The Relationships Between Perceptions Of Organizational Culture and Organizational Commitment Among College And University Counselors And Advisors Who Provide Educational Support To At-risk Students

Open Access
Selden, Shenetta Jean
Graduate Program:
Counselor Education
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
June 16, 2015
Committee Members:
  • Jerry G Trusty, Committee Chair
  • Catharina Johanna Cunning, Committee Member
  • Robert M Hendrickson, Committee Member
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
  • Richard Hazler, Special Member
  • Organizational culture
  • higher education
  • counselors
  • advisors
  • at-risk students
  • organizational commitment
The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between perceptions of organizational culture and affective, continuance, and normative commitment among counselors and related administrators in higher education Comprehensive Support programs for at-risk students. The population under consideration was from colleges and universities primarily in the western United States (California) and the eastern United States (New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania). Organizational Commitment has been a popular area of research for the past twenty-five to thirty years. In general, researchers have determined that a high level of organizational commitment contributed to behavior favorable to organizational effectiveness. Organizational commitment has been conceptualized and measured in a wide variety of ways. This research utilized Meyer, Allen, and Smith’s (1993) scales to measure three components of organizational commitment. According to Meyer and Allen (1991), organizational commitment consists of three basic themes: affective, continuance, and normative commitment. They defined affective commitment as an emotional attachment to the organization; continuance commitment as the perceived cost of leaving the organization; and normative commitment as a sense of loyalty or moral obligation to remain with the organization. Organizational culture was measured utilizing an instrument developed by Kalliath, Bluedorn and Strube (1999). The primary basis for their instrument was the Competing Values Framework, which was initially developed to measure organizational effectiveness but was later considered a viable instrument for analyzing various aspects of and levels in organizations, including organizational culture. Associated with the framework are labels that provide characteristics of four types of organizational culture. This study chose the labels so designated by Cameron and Quinn (1999, 2006): clan, adhocracy, hierarchy, and market. Briefly, they described the clan culture as consisting of collaboration, similar to a family unit; in the adhocracy culture, flexibility is a characteristic; the hierarchy culture is a structured environment with rules and regulations; and the market culture focuses on a strong presence in a competitive environment. Variables also included characteristics of the academic administrators such as age, gender, education level, experience in current role, and ethnicity. Educators at the community college, college, and university levels were selected. Three hundred and thirteen program directors were sent e-mails requesting their program participation in this study; ninety-six returned usable surveys. This study used a correlational research design and the data were analyzed using a hierarchical regression analysis. The data offered significant results for both affective and normative commitment. For affective commitment, the merging of culture and the demographic variables indicated that clan culture was a strong predictor of affective commitment. For normative commitment, the merging of culture and the demographic variables with normative commitment led culture—again, particularly clan culture—to emerge as a strong predictor of normative commitment.