All of the Above?: an Examination of Overlapping Organizational Climates
We examined the largely unexplored issue of strong associations between multiple specific climates (e.g., for safety and for service). Given that workplaces are likely to have more than one specific climate present, it is important to understand how and why these perceptions overlap. Individual ratings (i.e., at the psychological climate level) for seven specific climates and a general positive climate were obtained from 353 MTurk Workers employed in various industries. We first observed strong correlations among a larger set of specific climates than typically studied: climates for collaboration, communication, fair treatment, fear, safety, service, and work-life balance were all strongly correlated. Second, we found that two methodological mechanisms—common method variance (CMV) due to (a) measurement occasion and (b) self-report—and a theoretical mechanism, general climate, each account for covariance among the specific climate measures. General positive climate had a primary (i.e., larger) impact on the relationships between specific climates, but CMV—especially due to measurement occasion—also accounted for significant and non-negligible covariance between climates. We discuss directions for continued research on and practice implementing specific climates in order to accurately model and modify perceptions of multiple climates.
KeywordsOrganizational climate Specific climates General climate Psychological climate Common method variance Measurement issues
This research was funded from the generous support of Clemson University Creative Inquiry. We thank Melanie Bennett, Michelle Flynn, Erika Fosu, Joey Glass, Benjamin Hardy, Cameron Lemere, and Briana Smith for assistance with study design, data collection, and analysis.
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