Culture and Leadership according to Quinn’s Competing Values Framework

Business Dimensions of Strategic Importance

Bachelor Thesis, 2014

83 Pages


Table of Contents


Chapter 1 – Literature Review.
1.1 Culture Approaches
1.2 Definition and Characteristics of Organizational Culture
1.3 The content of Organizational Culture
1.4 National Culture
1.5 Differences of Organizational Culture and Organizational Climate
1.6 Organizational Culture and Leadership by Cameron and Quinn
1.7 Harrison and Handy Typology
1.8 Schein Approach
1.9 Culture and Executives’ Effectiveness
1.10 Successful Organizational Culture
1.11 Strong - Weak Culture

Chapter 2 - Leadership
2.1 Definition and Characteristics of Leadership
2.2 The nature of Leadership
2.3 Leadership Principles
2.4 The role of the Founder and Leadership
2.5 Theories of Leadership Behavior
2.5.1 Theory X & Y
2.5.2 The Managerial Grid by Blake and Mouton
2.5.3 Contingency Model by Fiedler
2.5.4 The Life Cycle Theory by Hersey & Blanchard
2.5.5 The Leader Member Exchange Theory by Dansereau F., Graen G. and Haga
2.5.8 Leadership Model by Vroom - Yetton
2.6 Leadership Types
2.6.1 Charismatic Leadership by DenHartog,
House and Hanges (1999)
2.6.2 Servant Leadership by Greenleaf (1977)
2.6.4 Visionary Leadership - Nanus (1992)
2.6.5 Spiritual Leadership by Dent, Higgins and Wharff (2005)
2.6.6. Authentic Leadership –
Avolio, Luthans & Walumbwa (2004)

Chapter 3: Competing Values Framework
3.1 Development of “Competing Values Framework”
3.2 Review of “Competing Values Framework”
3.3 Remarks
3.4 Quinn Leadership Role Model
3.5 Alternative Model of Leadership Roles
3.6 Leadership and Efficiency

Chaptocess Execution

Chapter 4: Research Methodology & Analysis of Results
4.1 Research Problem
4.2 Research Design
4.3 Data Collection
4.4 Measurement Methods
4.5 Sampling Process
4.5.1 Research Population
4.5.2 Sample framework
4.5.3 Sample Unit
4.5.4 Prer 5: Conclusions
5.1 Interpretation of results
5.2 Managerial Consequences
5.3 Limitations of the present study / Proposals for further research


This thesis deals with the examination of business dimensions of strategic importance such as culture and leadership, by using as a main research tool ​​Quinn’s Competing Values ​​Framework. For the realization of the thesis, there were collected, processed and analyzed data stemming from both the literature review and the business practice.

The main objectives of this research effort are the following: finding if there is an adoption in the modern business environment, of the typology and underlying assumptions that are defined by the competing values framework ​​for the dimensions under consideration and the investigation of the interactions that exist among them. The analysis of the executives of four businesses contributes to a thorough research and control of the above objectives.

The results confirm the practical adoption of the framework and typology which it sets, while, they reveal important aspects of orientation of the business in the Greek environment and conclude that:
- It is distinguished by a culture which incorporates features of all types described by the "Competing Values ​​Framework"
- It follows paradoxical combinations of HRM practices and,
- The top executive of the business follows the requirements of the environment seeking to develop the much needed "complex behavior".
- It seems paradoxical the image which is synthesized with respect to the investigation of existing interactions. The results of the relevant analysis appear differently than expected, by complicating particularly the situation. More specifically:
- There are high correlations between each type of culture and the role of leadership
- There is a weak relation between culture and practices aiming at developing the human resources of the business and
- It is not noticed an important relation between leadership and HRM.

Result which cause concern and at the same time are related with the philosophy of framework.

Table of Figures

Figure 1 : Quinn’s Leadership Role Model (Source: Quinn, 1988) 69


People of a nation have their own culture or cultural values, therefore, the members of an organization have their own culture.

