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The aim of this research was to develop a robust, multi-dimensional, fully psychometrised questionnaire able to be used in a wide variety of organisations and various different countries for both descriptive and predictive purposes. Presently available categorical and dimensional questionnaire measures were described and evaluated and a brief but critical review of the organisational climate literature executed.
A study is described in which two population groups, over British employees and over European employees at all levels, doing a variety of jobs in a large multi-national transportation company, completed a item multi-dimensional questionnaire which required them to rate each question on two scales - performance and importance. The potential application of this measure to other occupational settings was discussed, along with its potential use in international analysis.
However, the concept proved ambiguous, nebulous and controversial. Hence Guion argued that a perceived climate concerned both the attributes of an organisation and those of the perceiving individual and that as most often conceived climate was simply an alternative label for affective responses to organisation, like job satisfaction.
An important but related issue concerns the amount of consensus within an organisation concerning the perceived climate. Payne has argued that the concept of organisational climate is invalid because people in different parts of the organisation have radically different perceptions of the organisation hence the perception is not shared and that where perceptions are consensually shared, in small groups, they are not representatives of the climate of the whole organisation.
Thus for Payne it is possible to have departmental but not organisational climates. This conceptual muddle has become worse with the introduction of the concept of corporate or organisational culture Schein, defined as:. However, there are as many, if not more, problems associated with the concept of corporate culture as there are of climate.
One way to circumvent, rather than overcome, the conceptual issues is to talk of employee perceptions rather that culture and climate. Naturally, employee perceptions differ within an organisation as a function of seniority, department, etc. But because the term climate has been used in the past it shall be returned here to examine the current literature.
The second major theoretical problem concerns the effect of climate or employee perception on organisational behaviour. Climate may be conceived of as an independent variable, as for instance in the work of Campbell, Dunnette, Lawler and Weick , it is assumed that organisational climate itself directly influences causes various work outcomes both positive like productivity, satisfaction, and motivation, and negative like absenteeism, turnover and accidents.
Other have considered climate a dependent outcome variable that is the result, and not the cause of, organisational structure and process. A third and perhaps more common approach has been to see climate as a moderator variable in that climate may be the indirect link between two organisational outcomes.
Thus climate may be the moderator variable between job satisfaction and productivity. Various untested but heuristically satisfying models consider climate as one of a number of powerful moderator variables Litween and Stringer, Finally, some researchers believe that climate is epephenomenal, neither a direct cause or effect variable but one that emerges in some form in all organizations with no influence on it.
Employee perception is then interesting but no directly relevant to the functioning of the organisation. There are many models which use the concept of climate Litwin and Stringer, , Bonoma and Zaltman, but very few specify the exact relationship between climate and other organisational processes. Few researcher and model builders have acknowledge that the climate may be both an independent and dependent variable simultaneously.
Few studies have tested any longitudinal path-analytic models to find out what major factors influence climate and which are influenced by it; thus this seems an important and relevant theoretical and empirical avenue to pursue.
A third major problem in the area concerns the issue of measurement of climate or employee perception. There are numerous ways of measuring organisational climate.
The first is categorical, which attempt to classify organisations into pre-existing theoretical types. The second id dimensional. The first or categorical approach has not been very popular or successful.
Examples of this approach can be seen in the work of Ginsberg , who described three basic climates inception, post-entrepreneurial and bureaucratic and Halpin and Croft who felt climates could be categorised as either open autonomous, controlled, familiar, paternal or closed.
A number of dimensional organisational climate measures exist. The survey has 22 items designed to measure organisational climate. A major problem with many of these earlier measures was their poor psychometric properties -poor internal reliability ie.
Sixth and finally, the questionnaire should produce a measure that can be used to highlight international differences within and between multi-nationals where appropriate. This measure is concerned exclusively with personal belief and behaviours See Table1 which inevitably reflect the organisational structure.
It would be impossible in devising a sensitive and comprehensive measure completely to separate the two. Hence the term Employee Perception Questionnaire. Sample 1. This consisted of British subjects working in the South East of England. They all worked for a large American-based airline. There were 84 under 35 years of age, 86 between 36 and 50 and 34 over Of all the 43 held management grades and non-management grades.
They did a wide variety of jobs from Secretarial to Engineering. All were employees of the same airline. There were under 35 years of age, between 36 and 50, and 69 over In all were full-time, had been with the organisation less than 5 years, 65 between 5 and 15 years and over 15 years.
Of the total, 67 held management grades non-management grades. Like the above they did a wide variety of jobs from Secretarial, Senior Management, to Engineering.
