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Perceptions of Organisational Culture: A Case Study Set Within the Context of Recent Developments in Higher Education

STAKES, RICHARD (2010) Perceptions of Organisational Culture: A Case Study Set Within the Context of Recent Developments in Higher Education. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Although the culture of an organisation is often regarded as a key component of its overall character as well as a determinant of its success, it is a difficult, complex and intricate concept that is hard to define. Further, its individualistic and organic nature means it is potentially hard to capture, let alone measure.

This research focused on the effects of planned change on the organisational culture among staff that present HE programmes in a large mixed economy college in the United Kingdom (UK). After a critical review of the current literature on organisational culture was conducted
a case study approach was used to collect the primary data.

This case study comprised a two-phase research design. While Phase 1 focused on the returns to a published questionnaire by Brown [1998], Phase 2 comprised a series of follow-up open-ended, semi-structured interviews
with some of the staff who had completed Phase 1 of the project.

As a result a ‘snapshot’ of the changes in the culture of that part of the organisation where the research was undertaken to be captured. The findings of the follow-up interviews, based on the negative aspects elicited in phase one of this process, provided an opportunity for staff to
consider these issues in greater depth and detail.

Conclusions was drawn from the findings provided evidence that the two phase approach to data collection provided valuable information relating to changes in the organisational culture (and particularly its subcultures) at a time of planned change.

These data supported the view expressed in the literature review that the nature of organisational culture in this setting is also complex, both overt and opaque and similarly dynamic to that found in any other large

Further, and also in line with the findings of the literature review, as a result of the different perceptions (and thus the reactions of individual staff within the two Schools) the planned changes created unpredictable
influences on the sub-cultures within the setting. In one of the Schools this had resulted in a much more hostile attitude to the changes than in the other.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2010
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Jun 2010 15:17

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