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Chapter 6: Discussion

Relationships between Culture and Roles

The purpose of my thesis was to explicate the relationship between culture and a

variety of employee behaviors. Past research has examined employee behaviors from a

range of perspectives including social exchange and fairness (Blau, 1964; Liden et al.,

2000; Masterson et al., 2000; Wayne et al., 1997). The role of organizational culture as a

potent environmental stimulus has, however, remained largely unexplored (Tesluk et al.,

2002). This research, therefore, focused on attempting to understand the role of

organizational culture in informing and energizing specific employee behaviors through

cognitive perceptions. To achieve this goal, I focused on the competing values model of

organizational culture, which depicts organizations as having to manage competing

demands: efficiency versus flexibility, and internal versus external orientation (Cameron

& Quinn, 1999). This typology posits that organizations pursue different and at times,

competing ends.

The first part of my model suggested that organizational culture would have an

impact on employee role perceptions of organizational expectations. While this

proposition in itself seems relatively intuitive, the extant literature has not tested the

presence of a cognitive mechanism relating the organizational context to individual

employee behaviors, including aspects of citizenship behavior (Organ, 1988). The

findings of this study indeed indicate that culture is related to what individuals perceive

to be the expectations their organizations have of their role. For instance, individuals in

market-oriented cultures reported that they perceived emphasis on high achievement as

part of their expected role. By comparison, highly entrepreneurial cultures were


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