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Discussion: Analyzing Organizational Culture

A company’s culture is often buried so deeply inside rituals, assumptions, attitudes, and values that it becomes transparent to an organization’s members only when, for some reason it changes.

—Rob Goffee

Culture is embedded within every organization. Yet, because culture is woven throughout the everyday interactions and atmosphere of an organization, it can be difficult to assess and explain how the culture influences the inner workings of the organization.

As a nurse leader-manager, developing a sound understanding of an organization’s culture can help you to achieve quality improvement initiatives and identify strategies for enacting sustainable change.

For this Discussion, you analyze the culture of an organization and consider how this relates to achieving goals related to quality improvement. You may wish to focus on the same organization that you have selected for your Course Project.


To prepare:

Review the information on organizational culture in this week’s Learning Resources.

Reflect on the culture of an organization with which you are familiar. Consider the following:

What elements of the organization’s culture seem most prominent or significant to you?

What beliefs, dispositions, and/or actions seem to be most valued? Why do you think so?

What do you notice about the expectations, assumptions, and more demonstrated among people within the organization?

What artifacts provide clues about the culture?

How do these cultural elements contribute to or detract from the organization’s ability to meet prominent goals and objectives?

Consider how you, as a nurse leader-manager, could apply your knowledge of this culture to facilitate quality improvement initiatives within this organization. How would you leverage the strengths of the culture, and address limitations or obstacles that may arise within it?


Post an analysis of the culture of the organization that you selected. Explain how you think this particular culture contributes to or detracts from the organization’s ability to meet goals. Explain how you, as a nurse leader-manager, could utilize your knowledge of this culture to facilitate quality improvement initiatives within this organization.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days using one or more of the following approaches:

Analyze similarities and differences between your colleague’s organizational culture and the organization that you selected.

Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information or research.

Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.

Suggest leadership strategies that your colleague could use to overcome obstacles in the organization’s culture to facilitate quality improvement initiatives.


Required Readings

Hickey, J. V., & Brosnan, C. A. (2017). Evaluation  of health care quality in for DNPs (2nd  ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

Chapter 10, “Evaluation of Patient Care Standards, Guidelines, and Protocols” (pp. 207-226)

Chapter 12, “Evaluating Populations and Population Health” (pp. 265-280)

Chapter 10 reviews methods for using national, local, and organizational standards to evaluate the quality of health care practices. Chapter 12 examines strategies for identifying quality issues through the evaluation of populations.

Sadeghi, S., Barzi, A., Mikhail, O., & Shabot, M. M. (2013). Integrating quality and strategy in health care organizations, Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Chapter 3, “General Concepts in Quality” (pp. 45–82)

See the six aims for quality proposed by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

Bellot, J. (2011). Defining and assessing organizational culture. Nursing Forum, 46(1), 29–37.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Bellot reviews the definition of organizational culture, methods for evaluating organizational culture, and the application of Schein’s framework to defining the culture of health care organizations.

Dixon, M. A., & Dougherty, D. S. (2010). Managing the multiple meanings of organizational culture in interdisciplinary collaboration and consulting. Journal of Business Communication, 47(1), 3–19.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

This article demonstrates the importance of not only understanding the culture of an organization, but also how these dynamics affect workplace performance and retention of employees.

Dorgham, S. R. (2012). Relationship between organization work climate & staff nurses organizational commitment. Nature and Science, 10(5), 80–91. Retrieved from http://www.sciencepub.net/nature/ns1005/009_9000ns1005_80_91.pdf

The correlation between organizational climate and commitment and its effect on an organization is evaluated in this study.

Hartnell, C. A., Ou, A. Y., & Kinicki, A. (2011). Organizational culture and organizational effectiveness: A meta-analytic investigation of the competing values framework’s theoretical suppositions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96(4), 677–694.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

This article presents a study on the relationship between culture types and organizational effectiveness. The authors apply specific values frameworks to determine the relationships while also assessing the competing values framework.

Schein, E. H. (1996). Three cultures of management: The key to organizational learning. Sloan Management Review, 38(1), 9–20.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

In this seminal article, Schein identifies three subcultures found within an organization and the effects of these competing cultures on an organization’s effectiveness.

Wait, S. T., & Dayman, M. A. (2012, July/August). Company culture drives business value. Value Examiner, 30–31.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

The authors connect company culture to innovation and success.

Institute of Medicine. (2001). Crossing the quality chasm: A new health system for the 21st century. Retrieved from https://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2001/Crossing-the-Quality-Chasm/Quality%20Chasm%202001%20%20report%20brief.pdf

This report briefly outlines the six aims of the IOM to improve the quality of health care.

Schein, E. H. (1997). Organizational culture & leadership. Retrieved from http://www.tnellen.com/ted/tc/schein.html

Edgar Schein is one of the early writers on organizational culture. In this foundational article, Schein outlines various dimensions of organizational culture, and how leaders create, transmit, and embed organizational culture.

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2013e). Organizational culture. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Note:  The approximate length of this media piece is 3 minutes.

