Comparison of Perceived Organizational Climate in Private and Public Undertakings

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Comparison of Perceived Organizational Climate in Private and Public Undertakings
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  IRJMSH Volume 5 Issue 2 [Year 2014] online   ISSN 2277  –  9809   International Research Journal of Management Sociology & Humanity Page 83   Comparison of Perceived Organizational Climate in Private and Public Undertakings *Amjad Ali & **Bhaswati Patnaik *Post Doctoral Research Associate, Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, NIT Rourkela, Odisha. Email:  **Associate Professor & Head, Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, NIT Rourkela, Odisha. Email:  Organizational climate is a topic of increasing interest in the area of organizational behaviour and management. It is generally defined as a psychological state strongly affected by organizational conditions, such as systems, structure and managerial behaviour. Organizational Climate is a perception of how things are in the organizational environment, which is composed of a variety of elements or dimensions. Managers are the most important assets of the organization as they have to interact with their subordinates, colleagues, top managements, customers and people at large. So, their major portion of time is utilized in working with different kinds of people in diverse climate and culture. The present research intends to understand the perception of Organizational climate among managers of private and public undertakings. The study was carried out in different private and public organizations located in Delhi. Data were collected from 100 managers (50 managers from private and 50 from public undertakings). Organizational Climate Scale developed by Pathe, Chaudhari and Dhar (2001) was administered to explore the general opinion of working managers of different organizations. Analysis of the data was done using t-test. Results revealed significant difference between managers of private and public undertakings on Organizational Climate dimensions. The findings imply that the organizations in both the sectors need to understand and manage Organizational Climate and provide them with suitable physical climate and interpersonal culture to enhance overall Organizational Climate so that their level of performance in the organization could be enhanced. Results are explained in the light of present scenario in existing private and  public undertakings. INTRODUCTION Organizational climate is an attempt to understand the processes by which organizational structure and managerial strategies, affect the motivation and attitudes of individual employees. It is suggested that climate occupies an intermediate position in such processes. Theoretically, it  provides a linkage between the organizational and individual levels of analysis (Tagiuri and Litwin, 1968; Pheysey, Payne and Pugh, 1971). At the organizational level of analysis, results showed that structural and contextual variables were regularly related to the average perceptions  IRJMSH Volume 5 Issue 2 [Year 2014] online   ISSN 2277  –  9809   International Research Journal of Management Sociology & Humanity Page 84  of climate in an organization (Payne and Mansfield, 1973). The interpretation of any such relationship differs depending on whether the analysis is at the level of the individual or the organization. The concept of organizational climate was developed in the late 1930s by the social scientist namely Lewin and his colleagues (1939). They used social climate term to describe subjective feelings or atmosphere they encountered in their organizations related studies. Since 1980s, the concept of climate seems to have lost its appeal to organizational researchers (Isaksen et al, 1995). In its place organizational culture, a concept from the field of anthropology, was introduced. Ekvall (1996) noted that the organizational climate literature contained two main contradictions, one related to ontological issues which include theories of organizational climate (Guion, 1973; Ekvall, 1996; Altman, 2000) and the other on values, norms and belief system (Schneider et al, 1996). Organizational Climate has been perceived differently by different researchers according to their area concern. It has generally been regarded as properties of the business environment in a workplace observed by staffs that strongly influence their actions and job performance. However, a number of researchers stated that “Organi zational climate is defined as the way in which organizational members perceive and characterize their environment in an attitudinal and value-based manner, has been asserted as an important and influential aspect of satisfaction and retention, as well as institutional effectiveness”, (Denison, 1996; Moran and Volkwein, 1992; Verbeke, Volgering, and Hessels, 1998). On the other hand, Calahane and Sites (2008) explained that “Organizational climate is a collective perception of the work environment by the i ndividuals within a common system”.   Climate itself is a multidimensional concept (Campbell et al. 1970) and incorporates dimensions about the structure and rules of the organization, about interpersonal processes and relationships, and about how the tasks of the organization are achieved. Climate is regarded as a broad, multifaceted perceptual domain, with construct definition determined by the specific criteria of interest. Research attempting to relate general climate to specific ratings of job performance has not found strong relationships (Pritchard and Karasick, 1973). On the other hand, examining the specific domain of safety climate allowed Zohar (1980) to demonstrate that perceptions of  IRJMSH Volume 5 Issue 2 [Year 2014] online   ISSN 2277  –  9809   International Research Journal of Management Sociology & Humanity Page 85   climate were linked to measures of accident prevention and safety effectiveness and is concerned with technical competence, performance, and updating activity among workers and, thus, focused on the climate for technical updating. Researchers in organizational behaviour have long been interested in understanding emplo yees’ perceptions of the work environment and how these perceptions influence individuals’ work -related attitudes and behaviours. Earlier researches suggested that the social climate or atmosphere created in a workplace had significant consequences i.e., e mployees’ perceptions of the work context purportedly influenced the extent to which people were satisfied and perform up to their potential, which, in turn, was predicted to influence organizational productivity (Katz and Kahn, 1978; Likert, 1967; McGregor, 1960). The construct of climate has been studied extensively and has proven useful in capturing perceptions of the work