Higher Education

, Volume 55, Issue 6, pp 637–650

Organisational cultures in public and private Portuguese Universities: a case study



Perceptions of organisational culture made by three categories of staff playing managerial roles in each of two Portuguese Universities (one public and the other private) were compared using a questionnaire adapted from the Organisational Culture Assessment Instrument and translated into Portuguese. The four scales of the questionnaire, designed to measure the Cultures of Clan, Adhocracy, Hierarchy and Market orientation were found to have adequate internal reliabilities, though a factor analysis raised doubts about the construct (factor) validity of two of the scales (Clan and Adhocracy). Application of a MANOVA to scores on the four scales of organisational culture showed, as hypothesised, that the private university was perceived to have significantly stronger cultures of Market orientation and Hierarchy than the public university. No overall difference was found between the universities for the cultures of Clan and Adhocracy. However, general managerial staff in both Universities perceived the cultures of Clan and Adhocracy to be stronger than was the case for technical managerial staff.


Organisational culture Assessment Portuguese higher education Competing values Managerial role 


  1. Amaral, A., & Teixeira, P. (2000). The rise and fall of the private sector in Portuguese higher education. Higher Education Policy, 13, 245–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Berrio, A. A. (2003). An organisational culture assessment using the competing values framework: A profile of Ohio State University extension. Journal of Extension, 41(2), 206–223.Google Scholar
  3. Bollinger, D., & Hofstede, G. (1987). Les Différences Culturelles dans le Management : Comment Chaque Pays Gère-t-il ses Hommes. Paris: Les éditions d’organisation.Google Scholar
  4. Bergquist, W. H. (1992). The four cultures of the academy. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, Inc.Google Scholar
  5. Cabrito, B. G. (2004). Higher education: An education for the elites? The Portuguese case. Higher Education in Europe, 29(1), 33–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cameron, K. S. (1986). Effectiveness of ineffectiveness. Research in organizational behaviour. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  7. Cameron, K. S., & Quinn, R. E. (1999). Diagnosing and changing organizational culture. New York: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  8. Chorão, F. (1992). Cultura Organizacional: Um Paradigma de Análise da Realidade Escolar. Lisboa: Gabinete de Estudos e Planeamento/Ministério da Educação.Google Scholar
  9. Correia, F., Amaral, A., & Magalhães, A. (2002). Diversificação e Diversidade dos Sistemas de Ensino Superior: O Caso Português. Lisboa: Conselho Nacional de Educação.Google Scholar
  10. Dill, D. (1997). Higher education markets and public policy. Higher Education Policy, 10, 167–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gago, J. M. (1994). Prospectiva do Ensino Superior em Portugal. Lisboa: Ministério da Educação, Departamento de Programação e Gestão Financeira.Google Scholar
  12. Geiger, R. (1996). Diversification in US higher education: Historical patterns and current trends. In V. L. Meek et al. (Ed.), The mockers and mocked: Comparative perspective on differentiation, convergence and diversity in higher education (pp. 188–203). Oxford: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  13. Gomes, R. (1993). Cultura de Escolas e Identidades dos Professores. Lisboa: Educa.Google Scholar
  14. Lopes, A., & Reto, L. (1990). Identidade da Empresa e Gestão pela Cultura. Lisboa: Edições Sílabo.Google Scholar
  15. Madelino, F. (in press). Produtividade Política de Emprego, Externalidades e Questões de Financiamento: O Caso Português. Lisboa: ISCTE.Google Scholar
  16. Major, D. A. (2000). Effective newcomer socialization into high-performance organizational cultures. In N. M. Ashkanasy, C. P. Wilderom, & M. F. Peterson (Eds.), Handbook of organizational culture & climate (pp. 355–368). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
  17. Moniz, A. (1998). Políticas de Emprego e Sociedade da Informação: Para Uma Sociedade do Conhecimento. Sociedade e Trabalho, 2, 56–69.Google Scholar
  18. Murteira, M. (2003). From labour economics to knowledge economics: A vision of the second half of the 20th century. Economia Global e Gestão, 8(3), 9–19.Google Scholar
  19. Parker, M. (2000). Organizational culture and identity. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  20. Pesqueux, P. Y. (2003). Les Accréditations des Cursus de Management: Clonage ou Amélioration Qualitative?’ Revue Française de Gestion, 29(147), 201–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Quinn, R. E. (1988). Beyond rational management. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc. Publishers.Google Scholar
  22. Quinn, R. E. (1991). Beyond rational management: Mastering the paradoxes and competing demands of high performance. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc. Publishers.Google Scholar
  23. Quinn, R. E., & McGrath, M. R. (1985). The transformation of organizational cultures: A competing values perspective. In P. J. Frost, L. F. Moore, M. R. Louis, C. C. Lundberg, & J. Martin (Eds.), Organizational culture (pp. 315–334). Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
  24. Ramos, A. S. (1993). Cultura Organizacional e Estratégia Empresarial: Um Caso de Aplicação. Dissertation, Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa, Lisboa.Google Scholar
  25. Rosa, M. J., Saraiva, P. M., & Diz, H. (2005). Defining strategic and excellence bases for the development of Portuguese higher education. European Journal of Education, 40(12), 205–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sampaio, J. (1991). Autonomia das Universidades. Lisboa: Assembleia da Republica.Google Scholar
  27. Sherif, M., & Sherif, C. W. (1953). Groups in harmony and tension. New York: Harper & Brothers.Google Scholar
  28. Silva, P. F. (1996). Análise do Sistema Organizacional das Universidades Novas: Semelhanças, Diferenças e Graus de Desenvolvimento. Dissertation, Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa, Lisboa.Google Scholar
  29. Torres, L. L. (1997). Cultura Organizacional Escolar. Oeiras: Celta Editora.Google Scholar
  30. Zammuto, R. F., & Krakower, J. Y. (1991). Quantitative and qualitative studies of organizational culture. Research in organizational change and development. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  31. Wilderom, C. P., & Glunk, U. (2000). Organizational culture and prediction of predictor performance. In N. M. Ashkanasy, C. P. Wilderom, & M. F. Peterson (Eds.), Handbook of organizational culture & climate (pp. 193–209). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversidade Lusíada de LisboaLisboaPortugal
  2. 2.Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da EmpresaLisboaPortugal

Personalised recommendations