Organizational Climate of North Carolina Cooperative Extension

Show full item record

Title: Organizational Climate of North Carolina Cooperative Extension
Author: Fouts, Harvey Marshall
Advisors: John Pettitt, Committee Chair
Abstract: The purposes of this study were to: (1) describe the qualities of the organizational climate of North Carolina Cooperative Extension (NCCE) as perceived by selected employee groups, (2) to explore associations of the organizational climate with a management system, and (3) to assess how organizational climate changed when compared to selected findings in the Manzo-Ramos (1997) study of the same organization. Organizational climate is a construct that developed in social psychology and organizational management to describe the perceived patterns of psychological and social experiences of employees of organizations. The climate construct is based upon Gestalt psychology (Lewin, 1951) and suggests that the social process of a setting, such as a workplace, is part of a larger context resulting in patterns of experiences and behaviors and employee perceptions about their organization. This study asked employees about their level of satisfaction regarding behaviors and experiences that were expected or observed in NCCE. Organizational climate, the dependent variable of this study, was measured using the Personal Assessment of Organizational Climate which includes eight categories to assess employees' perceptions in specific areas of interest to NCCE. The eight climate categories were: influence from upper management, middle management and current supervisor related to individual behaviors and organizational processes associated with these administrative levels and the organization; communications concerned the extent to which employees received and gave information to and from other employees; collaboration related to the extent to which employees perceived there was cooperation, teamwork and mutual interest to work together; organizational structure items concerned organizational process and work expectations; work design related to the employee's capacity, skill, and alignment to do their work, and services to the public related to the ways the organization seeks to and serves the needs of the public. Associations with the NCCE organizational climate were explored for six independent variables, including sex, tenure, educational level, professional field, position, and area of work of employees. These variables were selected as identifiable groups among employees and provided a method to assess climate perceptions that would be useful to make management and practice recommendations. Using a descriptive field study research design, this study used the Personal Assessment of Organizational Climate questionnaire to survey all employees of NC Cooperative Extension. The target population for this study was 1,550 employees of NC Cooperative Extension. Data were collected from 641 employees for an overall response rate of 41%. The findings indicated that measures of the NC Cooperative Extension organizational climate may be associated with a consultative management system as described by Roueche and Baker (1987). A consultative management form of administration is concept used to describe how management and employees relate to each other and with themselves to achieve the organizational mission. Using the multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) the data indicated that NC Cooperative Extension organizational climate variables were significantly different (p < .05) as perceived by employee groups for each of one or more climate categories. These findings suggest the conclusion that identifiable groups of employees experience their work NCCE in different ways and form different perceptions regarding their satisfaction with the administrative and organizational processes. The findings of this study were compared to those of Manzo-Ramos' (1997), who conducted an organizational climate study of NC Cooperative Extension in 1996. The overall climate mean of this study did not significantly vary from that found by Manzo-Ramos. These findings suggest that employees' perception of climate changed on some survey items within the independent variables examined, although employees maintained a consistent climate perception of NCCE. Content analysis of employees' anecdotal comments was used to categorize issues of concern and recommendations. These issues included compensation, visionary administrative leadership, reward and recognition, valuing diversity in the workplace, performance appraisal instrument, program focus and identity, communication, in-service training, organizational structure and staffing, and consistent policies.
Date: 2004-11-14
Degree: EdD
Discipline: Adult and Community College Education

Files in this item

Files Size Format View
etd.pdf 394.0Kb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record