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Differentiation of organizational climate and culture in public health and social services in Finland

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The aim of the study was to examine the differentiation of organizational contexts within Finnish public health and social services both at the workplace and at the local governmental (municipality) level.

Subject and methods

We focused on climate, comprising individual level experience, and on culture, comprising collective level as “the way things are done in organization”. Climate, as “the way people perceive their work environment”, was interpreted to reflect personally relevant professional and moral concerns. As an exploration of antecedents of climate and culture, we compared the scale of contextual differences among workplaces with the extent of differences at the municipal level. We also examined by multilevel hierarchical linear models (HLM), the importance of observed differentiation of workplaces in terms of impacts of both climate and culture on employee morale.


There existed different organizational climates and cultures within Finnish public human service organizations both at workplace and upper organizational level. Differences in terms of climate were somewhat bigger than differences in culture.


Both climate and culture should be highlighted in the effort to specify the characteristics of organizational social contexts, as well as their antecedents and consequences in public human services.

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Correspondence to Ilmari Rostila.

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Rostila, I., Suominen, T., Asikainen, P. et al. Differentiation of organizational climate and culture in public health and social services in Finland. J Public Health 19, 39–47 (2011).

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