The organizational culture is a set of values, beliefs, standards, assumptions and thinking, which is accepted by all members of an organization ( Chanoch & House, 2001). These cultural elements are transferred to the new members from which are taught on how to perceive, think and will feel within an organization. In other words, culture shows how things are done within the organization. Generally, organizational culture leads the behavior of the members of the organization and affects the work they do.

The communication and leadership style exercised by the manager in the organization are influenced by the organizational culture. The procedures of innovation, decision making, communication, organization, measurement of performance etc.., vary considerably from an organization to organization and these differences are due to the organizational culture (Bennis,2003). The organizational culture can be diagnosed by observing the behavior of people at work and with interviews.

The expectations of the culture create standards of acceptable behaviour and ways of carrying out tasks. The organizational culture is similar to the personality of the individual.

As the individual, so the organization can be described as conservative, progressive, stable, dynamic, controlled and non-controlled. Culture affects the way the members of the organization connected to one another, as well as their relationship with the individuals who are outside the organization.

There are two levels of culture in organizations. The “Observable” culture and the central culture or culture "Trunk." The observable culture is what one sees and hears within the organization or is an employee or a customer. For example, the way people dress or the way people treat each other are cultural elements or culture. The central culture shows why things are done in the above manner and is the second level of the organizational culture.

This level is consisted of values ​​and beliefs, which influence behavior. Edgar Schein suggests that organizational culture develops due to the following two challenges an organization faces (Gibson, 2003).

a) The response of the changing external environment in which the organization must adapt to survive,
b) To establish and maintain effective working relationships among members of the organization. This way the organization helps to achieve the internal integration of the individual. Therefore, organizational culture is developed in case the members perceive in similar way knowledge and assumptions and when they have to face issues of external adaptation and internal integration. The development of organizational culture has as a basis the founder of the organization. Organizational behavior is the study of behavior of individuals and teams working in the organization as well as the study of the behavior of the organization itself in order to achieve the expected results. (Landsberg, 2003).

The study of organizational behavior includes three levels analysis.

- The first has to do with individual behavior,
- The second has to do with the behavior of the team and
- The third has to do with the study of the behavior of the organization.

In all cases, human behavior is considered as a key variable in understanding the organizational process. This human behavior, the manager can and should influence if s/he wants to fulfill the goals of the business. Thus, organizational behavior focuses its study on observable behaviors, studies the behavior of individuals as independent individuals but also as members of a team and analyzes the behavior of teams and organizations.

The behavior of individuals cannot be studied independently. It is necessary to comprehend its relationship with other variables, such as for example with the official structure of the organization, performed tasks, used technology, methodology of performing a work, management processes and impacts from the external environment.

Organizational behavior is therefore, a scientific field that describes, analyzes, explains and predicts human behavior that is expressed in the environment of the official infrastructure of the organization (Sharma, 2004). This field is related but is different from industrial psychology, sociology, human relations and history. Organizational behavior is not a separate behavior sciences but the implementation of the knowledge provided by two or more behavior sciences.

The basic behaviorist sciences that contribute more to the field of organizational behavior are psychology, sociology and anthropology. Of course, organizational behavior is influenced even by economics and political sciences. The behavior scientists try to predict human behavior, under specific situations and circumstances and this is due to the fact that people and the environment change (De Graff, 2003). Each field uses its own methodology for understanding important areas, such as individual differences, social influences and motives. It is know that any activity that takes place in the organization influences the behavior of people.

This effect even extends to customers and suppliers. In other words this fact is related to the survival of the organization itself, since "human problems" are the main cause of the success or failure of the organization (Miller & Faerman, 2002). Thus the organizational behavior as a study field, it is important for managers and employees to be effective in their work.

The challenges of the 21st century are visible and real. Hence, the study of organizational behavior must take into account this dynamic environment that changes constantly and within which organizations are required to operate and survive.

