However, this implication is highly erroneous and unfortunate as the use of the word ‘test’ immediately arouses anxiety associated with tests and doing well in it. This is because no one would want to find out that he/she is working in a ‘closed climate or in an institution high in control press and low in development press.
This attitude is justified because some experts like Halpin (1966) clearly, affirm that an open climate is ‘good’ and a closed climate is ‘bad’. However, he also adds that not every school (or college) can be so.
He compares the situation with that of neurotics who, despite their unhealthy symptoms, manage to cope with their world, even at a low and precarious level of effectiveness Halpin also suggests that attempts to alter a schools (or colleges) organizational climate may do more harm than good.
However, there are other writers such as Gordon and Goldberg (1977) who posit that organizational climate can be changed; fundamental changes in OC are easily or immediately made. Empirical evidence demonstrates that change in climate is possible and had occurred.
McClelland and Burnham (1976), in their research, found by making managers aware of the climate they had created, significant Changes in climate can be successfully accomplished at group level. Rocks study also found that to overcome serious problem at International Harvester, a change in climate was suggested in terms of change in structure design, planning system, management development and reward system.
The changes were implemented and a follow-up study indicated definite improvements in some areas with problems continuing in some other areas. Thus, changes in climate are possible but they will be gradual and do not happen overnight.
The importance of affM organizational climate is paramount as it enables an educational manager to exercise her leadership in a sufficiently supportive climate.
Neglecting organizational climate in favour of educational programmes, tasks and students can actually restrict the usability of leadership talent available in an institution and can be detrimental to institutional effectiveness in the long term. A healthy climate enables the principal and teachers to work more fully on educational matte s. Data on an institution’s OC can be used as feedback for their analysis, evaluation and discussion.
Organizational climate influences teacher performance, students’ performance, staff morale, job satisfaction of teachers and teachers’ motivation.
Litwin and Stringer’s (1968) experimental study dealt with creating three simulated business organizations, each with 15 members and a president. In each organization, through leadership style, a unique OC was created.
In this organization, the president placed strong emphasis on the maintenance of a formal structure. Members of the organization were assigned roles, their spheres of operation were tightly defined and they were held responsible for strict performance of their duties.
Seriousness, order and relative status were heavily stressed; deviation from explicit organizational rules was punished. Communication was allowed only through strict vertical channels, was formal in nature and was only permitted to cover matters directly related to the task.
Here, a loose, informal structure was created where the president stressed friendly, co-operative behaviour, group loyalty and teamwork and he tried to reflect these values in his own behaviour. Group decision-making was encouraged.
Punishment was replaced with a relaxed atmosphere of encouragement, support and assistance. To ensure the absence of conflict and frustration, managers were encouraged to pay special attention to self-development and personal well-being of workers. Group meetings were established so that workers could get to know each other better.
Here, high productivity was endorsed by the president. Each participant was encouraged to set his own goals and to take personal responsibility for results. Efforts to be innovative and creative were supported and reinforced by management.
Competitive feedback was given frequently so that progress towards goals could be easily evaluated. Rewards for excellent performance were given in the form of recognition, approval, promotions and pay raises.
An attempt was made to create a feeling of pride and teamwork in the organization through emphasis on competition against an external standard. Members were encouraged to seek each other’s help around task issues and no formal system of communications was instituted.
The findings of the study were as follows:
(1) In organization A, employees’ need for power was aroused; job satisfaction and performance were low.
(2) In organization B, employees’ need for affiliation was aroused, job satisfaction was high but performance was low.
(3) In organization C, their need for achievement was aroused; job satisfaction and performance were high.
This investigation implies that distinct organizational climates can be created by varying leadership styles in a short period of time; their characteristics are quite stable and they may induce effects on seemingly stable personality traits such as motive strengths.
In the Indian context, Loshali (1995) conducted a study on school results in relation to organizational climate and teacher absenteeism. The simple of the study consisted of 219 teachers from 37 secondary schools with English as medium of instruction situated in Greater Mumbai.
The investigation revealed that the relationship of school results with the disengagement dimension of OC was negative and moderate in magnitude whereas with the esprit dimension, it was positive and moderate.
School results were not found to be significantly related to alienation, hindrance, intimacy, thrust, control and production emphasis.This implies that higher the level of disengagement in a school, poor will be the school results and higher the level of esprit, better the school results.
Teacher absenteeism was found to be positively related to the disengagement dimension of OC. This relationship was substantial in magnitude. The relationship between teacher absenteeism and intimacy was negative and substantial in magnitude.
This implies that lower the level of intimacy and higher the level of disengagement, higher is likely to be teacher absenteeism in schools.
School results were not found to be significantly related to teacher absenteeism.
Joshi (1998) conducted a study on teachers’ motivation in relation to their institutional climate and teaching experience. The study was conducted on- 80 junior college teachers from Greater Mumbai. It used Institutional Climate Scale comprising of 113 items and consisting of the following dimensions:
(1) Relationship Orientation (RO) refers to the nature and degree of interrelationship of teachers amongst themselves and with the principal and the emphasis given to maintaining these relationships.
(2) Task Orientation (TO) refer to the extent to which emphasis is placed on the tasks to be performed effectively and efficiently and the encouragement and rewards to the teachers for the same.
(3) Policies and Rules (PR) refers to the nature of policies and rules and the extent of consistency, fairness and firmness with which these are implemented in the institution.
(4) Communication (C) refers to the nature and extent of mutual exchange of information with clarity and preciseness amongst the principal and the teachers.
(5) Decision Making (DM) refers to the extent of teachers’ involvement in planning and actuating the various tasks and activities of the institution.
The research studied motivation in terms of Achievement Motivation (AchM), Affiliation Motivation (AffM) and Power Motivation (PwrM).
The findings of the research revealed that:
(1) Achievement Motivation had a curvilinear but low (in magnitude) relationship with the total institutional climate. When the total institutional climate was either low or high, AchM was found to be low but when the total institutional climate was moderate, AchM was found to be high. AchM was not found to be significantly related to RO, TO, PR, C and DM dimensions of institutional climate taken individually.
(2) Affiliation Motivation had a positive, linear and low relationship with the total institutional climate, i.e., higher the score on the total institutional climate (more congenial the climate), higher is likely to be the AffM of teachers.
AffM was found to have a low but positive and significant relationship with the RO, TO and PR dimensions, moderate and positive relationship with the communication dimension and no relationship with the DM dimension of the institutional climate.
(3) Power Motivation was not found to be significantly related to the total institutional climate. However, it was found to have a low and positive relationship with the RO, TO, C and DM dimensions as well as a moderate and positive relationship with the PR dimension of the institutional climate.
(4) Teaching experience of teachers was found to have a positive and moderate relationship with AchM, substantial relationship with AffM and a low relationship with PwrM.
Having looked at the concept of organizational/institutional climate, let us now discuss the concept of organizational/institutional culture.