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Organizational Culture, Leadership and Job Satisfaction

by Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh
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Organizational culture refers to the beliefs and values that have existed in an organization for a long time, and to the beliefs of the staff and the foreseen value of their work that will influence their attitudes and behavior. Administrators usually adjust their leadership behavior to accomplish the mission of the organization, and this could influence the employees’ job satisfaction. It is therefore essential to understand the relationship between organizational cultures, leadership behavior and job satisfaction of employees.
Organizational culture is described by Robbins & Coulter as the shared values, beliefs, or perceptions held by employees within an organization or organizational unit. Because organizational culture reflects the values, beliefs and behavioral norms that are used by employees in an organization to give meaning to the situations that they encounter, it can influence the attitudes and behavior of the staff. Understanding the organization’s core values can prevent possible internal conflict.
In other management fields, empirical research of organizational culture has involved the functionalist perspective, providing impressive evidence of the role of organizational culture in improving performance. The pervasiveness of an organizational culture requires that management recognize its underpinning dimensions and its impact on employee-related variables, such as job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and performance. Lund believed that less research was done on the relationship between organizational culture and job satisfaction within the research topic of organizational culture and outcome. The organization consists of the staff, with the behavior of its individual members affecting outcomes. Since cultural research within the nursing field is not common, it is necessary to explore the way the culture influences the behavior of the nursing staff, and in turn how the behavior of the staff influences the organizational outcome.
A two-dimensional model of leadership that focuses on the concern for people and production has been used for many years in organizational research. In the late 1970s, leadership research started focusing on behavior within organizational change and development. Leadership implies authority in the broadest sense of the word and not simply the power to wield the stick. It is based on objective factors, such as managerial ability, and more subjective characteristics that include personal qualities of the leaders.This study explores the relationship between organizational culture and leadership behavior.
Berson &Linton discovered that within the research & development (R&D) and administrative environments, leadership behavior of a manager is closely related to work satisfaction of the employees. Nielsen et al, have stated that leadership behavior and job satisfaction will depend on the organizational context; therefore another objective of this research was to understand how the leadership behavior of the administrator in different organizational cultures affects job satisfaction. Casida & Pinto-Zipp explored how nurses felt about the relationship between leadership and organizational culture, and found them to be correlated. Although the data indicated that the development of an organizational culture is related to the behavior of its leaders, the results failed conclude whether this affected their attitudes or behavior as employees. From the nursing administration perspective, the normal course of action taken to influence employee behavior and achieve the objectives set by the administrators comes through administrative management. Therefore, as well as discussing the relationship between leadership behavior and organizational culture, this research will investigate the effect of leader behavior and organizational culture towards employee job satisfaction. The findings clearly show that hospital administrators should be concerned about the effects of leadership behavior and organizational culture on the attitude towards work of their employees. This should help administrators alter their behavior in order to maintain a good mutual relationship with their subordinates, improving their working attitude and, more importantly, reducing potential conflicts.
Culture is socially learned and transmitted by members; it provides the rules for behavior within organizations. The definition of organizational culture is of the belief that can guide staff in knowing what to do and what not to do, including practices, values, and assumptions about their work. The core values of an organization begin with its leadership, which will then evolve to a leadership style. Subordinates will be led by these values and the behavior of leaders, such that the behavior of both parties should become increasingly in line. When strong unified behavior, values and beliefs have been developed, a strong organizational culture emerges. Leaders have to appreciate their function in maintaining an organization’s culture. This would in return ensure consistent behavior between members of the organization, reducing conflicts and creating a healthy working environment for employees.
Job satisfaction has been associated with nurses who perceive their managers as supportive and caring. A supportive manager shares values, believes in a balance of power, and provides opportunities for open dialogue with nurses, which in turn reduces the chances of internal conflicts. This type of leader is successful in his or her role and is supportive and responsive to clinical nurses, thereby preserving power and status within the hospital system. Such leaders are valued throughout the organization and have executive power to do what they see as necessary to create a positive environment for nursing. Accordingly, they have a measurable effect on the morale and job satisfaction of nurses.
Organizational culture expresses shared assumptions, values and beliefs, and is the social glue holding an organization together. A strong culture is a system of rules that spells out how people should behave. An organization with a strong culture has common values and codes of conduct for its employees, which should help them, accomplish their missions and goals. Work recognition and job satisfaction can be achieved when employees can complete the tasks assigned to them by the organization.
A structured questionnaire was compiled based on similar studies published in international journals. Twenty-three factors regarding organizational culture were taken from Tsui et al. , a study based on two groups of MBA students from two universities in Beijing, China. Our research was focused on clinical nurses in hospitals; therefore, refinements were made to the questionnaire designed by Tsui et al. to cater for our particular research objective. The study invited three directors or supervisors from the medical center to validate the questionnaire. Lastly, there were 22 questions in the organizational culture section.
Thirty items regarding leadership behavior were taken from Strange &Mumford, and the questions structured using this literature. However, the proposed test was not empirically studied. Nurses from hospital A were used as a pilot study sample. Four question items were deleted to improve the validity of the questionnaire: “People will have an extreme reaction to the leader”; “Followers will sacrifice themselves for the leader and/or the leader’s vision”; “The leader is motivated by the accomplishment of his vision”; and “The leader will take into account the needs of the organization in his decision making.”
Vroom classified job satisfaction into 7 dimensions: organizational, promotion, job content, superior, reward, working environment and working partners. We took into consideration that nurses’ salary increases are based on promotion. Furthermore, a large number of variables in organization culture and leadership behavior were covered by this research. To prevent too few number nurses from responding to the questionnaires, we asked only 4 job satisfaction dimensions out of a total of 12 items: job recognition, reward and welfare, superior and working partners.
The culture within an organization is very important, playing a large role in whether it is a happy and healthy environment in which to work. In communicating and promoting the organizational ethos to employees, their acknowledgement and acceptance of it can influence their work behavior and attitudes. When the interaction between the leadership and employees is good, the latter will make a greater contribution to team communication and collaboration, and will also be encouraged to accomplish the mission and objectives assigned by the organization, thereby enhancing job satisfaction.

The Writer can be reached at:[email protected]

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