Chapter 1 – Literature Review

1.1 Culture Approaches

Culture is a dimension of enterprises / organizations, which in the modern environment is considered particularly critical, if not the most critical for the efficiency, competitiveness and long-term success. The issue of culture has preoccupied the academic world for a long time. During the last decade especially, the relevant literature has been expanded dramatically, mainly trying to give answers to the following questions:

- What is organizational culture and which elements constitute its content?
- Why is culture important for businesses and how does it influence their operation, efficiency, competitiveness, success and their evolution?
- Which type of culture is the most recommended one for each specific enterprise?
- How is culture in an enterprise formed, developed or changed and what is the role of management?
- How can culture be assessed and measured so as its efficiency is understood?

Examples include Pettigrew approach that attributed much of the culture to the firm's founder. Selznick talks about the processes of integrating values ​​in organizational structures through a mission, programs, the way of selecting and evaluating. Blake and Mouton explain the formation of culture as an interaction between the organization and individuals, while Killman claims that, while initially culture was built around critical incidents, then it gets its own identity and appears as a separate variable of the organization (Bourantas, 2002).

1.2 Definition and Characteristics of Organizational Culture

It has been suggested that the word “culture” is one of the most complicated words of the English languages.However, speaking from the etymological point of view, the Latin root of the word "Culture" is colere which is translated as cultivation, habitation, worship, even protection. The word colere, however, stems from Latin root cultus, attributed to the meaning of culture, the ephemeral sense of the divine and transcendent.

Therefore, culture refers to positive and negative points. From the epistemological point of view, the term culture is a concept that implies that there is one nature or a natural product beyond us, but it needs to undergo some treatment to acquire some human importance.

The importance of culture emerges from the words of the great Nobel laureate George Seferis since he argued that on the base of each dialogue, even it is downright contradictory, the 'interacting' ones must sign somehow an acceptance contract, how to speak the same language and will control clearly during the "battle" their shared instrument. However, while culture has pre-occupied various intellectuals, scientists, politicians and writers around the world since the dawn of mankind, the organizational culture gained widespread acceptance as a way of understanding human systems only in the last 25 years.

The importance of culture in a company can be fully understandable considering that it is the personality of the organization and is consisted of assumptions, values, norms, tangible symbols of the members of the organizations and their behaviour. However, at this point it should be emphasized that the organizational culture of a profit organization is different from the one of a University or a hospital.

Organizational culture is the specific action mode of the Organization is what makes an organization different from another, are different ceremonial practices, procedures, the façade of buildings and office, is ultimately a dynamic mix that identifies the particular position and the very existence of the organization. The culture consists of different elements and therefore, it is difficult to be described exactly.

The organizational culture is modified over time as people change and is created by the actions of the officials, the decisions and communication among them. In order to understand what organizational culture is, how it affects the daily activities and business tasks are listed theories that have been formulated.

The first comprehensive approach of the definition of organizational culture was done by Deshponde and Webster (1989), who defined it as a template of shared values ​​and beliefs that help individuals understand organizational operation and thus they were provided the rules for their behaviour in the organization.

Bolman and Deal (1991) define culture as "product and process."As a product it incorporates the accumulated wisdom of those who were members before new members entered. As a process is constantly renewed and regenerated and new members are taught from their old ways having a great probability themselves to become teachers.

According to Kotter (1992) the organizational culture is related to secret shared values ​​of a group of people about what is right and occur regardless of whether the members would like it or not. The aim is to create a culture that facilitates change rather than acting as brake, a culture that helps the business to adapt and will not be restricted and will not be defined main characteristics that the management team believes deeply, truly and sincerely all corporate actors, the reception of initiatives and the exercise of leadership are really appreciated and encouraged at every level of the organization, decentralization of administrative functions is done to lower levels of the organization, the internal organization of the firm is maintained simple and straightforward and there is a minimum number of hierarchical levels.