A item questionnaire was devised after extensive piloting. A review of the literature in academic and applied fields suggested that a number of dimensions should be measured. Items were written for each dimension. These were shown to Personnel Directors, Management. Consultants, and Applied Psychology Academics for their opinions. Many changes were made: some dimensions were added other removed, and still others were either collapsed or sub-divided.
In the end 14 dimensions remained, with a total of questions. Each person was asked to respond to questions concerning the organisation on two different scales, for a total of individual responses.
It is important to note:. As all the questions were described positively, a high agree score ie. Where scores fall below 2. Similarly a high importance score 5 or above suggests that employees believed the feature that the item was referring to was an important aspect of the workings of the company. Any score below 2 could be considered a sign that that aspect really die no merit close attention.
This dimension of climate is of no consideration. Those need to be considered by change agents as they may represent misguided effort. It is these items that most warrant most attention particularly the very low performance, high importance.
Two things need to be pointed out with this scale. However, pilot wok suggested that an acquiescence response set was not operating to any significant degree.
Secondly the questionnaire is multi-dimensional in the sense that is assesses different facets of the organisation as perceived by the employees. They may, or may not be inter-related and independent. The questionnaire was given to individuals in their place of work along with a pre-paid envelope to send their replies to an independent outside consultant of analysis.
All employees were given extensive group feedback about 2 months after the survey was conducted. A major criterion of the success of any questionnaire is its reliability. Table 2 shows the alphas, which are consistently high with few exceptions for both British and European subjects.
Interestingly, the alphas for the agreement and importance scales were virtually identical. Overall these reliability figures appear to be better tan any other measure of climate. The fact that the alphas are almost identical across the eight nations sampled one British and seven European attests to the use fullness of this questionnaire in different countries. Previous work has shown that frequently the dimensions of climate are significantly correlated.
Hence various correlational matrices were calculated. The intercorrelations in Table 3 are interesting for three reasons. First most corrections are positive and low - those over. Second, whereas some dimensions of climate are modestly related. Second, whereas some dimensions. Third, correlation between significant and occasionally negative. The scores on the 14 dimensions for both rated performance aggreement and importance were completed with a variety of demographic variables. The results for sex, age and seniority are shown in Table 4, although various others were also examined, such as department, country, and job function.
Second, although there were some correlates of sex four for the British, four for the Europeans and some of age five for the British, two for the Europeans they were few in number and no clear pattern was discernible. Third, the correlates of seniority were systematic, substantial and very similar across the two population groups. The more senior the person the higher they are rated all of the variables. Fourth, there were some interesting differences between the correlates of the two national groups.
Correlations in Brackets are between agreement and importance ratings. The issue of organisational climate remains one that is constantly researched and hotly debated Jackofsky and Slocum, ; Payne, This study set out to devise and validate a new multi-dimensional measure of organisational climate. Perhaps the most fundamental question to be asked is why devise a new measure given that a number already exist?
There are a number of answers to this: first, many of those that exist have either had insufficient psychometric assessment or else the reliability and validity statistics available are only modestly impressive. Second, some of the dimensions of climate measured by other scales seem to reflect a lack conceptual clarity as to what the nature of climate really is. Finally, some scales, developed about 20 years ago appear to have lain dormant in the literature and would probably require extensive updating.
The new employee perception questionnaire reported in this study demonstrated satisfactory internal reliability given both the number of questions per scale and the heterogeneity of the respondents. Predictably the Co-efficient alphas were on average higher in the ratings of importance than agreement showing that variance of response on important was lower than on agreement.
As has been found with other climate surveys the various dimensions of climate had modest positive correlations Jackofsky and Slocum which suggests that employee perceptions of the organization are not as differentiated as some researchers suppose.
The Corporate Climate Questionnaire
The aim of this research was to develop a robust, multi-dimensional, fully psychometrised questionnaire able to be used in a wide variety of organisations and various different countries for both descriptive and predictive purposes. Presently available categorical and dimensional questionnaire measures were described and evaluated and a brief but critical review of the organisational climate literature executed. A study is described in which two population groups, over British employees and over European employees at all levels, doing a variety of jobs in a large multi-national transportation company, completed a item multi-dimensional questionnaire which required them to rate each question on two scales - performance and importance. The potential application of this measure to other occupational settings was discussed, along with its potential use in international analysis. However, the concept proved ambiguous, nebulous and controversial. Hence Guion argued that a perceived climate concerned both the attributes of an organisation and those of the perceiving individual and that as most often conceived climate was simply an alternative label for affective responses to organisation, like job satisfaction.
The Corporate Climate Questionnaire