This paper aims to describe research which was undertaken exploring organisational climate within a prison setting and the potential directional affects of work and home. The purpose of the research was to develop a conceptual framework of the impact of climate on social and emotional functioning.
Using the competing values framework 149 prison staff completed a questionnaire designed to explore the interactional effects of boundary theory, organisational climate and well being.
It was found that all staff placed emphasis on the control quadrant of the organisational climate. In addition, the data revealed a moderately curvilinear relationship between length of service and climate engagement on each of the quadrants. These results parallel other research in relation to attitude change. The desire for higher integration was associated with an increased impact on work/home life and a desire for, and achievement of, segmentation does not directly impact on subjective well being. The research concluded that viewing integration and segmentation along a continuum in relation to the prison service role is too simplistic. Rather, these should be viewed in a more complex way and a model for this is proposed. The findings also indicate that employees with high identity consistency (integration) also had a more engaged experience of the prison climate whereas employees with lower identity consistency (segmentation) were less engaged.
There are several implications of the research. Firstly, further research is required to explore the potential impact of attempting to change a prison climate in terms of understanding why certain climate quadrants may be preferred by staff in different roles. The findings indicate that where certain quadrant preferences occur these may be functional to prison safety and alteration of these should be considered carefully. The research also indicated that current theories of boundary management may have some applicability but that within a prison setting these are complex and influenced by both internal organizational factors and those within the wider community. Further research into the concept of “dirty work” and the impact this may have on climate would be of benefit.
This is the first research to explore the role of organizational climate within a prison setting and to consider factors which are specific to a prison environment which may influence the organizational climate. This paper is of value to those who are interested in prison settings and how the environment can influence employee experiences of working in a prison and how identity consistence can influence experiences of work.
Worthington, R. (2012), "Prison organisational climate: exploring the impact of climate on emotional well being", The British Journal of Forensic Practice, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 192-203. https://doi.org/10.1108/14636641211254914Download as .RIS
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