Handy (1993) defines organizational culture as the different ways things are done, the atmosphere, the energy levels and individual freedom, types of personalities, different beliefs about power, control, reward, obedience and rules.

According to Robbins (1993) the characteristics of the Organizational culture are:

I. The identity of the member, i.e. the degree on which employees are identified with the entire organization and not just with their field.
II. The emphasis on the team, the degree on which employees are organized around teams.
III. The emphasis on humans, the degree on which decisions take into consideration the influence of the result on the people of the organization.
IV. The integration of units, the degree on which the departments of the organization operate in an interaction way.
V. The control, the degree on which the regulations are used for the control of behaviour.
VI. Tolerance to risk, the degree on which executives are encouraged and are innovative,
VII. Reward criteria, the degree on which the reward system and promotions are done according to the performance despite seniority,
VIII. Tolerance to dispute, the degree on which the parties involved can face openly criticism and dispute,
IX. Orientation to means- goals, the degree on which the management focuses on results despite processes and
X. Focus on the open system, the degree on which the organization responds to the external environment.

Gareth Morgan (1997) describes the organizational culture as an active phenomenon through which people in common create and reconstruct the worlds where they live. The elements of the organizational culture can be declared or implied values, habits, expectations for the behaviour of employees, rituals, symbols, stories, legends about the past of the team, the “language” used by the team and the general climate that reflects to the way members interact with each other, with the internal and external environment. The organizational culture is formed from the personality of its founder, the organizational experience and the internal interaction i.e. the contact of the individuals’ teams within the organization.

The four basic elements of the organizational culture as a method of valuating human systems are:

1. Focus of the attention in the human side of the life of the organization and training in earthy sides such as the set up of an empty meeting room.
2. Recognition of the importance of creating the right systems of helping people to work together regarding the desired results.
3. Recognition of the influence of the behaviour of the members and mainly leaders in the organizational culture.
4. Acceptance of the relation between organization and environment.

Finally, Jones (2001) suggests that organizational culture is a collective phenomenon that surrounds us all and is shared by people who live in the same working environment in which they learnt it. The origin of organizational culture is mainly the interaction among the members of the organization and those of the external environment while its formation derives from the interaction of the characteristics of the members, the organizational structure, the organizational ethics and the reward system of the members.

They are rules, terminal and instrumental values, traditions, stories, symbols and socialization practices. It is clear that organizational culture gives to its members a sense of identity and recognition while the clear determination of values and expected behaviours, common for its members, creates bonds among members and loyalty to the vision and mission of the organization. Along with the clarification of the behaviour rules, organizational culture leads to specific behaviours by creating a framework of stable behaviour showing respect to the others. This way, the organization controls the interactions developed among the members of the organization with the customers, suppliers and the community aiming at improving efficiency.

The values of culture create a common point of reference and thus organizational culture functions as a form of informal organization that enables employees to show part of their abilities. A successful organizational culture gives a competitive advantage to the organization, improves the way that the organizational structure that functions and increases the motives of employees for the achievement of the interests of the organization.

1.3 The content of Organizational Culture

In academic literature, organizational culture is presented as an iceberg on the surface of which are found components that are obvious and easily understood such as symbols, stories, behaviours etc while under the surface there are substantial components that are not obvious and are difficult to change e.g. hidden values, assumptions, beliefs etc.

More analytically, the parts that consists organizational culture are:

- Artifacts
- Verbal expressions such as jokes, stories, legends
- Behavior standards such as rituals, celebrations.
- Behavioral rules
- Heroes
- Symbols and symbolic actions
- Beliefs, values and attitude
- Code of ethics
- Basic assumptions
- History

More analytically,


It concerns the most obvious and easily observed elements of the culture of an organization. This category includes the material aspect of the organization such as:

Spatial Configuration: In this sector are included the shape of the workplace (open or closed spaces, individual offices or offices with many employees), the quality of the furnishings and decoration, the attire of the staff (strict or informal), the departmental location, the architectural style of the building and the general external and internal appearance of the organization. According to studies, the above elements are closely related to communication, collaboration, behavior and performance of employees.

