Organizational Culture of Czech Manufacturing Companies: An Empirical Typology*

Article excerpt

The contribution presents the results of research into organizational culture of Czech manufacturing companies. The study was carried out on a sample of respondents from top, medium and low management from 74 companies. The analysis of organizational culture was performed on the levels of values, norms and selected aspects of perceiving and behaving which are shared in the organization. The data obtained through questionnaires were processed by means of factor and cluster analyses. The research has resulted in an empirical typology presenting the typical contents of organizational culture of Czech manufacturing companies.

Der Beitrag präsentiert Forschungsergebnisse uber Organisationskultur in tschechischen Produktionsbetrieben. Die Studie wurde unter Vertretern der höheren, mittleren und niederen Managementebenen aus 74 Unternehmen durchgefuhrt. Die Analyse der Organisationskultur konzentrierte sich auf Werte, Normen und ausgewählte Aspekte von Wahrnehmung und Verhalten, die in einer Organisation geteilt werden. Die durch Frageboegen gewonnenen Daten wurden mittels Faktor- und Cluster-Analysen ausgewertet. Im Ergebnis wurde eine emirische Typologie abgeleitet, welche die typischen Inhalte der Organisationskultur in tschechischen Produktionsbetrieben widerspiegelt.

Key words: Organizational culture, Empirical typology, Czech manufacturing companies

Introduction

Organizational culture is a phenomenon which is very complex and complicated, yet it has a significant influence on the performance of an organization. Various authors agree that organizational culture significantly affects the operation and effectiveness of organizations (Denison 1990; Kotter/Heskett 1992; Marcoulides/Heck 1993; Wiley/Brooks 2000) and represents an important determining factor for the quality of the lives of the organization's members (O'Reilly III et al. 1991).

Although there is no agreement on a single definition of organizational culture, it may be generally stated that the concept of organisational culture tends to be defined as a set of basic assumptions, values, attitudes and norms of behaviour shared within an organization and manifested through their members' perceptions, thoughts, feelings and behaviour, as well as artefacts of both material and non-material nature (Denison 1990; Drennan 1992; Schein 1992; Trice/Beyer 1992; Martin 1992; Brown 1995; Sackmann 2002; Lukásová/Novy et al. 2004). As a set of assumptions, beliefs, values and norms of behaviour, organizational culture affects the internal operation and efficiency of organizations. As a manner of perceiving and thinking, however, it also affects the organization's external behaviour towards the environment. The knowledge of the content of organizational culture (i.e. what assumptions, values, attitudes, norms of behaviour, etc. are shared within the organization) thus provides its management with important information: it is then able to predict the tendencies in which organizations behave and to assess to what an extent the content of culture encourages efficiency, strategy implementation or the organization's accommodation to its environment.

The identification of organizational culture and the understanding of its content, however, is a complex issue. A suitable scientific tool which is relatively frequently used for the analysis and identification of such complex contents of the social reality as organizational culture consists of the construction of typologies. The purpose of constructing typologies (both theoretical and empirical) is to classify, sort out and clarify the complex content of the social reality and to find the typical constellations of selected characteristics of a researched phenomenon. The typologies of organizational culture revealed in this way are significant because the identification of the typical contents of organizational culture (which may change according to the development of the environment) contributes new findings to the field. …