Why are some universities better? An evaluation in terms of organizational culture and academic performance*

Kose M. F. , KORKMAZ M.

HIGHER EDUCATION RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT, vol.38, no.6, pp.1213-1226, 2019 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 38 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/07294360.2019.1634679
  • Page Numbers: pp.1213-1226


The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationships between organizational culture and academic performance among higher education institutions. The sample was composed of 647 faculty members working in the colleges of education, health, engineering, law, economics, and administrative sciences in four central research universities in Turkey. The Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI) was used to describe organizational culture, whereas University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP) data were used to investigate academic performance. A multilevel analysis in which one unit of analysis (i.e., faculty member) was nested within another (i.e., college) was performed. The original contribution made to the literature by this research is its examination of the relationships between organizational culture and tangible performance indicators (e.g., the number of academic publications and citations). Results show that three different culture types were observed in the universities: Innovative team culture, competitive culture, and hierarchic culture. Although significant relationships were found between academic performance and both competitive culture and innovative team culture, the sole significant predictor of academic performance was competitive culture. One particularly interesting finding was that whereas competitive culture was effective on quantitative indicators (i.e., number of publications and number of citations), only innovative team culture affected the indicators related to effectiveness (i.e., article impact level and citation impact level).