Technology: IT and telecommunications technology through objects such as computers, faxes, telephones etc. shows at an external level the organizational culture of an organization.

Objects: Material objects such as reports e.g. sales or advertisement, company logo etc.

Verbal expressions

It includes stories, jokes; “special” expressions used by the company staff and have a special and unique message for them. Terms like “good service” and “product quality” are interpreted differently according to the culture of each organization (Schein, 1985). However, even in the same business is observed a different use and interpretation of the same terms within departments. Furthermore, stories constitute a particular precious part of culture since they are indications for the previous activities of the business in the various situations they confronted.

Behavior standards

It refers to ceremonies, rituals and celebrations. According to Brown (1998) there are three types of rituals within an organization:

- The rituals of passage that facilitate changes in social roles and positions e.g. education programs, introductory programs, celebrations and retirement dinners.
- The search rituals that challenge the existing order of the organization e.g. external consultants, dissemination of important stories.
- The rituals of renewal that renew the data e.g. staff receptions, work redesign programs, employee opinion surveys.

Behavior rules

Behaviour rules define employees’ attitudes by showing the acceptable by the business behaviours. These are developed overtime through the cooperation and conciliation of the company employees.


The “business heroes” were considered the key for an organization success. Quite often these heroes are identified with the founders of the organization who are behaviour models by inspiring loyalty to employees and by making success seem feasible to the rest. Furthermore, their contribution is valuable especially in the reinforcement of values that determine the uniqueness of the organization by mobilizing staff (Deal & Kennedy, 1982).

In contrast to these theories, there is the idea that the "heroes" include high risk for the organization since they may not be appropriate role models or by personalizing it to individuals, teamwork and cooperation are not emphasized (Wilkins et al., 1995).

Symbols and symbolic activities

This category includes specific symbols and activities used by the company that have particular importance and meaning for each individual employee but also for all of them (Kluckhohn, 1942; Pettigrew, 1979; Trice & Beyer, 1984).

Beliefs, values and attitudes

These elements form the basis on which is erected the edifice of an organization's culture. Beliefs represent the beliefs of the people and the values while they are directly related to ethics and finally attitudes on how they finally behave and act. The most typical areas where the values of an organization are shown are performance, responsibilities, competition, innovation, quality, customer service, team work, care for people (Armstrong , 2005).

Codes of Ethics

Ethics is the branch of philosophy that deals with finding what is acceptable and appropriate and what is inappropriate and wrong. Ethics is shaped by various factors, indicative of which are the geographical, technological and cultural environment. So, everyone, groups and therefore, businesses and organizations possess certain ethical rules. For the efficient operation of a business, these rules should be common so as the entire organization to move from a commonly accepted principle and moving towards a common direction.

Basic assumptions

They are unconscious values ​​and beliefs that create perceptions, thoughts and actions to the members of a culture and which are considered as the right and proper ones. They come from the complex process of socialization (primary and secondary) in conjunction with parameters such as time, space, environment and human relationships.

The role of national culture in which an organization is active is particularly important while corporate culture is heavily influenced heavily by it. For example in Japan basic assumption is teamwork and collaboration of workers and in which they operate. Instead, the U.S. characterized by a national culture based on individual effort of each employee and in the same manner and operates their businesses. For example in Japan, a basic prerequisite is teamwork and the collaboration of employees. On the contrary, the U.S. are characterized by a national culture which is based on the individual effort of each employee and in the same manner, their businesses operate.

The key assumptions during periods of organizational change are visible even within the company and they consist a problematic area of intense debate and discussion especially when those are imposed by external factors, (Gold, 1997).


