Diagnosing the organizational culture of an Australian engineering consultancy using the competing values framework

Tony Igo (School of Urban Development, Queensland University of Technology, Gardens Point, Brisbane, Australia)
Martin Skitmore (School of Urban Development, Queensland University of Technology, Gardens Point, Brisbane, Australia)

Construction Innovation

ISSN: 1471-4175

Publication date: 1 June 2006

Abstract

To operate successfully, a commercial organization must satisfy the everchanging demands of its clients, its owners, its employees and society as a whole. To do this, it must have a good understanding of its persona as perceived by its own members and the entities it deals with. This persona, or image an organization presents of itself, and the way in which it is perceived by its external environment and its internal members, is commonly referred to as its Corporate Culture (Deal and Kennedy, 1982; Silverzweig and Allen, 1976). The tangible aspects include corporate logos, uniforms and clothing, office layout, use of ‘in‐vogue’ technology and business processes, while behavioural indicators can include relative importance of social issues and norms such as time keeping, and adherence to prescribed procedures. This paper describes research within a single, large, Australian engineering, procurement and construction management consultancy aimed at identifying the form of its current corporate culture and the extent to which this is perceived to be appropriate by those involved. Using Quinn and Rohrbaugh’s (1983) Competing Values Framework, the overall cultural profile of the organization and dominant characteristic traits is determined through an in‐house electronic survey employing the Organizational Cultural Assessment Instrument. This indicated that the company has a dominant market‐oriented culture. In contrast, the most desired form was found to be the employee focused culture ‐ indicating a misalignment between what employees thought was needed and what was perceived to exist. This finding is considered in the light of recent reports identifying the detrimental effect of market‐oriented cultures, and the supporting role of employee focused cultures, in achieving construction project quality outcomes.

Keywords

Citation

Igo, T. and Skitmore, M. (2006), "Diagnosing the organizational culture of an Australian engineering consultancy using the competing values framework", Construction Innovation, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 121-139. https://doi.org/10.1108/14714170610710659

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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