Organizational cultural fit and earnings: A quantitative study of publically traded, major U.S. airlines using the competing values framework

by Durham, Matthew T., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2016, 135 pages; 10108825


This study adds to the academic literature on the relationship between organizational cultural fit and earnings, with a specific emphasis on the United States airline industry. The ontological view of objectivism and the positivist epistemology were used in this non-experimental research to explore if a correlation existed between cultural fit and earnings. The survey research used the competing values framework to compare organizational culture types and cultural dimensions for airline employees at publically traded, major airline carriers within the United States. Cultural fit was quantitatively measured using Cameron and Quinn’s (2011) Organizational Cultural Assessment Instrument survey tool. A survey invitation was e-mailed to 17,027 selected employees in the airline industry, resulting in 153 survey participants. Employees with less than two years of experience at the airline and management employees were excluded from the survey. Airline cultural profiles were calculated. Statistical analysis was then conducted to determine if a correlation exists between cultural fit and airline earnings. While the adhocracy cultural type was close, no statistical significance was found. In addition, how closely each airline employee answered to one another was determined using the Euclidean method, which measures the distance of each data point from the others. A smaller Euclidean distance indicates that employees have a higher shared view of the organizational culture. Statistical analysis was again used to determine if a correlation exists between having a shared view and airline earnings and no significance was found. The results of the data analysis suggest that a negative correlation may exist between the adhocracy cultural type and earnings. In addition, the data suggested the possibility of a nonlinear relationship between cultural fit and earnings with a peak cultural fit region less than 100% cultural fit.

AdviserDonald Nowill
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsBusiness administration; Management; Organizational behavior
Publication Number10108825

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