Although it is not a pure component of organizational culture, however, the culture of an organization can only be understood if it is observed through the perspective of historical development.

These elements, despite, they are described to belong to different categories, they often overlap e.g. the linguistic patterns and behaviours are forms of human creations (artifacts), (Schein, 1985). For this reason, there are presented in the literature different models that try to reduce the complexity of the research. Two of the most important and known ones are those of Hofstede et al. (1990) and Sc h ein (1992), shown in Figures 1.

Figure 1 : Exhibitions of Culture

illustration not visible in this excerpt

In this model, the elements are classified in four categories: symbols, heroes, rituals and values. The core of culture is; Values with the wide and non specific concept which is often unconscious and rarely controversial and cannot be seen but is disclosed in the diversity of behaviour. Additionally, these practices have been adopted in the past and worked effectively and both continue to operate in this way, by embedding deeper into the culture of the organization.

On the other hand, Schein (1992) suggests a more general model by classifying the elements of culture in three “layers”. The first one includes artifacts and creations visible and often undetectable such as architecture and decoration, clothing, company logos, stories from the past, etc. The second layer consists of important values ​​and principles which feature the company. These are adopted by almost all workers and are expressed through e.g.: mission statements, beliefs and attitudes.

Finally, the third layer consists of the basic assumptions that people make and where they guide their behavior. They include axioms which essentially determine the perception, thinking and feelings of people for work, interpersonal relations objectives and employee performance.

It is worth noting that although the use of these models simplifies and helps the scientists, in practice the elements in modern organizational cultures are not as obvious and clear as the models suggest.

1.4 National Culture

Many scientists trying to understand the corporate culture have begun to examine the possible relationship that can exist between it and the culture of each civilization and ethnicity.

According to Gold (1997), the national culture, as well as the organizational, provides the basic assumptions that legitimize and drive people's behavior. Although in many cases, they operate in similar ways, many scholars describe the relationship between corporate and national culture as complex.

Some theorists argue that there is little correlation between national and organizational culture emphasizing that "the logic of industrialization affects all organizations in the same way», (Harrison and Myers, 1959). The organizational culture is constructed and operates independently from local or national cultures. This explains the results of a research that showed how Japanese automakers operating in the United States managed to maintain their organizational culture and continue to implement business practices in different cultures.

A different approach is the one that advocates that the national culture and other aspects of the organizational environment influence to some extent the internal organizational culture. More specifically, in the book of the Gold (1997) “International Organizational Behavior” is referred the words of Martin (1992) who said: "It is misleading to deny the influence of the environment on the content of the culture of an organization. No one can really understand what occurs within the organizational culture if s/he does not understand what is happening outside the organization. "

Particularly important is Hofstede’s (1980, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1999, 2003) contribution who studied in detail these two factors and the relationship between them. Through a systematic research, he conducted on 160,000 employees in 40 countries; he concluded that national culture excels as determinant in individual behavior over other parameters (e.g. work position). He discovered then, that common issues that occur in all countries are treated differently from country to country. These relate to

- the social inequality that is included in the relationship with power,
- the relationship between the individual and the group,
- the security and resolution against modesty and care and finally,
- in the treatment of uncertainty and ambiguity.

These issues are presented as dimensions of culture, as parts of it which are measurable and comparable.

Later, based on research conducted by Bond among students in 23 countries, Hofstede added a fifth factor, the long-term against short-term orientation on the economics and persistence (long term) against respect, tradition, the integration of social obligations and protection of the personality of each one (short term) (Hofstede & Bond, 1988).

Details of the five dimensions are described below:

Power Distance

It identifies the extent that the institutional and organizational power-share in accordance with the culture and attitudes that should be observed towards those who hold the power. It shows the extent to which the less powerful members of a society accept the unequal distribution of power and is an indicator that reflects the extent of this inequality. In societies with large power distance, employees believe that their superiors are always right even in cases they are wrong. They do not doubt their decisions and do not take initiative in their work. On the other hand, in cultures with low power distance, it is more productive to be adopted by organizations a participatory leadership and management style.

