Archive for Dimensions of Organizational Culture


Today, we are discussing in briefly about common dimensions here.


Individual Autonomy: This refers to the individual’s freedom to exercise his or her responsibility. In other words, individual autonomy is the degree to which employees are free to manage themselves; to have considerable decision making power; and not to be continually accountable to higher management.


Position Structure: This refers to the extent of direct supervision, formalizations and centralization in an organization. In other words, position structure is the degree to which objectives of the job and methods for accomplishing it are established and communicated to the individual by supervisors.


Reward Orientation: This refers to the degree to which an organization rewards individuals for hard work or achievement. An organization which orients people to perform better and rewards them for doing so, will have an OC characterized by high reward orientation.


Consideration, Warmth and Support:  This refers to the extent of stimulation and support received by an individual from other organization members. In other words, if there is a sense of team spirit among the members of an organization, the OC is likely to be perceived as considerate, warm and supportive.


Conflict: This refers to the extent to conflict present between individuals and the willingness to be honest and open about interpersonal differences.


Progressiveness and Development: This aspect refers to the degree to which organization conditions foster the development of the employees, allow scope for growth and application of new ideas methods.


Risk Taking: The degree to which an individual feels free to try out new ideas and otherwise take risks without fears of reprisal, ridicule or other form of punishments, indicate the risk-taking dimension of OC. This dimension is akin to “cautious” versus “venturesome” quality of an organization.


Control: This dimension refers to the degree to which control over the behavior of organizational members is formalized. In a highly bureaucratic organization, control systems are well defined. In a low- control organization, most of the controls are self-regulated, i.e., individuals monitor their own behavior. You can think of this dimension as “tightness” versus “looseness” of an organization.


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You have seen that OC refers to a set of some commonly experienced stable characteristics of an organization which constitutes the uniqueness of that organization and differentiates it from other. You might have faced some difficulty in identifying this set of characteristics because you do not yet know the various dimensions or factors of OC in which you should look for these characteristics. In the last two decades, extensive studies have been conducted which have helped us to identify some key factors of OC. Some of these common dimensions are listed below:


         Individual Autonomy

         Position Structure

         Reward Orientation

         Consideration, Warmth and Support


         Progressiveness and Development

         Risk Taking



These eight dimension account for most of the research findings, but they do not account for all that we intuitively feel to be present in the “Climate” or “Culture” of an organization. For example, you may perceive an organization culture to be “paternalistic”, or a climate to be “impersonal”. Though the fourth OC dimension (considerations, warmth and support) may cover both these different qualities, yet the “richness” that you find in the two qualities is not fully reflected in that dimension. However, the identification of these eight dimension (which are not absolutely independent of each other) do help us mapping measuring OC.


We will discuss descriptively on each dimensions in next post..

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