Academic journal article Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology

The Moderating Effect of Strength of Organisational Climate on the Organisational Outcomes

Academic journal article Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology

The Moderating Effect of Strength of Organisational Climate on the Organisational Outcomes

Article excerpt

The roots of research on organizational climate can be traced back to 1930. The research on organization climate got fueled by human relations movement. It is during this time when psychological environment of organization came in limelight. This was the beginning of the concept organization climate. Kurt Lewin is credited as the first researcher to study the organizational climate related aspects. Lewin's seminal work on group dynamics and leadership style gave way to organizational climate. However, he did not conceptualize the term organizational climate. Followed by this, various researchers studied this concept and various definitions started coming in the arena. Litwin defined organizational climate as a group of assessable characteristics that members could perceive directly or indirectly in the work environment. Lewin, Lippitt and White (1939) focused on the experimentally created social climates on a number of groups of teenage boys. The article highlighted the relationship between leadership styles and social climate. Argyris (1958) used the term "personality" for organizational climate, in an attempt to diagnose the group dynamics in a bank. This article also fueled the debate over climate and culture differentiation. Organization climate is an interaction of components like culture, structure, system, leadership, and employee related variables. It is interesting to notice that researchers started using different operational definitions and environmental dimensions to measure organization climate. The most popular of that time was model given by Aguirre (1968). He gave four dimensions of organization climate: - (a) ecology (b) background (c) social system and (d) culture.

The coming up sections would define organizational climate with its antecedents and outcomes. The rationale behind this paper is to develop a comprehensive model of organization Climate.

Organizational Climate

Organizational climate refers to perceptions of organizational practices and procedures that are shared among members (Schneider, 1975), and which provide an indication of the institutionalized normative systems that guides behavior (Schneider, 1983). Climate may exist at two distinct levels: the psychological climate of the individual referring to perceptions of the work environment; and organizational climate constituting shared perceptions of employees about the organizational environment (Ostroff, 1993). Various definitions were given by various researchers. Gregopoulos (1963) defined organizational climate as a normative structure of attitudes and behavioral standards, which provide a basis for interpreting the situations and act as a source of pressure for directing activities. Forehand and Gilmer (1964) defined organizational climate as a set of characteristics that (a) describe the organization and distinguish it from other organizations (b) are relatively enduring over time and (c) influence the behavior of people in the organization. Litwin and Stringer (1968) proposed six dimensions of organizational climate that include a) structure, b) responsibility, c) reward, d) risk, e) warmth, and f) support. Campbell, Dunnettee, Lawler, and Weick (1970) stated that organizational climate is a set of attributes specific to a particular organization that may be induced from the organization, deals with its members and its environment. For the individual member within an organization, climate takes the form of a set of attitude and expectancies, which describe the organization in terms of both static characteristics and behavior outcome and outcome contingencies.

Climate Strength

Climate strength refers to high commitment for shared perception. In an organization with strong climate variability among employees' perceptions of the meaning of the situation will be small and will reflect a common desired content. A strong situation in review is characterized as established, having behavioral controls, stable and strong resistance from external influences. …

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