Individualism Vs Collectivism

It describes the extent to which a culture is based and is subordinate to the person or team. People in countries with collective cultures belong to strong, cohesive groups that cater their interests, protect them and care for them in exchange for loyalty to the team. In case of disputes team members avoid conflicts, use intermediaries or other techniques. In contrast, in individualistic cultures, people are interested only in their own interests, for themselves and for their immediate family. The solution of problems derives from self-expression and confrontation Therefore, organizations working in collective cultures are more likely to trust and accept decisions coming through group processes, while organizations that operate in the context of individualism, emphasize individual decision processes.

Masculinity – femininity

The dimension of masculinity - femininity characterizes the extent to which the dominant values ​​in a society emphasize aggressive behaviour, acquisition of wealth and power (masculinity) than urging people to be concerned and to ensure their fellow men (femininity). In cultures with masculinity employees seek high material rewards, while leadership is dogmatic and detached from the team. In contrast, in feminine cultures, there is loyalty and commitment to quality to help fellow men, equality is preferred, leadership is less dogmatic, and conflicts are resolved by negotiation, compromise and consensus.

Uncertainty Avoidance

Uncertainty avoidance is the extent to which members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguity, by ambiguous or uncertain situations and therefore, they provide stability for their employees, standard operating rules to follow by rejecting deviant behaviours. Employees with a high degree of uncertainty avoidance such as Greece, Japan and Portugal tend to stay for longer time in their work as opposed to employees in Singapore, Denmark and the USA, i.e. countries with a lower degree of uncertainty remain less loyal to the organizations they work for.

It is evident that organizational changes are very likely to find resistance and opposition from employees in cultures of high uncertainty avoidance. This is because these changes alter the status quo which is not desirable from the human resources of an enterprise.

Long-term vs. shor t-term Orientation

As it was previously mentioned said previously Hofstede added a fifth factor which he called "Confucian dynamism", in order to explain the rapid economic growth of many Asian countries. This dimension refers to the selective promotion of particular concepts of Confucian teaching that includes perseverance, sense of shame, savings, hierarchy and tradition. Critics of the above opinion emphasize that there is a significant weakness. This lies in the fact that Hofstede believes that in every state there is only one dominant culture, which is not accepted.

Regardless of the criticism Hofstede (2003) involved these two types of culture and sets at six dimensions of organizational culture.

Orientation process Vs. orientation effect

In cultures with a process-oriented approach is obvious avoidance of risk and payment of limited effort and there are several hierarchical levels. In contrast, in result-oriented cultures members are familiar with constant challenges, have fewer absences and missing several hierarchical levels.

Regardless of criticism, Hofstede involves these two types of culture and sets six dimensions of organizational culture.

Orientation to process Vs. orientation to result

In cultures with a process-oriented approach is obvious the perception of risk avoidance and limited effort while there are several hierarchical levels. In contrast, in result-oriented cultures members are familiar with constant challenges, have fewer absences and several hierarchical levels are missing.

Orientation to work Vs. orientation to employees

When there is orientation to work there is increased pressure for completing the job as opposed to the second case in which employees perceive the organization as their ally and themselves as equal members of a group. When there is exposure to employees, there is observed a high average age in the organization and a higher degree of obsolescence.

Professional Vs. Local

In professional cultures employees perceive that their personal life is their personal data and that the criteria for recruitment were purely professional abilities and skills. In the case of local cultures things are not as clear as they tend to involve various socio-familial factors. A special feature is also a tendency that there are organizations that are professional, use high technology and more traditional and local businesses apply a more conventional technology. The professional dimension is closely associated with masculinity as described previously.

