Organizational Culture Types as Predictors of Corporate Social Responsibility

  • Ülle Übius Estonian Business School
  • Ruth Alas Estonian Business School
Keywords: corporate social responsibility, organizational culture, electric-electronic machine enterprises, retail store enterprises, machine-building enterprises, Estonia, China, Japan, Russia, Czech, Slovakia, Finland, Germany.


The purpose of this paper is to investigate connectionsbetween corporate social responsibility and organizationalculture types. The survey was conducted in Estonian,Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Czech, Finnish, German andSlovakian electric-electronic machine, retail store andmachine-building enterprises. The main aim of the study isto find connections between corporate social responsibilityand different organizational culture types.According to Cameron and Quinn (1998), culturedefines the core values, assumptions, interpretations andapproaches that characterise an organization. CompetingValues Framework is extremely useful in helping toorganize and interpret a wide variety of organizationalphenomena. The four dominant culture types – hierarchy,market, clan and adhocracy emerge from the framework.According to Strautmanis (2007), social responsibilityis part of organizational culture and a value in theorganizational culture environment. Development of socialresponsibility is a change in values orientation, whose taskis shaping the attitudes, transformation of the personalposition so that it matches individual and public interests.Different organizations have framed different definitionsabout corporate social responsibility - although there isconsiderable common ground between them. Nowadayscorporate social responsibility is an integral part of thebusiness vocabulary and is regarded as a cruciallyimportant issue in management (Cornelius et al., 2008;Humphreys, Brown, 2008).In order to find connections between corporate socialresponsibility and organizational culture, the authorsconducted an empirical study in 2007-2008. The totalnumber of respondents was 6094. A standardizedorganizational culture and corporate social responsibilityquestionnaire comprising 38 items was developed by theDenki Ringo research group (Ishikawa et al, 2006). Thequestionnaire was administered in Estonian, Chinese,Japanese, Russian, Czech, Finnish, German and Slovakianelectric-electronic machine, retail store and machinebuildingenterprises. Data about four different culturetypes and eight different countries - Estonia, China, Japan,Russian, Czech, Finnish, German and Slovakian werecompared by means of the ANOVA-test. The linearregression analysis was used in order to find statisticallyrelevant connections between corporate social responsibilityand organizational culture. The model was developed inorder to explain how four organizational culture types -hierarchy, clan, market, adhocracy - predict two facets ofcorporate social responsibility - the firm performanceconcerning social issues and the firm respects the interestsof agents.The main research question is: How does organizationalculture predict corporate social responsibility?According to the results, clan, hierarchy andadhocracy culture types predict two facets of corporatesocial responsibility - the firm performance concerningsocial issues and the firm respects the interests of agents.Market culture type predicts one facet of corporate socialresponsibility - the firm performance concerning socialissues. Different organizational culture types are dominatingin enterprises from different countries. In Estonian andFinnish enterprises clan, in Chinese enterprises marketand adhocracy, in Japanese enterprises market andhierarchy, in Russian and German enterprises market, inCzech and Slovakian enterprises hierarchy culture typeswere dominating in enterprises. Organizational culture isinfluenced on national culture where organization isoperating.