focus. Organizations have values and norms that it shares to its groups to control their interaction between them and the external environment they serve. It is therefore the duty of organizations to develop and implement strategies that will make the culture of the organization favorable to its members to work satisfactorily and stay in the organization. Under the shared vision of the organization, individuals share knowledge that is consistent to the values of the organization, which determine the culture of the organization.

References

  1. O’Reilly, C. A., Chatman, J., & Caldwell, D. F. (1991) People and organizational culture: A profile comparison approach to assessing person-organization fit. Academy of Management Journal, 14, 487-516.
  2. Scott, T., Mannion, R., Davies, H & Marshall, M. (2003) The Quantitative Measurement of Organizational Culture in Health Care: A Review of the Available Instruments. Health Services Research, 38(3), 923-945.
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