Dr. Carol Huston discusses the influence of organizational culture on the delivery of quality care

Accessible player

NURS 6231: HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS AND QUALITY OUTCOMES – Discussion 4 (Grading Rubic and Media Attached)
MSN Discussion Rubric Criteria Levels of Achievement Outstanding Performance Excellent Performance Competent Performance Room for Improvement Poor Performance Content-Main Posting 30 to 30 points -Main posting addresses all criteria with 75% of post exceptional depth and breadth supported by credible references. 27 to 29 points -Main posting addresses all criteria with 75% of post exceptional depth and breadth supported by credible references. 24 to 26 points Main posting meets expectations. All criteria are addressed with 50% containing good breadth and depth. 21 to 23 points Main posting addresses most of the criteria. One to two criterion are not addressed or superficially addressed. 0 to 20 points Main posting does not address all of criteria, superficially addresses criteria. Two or more criteria are not addressed. Course Requirements and Attendance 20 to 20 points -Responds to two colleagues’ with posts that are reflective, are justified with credible sources, and ask questions that extend the Discussion. 18 to 19 points -Responds to two colleagues’ with posts that are reflective, are justified with credible sources, and ask questions that extend the Discussion. 16 to 17 points Responds to a minimum of two colleagues’ posts, are reflective, and ask questions that extend the Discussion. One post is justified by a credible source. 14 to 15 points Responds to less than two colleagues’ posts. Posts are on topic, may have some depth, or questions. May extend the Discussion. No credible sources are cited. 0 to 13 points Responds to less than two colleagues’ posts. Posts may not be on topic, lack depth, do not pose questions that extend the Discussion. Scholarly Writing Quality 30 to 30 points -The main posting clearly addresses the Discussion criteria and is written concisely. The main posting is cited with more than two credible references that adhere to the correct format per the APA Manual 6th Edition. No spelling or grammatical errors. ***The use of scholarly sources or real life experiences needs to be included to deepen the Discussion and earn points in reply to fellow students. 27 to 29 points -The main posting clearly addresses the Discussion criteria and is written concisely. The main posting is cited with more than two credible references that adhere to the correct format per the APA Manual 6th Edition. No spelling or grammatical errors. 24 to 26 points -The main posting clearly addresses the Discussion criteria and is written concisely. The main posting is cited with a minimum of two current credible references that adhere to the correct format per the APA Manual 6th Edition. Contains one to two spelling or grammatical errors. 21 to 23 points -The main posting is not clearly addressing the Discussion criteria and is not written concisely. The main posting is cited with less than two credible references that may lack credibility and/or do not adhere to the correct format per the APA Manual 6th Edition. Contains more than two spelling or grammatical errors. 0 to 20 points -The main posting is disorganized and has one reference that may lack credibility and does not adhere to the correct format per the APA Manual 6th Edition or has zero credible references. Contains more than two spelling or grammatical errors. Professional CommunicationEffectiveness 20 to 20 points -Communication is professional and respectful to colleagues and response to faculty questions are answered if posed. -Provides clear, concise opinions and ideas effectively written in Standard Edited English. -Responses posted in the Discussion demonstrate effective professional communication through deep reflective discussion which leads to an exchange of ideas and focus on the weekly Discussion topic. 18 to 19 points -Communication is professional and respectful to colleagues. -Provides clear, concise opinions and ideas effectively written in Standard Edited English. -Responses posted in the Discussion demonstrate effective professional communication through deep reflective discussion which leads to an exchange of ideas and focus on the weekly Discussion topic. -Responses are cited with at least one credible reference per post and a probing question that extends the Discussion. Adheres to the correct format per the APA Manual 6th Edition. No spelling or grammatical errors. 16 to 17 points -Communication is professional and respectful to colleagues. -Provides clear, concise opinions and ideas effectively written in Standard Edited English. -Responses posted in the Discussion demonstrate effective professional communication through deep reflective discussion which leads to an exchange of ideas and focus on the weekly Discussion topic. -Responses are cited with at least one credible and/or contain probing questions that extends the Discussion. Adheres to the correct format per the APA Manual 6th Edition. May have one to two spelling or grammatical errors. 14 to 15 points -Communication is professional and respectful to colleagues. -Provides opinions that may not be concise or ideas not effectively written in Standard Edited English. -Responses posted in the Discussion may lack effective professional communication that does not extend the Discussion, leads to an exchange of ideas and/or not focused on the weekly Discussion topic. -Responses are not cited and/or do not contain a probing question. May not adhere to the correct format per the APA Manual 6th Edition. May have more than two spelling or grammatical errors. 0 to 13 points -Communication may lack professional tone or be disrespectful to colleagues. -Provides opinions that may not be concise or ideas not effectively written in Standard Edited English -Responses posted in the Discussion lack effective professional communication through discussion that does not extend the Discussion, do not lead to an exchange of ideas and/or not focused on the weekly Discussion topic. -Responses are not cited and do not contain a probing question. May not adhere to the correct format per the APA Manual 6th Edition. May have multiple spelling or grammatical errors. Timely Submission 0 to 0 points All criteria met: Initial post submitted on time. Response to two peer initial posts. Response on 3 separate days. -5 to 0 points 5 points deducted for responding to less than two peers or 5 points deducted for responding less than three days. -10 to -5 points 5 points deducted for responding to less than two peers and 5 points deducted for responding less than three days. -10 to -10 points 10 points deducted for Initial post submitted late. -20 to -15 points Initial post submitted late and 5 points deducted for responding to less than two peers and/ or 5 points deducted for responding less than three days. © 2016 Laureate Education, Inc. Page 5 of 5