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Promoting Sound Organisational Cultures


The field of organizational behaviour (OB) has become a crucial area of research and application in organizational management. It focuses on understanding and influencing people’s behaviours that have an impact on organisational outcomes. According to Scott (2008), the field has evolved from the scientific studies of management, principles of bureaucracy, administrative theories of the management’s role and human relation studies on employees. Thus, organizational behaviour is an interdisciplinary field derived from ideas and research from a wide range of fields concerned with the behaviour and interaction of humans (Baker & Sinkula 2009). For instance, Robbins (2009) indicates that theories and ideas developed in psychology, sociology, industrial psychology, communication and anthropology.

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The importance of organizational behaviour in management has been widely studied. According to Wang, Law, Hackett, Wang and Chen (2010), the contribution of organizational behaviour to the field of management is not only wide but also an important part of organizational management. Studies have shown that knowledge in organizational behaviour contributes to the effective management of people and resources (Barney, 2006). Moreover, it has been shown that OB contributes to the development of proper organizational culture, enhance people performance and organizational outcomes (Hanges, Javidan, Dorfman& Gupta 2011). Although there has been a growing volume of information from empirical research in the contribution of OB to management, more studies are needed to define the contribution of OB to the achievement of sound organizational culture and the overall performance outcomes, especially from the perspective of case studies (Denison 2010).

In particular, studies have shown that quite a large number of specific areas of OB contribute to the enhancement of organizational performance and outcomes. For instance, specific areas of management that influence cultures such as leadership style, motivation by reward systems, power play, politics, organisational structure and national culture of employees/managers have a profound impact on the outcomes, whether applied singly or as a combination of one or more areas (Gordon & DiTomaso 2009).

Therefore, the proposed study seeks to add further insights to the field by examining the contribution of OB to the formation of sound organizational culture and the overall performance outcomes of the target organization, paying attention to specific areas that influence culture, particularly motivation by reward systems, power play and national/international culture of managers and employees. The study will focus on a case study, using a real organization to examine the relationship between OB and achievement of sound organizational culture and performance outcomes.

Study questions

The study will attempt to answer the following questions:

  1. How does the management at the company perceive motivation by reward systems, power play, organisational structure, and the national culture of employees?
  2. What is the organizational culture of the company?
  3. What are the company’s general performance outcomes?
  4. What relationship exists between the company’s OB management, its culture and performance outcomes?
  5. What factors need to be changed to influence the culture in a way to improve organisational outcomes?

Study hypothesis

It is hypothesized that there is a relationship between specific aspects of OB (motivation by reward systems, power play, organisational structure, and the national culture of employees) have contributed to the establishment of a unique organizational culture at the company (case study), which have helped the organization achieve a sound culture and enhance its performance outcomes.

Study rationale

This case study aims to examine the relationship between OB and achievement of sound organizational culture and improved performance outcomes. It will focus on three issues; (i). The management’s knowledge and application of OB, (ii), the level and type of organizational culture developed at the company and (iii), the company’s level of performance over the last ten years.

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The study will review the current and previous performance based on its annual reports. In addition, the organizational culture will be measured under the dimensions of people orientation, innovation and outcome and bureaucratic orientations (O’Reilly, Chatman & Caldwell 2008).

Proposed Methodology

The proposed study will use a mixed-method approach. It will be both a qualitative and quantitative study. The qualitative aspect will focus on measuring the level and application of OB at the managerial level and the level of organizational culture at both the managerial and subordinate levels. The quantitative component will examine the company’s performance over the last ten years based on statistical data obtained from annual reports (Saffold 2008).

Questionnaires will be sent to the employees in the organization to measure the dimensions of organizational culture. In addition, managers will be required to fill questionnaires about their perspectives and applications of OB in managing the company. An in-depth examination of the company’s books of accounts will be done, focusing on balance sheets, cash flow statements, and profit and loss accounts.

Data sources

Primary information

  • Interviews/questionnaires with the company management
  • A survey of the company level of organization culture (questionnaires to focus on employee and management level)

Secondary sources

  • Company annual reports
  • Publications on general performance

Aspects of MBA syllabus used.

The proposed project will involve the core aspects of Human resource management/ Organisational Behavior.

Proposed chapter headings and subheadings

  • Introduction
    • Background information about OB, organizational culture and performance outcomes
    • Background information about the case study
    • Rationale
    • Aims and objectives
    • Terms of reference
    • Study problem
    • Purpose of the study
    • Study questions
    • Justification
    • Scope and limitations of the study
  • Review of literature
  • Methodology
    • Investigation of company’s level and application of OB
      • Focus on managerial behaviour
      • Focus on employee behaviour
      • Managerial knowledge and application of OB
      • Employee knowledge and application of OB
    • Examination of the company’s organizational culture
      • Focus on managerial knowledge and development of organizational culture
      • Examination of employee behaviour and attitudes
    • Examination of performance outcomes
      • Examination of corporate annual reports
      • Examination of corporate notes to financial statements
    • Analysis of the relationship between OB and organizational culture and performance outcomes
      • Results
      • Hypothesis testing
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and recommendations
June July August Sept. Oct September
3 9 11 18 2 5 13 21 27 4 13 18 27 4 11 18 25 1 8 15 22 29 5
Submit proposal X X
SuperStore Induction X
Review literature X X X X
Store interviews X X
Survey performance measures X X
Survey resumed goods X X
Survey customer complaints X X
Analyse data X X X X X
Construct balanced scorecard X X
Test hypothesis X X
Meetings with sponsor X X X
Meetings with supervisor X X X X X X
Complete first draft X
Write project X X X X X X
Submit for copying/binding X X
Presentation to SuperStore X


Baker, WE & Sinkula, J, 2009, “The synergistic effect of market orientation and learning orientation on organizational performance”, Journal of the academy of marketing science, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 411-427.

Barney, J, 2006, “Organizational culture: can it be a source of sustained competitive advantage?”, Academy of management review, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 656-665.

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Denison, D, 2010, Corporate culture and organizational effectiveness, John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Gordon, GG & DiTomaso, N, 2009, “Predicting corporate performance from organizational culture”, Journal of management studies, vol. 29, no. 6, pp. 783-798.

Hanges, PJ, Javidan, M, Dorfman, PW & Gupta, V, 2011, Culture, leadership, and organizations. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.

O’Reilly, CA, Chatman, J & Caldwell, DF, 2008, “People and organizational culture: A profile comparison approach to assessing person-organization fit”, Academy of management journal, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 487-516.

Robbins, SP, 2009, Essentials of organizational behavior, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Saffold, G, 2008, “Culture traits, strength, and organizational performance: Moving beyond “strong” culture”, Academy of Management Review, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 546-558.

Scott, WR, 2008, Organizationa: Rational, natural and open systems, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

Wang, H, Law, KS, Hackett, RD, Wang, D & Chen, ZX, 2010, “Leader-member exchange as a mediator of the relationship between transformational leadership and followers’ performance and organizational citizenship behavior”, Academy of management Journal, vol. 48, no. 3, pp. 420-432.

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