context (Denisson, 1996; Ostroff, Kinicki, and Tamkins, 2003). Climate has been described as an experientially based description of the work environment and, more specifically, employees’ perceptions of the formal and informal policies, practices and procedures in their organization (Schneider, 2000). The notion of within-group agreement as a precondition for unit or organizational climate does not necessarily mean that there is perfect agreement among individuals on climate. In fact, most studies that have investigated group or organizational climate have found that there is still some variability in perceptions within groups (Gonzalez-Roma, Peiro and Tordera, 2002; Lindell and Brandt, 2000; Schneider, Salvaggio, and Subirats, 2002). A great deal of attention has been devoted to distinguishing between the objectives versus perceptual nature of climate (Glick, 1985; James, Joyce and Slocum, 1988) and between psychological and organizational climate (James and Jones, 1974; Jones and James, 1979) as well as to methodological issues pertaining to the aggregation of individual climate perceptions to represent organizational climate (Chan, 1998; Klein et al., 2000). The controversies surrounding these issues have largely been resolved (Schneider, 2000). However, little attention has been directed at how best to capture climate as a system-wide variable in an organization. Schneider and Reichers (1983) considered different perspectives on the formation of climates. Firstly, according to the structuralist perspective, climates arise  IRJMSH Volume 5 Issue 2 [Year 2014] online   ISSN 2277  –  9809   International Research Journal of Management Sociology & Humanity Page 86   out of 18 structural characteristics of an organization. Secondly, selection, attraction, and attrition of individuals produce homogeneous organizational membership resulting in similar climate perceptions. However, Schneider and Reichers, (1983) highlighted a common problem with both these approaches. Neither explanation can account for the differences in climate found in many studies across work groups within the same organization. For example, Newman (1975) showed that employees in different departments described their climate differently. Similarly, Schneider and Bowen (1985) found that climate perceptions differed between work groups in a single organization. The notion that multiple climates exist within an organization has been widely accepted (Schneider, 2000). Yet, empirical research has tended to examine a single climate dimension or examine the relative importance of several dimensions of climate in a single study. Ostroff and her colleagues (Bowen and Ostroff, 2004; Ostroff et al., 2003) have suggested that a configural approach (Doty, Glick and Huber, 1993; Meyer, Tsui and Hinings, 1993) might be fruitful in this context. Configurations can broadly be defined as „conceptually distinct characteristics that commonly occur together‟ (Meyer et al., 1993). They have examined multiple characteristics simultaneously while accounting for the interrelationships and interactions among them. Applied to the study of organizational climate, organizations or work units would be characterized by several distinct profiles across multiple climates. In this case, the focus of measurement shifts from examining independent climate dimensions to patterns or systems of interrelated climate dimensions. A great deal of research has indicated that psychological climate and organizational (or unit-level) climate is related to a variety of individual outcomes (Carr, Schmidt, Ford, and DeShon, 2003). For example, a number of studies have shown that psychological climates are related to individual satisfaction (Friedlander and Margulies, 1969). Results from two recent meta-analytic studies also provide strong support for this relationship (Carr et al., 2003; Parker et al., 2003). In addition, cross-level studies have demonstrated that unit-level or organizational climates are also significantly related to individual satisfaction (Joyce and Slocum, 1984;  Naumann and Bennett, 2000; Ostroff, 1993). Griffin et al. (1996) revealed that Organisational Climate model accounts for at least 16% single-day sick leave and 10% separation rates in one organisation. Other studies support  IRJMSH Volume 5 Issue 2 [Year 2014] online   ISSN 2277  –  9809   International Research Journal of Management Sociology & Humanity Page 87  the links between organizational climate and many other factors such as employee retention, job satisfaction, well-being, and readiness for creativity, innovation and change. However, there is an obvious lack of research examining psychological and higher-level unit or organizational climate at the same time to ascertain their relative impacts. There is also less evidence to ascertain the perception of managers about their organizational climate across different sectors. Purang in her paper (2006) titled "HRD Climate: Comparative Analysis of Public, Private and Multinational Organizations" reported HRD Climate perception of employees in private and multinational organizations to be significantly better than in public sector organizations. Butt, Bhutto and Abbas (2012) in their study on banks‟ employees found that  the overall  perception about organizational climate at SCB (Standard Chartered Bank) has turned out to be most favourable of all the three banks under consideration. Where as, the organizational climate at MCB (Muslim Commercial Bank) and NBP (National Bank of Pakistan) is perceived to be relatively less favourable. Furthermore, the perception of NBP‟s organizational climate stood out to be least favourable. García, Castillo and Santa (2013) conducted a study on nursing organizational climates in public and private hospitals in Spain. The results obtained reflected different patterns of organizational climate formation, based on hospital type (i.e. public or private) within the Spanish context. Most of the dimensions were below the midpoint of the scale. In conclusion, in public hospitals, there is a greater specialization and the organizational climate is more salient than in the private hospitals. In addition, in the public hospitals, the characteristics of the human resources and their management can have a significant impact on the perception of the climate. OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY In the present research our focus was given to examine the differences in perception of organizational climate, if any, between Managers ‟  of Private and Public Undertakings. HYPOTHESIS OF THE STUDY In the light of available literature related to the present study it was hypothesized that “ Managers of private undertakings would perceive better Organizational Climate as compared to the managers of public undertakings”. METHOD
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