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Organisational culture: An exploratory study comparing faculties' perspectives within public and private universities in Malaysia

Sharimllah Devi Ramachandran (School of Language, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Georgetown, Malaysia)
Siong Choy Chong (Asian Institute of Finance, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Hishamuddin Ismail (Multimedia University, Melaka, Malaysia)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 16 August 2011




The main objective of this paper to study the organisational culture (OC) in private and public higher education institutions (HEIs) from the perspective of faculty members in order to provide empirical insights on the differences and consequently pave an avenue for cross‐learning.


Data were collected from 594 faculty members (33.9 per cent from public HEIs and 52.8 per cent from private HEIs) using the competing values framework (CVF).


The factor analysis results reveal an important confirmation of the theoretical findings in the literature with respect to the four OC types (i.e. clan, adhocracy, hierarchical, and market) that were originally developed for use in the corporate sector. The independent sample t‐test results suggest that the faculty members perceive all the four OC types as being significantly different between public and private HEIs.

Practical implications

This paper raises awareness and provides initial guidelines to both public and private HEIs in formulating strategies on how to deal properly with their OC from the perspective of their faculty members for the attainment of organisational goals and vision.


This article extends knowledge on OC differences between the public and private higher education – an enabler for change management of sorts. Being among the first of its kind, it further opens up new lines of future research possibilities.



Devi Ramachandran, S., Choy Chong, S. and Ismail, H. (2011), "Organisational culture: An exploratory study comparing faculties' perspectives within public and private universities in Malaysia", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 25 No. 6, pp. 615-634.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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