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Characteristics of organizational culture, stressors and wellbeing: The case of Taiwanese organizations

Kirk Chang (University of Cumbria, Carlisle, UK)
Luo Lu (National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 21 August 2007




This study aimed to explore prevalent characteristics of organizational culture (OC) and common sources of work stress in a Taiwanese work context. The authors also aimed to analyze how characteristics of OC may be linked to stressors.


A qualitative methodology of focus group discussions was adopted.


Four characteristics of OC were identified, including: family‐kin, informal work obligations, organizational loyalty and subgroup involvement. Job characteristics, home‐work interface, interpersonal relationships and career development were identified as common sources of work stress. Content analysis revealed that characteristics of OC could either alleviate or aggravate stress, depending on employees' perception and attribution. Double‐coding analysis indicated that stressors related to job characteristics seem particularly linked to informal work obligation but not to organizational loyalty as characteristics of OC.

Research limitations/implications

The exclusive reliance on qualitative methodology is a limitation of the present study. However, the results have both theoretical and practical implications. The authors note that Western findings regarding OC may not generalize completely to a different culture and the Taiwanese context supports distinctive features of OC and work stressors. Consequently, any effective corporate stress interventions should be formulated taking the core cultural values and practices into account.


The in‐depth and culture‐sensitive nature is a major thrust of the present study, and the focus on the link between OC and stress is a rare effort in the Pan‐Chinese cultural context.



Chang, K. and Lu, L. (2007), "Characteristics of organizational culture, stressors and wellbeing: The case of Taiwanese organizations", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 22 No. 6, pp. 549-568.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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