In the example mentioned are we sure that opinions on

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answers make the same distinction. In the example mentioned, are we sure that opinions on 'how satisfied are you with your career opportu- nities?' do not influence or are not influenced by the value choice of whether career opportunities are important (compared to other objectives)? Only if the two can be proven independent, does adding the second question offer additional information. Organizational, or corporate, culture has been a popular issue in the man- agement literature since the early 1980s (e,g. Deal and Kennedy 1982), The concept of 'organizational culture' as that aspect of the organization which is managed was already used by Blake and Mouton (1964: 169), but it only became common parlance two decades later. Culture is a characteristic of the organization, not of individutds, but it is manifested in and measured from the verbal and/or nonverbal behaviour of individuals — aggregated to the level of their organizational unit. Traditionally, organizational cul- ttire has mostly been studied by case-study description, often involving par- ticipant observation (e,g, Hofstede 1994: Chapt, 1), These methods can provide profound insight, but they are subjective and not reliable in the sense of different researchers necessarily arriving at the same conclusions (Hofstede 1991: 249^250). Questionnaires claiming to study organizational culture are sometimes little more than employee attitude surveys. Ouchi and Wilkins (1988: 236) con- clude that ',„ the use of survey methodology is seen by many current schol- ars of culture as being too much the product of the social scientist's rather than the participant's point of view and therefore inappropriate as a method for measuring culture'. However, Ouchi and Wilkins (Op.Cit.: 244) also give the opposite argument: Although rarely written in journal articles, it is often said by those who are statistically inclined that organizational culture has become the refuge of the untrained and the incompetent „,' A prudent middle way is to say that organizational culture should neither be studied solely by case studies nor solely by questionnaires.
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480 Geert Hofstede In order to reflect the respondents' points of view, questionnaire approaches to the study of organizational culture should be clear about what they are supposed to measure. They should also be analyzed at the level of organi- zational units and not of individuals. This is a difficulty for many psycho- logically (rather than sociologically) trained researchers; authors have often tried to demonstrate the reliability of instruments for measuring culture on the basis of correlations between scores for individuals, whereas, in actual fact, it can only be proven on the level of aggregate scores for cultural units. National Cultures and Dtonanaions of Values In the past decades I have been involved with two subsequent large research projects on culture, one into cross-national differences in mental programmes within the same multinational corporation and one into cross-oi;ganizational differences in mental programmes within the same countries.
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  • Spring '12
  • dr.long
  • Geeit Hofstede

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