Higher Education

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 221–230 | Cite as

Cameron's dimensions of effectiveness in higher education in the U.K.: a cross-cultural comparison

  • Art Lysons
  • David Hatherly


A number of dramatic changes have occurred in the higher education system since the Jarratt Report into efficiency and effectiveness in the United Kingdom. Building on Cameron's (1978, 1981, 1986) seminal work on organisational effectiveness (OE) in higher education, this paper describes a test of his approach in the U.K. in an effort to establish the groundwork of an organisational effectiveness perspective for policy decisions, organisational analysis and management, and further research. Overall, the findings indicate that the scales developed by Cameron in the U.S. demonstrate considerably higher levels of reliability in the U.K. than in Australia. The explanation appears to be related to cultural differences in that the U.S. and the U.K. have stronger enduring traditions linking reputation and resources (Bigelow 1980). These and results of more detailed analysis suggest the importance of further study to unravel both cultural specific interpretation and thicker descriptions of organisational issues to facilitate future policy and management decisions (Lysons 1990a, 1990b).


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bigelow, J. D. (1980). ‘Evolution and middle range theories: Toward a matrix of organizational modes’, in Pinder, C. C. and Moore, L. F. (eds.), Middle Range Theory and the Study of Organizations. Leiden, The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff, pp. 157–168.Google Scholar
  2. Cameron, K. S. (1978). ‘Measuring organizational effectiveness in institutions of higher education’, Administrative Science Quarterly 23, 604–632.Google Scholar
  3. Cameron, K. S. (1981). ‘Domains of organizational effectiveness in colleges and universities’, Academy of Management Journal 24(1), 25–47.Google Scholar
  4. Cameron, K. S. (1986). ‘A study of organizational effectiveness and its predictors’, Management Science 32, 87–112.Google Scholar
  5. Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals, ‘Report of the Steering Committee for Efficiency Studies in Universities’ (The ‘Jarratt Report’), March 1985.Google Scholar
  6. Goodman, P.S., Atkin, R.S. and Schoorman, F.D. (1983). ‘On the demise of organizational effectiveness studies’, in Cameron, K. S., and Whetten, D. A. (eds.), Organizational Effectiveness: A Comparison of Multiple Models. New York: Academic Press, pp. 163–183.Google Scholar
  7. Gross, E. and Gambsch, P. V. (1968). University Goals and Academic Power. Washington D.C.: American Council on Education.Google Scholar
  8. Gross, E. and Gambsch, P. V. (1974). Changes in University Organizations, 1964–1971, A Report for the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  9. Lysons, A. F. (1990a). ‘Taxonomies of higher educational institutions predicted from organization climate’, Research in Higher Education 31(2), 115–128.Google Scholar
  10. Lysons, A. F. (1990b). ‘Dimensions and domains of organizational effectiveness in Australian higher education’, Higher Education 20(3), 287–300.Google Scholar
  11. Lysons, A. F. and Ryder, P.A. (1988). ‘An empirical test of Cameron's dimensions of effectiveness: Implications for Australian tertiary institutions’, Higher Education 17(3), 323–332.Google Scholar
  12. Lysons, A. F. and Ryder, P. A. (1989). ‘An application of Jones & James' perceived climate questionnaire in Australian higher educational institutions’, Higher Education 18(6), 697–705.Google Scholar
  13. Pace, C. R. (1976). ‘Institutional instruments for standardized assessment’, in M. W. Peterson (ed.) Benefiting from Interinstitutional Research, New Directions for Institutional Research, No. 12, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  14. Pace, C. R. (1979). Measuring Outcomes of College. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  15. Peterson, R. E. (1970). The Crisis of Purpose: Definition and Uses of Institutional Goals, Report No. 5, prepared for the ERIC Clearing House on Higher Education, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  16. Peterson, R. E. (1971). Toward Institutional Goal-Consciousness, 1971 Western Regional Conference on Testing Problems. Princeton, N.J.: Educational Testing Service.Google Scholar
  17. Romney, L. (1978). Measures of Institutional Goal Achievement. Boulder, Col: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Art Lysons
    • 1
  • David Hatherly
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of ManagementSchool of Commerce, James Cook UniversityQueenslandAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Accounting and Business MethodUniversity of EdinburghScotland

Personalised recommendations