Open Systems vs. Close systems

This dimension is related to the level of communication and ethnicity. Open systems are characterized by a high rate of new members acceptance as opposed to closed ones where there is suspicion and self-control in relationships and the sharing of information, thus making communication and smooth operation of the business difficult. Open systems are associated with low uncertainty level.

Tight control vs. lose control

The intense and tight control refers to the degree of internal structure of the organization by emphasizing timing and severity.

Pragmatist vs. Regulatory

In pragmatism units special role is played by market demands while on the regulatory emphasis is given on the application of rules and procedures. The first case concerns businesses operating in a competitive environment while the second in a monopoly environment.

According to the above, Hofstede ’s effort to combine the organizational culture and national culture is understood, although it considers the latter as a wider and deeper concept.

1.5 Differences of Organizational Culture and Organizational Climate.

In academic literature, the term organizational culture literature is not clearly separated by the term “organizational climate and they are both used alternatively. For this reason it is considered necessary to analyze both terms so as to be made clear.

During the first appearance of the term "organizational culture" (early 1980), the distinction between the two terms was quite clear. Schwartz and Davis (1981: 32) perhaps put it very simplistically saying that "one way to understand what culture is to understand what is not" meaning that culture is what the climate is not. Denison (1996) compares the two conditions in seven different levels so as to make distinct their separation.

According to Denison (1996), culture is presented in the literature as a specific context in which several factors act such as the diversity of positions, gender and professional groups and which affect work in every organization. Researchers of culture [Mirvis & Sales, (1990); Mohr, (1982); Pettigrew, (1979); Rohlen, (1974); Schein, (1985), (1990); Van Maanen, (1979)] were interested in the development of social and anthropological systems over the years and supported the importance of a deep understanding of the underlying assumptions [Kunda, (1992); Schein, (1985), (1990)], the personal assessment [Geertz, (1973); Pondy, Frost, Morgan, & Dandridge, (1983)] as well as the personal opinion of the members of the organization. Particularly important is the methodology used to collect the data which require qualitative research methods such as notes, stories, quotes of previous experience etc.

Diametrically opposite is the organizational climate as it is presented in literature again according to Denison. Based on the study of psychological patterns, the researchers of climate were more interested in the influence exercised by the organizational systems on groups and individuals [Ekvall, (1987); Joyce & Slocum, (1984); Koyes & DeCotiis, (1991)] and less on the evolution of social systems.

They also gave more emphasis on employee perceptions of the felt' practices and procedures relating to the "surface" of organizational life [(Guion, (1973); James & Jones, (1974)] and the classification of these practices and beliefs in analytical dimensions set by the researchers. The study of organizational climate was also based on the adoption of Lewin theory as Field Theory [1] and the qualitative observation of organizational structures.

Finally, regarding the methodology used for data collection, the study of organizational change requires quantitative methods such as computer printouts, questionnaires and structured and presented quantitative analysis.

Although according to the previously mentioned, there are clear differences between organizational culture and organizational climate, however, in many places in literature it is not clear if these two conditions represent two entirely different phenomena or if they examine two phenomena directly linked, but from different angles . Denison (1996), examines these similarities within the definitions of the phenomena, the basic theoretical issues, the content and substance, epistemology and methods, and finally, their theoretical foundations.


[1] Kurt Lewin is the founder and creator of social psychology of the psychological direction which is known as field theory. According to this theory, the individual moves to a psychological force field and according to the situation in which s/he is found, s/he is attracted or repelled by the elements connecting to this field [Lewin, K. (1951)]

Excerpt out of 83 pages


Culture and Leadership according to Quinn’s Competing Values Framework
Business Dimensions of Strategic Importance
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
1026 KB
culture, leadership, strategy, Quinn’s Competing Values Framework, organizational culture, leadership theories
Quote paper
Fotini Mastroianni (Author), 2014, Culture and Leadership according to Quinn’s Competing Values Framework, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Culture and Leadership according to Quinn’s Competing Values Framework

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free